Matt Kawahara, John Shea, Kevin Dowsman discussed on Giants Splash
As class san francisco chronicle podcast on the giants. The oakland a.'s in major league baseball. I'm chronicle as writer. Matt kawahara today chronicle national baseball writer. John shea and i are looking back to one year ago when baseball abruptly shut down in the middle of spring training under the weight of the growing coronavirus. Pandemic as manager bob melvin and giants manager gave kappler will each share their recollections of that jarring an uncertain moment in baseball and the world and john and i will recall what it was like to cover that from spring training camps in arizona. All that now on this join episode of giant splash and as john. I'd like to start by asking what you remember about the events leading up to two midgely baseball announcing that it was going to be pausing spring training and delaying opening day. What was happening in giants. Camp what stands out to you. When you think back to that that erin just crazy. Looking back was normal. I mean the morning of march levin. I got school interview with a listen neck and it had been set up and we talked for about a half hour and the went to a backfield. it was kind of a drizzly rayvey day. The giants were out to surprise. But buster posey wasn't on the trip. He was working out a back there. He you know he said something. Never really from daddy so baseball secondary figuring the important stuff out. I then figure out baseball. And and of course. I mean and i spoke with jeff margin and kevin dowsman that day because those are two guys who played in that april. Two thousand fifteen game in baltimore that had no fans. There is civil unrest and nobody was invited to the park. That was the question time. Would games be played an empty. Ballparks that was. That was the question not what baseball be. Shut down and But but his alma surreal looking back the capital named johnny cueto the opening day starter after that game in surprise in wasn't that strange. I mean we you know we all we all were thinking. The season would start up baby without fans maybe at neutral sites but then of course the nba shut down after rudy. Gobert tested positive. And then the next day the giants were scheduled to be off that was march twelfth and that was the day baseball shutdown and i kept going out to scottsdale stadium and same with you and mesa to report on whatever was happening goings on but You know nothing was half that sunday march sixteenth. A rented a car and start driving home. The posey comments. It sounds like we're pretty prescient. Obviously when things started up again he opted out of the season. But in it's just it's odd to to look back on that now in knowing what you know. It's kind of see what was coming yet. You're right. I never connected that. But you're right. Jose up dowden road. Another surreal moment is is once again the manager named cueto the opening day starter Right before things ramped up again in july And so we swapped the same story all over again. Sixty games later and postseason and now a year later here we are again. Yeah it was as campaign was a little bit different. The march eleventh. They were actually rained. Out that day there was supposed to play a game against the angels on the road and i think there were actually on the way there and it was called off due to rain so they turned around and went back and they they. Everybody showed up on the morning of march twelfth. They had a game scheduled against the dodgers. They didn't know if it was going to be played or not because that was in the in the wake of the nba shutting down and there were thoughts. I think that you know major league baseball wasn't going to be far behind but But days were all ad hoc stadium on the morning of march twelfth. There was another gray morning. There were players sort of filing it out of the clubhouse we did a couple interviews on the concourse. They talked to jake. Diekman and tj mcfarland. Two left handed relievers about the new better. Minimum rule knows a story. That i didn't enough writing and And yeah there were guys kind of milling around Working out thrown await ball against the against the wall just waiting and then when the announcement came down bob. Melvin came out of the clubhouse in antarctica. Few of us on the concourse in part of his message was yeah. It seems like it's it's time to slow down there is there. Are things here that are happening. That are a little bit bigger than baseball. Obviously i don't think anybody at that point at least in that setting really had an idea of what it was gonna turn into Is definitely it was definitely a jarring moment and And yet like you said. I was going to holcomb stadium for a couple of days after that We catch players in the only one. I really talked to. Who's chris bassett starting pitcher who was loading up his truck to to drive back home to north carolina and He said basically. I don't know where we're going to get back together. But yeah it was. Obviously it was two and a half three and half months later. Everybody reconvening in july so Right now we're gonna hear from From the managers of both teams I bob melvin of the ace and then give kappler. The giants will will share their recollections of what happened in those those days in in their thoughts on how baseball has has evolved over the last year while i was on my way to a game against the angels and as i was on my way there i got a text joe maddon sam game was cancelled so i think it was weather related though and then we go back. You know the first thing that stands out to me was the rudy bear thing. So we're watching that. In the morning. And i might have been the day before. I'm not sure but that's the first thing that stood out to me about this thing could could get in here pretty quickly and then you know after that rain out. The next thing was a meeting You know amongst our team felt like there was like a day off in the day after that it was done so it happened. Quickly was dramatic to think about itseld ominous There was no time table for us to come back and is is the days went on it. Got more and more ominous like are. We actually gonna play this year. I remember. I think it was march. Twelve you came out to the concourse hope stadium and there were just a small group of reporters standing sitting around and You talked for a couple minutes in you. Basically said it's when it's time to slow down just generally and i was wondering what was your sense of of sort of the scope or the potential scope of this. Yeah no is. I was saying that though in my mind that was like you know i have to come out here and talk to you at a distance and so forth thinking to myself. This is ridiculous and then not only. Was it not ridiculous. The world changed so Those were my thoughts at that time When i was when i came out there for the first time and a half they talked you guys into distance. What was your biggest concern in the moment. Do you think when everybody was going their separate ways. We if we're going to be able to play we're going to be able to play baseball at your let alone you know. Get spring training going again So everybody went. It almost felt like the end of the season on you go home and you know it's gonna be quite a while before you know potentially get going again or if you'd gone at all and then you know it it becomes reality and then it just kind of fills you up and consumes you with you know now. This is not just about baseball. This is about life in general and.