The Padres will open the new pandemic-shortened MLB season at Petco Park with Opening Day scheduled for July 24, 2020. They will play the Arizona Diamondbacks, with some changes to the game.
The full 2020 Schedule has also been announced!
Will Fans Be Allowed To Attend?
As of now, no. But there is a potential for that to change. From league documents: “Clubs may permit fan attendance at games with the approval of MLB
and relevant local authorities.”
As Coronavirus ravages our country, it feels like a longshot. California governor Gavin Newsom says it is unlikely without a vaccine.
According to the Los Angeles Times, playing games in empty stadiums during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was the root cause for the three-month stalemate between owners and players. They couldn’t agree on how to split money without fans splurging at games. Adding, “What happens if some teams are allowed to have fans at games and others aren’t? Wouldn’t that provide a home-field advantage on the field and a financial edge off of it for the clubs hosting spectators?”
Changes To The Game
Here are some of the changes established by MLB
in order to reduce the risk of season-souring consequences related to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
- Teams will not exchange of lineup cards. (They will use a mobile app).
- “Physical distancing to the extent possible;” To that end, dugout and bullpen have been expanded
- If you are not playing, you are required to wear a mask
- Spitting is prohibited. If you’re here for the spitting, maybe try the camel section of the zoo
- Players must pick up their own bat and equipment after an at-bat
- In-play baseballs will be exchanged with a freshy on the subsequent play.
- National League lineups will now utilize a designated hitter
- Extra innings will begin with a runner on second base. If no healthy players remain, a “ghost runner” will be instituted. (Just kidding.)
Just remember, we’re all watching at home together (and sending prayers to those who are not able). It’s a little silly, but let’s count our blessings, make the most of it and have fun.
And please hit up our Padres Store, support the site and gear up for the season!
Petco Park Insider is your guide to enjoying games in San Diego at the Padres baseball stadium. Please join the conversation on Twitter @PetcoParkSD or contact us at Petco Park Insider.
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