By Morris Phillips
Alex Dickerson’s wife is expecting the couple’s first child any day now. Complicating matters, his positive COVID test shut the Giants down Friday and Saturday as follow up testing procedures exercised the utmost caution for both the Giants and the Padres. At some point, Dickerson allowed the Giants to release his name, connecting him to the previously anonymous test within the team’s traveling party.
Then a false report printed by the USA Today claiming Dickerson contracted the virus from a family member while in San Diego (a meet up that is prohibited by the strict rules instituted by MLB for traveling clubs) caused the player–and his wife–a myriad of issues.
“When you’re dealing with pregnancy and COVID-19, it is not a good thing to make the assumption that I came in and went and broke protocol and saw family and friends when I’m only permitted to see my wife and she is the only person I saw, and she has been quarantining and on bed rest,” Dickerson said. “It caused a lot of problems, a lot of hate to come towards you and it was kind of unwarranted.”
The Giants had benefitted tremendously from avoiding issues and disruptions from the virus. Just maintaining their schedule as written was big, for them and the rest of the NL West. After all, makeup doubleheaders–regardless of the reduced length in innings–aren’t momentum builders.
That Dickerson’s positive test morphed into a false positive with no other positive tests was frustrating as well. The conclusion? Being a big league club on the road in 2020 isn’t the best. Nine of the 15 National League clubs have losing road records. Isolation and testing are a big contributor to that.
So as the Giants settle into their Seattle hotel on Monday night, two things stick out: the Mariners spent a day/night in the smoke-filled air on Monday, splitting a pair of makeup contests with the A’s. That’s 14 innings for the hosts and none for the Giants, who were idle. Even bigger, with 13 games remaining, these two will be the last two outside the Bay Area involving a hotel and the stringent protocols.
Starting Friday, the Giants play three games in Oakland, then eight at Oracle Park to end the regular season.
That schedule may be enough to keep the Giants from losing their grip on the eighth and final playoff spot, and possibly sending them to Dodgers Stadium for a best of three-game series that would generate a great deal of interest. It also would be their first postseason berth since 2016.
The Giants are 14-9 at home, while averaging better than five runs per game. They’ve struggled with the A’s and the Padres, but might be poised to take advantage of the Rockies.