Candlestick Park, which was home to the San Francisco Giants from 1960-1999, will be no more once the San Francisco 49ers move into their new home in Santa Clara after next season.
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle have the details:
It hosted two World Series, The Catch and the Beatles’ last concert. Now it looks like Candlestick Park will go out with a blast next year to make way for a shopping center. Plans are to blow up the 69,000-seat stadium with a 30-second implosion, possibly within weeks of the 49ers’ final touchdown next season.
Lennar Corp. is building the shopping center and president Kofi Bonner explained that “the best thing for our development and the neighborhood is not to have that hulking building sitting there empty.”
The final baseball game at Candlestick Park was played on September 30, 1999, when the Dodgers beat the Giants 9-4. San Francisco’s lineup that day included Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent, and Ellis Burks batting 3-4-5 and Raul Mondesi starred for Los Angeles.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.