Umpires don masks while working Giants simulated game
An uncommon scene emerged during a simulated game played this week by the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park, as two umpires donned face masks while working the tilt.
Both Bill Miller and Doug Eddings elected to wear the masks provided to them by Giants skipper Gabe Kapler, as shared by Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
The two umpires the Giants have for today’s sim game are wearing masks. Wilmer Flores (in background) is also wearing a mask while playing first base pic.twitter.com/wxhlYDaQsN— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) July 14, 2020
“Bill and Doug, I give them a ton of credit because they’re super humble and open, and so our training staff had a few extra very, very comfortable masks and those guys did a great job,” Kapler said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “They were open to giving these masks a try and I think everybody on the field was proud of that.”
MLB policy for players and team staff as well as umpires stipulates that masks are optional and not required. A handful of ballplayers have been spotted at summer camps donning them while batting or in the field. However, umps have rarely done so while preparing for the season by visiting ballparks and working simulated or intrasquad games.
Most Giants players have been wearing masks during drills and in the dugout, while Kapler and his coaching staff almost constantly wear masks at the ballpark.
“Our training staff does a tremendous job of asking our group to adhere to health and safety protocols,” Kapler said. “Our players are doing a really good job of masking up. Some guys are wearing masks on the field as they’re playing and we really appreciate that leadership.”
It will be interesting to see how not only MLB players and coaching staffs approach wearing masks once the season begins in a few weeks, but what umpires do as well. If the events Tuesday at Oracle Park are any indication, it appears some umps at least will be amenable to wearing masks during games, for their safety as well as those with whom they come in close contact.