The new weird world that will be the Fenway Park dugouts


When you look down at the Fenway Park dugouts these days one thing jumps out: The white tape.

Throughout the space are lines of whiteness, representing the dividing lines for all those inhabiting the area during this time of social distancing. There is even a sign staring at all the players and coaches at the end of the dugout making sure they don't forget this COVID-19-induced priority.

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And while there have been a smattering of players taking up residence in the dugouts during these intrasquad workouts, many have adjourned to the suites that have been serving as their dressing rooms. From on high, the players have cheered on their teammates while kicking back in the seats out in front of the luxury boxes.

But what happens when the games start?

According to Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke, the players and coaches better start accepting some creative spacing thanks to Major League Baseball's rules and regulations.

"I don't think they're going to be allowed up in their suites during the season. So far, that's what I've heard," Roenicke said Tuesday. "So we've got plans to spread people out. There's another dugout that they wanted to build in between our dugout and home plate, along the line there, whether it will be tents or whether it will be a structure,  I know they need to get going on that. Then in the bullpen, same thing, there's another structure that we've talked about behind bullpen that both the visiting and home team can go back there. And some taller chairs, so we can have more guys in the bullpen. As it is now, you can't see in the lower chair, so you've got to get a higher chair, so we can spread them out enough that we think.

"I don't know if we can have all the guys if we go with 8-10 guys, I don't know if we can have them all in there. But it's a process on how we're going to do this during the game. From what I understand, we can have nine players in our dugout, three coaches, which means we're probably going to have to alternate the hitting coach and the pitching coach during when we hit and when we're on defense. That's the last I've heard, that's what we plan to do."

As of Tuesday, there was no sign of adding an extra dugout, although, like many things in and around Major League Baseball, the planning and execution is simply a work in progress.

"It’s in the stands," said Roenicke of the extra bench. "And if it’s a wood structure it starts right next to where that concrete is where there’s a little bench on the home side and they’ll have it on both sides. Then it goes from there toward home plate. And if it’s the tent, and we saw the tent here for one or two days, it’ll go in the same place, it’ll just obviously be different than the structure would be."

Dugout dilemma!

— The Bradfo Sho (@Bradfo_Sho) July 15, 2020