Giants' Bob Melvin explains why he requires players to stand on field for national anthem


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San Francisco Giants manager Bob Melvin wants his players to pour out of the dugout and stand for the national anthem before spring training games.

Melvin, who took over the team in the offseason after spending two seasons with the San Diego Padres, told The Athletic that he wants to show his opponent that his players are ready to play. The team is required to abide by Melvin’s rule and the manager hoped it would carry into the regular season.

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Bob Melvin talks

Bob Melvin of the San Francisco Giants talks to players during the workout at Scottsdale Stadium on Feb. 15, 2024, in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Zac BonDurant/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)

“It’s all about the perception that we’re out there ready to play,” he told the outlet. “That’s it. You want your team ready to play and I want the other team to notice it, too. It’s really as simple as that.”

Melvin has maintained that his rule has nothing to do with politics, but it’s a stark contrast from what was seen under Gabe Kapler.

Kapler, who managed the Giants from 2020 to just near the end of the 2023 season, refused to stand on the field for the national anthem in the wake of the 2022 Uvalde, Texas, school shootings. According to The Athletic, there was “no wrong answer” to how players handled the anthem.

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Bob Melvin on photo day

Manager Bob Melvin of the San Francisco Giants poses during photo day at Scottsdale Stadium on Feb. 21, 2024. (Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

“Look, we’re a new team here, we got some good players here,” Melvin said, via USA Today. “It’s more about letting the other side know that we’re ready to play. I want guys out here ready to go. There’s a personality to that.

“It has nothing to do with whatever happened in the past or whatever, it’s just something I embrace.”

The players seemed to have embraced the rule.

“I think it sets the example of hey, we’re in this together,” Giants outfielder Austin Slater told The Athletic. “Whether you’re not playing that day or you’re a starting pitcher who threw yesterday, you’re still out there, on time, ready to be a good teammate.

Austin Slater talks

Austin Slater and Dave Righetti talk during the San Francisco Giants spring training workout at Scottsdale Stadium on Feb. 19, 2024. (Andy Kuno/San Francisco Giants/Getty Images)

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“Once the anthem starts, we’re locked in on the game as a unit. There’s an inherent respect level, and not only to the older guys, but to your entire team. You’re there to be supportive. The other big part, and this might be the biggest, is you’re staying and watching the game and learning from the game. I think that’s important.”

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