The Blue Jays have closed up shop in Toronto for a trip of the most unusual : a regular season of 60 games, without a single visit to the Rogers Centre.
20 July 2020 22h36
A regular season to 60 games abroad for the Blue Jays
The canadian Press
The Blue Jays have closed up shop in Toronto Monday, for a trip of the most unusual : a regular season of 60 games, without a single visit to the Rogers Centre.
Ottawa has rejected the team’s request to play games in Toronto, saying that it is not safe for the players to cross often the border, in these times of pandemic.
Their presence in Toronto is limited to a short camp this year. The Jays had to leave on Monday evening, in view of two preseason matchups in Boston. They will begin the campaign Friday, to St. Petersburg.
Play in a stadium in the major leagues is the preference, but a site of minor league is also considered, as well as hybrid solutions.
“We want to ensure that the health, safety and security are a priority,” said Blue Jays general manager, Ross Atkins. The comments of the players and their views are extremely important to us.”
“We are working very hard with major league baseball to find the most viable options, realistic, and safe.”
It has been reported that Camden Yards in Baltimore, the Nationals Park in Washington, d.c. and PNC Park in Pittsburgh are possibilities. In a press release, the president of the Pirates, Travis Williams, has confirmed that his team was talking with major league baseball and the Blue Jays.
During a conference call with journalists, Atkins said that such and such a scenario could lead to minor adjustments of the calendar.
The first home game of the team will be held on July 29, against Washington. It is not yet known when the club will be set on the stage chosen.
“Yesterday would be great, no ? Atkins said with a smile. We’d all like to know in what direction to go. This will be decided as quickly as possible, taking care not to overlook anything.”
If one turns to the Sahlen Field of Buffalo, it would take several adjustments so that the place looks like a site in the major leagues.
A stadium of the big leagues is more attractive : it would be a change room of adequate size, proper lighting, parts, training and a space for collectors. There would, however, complications with the schedule of the club that normally plays at the stadium.
The players are trying to concentrate on the season. The Blue Jays have spent the past two weeks at the Rogers Center and the hotel attached to the stadium.
“The time spent in Toronto has been phenomenal, said Atkins. Our players have really developed an esprit de corps. They have accuelli it with open arms. You can feel and see the cohesion.”
The manager Charlie Montoyo said that 38 players would make the trip to Boston.
Nate Pearson will get the start Tuesday night at Fenway Park. After the second game at Boston, the Blue Jays will organize a training optional at Tropicana Field on Thursday.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the first game of face the Rays Friday night, followed by Matt Shoemaker on Saturday.