The Jays are heading south for the summer.
According to Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae, the Blue Jays are heading to Pittsburgh to play their home games, sharing a park with the Pirates in 2020.
The decision to play in Pittsburgh is the next best bet after Buffalo was seemingly eliminated early in the process.
In case you’re wondering how and why two teams would be able to play in one stadium over the course of just over two months, consider: The Blue Jays and Pirates share just seven home game dates this year, making it easy for MLB to work out the kinks in the schedule.
Of course, there will be a few additional logistical issues that could harm both teams, including potential rainouts and travel for visiting teams among them. The postseason isn’t likely in either team’s immediate future, eliminating one more potential logistical hurdle. (Sorry, Pittsburgh and Toronto fans.)
Given MLB’s region-based schedule, this means four divisions — the NL Central, AL Central, AL East and NL East — will have games to play in Pittsburgh this year.
The Blue Jays were left without a nest after Canada wanted no part of MLB’s plan to have teams travel back and forth between countries in the middle of a global pandemic. Reasonably so, as well: Cases in the United States continue to rise, while Canada has flattened its curve significantly since its apex in early May.
Toronto’s enforcement of the Blue Jays staying indoors during summer training was very strict, with harsh penalties in place if Blue Jays players left their hotel or stadium bubble. If players were seen outside the Rogers Centre, it would have resulted in a $750,000 fine and potential jail time for the offender.
Pirates president Travis Williams welcomed the Blue Jays with open arms once Toronto was ousted from the north.
The Jays were originally scheduled to play their first home game on July 29, but both teams are scheduled to be home that day. Scheduling updates have yet to be released.
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