Welp. Just as it looked like the Toronto Blue Jays had everything figured out, the PA Department of Health just landed a Macho Man flying elbow from the top rope:
The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced today that it will not allow the Toronto Blue Jays to play their shortened 2020 season at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. https://t.co/og8ZxLdlp0
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) July 22, 2020
Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said of the decision:
In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania. To add travelers to this region for any reason, including for professional sports events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams. We know that this virus does not discriminate, and can even make professional athletes very sick. We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians.
Translation: to quote the iconic Harry Kalas, the Blue Jays are outta here. Now, that obviously calls into question whether this could lead to a temporary ban of Pirates games from taking place at PNC Park, though I’d assume not.
It’s worth noting that this could come down to the fact that the Pirates and Blue Jays are going to play entirely different teams and travel to different cities in another region of the country. Toronto will play teams in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, Boston, and Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is slated to travel to St. Louis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Kansas City. Perhaps the fear of cross contamination that could come as a result of sharing locker rooms and common areas ultimately blew up the deal, but now the Blue Jays will have to find another place to call home. As I outlined in a story earlier today, it might be at a minor league stadium in Buffalo.