The Toronto Blue Jays of Pittsburgh has a nice ring to it, right? While the name change isn’t official, the news about the team’s relocated season is:
Its official:The Toronto #BlueJays will play the majority of their home games at PNC park in Pittsburgh, as @thehazelmae reported. The exceptions are that they will play one series against the #Yankees and another against the #Nats as the home team at Yankee Stadium and Nats Park
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 22, 2020
In case you missed why this is happening in the first place, let’s fill you in. Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Marco Mendicino released a statement on Saturday outlining the reasons why the Canadian government didn’t feel comfortable with the Blue Jays playing games at Rogers Centre, noting the need for teams from the US to cross the border to play in Toronto:
— David Cochrane (@CochraneCBC) July 18, 2020
If you’re asking yourself if this is a double-standard given the Canadian’s government willingness to have not one, but two Canadian cities host the NHL’s Return to Play, you’re likely not alone. One thing that stands in stark contrast between the situation is testing and the timeline. NHL teams are in Phase 3 of the RTP protocols, including regular testing, and will travel to Toronto and Edmonton, which will act as as similar bubble to what the NBA and MLS have established at Disney World. Ensuring that teams and personnel are tested multiple times prior to traveling to the Hub cities is the differentiating factor. MLB teams, while tested at regular intervals, are on a tighter schedule with plenty of travel among numerous American cities within a given region.
The only surprise for some is the fact that it would appear the Blue Jays might have snubbed Buffalo, a city in closer proximity to Toronto. There had been some work done to convince the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball that Sahlen Field, the home of the Buffalo Bison, could be updated to meet the needs of a big league club, but it appears the updates couldn’t be made quickly enough or they might not have met the needs of Toronto. How the Blue Jays and Pirates will share PNC Park remains to be seen, but rescheduling of times and dates will likely be announced in the coming days.