Ottawa is acting on the federal government’s decision not to let Blue Jays play ball in Toronto during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ottawa informed the team about the concerns they’re having over the public risk associated with the league’s 60 game season.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ottawa has informed Toronto Blue Jay’s on Saturday that the Major league Baseball won’t be allowed playing at the stadium
Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship mark Mendicino said in a statement addressing the issue that the cross border travel will not be safe at the moment. “Unlike preseason training, regular-season games would require repeated cross border travel of Blue Jays players and staff as well as opposing teams into and out of Canada. The Toronto Blue Jay’s would be necessary to play in locations where the risk of virus transmission remains high
“Based on the best available public health advice, we have concluded the cross border travel required the MLB regular season play would not adequately protect Canadians health and safety. As a result, Canada will not be issuing a National Interest Exemption for the MLB regular season this time”.
Mendicino also said that the government would only restart plans if the risk of the virus spreading has wholly subsided and if the Blue Jays make the playoffs. The federal officials are known to have expressed concern about the Jays playing games in COVID-19 hotspots before returning to Toronto
The Blue Jays will be playing at Tampa Bay on July 24 to open their season. Florida is recording new COVID-19 cases every day.
On Friday, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, Dr. Howard Njoo gave a gist about the decision the federal government took when he pointed out the cross country issue at a health briefing. “The teams and the Blue Jays included would be, during the regular season traveling back and forth across the international border and that, I think is an issue,” he said
“The club completely respects the federal government’s decision,” CEO, Blue Jay’s
The teams Chief Executive Officer and team president Mark Shapiro said he respects the federal government’s decision since the safety of the people and the team is everyone’s concern including his, “from the onset of the discussions with league and government officials, the safety of the border community, our fans and team remained the priority of everyone involved, and with that, the club completely respects the federal government’s decisions
“Our players will take the field for the 2020 season with the same pride and passion representative of an entire. We cannot wait until the day comes that we can play in front of our fans again on Canadian soil”.
Sahlen Field, a possible choice alternative choice for the Blue Jays
Blue Jays will have to find another stadium to host their home games if they want to make it for the scheduled game against the Washington Nationals on July 29. Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York should be one of their options since they had even planned on having one of their minor leagues played there
The field, on the other hand, needs some infrastructure work, including good lighting and clubhouse set up.
Ontario government had initially approved for the Blue Jays to play in Toronto under some conditions and that they would reconsider the agreement if any of the laid down protocols were violated but because the federal government is responsible for the affairs regarding the Canada-US border, it fell under their jurisdiction, and they had to change the plans
Not long ago, a report that several staff and players had tested positive for the coronavirus had clouded the air, causing some controversies, if this is the case, the focus must also be placed in that. While they are looking for a new alternative stadium to play matches, players should be tested regularly, they had introduced the antibody testing to check players for proteins or antibodies that can protect them from getting the virus again, and this is an excellent chance to use this form of testing
Social distancing should be practiced, players should wear face masks outside their facilities to reduce the spread of the virus, or the league might as well cancel the season, but will that favor the team, the players, or the fans? Guess not. It’s up to the team’s officials to make the right decisions.