Baseball strikes out during pandemic
While many other sports are being impacted by the pandemic this year, baseball seems to be getting hit the hardest. Major League Baseball decided to hold their shortened season in Florida, a state that has been reporting an increase of COVID-19 cases by the day and has already cancelled many of its games due to positive testing among players and coaching staff. To these many strikes, the Toronto Blue Jays have had to scramble to find a home field to play in as they were recently told they could not play any home games in Toronto due to the health restrictions placed to combat the pandemic.
Canadian officials informed the Blue Jays that they would not be able to play in Toronto due to the pandemic measures in the country just as they were preparing to start their opening day and fast approaching home games. Canada has closed its border with the US to non-essential travel and these restrictions have implemented that all visitors entering the country from the US or abroad would have to isolate for 14 days. Government officials indicated that Canada has been working hard to diminish contagion and flatten the curve, thus risking its citizens was not something they took lightly. This put the Blue Jays on a tight deadline to find a stadium for their home games and they considered stadiums in Buffalo, Dunedin, Pittsburgh, Connecticut and Baltimore, with Buffalo being their last minute choice in the Bisons minor league home stadium Sahlen Field. A field that is very familiar with some of the Jays as the Bisons have been their affiliate in the minors since 2013. The stadium had to go through some modifications to meet major league standards before the Jays can play a home game there, which could mean later on in August.
While the Jays have resolved the home field issue the rest of the major league has had to continue to cancel games because of COVID-19. Since opening day 8 teams have been affected. The Jays game against the Phillies during the August long weekend had to be postponed due to some positive testing on the Philly team. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has expressed some frustration and sources indicate that he is willing to shut down the season if things don’t improve and the pandemic isn’t controlled.
The Jays so far have won 3 and lost 4 games playing away and the postponement of the Philly series will put them 3 games behind to make up in the 67 day 60 game run during this already shortened season, something that could put a strain on the players.
- August 05, 2020
- by Rocio Reyes