Blue Jays Denied Pittsburgh Home-Season

By Ben Hamill - July 23 2020

Blue Jays Denied Pittsburgh Home-Season

The Toronto Blue Jays have had yet another door shut firmly in their faces following Pennsylvania State’s denial of a request by the MLB team to play home games in Pittsburgh in the upcoming season. The Pennsylvania Department of Health isn’t the first jurisdiction or authority to have denied the team access – since the Blue Jays’ regular-season schedule requires frequent travelling between the United States and Canada, Canadian health authorities earlier on dismissed the team’s request to play in Toronto.

 Since infections have spiked to significant new hikes in southwestern Pennsylvania, said Dr. Rachel Levine, who is Pennsylvania’s secretary of health, adding travellers in the mix, even when those travellers are international sports people, risks the health and lives of everyone involved – team members, local residents, visitors – everyone.

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Pirates: Health Is 1st Priority

The Pirates and the Blue Jays have both been waiting on state officials to say whether or not the plan to have PNC Park stand in the gap for the out-of-action Rogers Centre would be deemed safe and acceptable.

Pirates president Travis Williams has responded by the denial of the request by saying that team management understood the seriousness and unprecedented nature of the situation, and therefore also understood and respected Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision around the matter. Wolf also said that the Pirates were in agreement with the state’s prioritisation of the health and safety of all the state’s residents. He said that since the Blue Jays are served by a team of amazing people, he was confident that a solution to the season-predicament would be found soon.

Major League Park Is 1st Prize

And according to the information received from Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins, this certainly appears to be precisely the case. In the event that no major league park can be found, said Atkins, then the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo (New York) will in all likelihood stand in for home games played by the Blue Jays.

Even so, said Atkins, the team will as far as possible, and for as long as this remains safe, continue to focus on finding a major league park venue at which to play its home games. This is in line with what the actual players want, explained the GM, along with the type of collaboration and feedback the team appears to be getting from the MLB as well as from other teams.

Toronto plays its first home-game of the new season against defending champs Washington, on July 29.

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