TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Blue Jays are speaking to the Pittsburgh Pirates about sharing their main league ballpark this season after Canada’s authorities barred them from taking part in of their residence stadium amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pirates President Travis Williams confirmed the talks and sounded able to welcome the Blue Jays.
“In an effort to assist in the return of the sport all of us love, we proceed to have energetic discussions with Main League Baseball and the Toronto Blue Jays group relating to the potential for internet hosting residence video games for the Blue Jays at PNC Park this season,” Williams mentioned in an announcement Monday.
“This shall be a monumental problem for our workers, however leaning in to assist others is what Pittsburghers do finest. If we’re in a position to safely accommodate, not solely will it convey further worldwide consideration to our metropolis, it is going to additionally convey with it jobs and income for native resorts, eating places and different companies that can assist the Blue Jays group in addition to further visiting groups.”
Blue Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo mentioned he was happy to learn what the Pirates mentioned.
“That’s encouraging that they really feel that manner about us coming,” he mentioned. “Going to Pittsburgh, that’s a wonderful ballpark. I already introduced 10 Roberto Clemente T-shirts that I introduced with me for some motive.”
The Pirates are led by former Blue Jays executives Ben Cherington and Steve Sanders.
Blue Jays basic supervisor Ross Atkins mentioned earlier Monday that his staff has greater than 5 contingency plans and was in talks with different groups. He declined to call them.
“We’re targeted on moving into a serious league facility,” Atkins mentioned.
Canada denied the Blue Jays’ request to play at Rogers Centre as a result of the regular-season schedule would require frequent journey forwards and backwards from the US, the place COVID-19 circumstances are surging.
Atkins mentioned if the Blue Jays can’t discover a main league park, their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York, can be their more than likely website for residence video games.
However based mostly on what the gamers need and the collaboration they’re getting from different groups and Main League Baseball, Atkins mentioned the Blue Jays are targeted on main league parks, so long as they are often protected. He mentioned well being and security is the precedence, so the flexibility to be socially distant with out comprising different groups’ capacity to take care of socially distance is vital.
Toronto begins the season at Tampa Bay on Friday and is scheduled to play its first residence sport on July 29 in opposition to defending champion Washington.
Detroit Tigers basic supervisor Al Avila mentioned MLB and the Blue Jays haven’t reached out to the Tigers about sharing Comerica Park. “I’ve a good suggestion the place they’re going to go, however I can’t say,” Avila mentioned.
The staff had been contemplating taking part in residence video games at its coaching facility in Dunedin, Florida, which is among the many states which can be virus sizzling spots, or Sahlen Discipline in Buffalo, simply throughout the Niagara River from Canada. Gamers have advised administration they need to be in a serious league park.
Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro mentioned Saturday that participant well being is a priority in Florida. He mentioned the staff has spent extra time inspecting Buffalo in current days however mentioned the stadium there has quite a few infrastructure challenges.
MLB mentioned if the Blue Jays play at a minor league park, the league would set up the mandatory video overview infrastructure however may not be capable to set up TrackMan, a radar system that analyzes pitch motion.
Atkins mentioned if the Blue Jays find yourself in Buffalo, their different coaching website for further gamers can be in Rochester, New York.
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