sunny.png
Thursday February 25th, 2021 9:11AM

Blue Jays expect to play in Florida, Buffalo and Toronto

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TORONTO (AP) — The Blue Jays expect to split the home portion of this year's regular-schedule among their spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, their Triple-A ballpark in Buffalo, New York, and the Rogers Center in Toronto.

Toronto announced Thursday it will play the first two homestands of the season in Dunedin because of Canadian government restrictions during the pandemic.

Team president Mark Shapiro said a return to Buffalo is a likely option in June because of the heat and humidity in Florida. He hopes for games in Toronto at some point during the summer.

“The alternatives for our season lie with some combination of Dunedin, Buffalo and Toronto," Shapiro said.

The Blue Jays played home games during the shortened 2020 season in Buffalo and were 17-9 at Sahlen Field, home of their Buffalo Bisons Triple-A farm team. The Canadian government didn’t allow the team to play at home because of the risk of spreading COVID-19, citing frequent travel required in the U.S. during a baseball season

Shapiro said he didn't ask the Canadian government to start the season in Toronto because public health has not yet improved sufficiently.

After starting the season with three-game series at the New York Yankees and Texas Rangers, Toronto’s schedule has a homestand with four games against the Los Angeles Angels from April 8-11 and the Yankees from April 12-14.

The Blue Jays follow with a trip to Kansas City, Boston and Tampa Bay, then have home games against Washington on April 27-28 and Atlanta from April 30 to May 2. That is followed by a 10-game trip to Oakland, Houston and Atlanta.

It remains unlikely they would gain approval to play May games in Toronto. A return home in the second half may be more realistic, after players and large segments of the population in the U.S. and Canada are vaccinated.

The TD Ballpark in Dunedin seats about 8,500 fans and had a major renovation in 2019-20. The Blue Jays intend to limit capacity to 15%.

Toronto last played at 49,000-capacity Rogers Centre on Sept. 29, 2019, an 8-3 win over Tampa Bay.

"That's where we want to be," Shapiro said. “It's going to be clear to all of us whether the circumstances present a meaningful and healthy case for us to get back home.”

Shapiro said Buffalo might not have to be used as an option if the Blue Jays are allowed to play in Toronto sooner expected. He said the Triple-A affiliate team in Buffalo would shift games elsewhere if the major league team plays in Buffalo.

The border remains closed to nonessential travelers who are not Canadian citizens. Canada requires those entering the country to isolate for 14 days. And starting Monday, air travelers who arrive in Canada will be forced to quarantine in a hotel for up to three nights as they await the result of a coronavirus test.

Ongoing challenges with the pandemic and how that affects the process of crossing the border between the U.S. and Canada will also keep the Toronto Raptors in their adopted Tampa, Florida, home for the remainder of the regular season, the NBA team said last week.

Blue Jays ace Hyun-Jin Ryu signed with the team before the 2020 season and has yet to pitch a game in Toronto.

“Last season we had a new park and adjustments that we had to make,” Ryu said through a translator. "All these struggles we need to overcome."

Last year’s Major League Baseball regular season was played without fans.

The Blue Jays went went 32-28 last season, finishing third in the AL East behind Tampa Bay and the Yankees and qualifying for the expanded 16-team postseason. The Blue Jays were swept in two games by the AL champion Rays in a first-round series.

Toronto has been among the busiest teams on the free-agent market, agreeing to a $150 million, six-year contract with outfielder George Springer; an $18 million, one-year contract with shortstop Marcus Semien; a $5.5 million, one-year deal with right-hander Kirby Yates; a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Tyler Chatwood and a $1.75 million, one-year contract with right-hander David Phelps.

The Blue Jays also re-signed left-hander Robbie Ray to an $8 million, one-year contract.

___

AP Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Blue Jays expect to play in Florida, Buffalo and Toronto
The Blue Jays expect to split the home portion of this year’s regular-schedule among their spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida, their Triple-A ballpark in Buffalo, New York, and the Rogers Center in Toronto
11:09AM ( 4 minutes ago )
Gut-Behrami wins again, edges Shiffrin in giant slalom
Lara Gut-Behrami edged Mikaela Shiffrin for gold in the giant slalom at the skiing world championships
11:05AM ( 8 minutes ago )
AP source: Sen. Cruz went to Mexico on vacation amid storm
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has traveled to Mexico for a family vacation as his home state grapples with a weather crisis
10:46AM ( 28 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Iranian skier makes appeal for women's rights in her country
Iranian skier Forough Abbasi accomplished one goal merely by completing her giant slalom run at the skiing world championships
7:58AM ( 3 hours ago )
Djokovic keeps perfect record in Australian Open semifinals
Novak Djokovic reached the Australian Open final for the ninth time by beating No. 114-ranked Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
7:41AM ( 3 hours ago )
Seiko Hashimoto takes over as Tokyo Olympic president
A woman has been named president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee
6:54AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
AP sources: Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres agree on 14-year deal
Fernando Tatis Jr. has agreed to a $340 million, 14-year deal that will keep the electrifying shortstop with the San Diego Padres until he’s 35 years old, according to two people familiar with the situation
11:26PM ( 11 hours ago )
Tim Tebow retires from baseball after five years with Mets
Tim Tebow is retiring from baseball after five years as a minor leaguer with the New York Mets
8:04PM ( 15 hours ago )
Players return to COVID protocols as spring training opens
Pitchers and catchers around baseball reported to spring training Wednesday appreciating what’s at stake as they try to follow COVID-19 protocols make sure the season runs with minimal interruptions
6:57PM ( 16 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Deaths highlight once-in-a-decade Rockies avalanche danger
The deaths of two Colorado men caught in backcountry avalanches and a third in Montana over the frigid Presidents Day weekend underscore the winter dangers in the Rocky Mountain wilderness
5:27PM ( 2 days ago )
Spring training '21: New year, but COVID-19 protocols remain
Against the backdrop of a still raging coronavirus pandemic, pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training this week, the first step in a 2021 season that will take many of the complexities from 2020′s 60-game sprint and stretch them over an additional four months
10:27PM ( 3 days ago )
Good dogs! 20 years of covering Westminster Kennel Club show
To every sport, there’s a season, a spot on the calendar that fans mark for the big event
11:49AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Call it a career: MLB ump Winters opted out in '20, now done
Longtime Major League Baseball umpire Mike Winters is calling it a career
3:13AM ( 1 week ago )
Mets trade LHP Steven Matz to Blue Jays for 3 young arms
In a deal between two of baseball’s busiest teams this winter, the New York Mets have traded left-hander Steven Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays for three young pitchers
1:22AM ( 3 weeks ago )
Baseball gathers behind home plate to honor Hammerin' Hank
Emotions ran high today as baseball came together at Truist Park to honor the life and legacy of Hank Aaron
7:33PM ( 3 weeks ago )
AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
Gut-Behrami wins again, edges Shiffrin in giant slalom
Lara Gut-Behrami edged Mikaela Shiffrin for gold in the giant slalom at the skiing world championships
11:05AM ( 8 minutes ago )
AP source: Sen. Cruz went to Mexico on vacation amid storm
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has traveled to Mexico for a family vacation as his home state grapples with a weather crisis
10:46AM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Study suggests London infection rates down
A study from Imperial College London suggests coronavirus infection rates in London have gone down 80% in the past month as lockdown measures curb the spread of the virus
10:45AM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Winter weather death toll rises to at least 35
At least 35 deaths have been attributed to days of severe winter weather in the United States
10:45AM ( 28 minutes ago )
2 Belarusian journalists sent to prison for covering protest
Two journalists in Belarus have been convicted of violating public order and sentenced to two years in prison after they covered a protest against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko
10:43AM ( 30 minutes ago )