Toronto Blue Jays want MLB park: Only one way makes sense

TORONTO, ON - JULY 09: A Covid-19 warning sign is seen over the diamond at Rogers Centre on July 9, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JULY 09: A Covid-19 warning sign is seen over the diamond at Rogers Centre on July 9, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

If the Toronto Blue Jays are going to insist on an MLB park, there is only one real option.

As the story of the homeless Toronto Blue Jays continues to unfold, reports surfaced Sunday that players had expressed a strong preference for an MLB park. That’s quite the ask with Opening Day less than a week away. Yet if that is the case, only one way makes sense for the Blue Jays and MLB.

Send them packing to the nation’s capital….and sometimes about an hour outside of it.

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If the Toronto Blue Jays are indeed to play in an MLB caliber facility, they will need to spend the 2020 season being hosted by the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles.

Why is this the only path forward?

Well, unfortunately for the Blue Jays, there aren’t any extra MLB parks lying around. Short of talking the Miami Dolphins into reconverting Hard Rock Stadium into a baseball diamond, their own personal park just isn’t in the cards. That means they need to share with another MLB team.

The catch, of course, in 2020 is to do so with as much social distancing as possible.

Consequently, it follows those stadium partner choices need to be limited to either NL East or AL East venues. Anything else would defeat the point of the existing schedule and health and safety protocols for travel. That requirement must take precedence above any preference on the part of the Toronto Blue Jays organization. Which is why the most likely outcome is still either Buffalo or Dunedin- both areas all those teams will already be traveling to anyway. That, or Nashville– a more attractive minor league spot in the region, but still a minor league park.

If it has to be an MLB park, then it has to be Nationals Park and Camden Yards.

If the Toronto Blue Jays and MLB plan that right, they can play every 2020 home game in an MLB park without a single doubleheader being needed.

Avoiding that doubleheader scenario is paramount. There is no way satisfactory distancing and cleaning protocols are going to reasonably, consistently be pulled off by putting four teams in a stadium on the same day.  The following is a breakdown of an overlay of the schedule of the Toronto Blue Jays and each Eastern division team for days both clubs has a home game:

  • Atlanta- 17
  • Baltimore- 8
  • Boston- 9
  • Miami- 13
  • NYM- 13
  • NYY- 17
  • Philadelphia- 11
  • Tampa- 9
  • Washington- 15

Now, in all cases, some of these home games are against the Blue Jays. But I think we can all agree Atlanta and the New York clubs are nonstarters. Really, Miami and Philly as well. Tropicana Field is just half an hour from the Blue Jays spring training home but is also the worst stadium in MLB. They’d be better off sharing with the Marlins in a modern park if they went that route. Fenway is the crown jewel of the sport, but facility age and space likely eliminates it from realistic consideration.

However, if you pair up the schedules of the Orioles and the Nationals with that of the Blue Jays, things work perfectly. The teams are actually either never home at the same time, or if they are, one of them is playing the Blue Jays. As an added bonus, the Nats play a home and home with the Jays for their second and third series of the year. So one less flight!

Next. Get Creative MLB- Send The Blue Jays To Nashville. dark

Time is running out, and options are honestly quite scarce. Expect the home away from home of the Toronto Blue Jays to be decided shortly. And expect it to be the D.C metro area.