Still undetermined as of Thursday evening is where the Toronto Blue Jays will play their home games during the pandemic-shortened 60-game Major League Baseball season that officially began last night.
The Canadian government concluded that the cross-border travel would not adequately protect Canadians’ health and safety. So the team must find a home stadium somewhere in the United States before its first home stand beginning July 31.
The Jays asked the Pittsburgh Pirates if they could share PNC Park. Pennsylvania’s state health board said no. So the Jays asked the Baltimore Orioles about sharing Camden Yards. That’s a definite “maybe.”
It just so happens we have a vacant baseball stadium in Grand Junction — home to both a low COVID-19 infection rate and an airport that could service the team’s charter flights.
The distance between Grand Junction and cities in the American League East division isn’t much greater than the distance between AL East rivals Boston and Tampa Bay, Florida (1,350 miles).
It’s a pipe dream, of course. The Blue Jays players are insisting on playing inside an existing Major League stadium. Imagine what Major League hitters would do with Suplizio’s short porch in left field.
Since no spectators are allowed to watch these games, what’s the point of having a “home” field anyway? Isn’t the easiest solution to make the Blue Jays travel to an opponent’s ballpark, even when they’re the home team? They would simply don their home white uniforms and bat last. Problem solved.
But if the team — and the league — want something complicated (though exquisite!), Grand Junction would be more than happy to provide a great field and empty stands. Hey, stranger things have happened, and in these strangest of times, bizarre beats barnstorming.