Blue Jays seek alternatives after Pennsylvania denies Pittsburgh plan

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The Toronto Blue Jays are considering alternative options after the State of Pennsylvania on Wednesday denied a request to play the majority of their 2020 home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.”In recent weeks, we have seen a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in southwestern Pennsylvania,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “To add travelers to this region for any reason, including professional sporting events, risks residents, visitors and members of both teams.

“We know that this virus does not discriminate and can even make professional athletes very sick. We are committed to protecting the health and well-being of all Pennsylvanians. “

The decision again leaves the Blue Jays in search of a home. One option is to travel to each opponent’s city planned and play as a home team, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The Canadian government has rejected the Blue Jays’ request to play at the Rogers Center in Toronto because the regular season schedule would require frequent travel from the United States, where cases of COVID-19 are on the rise. The other 29 major league teams plan to play the 60-game season cut short by the pandemic in their home ball parks, without supporters.

Toronto kicks off the season in Tampa Bay on Friday.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said he was excited about the PNC Park option, and Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he would have no problem with the arrival of the Blue Jays. Former Blue Jays executive Ben Cherington is the general manager of the Pirates.

Baltimore is also being considered as a possible host site, outfielder Randal Grichuk said Tuesday, as was the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo, New York. Grichuk, however, said the players wanted to play at a major league stadium.

The team had considered playing home games at their spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida, but Florida is among the states that are hot spots for the coronavirus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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