Every time Blue Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo has made a pitch to free brokers this low season, there’s one subject he is identified will come up.
“The number one question is if we’re going to play in Toronto,” Montoyo mentioned Friday. “That’s rightly so. Our answer is, `Yeah, we’re hoping so.”‘
Thus far, it is hope and never certainty for the Blue Jays, who’ve but to obtain clearance to host video games at Rogers Centre. Though Canadian officers allowed the Blue Jays to host their summer season coaching camp in Toronto final July, a request to play common season video games north of the border was denied. That left the Blue Jays scrambling to discover a resolution simply days earlier than the season opener. Toronto performed on the street for greater than two weeks earlier than transferring to Buffalo, New York, the house of their Triple-A affiliate.
With the coronavirus pandemic nonetheless raging, the U.S.-Canada border stays closed for nonessential journey. The Toronto Raptors have relocated to Tampa, Florida, for the upcoming NBA season.
WATCH | Pandemic places Rogers Centre plans on maintain:
In a Dec. 11 convention name, Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro shared Montoyo’s optimism about enjoying video games at Rogers Centre in 2021 however mentioned he will not demand a agency reply from Canadian officers earlier than his crew meets in Dunedin, Florida, for spring coaching.
If the Blue Jays do not get permission to play in Toronto, they may select to start out in Dunedin, the place the stadium was just lately renovated and a model new advanced simply opened its doorways.
“It might be one of the best in the United States right now,” Montoyo mentioned in regards to the new facility. “Having a complex like that, it makes it easier if we have to go that route.”
Every time the Blue Jays make it again to Rogers Centre, they will play on a brand new floor. Shapiro mentioned the crew is changing the present synthetic turf due to put on and tear. The brand new floor might be completely hooked up to the stadium ground. The change improves participant security by eliminating the seams required to affix collectively the various items of the present detachable floor.
Montoyo additionally mentioned Friday that he hasn’t dominated out one other defensive swap for younger slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who performed first base in 2020 however is at the moment enjoying third within the Dominican Winter League.
“The door is open for him to come back to third base because you don’t close the door on a talent like that,” Montoyo mentioned.