The Buffalo Blue Jays are . . . go!
That’s the word from the Toronto Blue Jays, who announced a few minutes ago that they have reached an agreement to play the majority of their home games at Sahlen Field, where their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, normally play. In their statement, set forth below, the Jays thank the City of Buffalo and the State of New York, which suggests that, unlike their plans for Toronto and Pittsburgh, they now actually have governmental sign off.
Why a “majority” of home games will happen in Buffalo as opposed to all 30 is unclear, but the Jays tweeted that an updated schedule will soon be released. I can’t help but think some home games may be turned into road games in the interest of reducing travel, but we’ll know the specifics soon enough. UPDATE: The Jays’ first scheduled home series versus the Nationals – July 29-30 – will take place in Washington, to accommodate infrastructure modifications at Sahlen Field.
Earlier suggestions that the team could play in Buffalo were dismissed by Major League Baseball sources who cited that the lighting at Sahlen Field — and at every other minor league stadium — was not up to major league standards. Ken Rosenthal tweeted a few minutes ago that the Jays are working on that. Presumably by getting temporary crane-based lighting, the sorts of which you sometimes see at college football games in stadiums that weren’t built with night games in mind.
However the details pan out, we now have a “new” major league baseball team: the Buffalo Blue Jays
Blue Jays To Stage Majority Of 2020 Home Games In Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/BxlV7cgieJ
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 24, 2020
Days after news arose of a potential Cleveland Indians name change, the team wore their blue road jerseys for their home opener last night. The jerseys, which say “Cleveland” on the front rather than “Indians,” were worn as a statement of solidarity for minorities as the team contemplates a name change.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said the players decided to switch to the jerseys after meeting with team owner Paul Dolan earlier this week to discuss the potential Indians name change, race relations and social justice. He said the move was meant to be an acknowledgment to all minorities:
Shining the light on those minorities and people who are in need, it’s extremely important. That’s what we’re doing out there — bringing the spotlight on those people, minorities that need the spotlight on them so their voices can be heard. Positive change can happen. We’re due for it.
Manager Terry Francona supported his players, saying, “the idea is to make a point, and I think this is a good way to do it.” He noted, however, that there are league rules about approved uniforms for home and road games that may prohibit the club from wearing the jerseys again at home. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, Major League Baseball has to say about it.
The team may want to continue to wear them at home for more than just racial justice reasons, because they were pretty good luck. Starter Shane Bieber struck out a staggering 14 Kansas City Royals batters in only six innings to pick up the win as he and three relievers combined to shut out the Royals on only four hits.