Mark Shapiro, who’s currently under self-isolation at home in Toronto, did a conference call on Sunday in order to give media an update as to where the Blue Jays are at when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The important notes…
- No Blue Jays (players or staff) have been tested positive for COVID-19 as of right now. So that’s good!
- Hyun-Jin Ryu, Shun Yamaguchi, and Rafael Dolis are the only three big-leaguers left at camp in Dunedin. They can’t leave right now due to immigration complications. Beyond them, 30 minor-leaguers remain because there’s nowhere for them to go. 18 of those players are from Venezuela. It seems everyone else has gone home.
- Game-day stadium staff were placed on temporary layoff to give them access to Employment Insurance. Apparently, ownership is committing money beyond the $30 million ($1 million per team) that Major League Baseball announced to support these employees. The Blue Jays have a plan in place through April and are working on the next phase.
- There isn’t much of a sense of what’ll happen until the infection curve begins to flatten. This could get really, really bad (my words, not Shapiro’s) depending on how effective people are at social distancing over the coming weeks. Shapiro suggests that there will need to be a four-week makeshift spring training camp-like thing before getting a season started. This is all part of the continuous plans that MLB is making with various situations in mind.
- Finally, a sobering quote from Shapiro: “It certainly looks like we’re not dealing with days, and likely not weeks, but closer to months.”