The first rule of Twitter: Never tweet. Travis Shaw learned that the hard way last week.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Shaw responded to a piece of information put out by TSN’s Scott Mitchell that stated the massive repercussions that Blue Jays players could be facing if they break quarantine this summer.
In his response, Shaw stated that he and his teammates had no idea that they were going to be locked down in the hotel for the entirety of the season beyond the two-week Summer Camp. He followed that up by saying “All summer isn’t gonna happen. Not an option.”
This, of course, rubbed fans the wrong way and ultimately led to skepticism that Toronto would be a suitable option to host the Blue Jays this season.
Shaw cleared the air on Sunday, apologizing for coming across tone-deaf in his frustration over the situation. He went on to add that the organization has educated him more in the past few days about the process and how it’s necessary for the Blue Jays to have strict quarantine measures in place in order to be granted permission to play in Canada.
“The second tweet (“All summer isn’t gonna happen. Not an option”) was out of frustration when I read into it a little bit more. I definitely should have left that one out. Like I said earlier, I was a little tone deaf to the situation. And I apologize for that. At no point was I saying I’m going to break the rules, we’re going to break the rules. We know as a team that that’s not an option. To get through the season everybody is going to have to buy in and everybody is going to have to adhere to the protocols that were set. Honestly, if other teams don’t follow similar protocols, and I know the rules aren’t going to be as strict in the United States as they are up here.
If other teams don’t follow strict guidelines and police themselves, we’re not going to get through a season anyway. I know everyone is on board with that in the locker room. Me, personally, I was frustrated. I have a place literally a block away from Rogers Centre, which I was hoping to live in this year. It doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case. The rules have kind of changed a little bit from when we first got up here.”
I definitely feel I’m more informed now than, say, a week ago,’’ he said. “I kind of know what the deal is going forward. I know that they (Blue Jays) are still working with the government to get clearance for the regular season, but coming up here I don’t think anyone thought that we could possibly be here for three months. Everything is kind of happening on the fly right now and we’re going to have to adjust accordingly … Public health, public safety is priority No. 1, team health, team safety is priority No. 2. We have to keep everyone in that locker room safe. You can’t be selfish. I’m definitely more informed now than I was couple days ago.”
I’m sure Shaw is aware of that and I’m sure he realizes that his comments last week aren’t going to do the Blue Jays any favours in their pursuit of getting clearance to play in Toronto. I would guess that the organization gave him a stern chat about how damaging his comments were and what he needed to do in order to fix it.
As much as being cooped up in a hotel for three months might suck, it certainly beats the alternative of playing in Dunedin. Florida recorded a record-breaking 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and it’s only going to get worse there when Disney World opens up and a bunch of no-fucks-given travellers flood into the state.
This anecdote from a player on the Tampa Bay Rays kind of tells you all you need to know about what it’s like to be in Florida right now…
— Josh Tolentino (@JCTSports) July 11, 2020
Since Toronto isn’t a guarantee, the Blue Jays are now looking for other fall-back nets, one of which is Buffalo. A few weeks ago, Mark Shapiro said Buffalo wasn’t an option, but with the clock ticking and Dunedin looking like a complete nightmare zone, playing in Buffalo is picking up steam.
According to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, the Jays have reached out to their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, to see whether or not they could play there in the event that Toronto isn’t an option. Buffalo’s mayor has offered his support for the Blue Jays playing in Buffalo, but there are some issues in the way.
Sahlen Field isn’t up to Major League standards. The field itself is fine, but the stadium doesn’t feature MLB-standard LED lighting which is necessary for television broadcasts. The other amenities the players would be using, like the weight room and gym, obviously aren’t MLB-calibre, either. But, still, these issues are much, much smaller than the risk of playing in Florida given the health-and-safety risks there right now.
The season is scheduled to start in under two weeks, so there isn’t much time left to get this figured out. Buffalo seems to be the most logical solution at this stage. Having players come in and out of Toronto all the time is obviously a massive risk for the city’s safety and playing in Dunedin is a risk for the Blue Jays themselves.
In other news, the Jays will honour the legendary Tony Fernandez with a No. 1 patch on their jerseys this season…
For you, Tony 💙
To pay tribute to the life and legacy of Tony Fernandez, we will wear a commemorative No. 1 uniform patch for the 2020 season. pic.twitter.com/pwscaoWkNi
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 13, 2020
Fernandez, of course, passed away back in February after suffering a stroke. The long-time fan favourite spent 12 seasons in Toronto as is the franchise’s all-time leader in both games played and hits. Though the Jays only retire the numbers of Hall of Fame inductees, you have to wonder if they’ll make an exception for Fernandez.