Blue Jays players could face jail time if they leave Rogers Centre: report

Jul 10 2020, 1:25 pm

The Blue Jays are back training in Toronto and may even play regular season games at home this summer.

But if that happens, you aren’t likely to see them out in public.

When players aren’t training at Rogers Centre, they’re staying at the Toronto Marriott City Centre, which connects to the ballpark. It’s part of the team’s cohort quarantine required by the Canadian government for at least 14 days, given they just returned from Florida.

Unlike the NHL, NBA, and MLS, Major League Baseball is not planning to have a “bubble” environment for its players during the season.

The Jays begin a 60-game season on July 24 in Tampa Bay, with their first home game scheduled on July 29 at a yet-to-be-determined location. The Blue Jays are still hoping they can host games in Toronto, but they need government approval, given it would require both them and the team they’re playing to fly in and out of the country while the borders are closed.

What may convince the government to allow the Blue Jays to stay in Canada is the concept of a cohort quarantine, meaning that no MLB team would go out in public.

According to a report from TSN’s Scott Mitchell, some extreme measures have been put in place to ensure players don’t break the rules.

Mitchell says that players have been told the penalty for being caught outside Rogers Centre is $750,000 and even potential jail time.

It remains to be seen what the Jays will do this summer, but the idea of quarantining until the end of September didn’t exactly sit well with Blue Jays second baseman Travis Shaw, who spoke out on Twitter.

“We were told two weeks… not all summer… all summer is a bit much,” Shaw said. “All summer isn’t gonna happen. Not an option.”

If the Blue Jays don’t play games in Toronto, they will likely host games at their Spring Training facility in Dunedin or their Triple-A affiliate stadium in Buffalo.

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