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Shatel: Toronto Blue Jays balked at idea of playing in TD Ameritrade Park

Shatel: Toronto Blue Jays balked at idea of playing in TD Ameritrade Park

TD Ameritrade Park

The Toronto Blue Jays need a home for the 2020 season. TD Ameritrade Park is available.

The Omaha Blue Jays just became a longer shot.

A MECA official said the group’s President Roger Dixon recently reached out to the MLB office, offering TD Ameritrade Park as an option for the Toronto club to play its home games this season. Dixon was told by MLB officials that Toronto execs preferred to have their home base in the east.

Toronto is in the American League East and will play 40 games against its division and 20 against National League East clubs. MLB set up the “pandemic” schedule to have every club play teams in its division and region for health, travel and convenience reasons.

As of Thursday, Toronto’s request to share PNC Park with the Pittsburgh Pirates was rejected by the state of Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Toronto officials are cool to the idea of using the 16,000-seat park of its Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. Now the focus is on a shared arrangement with the Baltimore Orioles and Camden Yards. Negotiations are underway.

The Blue Jays’ first “home” game is Wednesday — at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. The clock is ticking. What happens if Baltimore falls through? Where will the Jays turn?

As one reader suggested, maybe MLB could switch Toronto with Cleveland or Detroit in the AL Central for one season. Works for me.

Dixon reminded MLB officials that Omaha is available. Commissioner Rob Manfred is well aware that TDAP is an MLB-quality facility, and the Jays would have it to themselves along with a hotel one block behind center field. Toronto and MLB may want to stay east, but what happens if there are no options? Omaha is still here.

As Jim Carrey put it, “so you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

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