TORONTO – As the Blue Jays wait for word on whether they’ll be able to play in Toronto after training camp, infielder Travis Shaw voiced his concern Friday about the length of time players may need to stay in their closed environment at Rogers Centre and its adjoining hotel.
Shaw replied to a tweet from TSN reporter Scott Mitchell, who reported that multiple sources told him players could face a $750,000 fine and potential jail time if seen outside the ballpark — which also are maximum punishments in the Quarantine Act.
“We were told two weeks… not all summer… all summer is a bit much,” Shaw tweeted.
New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, who spent five seasons with the Blue Jays, also replied to Mitchell’s tweet.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Stroman tweeted, adding in a subsequent post: “Guys are going to be walking around in full disguises. Lol.”
The Blue Jays started camp at their home stadium this week after receiving clearance from government and health officials. A decision on whether the team can play regular-season games at Rogers Centre is expected in the coming days.
In an email reply, the club confirmed that before arriving in Toronto, players understood the maximum penalties for leaving the Rogers Centre footprint during summer training camp.
Toronto will begin its 60-game schedule on July 24 at Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays’ first home game is set for July 29 against Washington.
If Rogers Centre is ruled out, the Blue Jays would likely play at TD Ballpark at their spring-training facility in Dunedin, Fla., but that backup plan has not been finalized.
Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo was scheduled to hold a video conference call later Friday afternoon.
Shaw posted two additional tweets shortly after his initial reply, but they were later deleted.
“1) Let me be clear. We are on board with the TWO week quarantine. I currently have a PAID for condo a block away from the stadium that I can’t use. At no point would I risk public safety or not follow rules. Is it wrong to want to live in a place that I’ve already paid for…”
He added: “2) to be able to go on a walk (WITH A MASK) to be able to get fresh air, walk to go get takeout food (not eat inside). We aren’t looking to party, hit the patios, go out at night, anything like that. Public safety is priority number 1….”
As Major League Baseball’s lone Canadian team, the Blue Jays face an additional hurdle because of border and quarantine rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During training camp, players and team staff are isolating from the general public in the so-called ‘bubble’ of the stadium and hotel at the north end of the building.
Players are expected to be advised of specifics on the setup for the regular season once a finalized plan is in place.
“I wanna make it clear, we’re not asking for special treatment,” Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk tweeted Friday. “We understand that we need to stay in a “quarantine bubble”. We wanna make sure everyone is safe.
“The toughest part is them not allowing our family to come with us. That’s what makes it tough for a lot of guys.”
Shaw, who signed with the Blue Jays last December, played 86 games for the Milwaukee Brewers last season. He made his big-league debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2015.
The Blue Jays have scheduled an intrasquad game for Friday evening.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.
Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.
© 2020 The Canadian Press