The Toronto Blue Jays Need A Home For The MLB Season And It Should Be Portland, Maine
Major League Baseball is moving forward with the 2020 season starting this Thursday and there's one team that's facing a very odd issue; they don't have a home. The Toronto Blue Jays were informed by the Canadian government over the weekend that they will not be allowed to play their home games at Rogers Centre for the abbreviated MLB season, leaving the franchise to find a new (temporary) place to call home. They've looked at Buffalo (makes geographical sense), they've looked at Dunedin (their spring training home) but perhaps they should give Portland, Maine (way off the beaten path) a look instead.
Under normal circumstances, Hadlock Field, the home of the Portland Sea Dogs wouldn't even be under consideration for a Major League Baseball team to play in. But given all the concerns surrounding health and travel, calling Maine your home base for 30+ days during the pandemic sounds awfully inviting. Maine has continued to have some of the lowest coronavirus numbers in the country, thanks to strong science-based leadership and a population that seems to be doing their part. That alone should be a huge selling point to a franchise looking to keep their players healthy.
Then there's Hadlock Field. It's amongst the very best minor league parks in America. Hadlock is fitted with skyboxes, which not every minor league park has. Those boxes could be turned into player suites for maximum social distancing. The park is fitted with a suitable lighting system for night games, plenty of room for additional cameras to be put in for television production and a powerful enough sound system to pipe in crowd noise for atmosphere. Not only that, Hadlock Field is located 15 minutes from an airport and has dozens of hotels in the city that the Blue Jays franchise could rent out to keep the players secure in a "bubble". Sounds almost too good to be true, right?
Probably is. While Hadlock Field is one of the very best places to watch a game as a fan, it may not have the amenities that Major League Baseball teams are looking for, even in a temporary home. Another downside, Hadlock was built to partially resemble Fenway Park in hopes of enhancing Red Sox prospects feel for Green Monster as they develop, MLB may frown upon having two Green Monsters in the same division.
The Blue Jays will likely announce their new home base midweek and while it won't be Portland, Maine, it probably should be. It just makes too much sense.