The Toronto Blue Jays are looking for a home this season since Canada banned them from playing games at Rogers Centre over concerns about frequent travel to and from the United States, one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. One fan has the perfect solution: move the team to Midway, Kentucky.
Bob Rouse, a Midway resident, emailed the front office earlier this week with his pitch. He played basketball for the Midway High School Blue Jays back in the day, so when the MLB Blue Jays were born in 1977, he immediately jumped on board. He outlined several “solid reasons” why Midway is the perfect home for the club. From Sportsnet.ca:
1. We are a tiny town, so ‘playing without fans’ shouldn’t be an issue.
2. Midway College has a brand-spanking new baseball field that was set to open this spring — interrupted by COVID, of course, so it has never been played on.
3. I am friends with both the mayor and the college president, so I’m your man in Midway.
4. Despite our small population, the mayor and the college president are not the same person.
5. We have remarkably good restaurants.
6. The aforementioned Midway Blue Jays won the state basketball championship in 1937, so, you know, winning comes natural around here.
7. My wife makes great blondies (like brownies, except lighter in color). If I asked, she would make a big batch for the team (and execs, I guess).
(I can’t speak to the blondies, but Midway really does have good restaurants. Wallace Station and The Goose & Gander FTW.)
All of that said, Rouse did acknowledge some potential “drawbacks” to his plan:
1. We don’t have a hotel, so the team would have to stay at a neighboring town. (We’re midway between Lexington and Frankfort.)
2. The team could stay in the college’s dorms, but students are returning before the end of the MLB season, so that could be awkward.
3. While the baseball field is new, as I mentioned, I can’t say if it would meet MLB specs.
4. I’m not sure if the college’s clubhouse facilities would meet players’ expectations. Honestly, there probably isn’t a clubhouse per se.
“So yeah, Midway has a few strikes against it as the temporary home of a professional baseball team,” the email continued. “But as a true-blue fan, I would be rude not to offer to help the team in this challenging time. (I should add that I own three different Blue Jays ball caps — not sure if that’s a point in favour of you coming or against it.)”
This afternoon, the Pennsylvania Department of Health rejected the Blue Jays’ proposal to play their home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, so really, this could be the perfect solution. I’m all in. Is there a petition to sign? How does this work?