Maryland governor doubts Blue Jays will play in Baltimore

Maryland governor doubts Blue Jays will play in Baltimore
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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is skeptical that the Toronto Blue Jays will play their abbreviated season in Baltimore after days of talks between the Baltimore Orioles and Blue Jays officials about sharing Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

The Blue Jays are in search of a home south of the border, after Canada declined to allow them to play in their hometown over concerns about the rampant spread of the coronavirus through the United States.

Pennsylvania officials blocked an earlier plan to have the Blue Jays share PNC Park with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team is also considering a stadium in Buffalo, where their minor league affiliate plays. In an interview, Hogan sounded pessimistic about hosting another ball club for the league's shortened 60-game season.

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“It’s something that I think was an interesting idea, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen,” Hogan said. “The health experts I think are starting to have some concerns. It would be OK with me if they can figure out how to do it in a safe way, but I’m not sure it’s a done deal yet.”

Orioles officials are still in talks with the Maryland Stadium Authority, which oversees Camden Yards. But the number of coronavirus cases are on the rise in Baltimore, and Hogan has been far more cautious than many other Republican governors about throwing open the doors to the economy.

“We’re not seeing the spikes that we’re seeing in other states,” Hogan said in an interview previewing a memoir about his time in office, on sale next week. “It’s a concern to us that young people are now the focus” of the outbreak.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has urged the team to move in to Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford, The Associated Press reported. That stadium hosts the AA Hartford Yard Goats, though minor league seasons have been canceled this year.

The Blue Jays have less than a week to find a home stadium. The team opens its abbreviated season Friday in Tampa, but it is scheduled to host the Washington Nationals at home — wherever that might be — on July 29.