If a Toronto Blue Jays player breaks the bubble this summer, the penalties will be uniquely severe.
In every major sport, positive COVID-19 tests will be an expected reality as they try to return to play or keep schedules on track. The key will be going to all ends to keep players and personnel as safe as possible, with strict restrictions regarding venturing outside the proverbial bubble in a lead position. But the Toronto Blue Jays, if not entirely on their own, are taking things to a unique level as the shortened MLB season approaches.
Being the only MLB team in Canada adds an extra layer to everything for the Blue Jays this season. Traveling to the U.S. and teams coming in from the U.S. will dictate some extra levels of care regarding COVID-19, with extra testing if possible, extra efforts at protection/cleaning, more extensive health protocols and further broader-base restrictions for all team personnel.
But according to Scott Mitchell of TSN, the Blue Jays players will have significant reasons not to even think about going outside the stadium/hotel bubble at Rogers Centre.
What could happen to a Blue Jays player who goes outside the bubble?
A $750,00 fine and the possibility of jail time should be a sufficient deterrent to stay away from Toronto’s nightlife scene. But it’s not a self-imposed team rule, as might be expected due to how severe and frankly wild it is, it’s an acknowledgment and a reminder of a Federal quarantine law in Canada. With players who live in the United States possibly (or even likely) not aware of the law, it behooved the Blue Jays to inform everyone.
Blue Jays infielder Travis Shaw has clarified things a little bit.
With the penalties for being caught outside the bubble now harshly and abundantly clear in Canada, even for a fairly short time as Shaw suggested, it’s worth wondering if any players will now opt out of playing this season. There shouldn’t be any real questions for anyone who does, but if there’s a rash of Blue Jays players opting not to play in the coming days it can be marked as an interesting coincidence.