The Toronto Blue Jays haven’t been able to play their home games in Rogers Centre, in Canada, in 2021.
The Canadian government doesn’t want any COVID-19-related outbreaks, so the Blue Jays don’t have permission to play at home in Toronto because of strict border restrictions.
The situation may change soon, but right now, those are the terms.
So far, the Blue Jays extended their stay in Buffalo, where they are playing their home games, at least through July 21.
Seating capacity at Sahlen Field will increase to 80% for games beginning June 24. The Blue Jays also announced they’ll be in Buffalo through July 21, which means the Red Sox are coming to Buffalo @WKBW
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) June 7, 2021
The team is currently in fourth place of the American League East division with a 38-35 record.
However, they are far from out of the race, as they are still close to the leader, the Tampa Bay Rays, at 5.5 games back.
There are lots of reasons to watch the Blue Jays, and fans have a lot to be excited about, both this season and for the long run.
Here are two players that are keeping Jays fans motivated to follow the team during a weird, unique season.
2. Bo Bichette
Lots of teams would give their right arm to build around a player like Bo Bichette.
Toronto has the luxury of doing it around Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
The fact is that while Guerrero is evidently more explosive and can do more damage with the bat, Bichette is a better-rounded player.
In 73 games and 324 plate appearances, Bichette, who plays shortstop (a premium position) is hitting .280/.330/.477 with 14 home runs and 12 stolen bases.
As you can see, he does a little bit of everything for Toronto: he can hit for average, take a walk, hit his fair share of homers, and also steal bases.
He is also a capable defender at shortstop and a leader on and off the field.
He will be a star in Toronto for years to come, and his mission is to lead the franchise back to the postseason in one of the most difficult divisions in the sport, sharing it with the Rays, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees.
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
What Guerrero has done this season is nothing short of amazing, and is keeping the entire city of Toronto motivated even though they haven’t been able to see him hit at home, in Rogers Centre.
Guerrero is making a push for the Triple Crown (league leader in batting average, home runs, and RBI), something that was last achieved by prime Miguel Cabrera in 2012.
There has only been 1 triple crown winner in the last 53 years, Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. leads the AL in all 3 categories 63 games into the season. He turned 22 in March. pic.twitter.com/MJw7SdJWtH
— Pramana (@PramanaLabs) June 14, 2021
So far, Vladdy has a .338/.441/.669 with 24 home runs and 61 RBI.
Those numbers are a vast improvement over what we had seen by Vladdy in the first couple of years of his MLB tenure.
He decided to improve his physical condition and overall shape before the season, and he also worked to get more lift in his swing.
Both improvements unlocked his vast potential, and he is now a joy to watch.
He can be an MVP candidate if he keeps this up over a full season, although Shohei Ohtani has a great case as well.
In any case, Guerrero is one of the primary reasons why Jays fans are so motivated to see the team.