The preseason starts on February 26th in Clearwater, Florida against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Blue Jays Grapefruit League home opener is the next day, February 27th, in a rematch against the Phillies.
There are two highlights for Canadians in the spring season schedule:
- On March 11th, the Blue Jays take on Canada’s Junior team.
- On March 28th and 29th, Major League Baseball (M.L.B.) returns to Montreal as the Blue Jays host the New York Mets in two Grapefruit games at Olympic Stadium
The games in Montreal marks the first trip for the Blue Jays to Montreal since 2004, and for baseball as well. If successful, this could help the local community in their bid to get a team back in Montreal. The Montreal Expos moved to Washington D.C. following the 2004 season, and recently there has been a movement to show M.L.B. that there is interest in Montreal for another team.
If the games in Olympic Stadium are well attended, and a team is either moved to Montreal (most likely, the rumour being the Tampa Bay Rays), or through expansion, it would mean a renewed Toronto-Montreal baseball rivalry. The Pearson Cup could then be brought back for the winner of the rivalry. So, let’s hope those two games against the Mets are successful.
In all, the Blue Jays play 31 preseason games between February 26th and March 29th. The regular season starts April 1st against the Tampa Bay Rays.