The Blue Jays’ new artificial turf is spongy and slow as hell, and nobody disputes the fact that it has affected gameplay early in the season. A lot of visiting teams are going to be unhappy about playing on a surface that makes the ball do unfamiliar things, and according to the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encina, the Orioles actually considered forfeiting the final game of their recent series in Toronto so as to avoid playing on the turf.
There is no way the Orioles ever seriously considered forfeiting the game—can you imagine what kind of reaction that would get from the fans?—but letting out that the idea at least came up isn’t a bad way to make sure that MLB will continue to keep an eye on the situation.
I’m not sure what exactly the league could do about the turf, though, or if it would even have a right to demand some sort of change. Is having a slow turf really all that different than 37-foot fence in left field, or putting a goddamn hill in front of the center field fence? If weird hops keep resulting in injuries, as the O’s claim was the case with Paredes, then something might need to be done, but for now it’s not clear that there is a convincing case to be made that this particular home-field quirk is any more egregious than those that are enjoyed by other teams.