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Outside The Confines: Texas seat drama

Proposed changes to Texas regulations might allow for too much too soon in terms of seating.

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MLB: JUL 04 Rangers Summer Camp Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before we jump into the lead story for today’s links, just a quick note: if you were trying to comment on posts yesterday and found yourself unable to, there was an issue across the SB Nation platform that resulted in commenting being disabled. It’s back up and running now on all posts.

I have been watching some spring training games lately, and while it’s lovely to see live people back in a park, and live games being played, I’ve begun to notice a trend. From players to fans, a lot of people are not taking safety mandates seriously.

In terms of the players, prior to the start of spring training there were new safety guidelines released by MLB. One of them specified that while players did not have to wear masks on the field, they would be required to wear them at all times in the dugout, and would even have a designated monitor to ensure this was happening.

And yet...

Yes, it’s a lovely image. But neither player is abiding by MLB mask policy. Likewise in many videos of the stands, fans are ignoring the masking policy as well.

You might think me a buzzkill for mentioning it, but I don’t mind. The reason those policies exist are to keep the players and fans safe, and to give MLB the best possible shot at a full 162-game season. How quickly fans forget their own cardboard cutouts taking their place in the stands, which could be brought back if people fail to adhere to the safety requirements. So too, we could see teams missing a week or more of games because of a COVID outbreak in the clubhouse like we saw with the Marlins last year.

All of this brings me to Texas, where the governor’s new easements on masks and events could mean that in theory the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros could fill their stadiums to 100 percent capacity.

Neil Leibman of the Rangers said, “We look forward to responsibly welcoming fans to a Rangers game at Globe Life Field for the first time at the start of the 2021 season.” He did not indicate how they planned to do that if they opened to full capacity and could not enforce masking regulations.

You can read more about how Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision will impact Texas sports in this piece by Evan Grant.

Now onto the links!

And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.