I’ve enjoyed watching the occasional Texas Rangers game at the team’s Arlington, Texas, stadium over the last few years — until Major League Baseball, along with much of the rest of America, went off the rails in a supposed effort to counter coronavirus.
After reading a headline for a Wednesday Houston Chronicle article by Matt Young, I thought I would return to the stadium this spring to watch games again. The headline reads, “Texas Rangers to allow full capacity on Opening Day.” But, then I read further.
From that headline things sure looked promising. I imagined a baseball stadium without most seats intentionally left empty or taken up by cutout photos of fans who are not allowed to attend the event. I thought of a stadium, instead, full or nearly full of people enjoying a professional baseball game normally again. But, alas, my optimism had gotten the best of me. Though the Rangers’ stadium may be full or nearly full this spring, normal behavior (at least the “old normal” sort of behavior that comported with our enjoyment and humanity) will be forbidden.
Four paragraphs into the article, a quote from Rangers President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer Neil Leibman killed the buzz. Leibman states, “We will require all those who enter Globe Life Field to wear a mask or face covering, and are working with Major League Baseball on some additional protocols required for player health and safety.” Further, Leibman threatens game attendees with the potential periodic addition of more yet-unknown rules as well, stating, “We will continue to monitor developments and implement the necessary public health measures.”
In the article, Leibman credits a March 2 executive order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott for allowing full occupancy at the stadium. In that same order ending Abbott’s months-on-end occupancy limit mandate, Abbott also repealed his months-on-end mask mandate.
Take me out to the ball game? Nah, I’ll find something else to do. “New normal” baseball lacks appeal.
By the way, I won’t be watching any Rangers games on television either. I prefer my TV mask-free.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.