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Walz leaves baseball season hanging

Minnesota’s amateur baseball season is usually in full swing right about now. This year, however, the COVID-19 restrictions have kept ball teams off the field and spectators out of the stands. Gov. Tim Walz has been working hard to protect the health of the state’s citizens by restricting activities, closing businesses, advising people to stay home as much as possible, but in the past couple of weeks he has been dialing back on the restrictions, allowing more businesses to open, allowing churches to hold services — all at reduced capacity.

But baseball and other outdoor team sports are still on the “don’t do it” list.

This is of special importance in southwest Minnesota.

Local baseball committees have been working hard for months to finalize plans tournament events. All those plans are being adjusted for holding a tournament within COVID-19 safety precautions to protect the players and the spectators alike. They just need to know if it is going to happen.

So far, Gov. Walz has been silent on what it will take to allow baseball to be played this summer. The Minnesota Amateur Baseball Association was hoping that last week’s announcement allowing bars and restaurants to reopen for indoor service, and relaxing restrictions on others, might include some hint on the baseball season. But despite two letters to the governor seeking some direction or indication, the governor has been silent.

It is time for the governor to address this. If people can sit six feet away from each other in a bar with a beer in hand, they should be able to sit six feet away from each other in an outdoor baseball park with a beer in hand. Players should be able to participate safely in the field and on the bench. Gov. Walz should be able to let baseball organizations at least know what they have to do to make baseball possible this summer.

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