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#MLB to let local governments decide fan policy — large crowds possible

MLB to let local governments decide fan policy — large crowds possible

June 5, 2020 | 5:24pm | Updated June 5, 2020 | 5:55pm

Fans may still get a chance to let the Astros have it this season for the 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

They just may have to go to Texas to do it.

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, Major League Baseball is “inclined to allow local and municipal governance to take precedence when it comes to allowing fan attendance at games.”

Since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday Texas-based teams could permit attendance up to 50 percent of a stadium’s capacity, the two teams in the state — the Rangers and Astros — would be able to play in front of half-filled stands.

The Rangers are set to move into their new stadium, Globe Life Field, but the more interesting scene would undoubtedly be Minute Maid Park in Houston, where the Astros have yet to play since MLB’s investigation found the team took part in a sign-stealing scheme on their way to the 2017 World Series title. The investigation led to the firings of Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow. Alex Cora was also let go from his job as manager of the Red Sox, while Carlos Beltran never even got to step in the dugout as Mets manager after being singled out in MLB’s report.

Of course, for either team to play in front of fans at all in 2020, MLB and the players association have to reach an agreement on a shortened season and so far have been unable to do so.

In a statement released by the Rangers following the governor’s announcement on Wednesday, the team said is “in the process of operational planning for if and when we have a spring training and regular season games at Globe Life Field. The health and safety of our players, staff, and fans are a top priority and we will await further information and guidance from Major League Baseball and the appropriate health authorities in the coming days and weeks.”

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