THUMBS DOWN: It might be the prudent thing to do in the midst of the chaos caused by the COVID-19 resurgence, but that doesn’t mean we have to be happy about it.

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced it would not be providing its Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season, effectively ending any hope of a socially distanced Minor League Baseball season this year. And it’s a double dose of bad news, given that there’s already been talk of “contraction” among leagues like the Raptors’ Pioneer League.

The bottom line? There will be no Ogden Raptors baseball games played at Lindquist Field this summer.

If there were crying in baseball, we’d be doing it right now.

THUMBS UP: Dixie State University in St. George has long resisted calls to drop its name. But now, university leaders and the Utah System of Higher Education are in the early stages of discussing a potential name change — spurred by the nation’s current reexamination of remnants of the Confederacy and slavery. Likely, a final decision wouldn’t come until next January, when the Republican-dominated Utah Legislature has the final say.

The “Dixie” moniker was originally borrowed from lore that referred to the extreme southwest part of the state as “Utah’s Dixie” — owning to its warm weather and 19th-century attempts to grow cotton there.

The university has made some changes to its image in recent years. In 2009, the school’s nickname was changed from the Rebels to Red Storm. And a statue depicting a soldier on horseback waving a Confederate flag was removed in 2012.

It’s time to change the school’s name.

THUMBS UP: You want infrastructure? We got your infrastructure.

The Wasatch Front Regional Council, Utah’s metropolitan planning arm, has identified hundreds of potential transportation projects over the next half-dozen years — adding up to more than $3.4 billion — in Weber, Davis, Morgan and Box Elder counties.

The wish list features roadway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects, including the West Davis Corridor project between Farmington and West Point, and the Bus Rapid Transit project in Ogden.

Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson, who chairs the WFRC, said the projects will help the region “maintain economic stability during these uncertain times.” Amen to that.

To get more information and offer your 2 cents’ worth on the projects, visit

THUMBS DOWN:Utah Business Revival is at it again.

The folks who tried — and failed — to bring a Collin Raye concert to Kaysville at the height of the initial COVID-19 pandemic have now set their sights on a Fourth of July “water party” in the same town. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Barnes Park in Kaysville.

“Regardless of circumstance, we maintain our right to assemble, as proclaimed by our forefathers specifically for such a time as this,” the organization said in a statement.

In maintaining that right to assemble, hopefully participants’ squirt guns have a range of at least 6 feet — so they’re able to maintain social distance — and they use face masks.

With COVID-19 cases again undergoing a spike, this is more than just a right-to-assemble issue. It is, first and foremost, a public health issue.

THUMBS UP: Embattled Weber State University criminal justice professor Scott Senjo has finally resigned.

No, really. This time it’s for real.

Senjo came under fire for a series of threatening tweets in late May that were connected to nationwide protests about race and police brutality. Among his online comments, Senjo cheered the burning of CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, and suggested violence against a journalist who said he was injured by police.

Senjo initially resigned from the university on June 3 but then changed his mind and rescinded that resignation. On Tuesday, WSU confirmed that Senjo had “permanently separated” from the school after resigning.

Given the current mood in the country, that separation was probably the right call.

THUMBS DOWN: With everything going on these days — the hot, dry weather; the resurgence of the pandemic; the apparent, overarching theme of 2020 that if anything can possibly go wrong, it will — exercising your constitutional, god-given right to lighting fireworks might not be the best decision this July.

After all, it was a group of five teens playing with a Roman candle firework that caused the Traverse Fire in Lehi. And among the police scanner traffic on Wednesday night was a call about someone setting off fireworks at “the first turnout on the North Ogden Divide Road.”

It might behoove us to cool it on the pyrotechnics this year. Unless you’re, like, alone. In a swimming pool. And even then, maybe limit it to sparklers, or those little black snakes.

It just feels like things that explode in a noisy fireball might be pushing our luck this year.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, or Follow him on Twitter at @Saalman. Friend him on Facebook at

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