Another reason to hate Los Doyers


Yes, maybe hate is too strong a word, but the Dodgers have done much to make themselves hard to like this year, a trademark crackdown being just the latest example:

After hiking up ticket prices and parking fees
during a less than stellar season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have made
another unpopular move: The team has trademarked the popular term “Los
Doyers,” outlawing vendors from selling unauthorized apparel bearing
those words.

For years “Los Doyers” T-shirts have been popular among fans, and a
big seller at Manny Morales’ Latin Lingo clothing stores. But as of
Saturday, these shirts are no longer for sale.

To be clear: I understand why the Dodgers are doing this: you have to protect your trademarks in this world, or else you’ll lose them. The shirts Manny Morales is selling are infringing on the Dodgers’ trademark, especially given the distinctive Dodgers script . The Dodgers couldn’t simply let things stand as they were.

But nor did they have to do what they did: shut down the sale of the shirts by Morales and start selling “Los Doyers” shirts themselves in what appears to be a cynical cash grab. I mean, it’s not like the Dodgers were selling “Los Doyers” shirts themselves and merely wanted to enforce their rights against an illegal competitor. It appears as though making and selling such shirts never occurred to them.

I’m not a trademark expert by any stretch of the imagination, but why didn’t the Dodgers get creative here and offer Manny Morales some kind of cheapo license/profit split deal that (a) protects the team’s script “Dodgers” trademark and allows the team to realize some money from its use; while (b) fostering fan appreciation
for the team and cultivating some goodwill among local business; and (c) rewarding Morales for coming up with a pretty nifty product no one with the team had saw fit to create before now?

You telling me that Manny Morales wouldn’t have been grateful to the Dodgers for not slamming him with a trademark suit? I’m guessing he would have carried and pushed a bunch more Dodgers merch if asked to in a creative deal. It also could pave the way for a lot more under the radar licensed sales deals in which Dodgers product was sold under the auspices of local, independent businesses instead of the MLB team shop. There’s a sector of the public that cares about such things, you know. The only question is whether trademark law or the Dodgers’ deal with MLB prohibits such a thing, but I can’t see how that would be the case. Please, someone tell me if I’m missing something here.

Unless informed otherwise, this seems like a situation in which the Dodgers are squelching the initiatives, however problematic, of
people who have some genuine affection for the team.  Couldn’t there have been a better way to handle this? One in which I could buy a “Los Doyers” shirt in good conscience? Because, man, if I knew those were out there I totally would have snatched one up before it became an Official Product of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball under what appear to be heavy handed circumstances. They’re pretty damn spiffy, no?

Hall of Fame will no longer use Chief Wahoo on Hall of Fame plaques

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Last month, in the wake of his election to the Hall of Fame, Jim Thome made it clear that he wanted to be inducted as a Cleveland Indian but that he did not want to have Chief Wahoo on his plaque.

His reasoning: even though that was the cap he wore for almost all of his time in Cleveland, “because of all the history and everything involved” he did not think it was the right thing to do. The context, of course, was the club’s decision, under pressure from Major League Baseball, to scrap the Wahoo logo due to its racial insensitivity, which it appears Thome agrees with.

Hall plaque decisions are not 100% up to the player, however. Rather, the Hall of Fame, while taking player sentiment into account, makes a judgment about the historical accuracy and representativeness of Hall plaques. This is to prevent a club from entering into a contract with a player to wear its logo on the plaque even if he only played with them for a short time or from a player simply picking his favorite club (or spiting his least-favorite), even if he only spent an inconsequential season or two there. Think Wade Boggs as a Devil Ray or Frank Robinson as, I dunno, a Dodger.

In the case of Chief Wahoo, the Hall has not only granted Thome’s wish, but has decreed that no new plaque will have Wahoo on it going forward:

To be fair, I can’t think of another player who wore Wahoo who would make the Hall of Fame in an Indians cap after Thome. Possibly Manny Ramirez if he ever gets in, though he may have a better claim to a Red Sox cap (debate it in the comments). Albert Belle appears on Veterans Committee ballots, but I’d bet my cats that he’s never getting it in. If younger players like Corey Kluber or Francisco Lindor or someone make it in, they’ll likely have just as much history in a Block-C or whatever the Indians get to replace Wahoo with than anything else, so it’s not really an issue for them.

Still, a nice gesture from the Hall, both to accommodate Thome’s wishes and to acknowledge the inappropriateness of using Chief Wahoo for any purpose going forward.