UPDATE: The whole marginalization idea has always been my gut feeling, not some fact I’ve heard from anyone. And if there was any doubt about that, I was just contacted by the Indians who quite politely told me that I’m reading way too much into this (shocker, because, like, I NEVER do that. Ahem):
We wanted to reach out to clarify something, re: Chief Wahoo, about which we saw your post this afternoon. There are absolutely no plans to phase out Chief Wahoo, as some folks have speculated on social media. The details:
Nothing is changing on our 2013 uniforms except for the batting helmets. By MLB rule – with the new helmets being universally adopted – teams were only allowed one logo and not a different helmet for home and road.
Secondly, Chief Wahoo remains on our traditional home cap, our alternate road cap and every uniform sleeve.
5:20 PM: I’ve said for years that the Indians will never issue some press release announcing the end of the ugly and racist Chief Wahoo logo. They’re too savvy for that and don’t need the blowback. But they will, I have predicted and in some cases observed, marginalize Wahoo. They’ll do a long, slow phase-out to the point where he’s not the face of the franchise and where, if he is ultimately eliminated, it won’t be a big deal.
Is this the latest datapoint to that effect?
More batting helmet news: Last year #Indians had Chief Wahoo at home, block C on road. This year it will be block C home and road.
— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) April 2, 2013
Nice move, Cleveland. Taking him off the one TV shot — isolation on the batter — which probably gets more screen time than any other.
Next move: take him off the sleeves of those home and road alternate jerseys, which clearly don’t need them. Then you’re poised for home caps.