Well, not just Chief Wahoo. Lots of things. But Wahoo is in there.
Via my friend Monte the Color Man, the Indians are sending out surveys to people who have purchased tickets through their website or who are otherwise registered there, and it covers all manner of topics. In-game experience, uniform styles and expectations about the Indians’ future.
But there are a couple of questions in the middle that piqued my interest:
The Indians have said directly that they are not considering any changes in the logo and that they’re not moving to marginalize the Chief Wahoo logo. But they are interested in fan sentiment on the matter, so that’s interesting.
Of course, the issue here isn’t whether Chief Wahoo is popular. He is. The issue is that, popularity be damned, he’s offensive, so I would hope that the Indians would make a decision to eliminate the logo out of simple decency, not because of some poll results.
Not that the poll results will inspire them to do it, I’ll bet. After all, the Wahoo logo’s popularity comes by virtue of fans who are attached to it out of nostalgia and team dedication. Thus, by sampling opinion of people who seek out Indians tickets and/or merchandise in the first place, it’ll probably skew towards favoring the ugly thing.
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.