Yesterday 50 senators urged the NFL to change the Washington Redskins’ team name. Today Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal asks some senators if their local Native American exploiters need some change too.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said he didn’t object to the Cleveland Indians‘ name, but he does want the Chief Wahoo logo to go. Epstein couldn’t get comment from Georgia’s senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, on the Atlanta Braves, as they were not part of the Redskins thing — that was a Democratic party jam, and Isakson and Chambliss are Republicans — so they presumably weren’t immediately available on the topic.
As I’ve written here before, I’m generally OK with Indians and Braves as names — unlike the Redskins they’re not inherently slurs — but Wahoo and the Tomahawk Chop and its attendant whooping should be dropped like third period French.
And just to head off at least a portion of the inevitable crap-fest that will appear in the comments, no, I do not think that the government should be involved in such matters. If Congressmen want to make statements like they did yesterday, by all means, do so, as they’re citizens too and moving public opinion in any way they can is totally fair game. But the names and marks of private businesses are not of governmental concern.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to clarify that kind of thing, but if you’ve hung out in any of the Wahoo threads around here, you kinda know that I do.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.