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.
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.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.