This is both kinda fun and kinda depressing. It’s kinda fun in the “heh, look at that relic from the mid-90s.” It’s depressing in that it shows you just how awful amoral and ambitious politicians can be.
In this case the amoral and ambitious politician is current Chicago mayor and former Congressman/Obama staffer/Clinton staffer Rahm Emanuel. The data is a recently released memo from when he was working for Clinton in the mid-90s. The Chicago Sun-Times got it from the Clinton Library. In it he gives the president all kinds of advice about how to score big political points out of triangulating the issue of crime and drugs. And it is ALL political points, of course. He doesn’t seem to care too much about the issue. He cares everything about the politics of the issue. Which I assume is pretty common among people like him.
The baseball part is his advice about how the Clinton White House should nose itself into baseball and drugs. Not steroids — no one cared about that yet — but about players abusing recreational drugs. Specifically, Daryl Strawberry:
In one 1995 memo, Emanuel even suggested that the president jump into the fray over New York Yankees star Darryl Strawberry testing positive for drugs. He called for Clinton’s drug czar, Lee Brown, to meet with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and demand that Strawberry perform community service.
Brown publicly stated that the Yankees “have struck out by signing Darryl Strawberry.” But Steinbrenner said Strawberry was “worth saving” and he played for the Yankees for four years.
Pro tip: if George Steinbrenner comes off as the most reasonable guy in your interaction, you got some serious problems.
Enjoy Rahm, Chicago.
Everyone talks about getting rid of Chief Wahoo but nobody does anything about it.
Well, that’s not totally true. As we’ve noted, Major League Baseball and the Indians are slowly doing something about it. But the thing they’re doing — a slow phase-out of Wahoo, hopefully in a manner no one really notices — is likely going to anger just as many as it pleases. Such is the nature of a compromise. Such is the nature of trying to do the right thing but being afraid to state the reason why they’re doing it.
A bold move would be a lot more interesting. Not just getting rid of the logo, but totally rebranding the Indians in a cool and exciting way that would inspire people to buy in to the new team identity as opposed to merely lament or accept the abandonment of the old one. To that end, a man named Nick Kendall came up with a super fun and super great-looking redesign and rebranding of the Indians over the weekend.
Kendall, who is not really a big baseball fan but who has spent a lot of time thinking about uniforms and design, went back to 1871 and Cleveland’s first professional baseball team, the Forest Citys (yes, that’s how it was spelled). He took their logo — an interlocked F and C — and built an entire set of uniforms out of it and some aesthetic choices of his own. The new color scheme is a dark green and white. He even includes two alternate, solid-jersey designs. All of it is done in a great looking mockup. Really, go check it out and tell me that’s not cool.
I like it for a couple of reasons. Mostly because the uniforms just look fantastic. I love the design and would love to see a team with that kind of look in the game. We have too many reds and blues. Green is woefully underused in Major League Baseball and it’d be good to see some more green around.
Also, as Kendall notes, and as soccer shows us, the “[city] [mascot]” name construction isn’t the only way to approach team names, and so the name — Forest Citys, or some derivation of it — would be unique in baseball. Maybe it’s be “The Cleveland Forest Citys/Cities.” Maybe “Forest City B.C.” would be a way to go? Maybe, as so often happened with baseball teams in the past — the Indians included — the nickname could develop over time. It’s certainly preferable to the option a lot of people point to — The Cleveland Spiders — which (a) evokes the worst baseball team in history’ and (b) sounds like something a 1990s NBA marketing team would come up with.
If the Indians are going to get rid of Chief Wahoo — and they are — why not do something fun and new and exciting?