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MLB spokesman says Rob Manfred has a clear desire for the Indians to dump Chief Wahoo

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Yesterday was the home opener at Progressive Field. The Indians home opener is one of the biggest days for protesters opposed to the club’s use of the Chief Wahoo logo, and yesterday was no exception. Their protests this year are aided, however, by commissioner Rob Manfred.

While Manfred has been on record for months saying that he acknowledges the issues many have with the antiquated and offensive racial caricature, and while he has said that he would engage in a dialogue with team owner Paul Dolan about it, he has never actually voiced his own opinion on the matter.  Now he has, in the form of a statement from Major League Baseball’s spokesman Pat Courtney, given to David Waldstein of the New York Times:

In a statement to The New York Times, Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said Manfred, in his talks with the Indians’ owners, had made clear his “desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo. We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,’’ Courtney added. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.’’

What those steps are is a mystery — MLB blew its chance to extract concessions from the Indians when it recently awarded them the 2019 All-Star Game — but Manfred officially stating his desire for the Indians to dump Wahoo is news. I fully predict that this will drag on for months if not longer, but Manfred is notorious for being non-committal and offering guarded support for nearly all sides of every remotely controversial matter. He, like Bud Selig before him, is a politician, and politicians aren’t famous for taking principled stands.

But now Manfred has. And those who do not wish to see Chief Wahoo go can no longer say that it’s just bleedin’ heart liberal snowflakes like me who want to see him banished to the dustbin of history. The Commissioner of Baseball himself does. And, as we almost always see, when the Commissioner wants something, the Commissioner gets it. Eventually.

Start hoarding your officially licensed Wahoo merch, Wahoo Deadenders. I suspect they’re going to become scarce at some point in the not too distant future.

Report: Brewers sign Yovani Gallardo to a major league deal

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Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.

Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.

Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.

Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.