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Major League Baseball issues a statement on the Adam Jones-Boston incident

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Commissioner Rob Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement a few minutes ago regarding the incident in Boston last night in which a fan, or perhaps a few fans, hurled racial slurs at Adam Jones

“The racist words and actions directed at Adam Jones at Fenway Park last night are completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any of our ballparks.  My office has been in contact with the Red Sox, and the club has made it clear that they will not tolerate this inexcusable behavior.  Our 30 Clubs will continue to work with fans and security to provide a family-friendly environment.  Any individual who behaves in such offensive fashion will be immediately removed from the ballpark and subject to further action. The behavior of these few ignorant individuals does not reflect the millions of great baseball fans who attend our games.”

As I said in the post about the Red Sox’ apology, there are limited things you can do to someone who is intent on being a jackwagon at the ballpark. Kicking them out, certainly. I’d suggest a permanent ban, though that’s harder to implement. We don’t do retina scans of fans as they enter the ballpark and people’s names are not necessarily tied to their tickets.

At the moment the most we can hope for with a ban from a ballpark is that the threat of a trespassing prosecution would follow if they were somehow discovered or ratted out. And that, eventually, people will just stop being jackwagons. That may seem naive, but despite last night’s ugliness, the friendliness of the atmosphere at the ballpark is way better now than it was even 20 years ago and light years ahead of the way it was in, say, the 1970s when drunkenness and nastiness was far more typical and far more accepted.

In the meantime, let’s hope that people will be better. We should always hope that.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.