Ed Carroll of Cleveland Jewish News reports* that Indians owner Paul Dolan spoke at an event last week and, during a Q&A with audience members, revealed that Chief Wahoo is either on the way out or on its way to extreme marginalization. Dolan said that this is happening “faster than we’ve ever liked” because of the involvement of Commissioner Manfred. He characterized the timetable on all of that as “within a couple of years.”
As we’ve noted, Manfred and, by extension, Major League Baseball recently changed its stance on Wahoo from one in which he merely understood that some people find the logo offensive to having a clear desire for the Indians to chuck it. As Carroll notes, Dolan prefers some middle ground approach but it sounds as if there is more pressure being brought to bear on the Indians by Manfred than Dolan expected.
I’m not sure that there is a “middle ground” on racist caricatures. I’m not sure that anyone is free and clear of criticism if they, say, have the players not wear a sambo character on their caps yet sell shirts and stuff with it on them in the team store off the main concourse. I’m not sure how, if one team is banning fans for life for uttering racial slurs, another team is totally cool to let fans dress up in racially insensitive costumes, complete with redface. Racism is racism and wrong is wrong.
I guess Dolan thinks he’s going to get to that sort of compromise under pressure from Major League Baseball. If MLB can pressure Dolan like that, however, it ought to use that pressure to completely eliminate the logo, not to simply marginalize it.
*UPDATE: Originally this post said that Vince Grzegorek of Cleveland Scene reported Dolan’s comments. There was a post about this there, but Carroll and Cleveland Jewish News originally reported Dolan’s comments.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.