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Jim Thome does not want Chief Wahoo on the cap of his Hall of Fame plaque


There was little question that Jim Thome was going to wear a Cleveland Indians cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. He said today, however, that he does not want the Indians cap he wore for the vast majority of his time in Cleveland to be depicted. Specifically, he does not want Chief Wahoo on his cap. He wants the block-C:

“I know my decision would be to wear the ‘C’ because I think it’s the right thing to do,” Thome said. “I think I need to have a conversation with the Hall of Fame because of all the history and everything involved. I just think that’s the right thing to do.”

Hall of Fame inductees are allowed to voice their preference of the cap for their plaque, but the Hall of Fame gets final say on the matter in order to maintain a semblance of historical accuracy. In the past, that role has been exclusively dedicated to policing the choice of which team’s cap a player who played on multiple teams was wearing in order not to show him wearing a cap of a team for which he only briefly played. I am not aware of an instance in which a player chose to wear an uncommon cap design for a team which, otherwise, would be acceptable on the plaque.

For what it’s worth, the Indians wore Chief Wahoo caps for most of Thome’s career. From 1991 through 2002, Wahoo was the primary cap for Thome’s Indians, with an “Script-I” cap serving as an occasional alternate. In his second, brief stint with the Indians in 2011, the club did wear a block-C alternate cap.

If that was all that had happened, the Hall could very well tell Thome, sorry, but Wahoo it is. Obviously, however, the situation has changed, with Major League Baseball and the Indians announcing that Wahoo would be discontinued following the 2018 season, primarily because the logo — which is clearly a racist depiction of a cartoonish Native American — is in poor taste. In light of that, it would not be surprising to see the hall grant Thome’s wish to put the block-C on his plaque.

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

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The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.

It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.

Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).” 

Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.

Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.