Craig Calcaterra

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 16: Closer Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles throws to a Tampa Bay Rays batter in the ninth inning of the Orioles 5-4 win at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 16, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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MLB is auctioning a “game used” Zach Britton playoff jersey


This is some master level trolling: MLB Auctions is selling off a “game used” Zach Britton playoff jersey.

Britton, of course, quite famously did not get into the Orioles’ only playoff game. If he had, there’s a chance that the O’s would still be playing. I assume MLB Auctions’ definition of “game used” means “worn during a game by an active player” but given the instant infamy of Britton’s lack of actual game action, this is all rather chuckle worthy. Maybe they should say “gently” used instead of “game used.”

If any of you guys have some extra money sitting around and want to buy this, send it to me and I will personally present it to Buck Showalter at the Winter Meetings in December.


Mark Shapiro: Chief Wahoo “was troubling to me personally”

TORONTO, CANADA - NOVEMBER 2: Mark Shapiro speaks to the media as he is introduced as president of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on November 2, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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Mark Shapiro ran the Cleveland Indians for years. Now he runs the Blue Jays. Upon the Jays’ trip to Cleveland for the ALCS, the topic of the Indians name and mascot, Chief Wahoo, came up. Shapiro says that he was troubled by Wahoo when he worked for Cleveland:

“The logo — Chief Wahoo — is one that was troubling to me personally,” he added. “So when I was an official spokesman for the Cleveland Indians, I distanced myself from the fact that it personally bothered me. But we as an organization with strong support from ownership came up with the ‘Block C’ that you’re wearing on your credentials right now. We built equity in the ‘Block C.’ . . . We gave that alternative for people and I think that we established that as an important logo and now the primary logo for the Cleveland Indians. And so I’m proud of that.

We’ve written for some time about how the Indians seemed to be making efforts to distance themselves from Wahoo in certain respects. It’s most evident at their spring training facility, which sits in a state which has a much larger Native American population than does Ohio. Administratively speaking, Major League Baseball considers the Block C the “primary” logo of the Indians, not Chief Wahoo.

But that’s fairly meaningless, of course. Because for all that they have done with the Block C logo — and for as much as they want to claim that Wahoo is their “secondary” logo — they continue to sell millions of dollars of merchandise with that ugly, racist symbol emblazoned upon it. Their Block C-centric alternate jerseys are used less and less than they were when first introduced in 2008.  Block C appears on placards at official MLB functions and in graphics packages at various places on MLB websites and broadcasts, but Wahoo is on every jersey their players wear, including the Block C alternates, and it appears on their most used caps and helmets. It’ll be all over national TV during the ALCS and the World Series if the Indians advance.

The Indians have always wanted to have their cake and eat it too, both when Shapiro ran the club and now. They want credit for making symbolic nods toward distancing themselves from what even their top officials agree is a troublesome symbol, but they want to continue to make money, to boost their brand and to foster fan loyalty via its continued use.

I suppose Shapiro feels better having publicly said that he doesn’t care for Chief Wahoo, but neither he nor those associated with the club today get points for “minimizing” Chief Wahoo while continuing to employ him liberally in any number of ways. As I’ve argued many, many times on this website, there is no reasonable case to be made that Chief Wahoo is anything but an ugly, racist caricature. If it “troubles” Indians executives, they have one choice: get rid of it entirely. Anything less than that renders their concern meaningless and empty.

League Championship Series Umpires Announced

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 18: MLB umpire Brian Gorman #9 stands on the field before the game between the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets at AT&T Park on August 18, 2016 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets 10-7. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Umpires: Beacuse someone’s gotta call the balls and strikes and the safes and the outs. And someone’s gotta serve as a punching bag for the collective frustrations of the fan base of whichever team is losing at the time.

Major League Baseball just announced the umps for the NLCS and ALCS. They are as follows:


Brian Gorman — Crew Chief
Laz Diaz
Mike Everitt
Jeff Nelson
Jim Reynolds
Jim Wolf
Mark Wegner — Replay Official
Tripp Gibson — Replay Assistant

Diaz and Wegner will switch places after Game 2. Diaz will be the home plate umpire for Game 1.


Gary Cederstrom — Crew Chief
Ted Barrett
Eric Cooper
Angel Hernandez
Alfonso Marquez
Paul Nauert
Bill Welke — Replay Official
Tripp Gibson — Replay Assistant

Nauert and Welke will switch places after Game 2. Nauert will be the home plate umpire for Game 1.