Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Major League Baseball issues a statement on Chief Wahoo

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A court in Ontario is hearing arguments today on an attempt to bar the Cleveland Indians from using their team name and Chief Wahoo logo during tonight’s playoff game in Toronto. This based on a legal challenge by indigenous activist and architect Douglas Cardinal, who claims that the logo and team name violate human rights laws in Ontario.

The hearing is ongoing at the moment. Based on the comments coming out of the hearing — in one the judge asked how the game would be played if the Indians were not allowed to wear uniforms with their name and/or the Wahoo logo — it seems likely that the injunction will not be granted. We’ll update you if and when that changes, of course. UPDATE: The judge has dismissed the application for an injunction. The Indians can use their name and logo in tonight’s game.

In the meantime, Major League Baseball has issued a statement about the matter and about Chief Wahoo in general:

“Major League Baseball appreciates the concerns of those that find the name and logo of the Cleveland Indians to be offensive.  We would welcome a thoughtful and inclusive dialogue to address these concerns outside the context of litigation. Given the demands for completing the League Championship Series in a timely manner, MLB will defend Cleveland’s right to use their name that has been in existence for more than 100 years.”

It was a ready-made statement that other media outlets are carrying, but I’ll note that it was given to me in that exact form based on specific questions I posed to MLB this afternoon that did not deal specifically with the Ontario litigation. It makes one suspect that Major League Baseball has no desire whatsoever to weigh in on Chief Wahoo one way or the other, despite the fact that it and all of its clubs make money on the racist caricature via MLB’s shared revenue for merchandise sales. And, of course, despite the fact that the Indians and their mascot stand a good chance of representing one of its leagues in baseball’s most important event, the World Series.

Yasmani Grandal says the Cubs are stealing signs

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Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal says the Cubs are stealing signs. From the Los Angeles Times:

All the sudden, Russell is not taking good swings at sliders, looking like he’s looking for a fastball and in a certain location,” Grandal said. “Did we know Zobrist had the signs and was doing something for it? Yeah, we did …

“We are literally paranoid when it comes to men on second and they are trying to get signs. We know who is getting the signs. We know what they’re doing. We know what they do to get it.

That refers to a sequence in the eighth inning of Game 1 which, you’ll recall, didn’t go super well for the Dodgers. Apparently the Dodgers mixed their signs up a bit more for last night’s game. Either that or Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen are so good that Cubs batters can’t even hit it when they know what’s coming. Either way, a good strategy for the Dodgers is to keep Cubs batters off of second base regardless.

All kinds of circumstances are making the League Championship Series fun, eh?

Danny Salazar is “doing pretty good.” Could he pitch in the World Series if the Indians advance?

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Indians right-hander Danny Salazar has been out since early September due to a forearm strain. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports, however, that Salazar threw a simulated game yesterday. According to Terry Francona, Salazar is “doing pretty good.”

The key takeaway here is that Salazar was with the club in Toronto doing his sim game. Previously he had been working out at the Indians complex in Goodyear, Arizona. The fact that he’s with the club could mean that he’ll be an option for Cleveland if they advance past the Blue Jays and into the World Series.

Or maybe Andrew Miller will just pitch all innings of every game like Bugs Bunny against the Gashouse Gorillas or something.