Most of you know I’m a long-standing Chief Wahoo hater, but I think it’s possible and, indeed, preferable to keep the Cleveland Indians name. This is so because, while I understand some people differ, I believe that Wahoo is an inherently offensive sambo character while using the name “Indians” as a team nickname — while somewhat perilous — isn’t necessarily insensitive.
The readers over at Uni Watch have been invited to totally re-imagine the Cleveland Indians, their name and, especially, their uniforms and iconography. The first batch of results are up today. Some of them are kind of neat. Most of them are … unfortunate. That said, it’s great fun to mess around with this stuff anyway, no matter how you feel about the Wahoo/Indians, because designing uniforms looks like a blast.
My personal favorite is the Cleveland Colts submission. No, I’d never want to name the team that, but the script and design are pretty rad. Reminds me of a 1940s-50s minor league team, and I mean that as a compliment.
But like I said, I’d drop the Wahoo, keep the name, figure out how to make a club called the Cleveland Indians honor and elevate Indian culture and history rather than denigrate it and capitalize on it and then I’d make those alternate uniforms they wear with the block C on the cap — the blue cap! — the everyday getup.
In the meantime: enjoy the reader submissions.
(link via Cleveland Frowns)
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.