Well, not just Chief Wahoo. Lots of things. But Wahoo is in there.
Via my friend Monte the Color Man, the Indians are sending out surveys to people who have purchased tickets through their website or who are otherwise registered there, and it covers all manner of topics. In-game experience, uniform styles and expectations about the Indians’ future.
But there are a couple of questions in the middle that piqued my interest:
The Indians have said directly that they are not considering any changes in the logo and that they’re not moving to marginalize the Chief Wahoo logo. But they are interested in fan sentiment on the matter, so that’s interesting.
Of course, the issue here isn’t whether Chief Wahoo is popular. He is. The issue is that, popularity be damned, he’s offensive, so I would hope that the Indians would make a decision to eliminate the logo out of simple decency, not because of some poll results.
Not that the poll results will inspire them to do it, I’ll bet. After all, the Wahoo logo’s popularity comes by virtue of fans who are attached to it out of nostalgia and team dedication. Thus, by sampling opinion of people who seek out Indians tickets and/or merchandise in the first place, it’ll probably skew towards favoring the ugly thing.
The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.
In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.
The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.
Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”
It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.
It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.