Yesterday 50 senators urged the NFL to change the Washington Redskins’ team name. Today Reid Epstein of the Wall Street Journal asks some senators if their local Native American exploiters need some change too.
Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio said he didn’t object to the Cleveland Indians‘ name, but he does want the Chief Wahoo logo to go. Epstein couldn’t get comment from Georgia’s senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, on the Atlanta Braves, as they were not part of the Redskins thing — that was a Democratic party jam, and Isakson and Chambliss are Republicans — so they presumably weren’t immediately available on the topic.
As I’ve written here before, I’m generally OK with Indians and Braves as names — unlike the Redskins they’re not inherently slurs — but Wahoo and the Tomahawk Chop and its attendant whooping should be dropped like third period French.
And just to head off at least a portion of the inevitable crap-fest that will appear in the comments, no, I do not think that the government should be involved in such matters. If Congressmen want to make statements like they did yesterday, by all means, do so, as they’re citizens too and moving public opinion in any way they can is totally fair game. But the names and marks of private businesses are not of governmental concern.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to clarify that kind of thing, but if you’ve hung out in any of the Wahoo threads around here, you kinda know that I do.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.