Two years later, a bit of Chief Wahoo peace is made in Cleveland

Associated Press

Yesterday Bill wrote about the continuing — and important — efforts of some to get the Indians to get rid of their racist mascot, Chief Wahoo. The war over the mascot has been long-fought, but the most high-profile battles in this war take place on Opening Day in Cleveland, where the stadium is routinely picketed by anti-Wahoo forces. It’s always picketed by at least some people, but Opening Day is a focal point of these protests.

Two years ago one of the more ridiculous scenes ever witnessed at an Indians Opening Day took place. A fan showed up outside the stadium and got in the face of the protesters. The man was dressed up in stupid faux-Indian regalia and wore redface, which is insane to even contemplate in the 21st Century, but that’s what he was wearing. Even better? He felt it was important to explain to an actual Native American man how he was wrong to take issue with the Indians and their mascot.

Below is the famous photo of the incident, taken by Cleveland Frowns’ Peter Pattakos, who was working with a documentary filmmaker about Chief Wahoo and the “Indians” name. The full story behind what led to that confrontation and some additional photos can be seen here.

Indians redface

It was equal parts ridiculous and offensive and you have to wonder what in the hell the fan in question was thinking.

Well, there’s more to the story. Over at Cleveland Scene, Sam Allard reports that the fan in question, Pedro Rodriguez, showed up again yesterday for the Indians’ postponed Opening Day game and once again met with the Native American in the photo, Robert Roche, who is the local head of the American Indian Education Center. They talked. Rodriguez apologized. They embraced. It was pretty dang touching.

Rodriguez isn’t completely changing his tune. He is still a strong proponent of the Indians nickname — people disagree on the appropriateness of that as well as the mascot — but the tenor of the meeting and the photos from it were far more uplifting than that which went down in 2014. Go click over to see them.

People can change. They can let go of traditions that hurt others without losing anything themselves. It really can happen.

Tyler Glasnow scheduled to rejoin Rays’ rotation

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to rejoin the rotation at Cleveland after missing nearly 14 months because of Tommy John surgery.

The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after undergoing the procedure on Aug. 4, 2021.

“I think we’re pretty confident he’ll be starting for us,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before the game with Toronto. “This is the first time he’s thrown pain-free in quite some time, so he’s encouraged by it.”

The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a wild-card spot.

“Compared to the past, like, three years it feels way better as far as postday and the week leading into starts and stuff,” Glasnow said. “It’s good to have an UCL, you know.”

Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine, too.”

Glasnow allowed one run, one hit, four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham.

“I’m really excited,” Glasnow said. “I’m approaching it like normal, staying on routine. Feels normal.”

Glasnow signed a two-year, $30.35 million contract that will delay the start of his free agency by one year last month. He’s making $5.1 million this year and will get $5.35 million next season and $25 million in 2024, which is the first year he would have been eligible for free agency.