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Top 25 Baseball Stories of 2018 — No. 19: Chief Wahoo’s last hurrah

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We’re a few short days away from 2019 so it’s a good time to look back at the top 25 baseball stories of 2018. Some of them took place on the field, some of them off the field and some of them were more akin to tabloid drama. No matter where the story broke, however, these were the stories baseball fans were talking about most this past year.

After years of pressure from indigenous groups, fans and the media, it was announced in January  that the Cleveland Indians — at the behest of Major League Baseball — would cease wearing Chief Wahoo on their uniforms and displaying him in the ballpark beginning in 2019.  

It was a welcome move, but make no mistake, it was motivated by money, not by principle.

One bit of evidence for that was that the club was allowed to continue to wear the logo in 2018 rather than cease wearing it immediately. There was really no practical reason why the Indians couldn’t have made the change for 2018. Clubs roll out playoff and World Series merchandise on a moment’s notice. The 1970 Milwaukee Brewers weren’t even IN Milwaukee or CALLED the Brewers until seven days before Opening Day and they got their block-M caps and “Brewers” jerseys made in time. The Indians new uniform changes announced for 2019 show minimal difference from their Wahoo versions. The changes could’ve been made before the first spring training game if they had wanted to. They just didn’t want to, likely to goose final year sales of Wahoo merchandise.

Likewise, the club will continue to sell Wahoo merchandise to fans indefinitely. If getting rid of Wahoo was “the right thing to do,” as the league and the club said at the time the change was announced, he would be totally eliminated, not allowed a season’s farewell tour and continued financial viability. There are some who say that the Indians have to sell Wahoo merchandise to keep their intellectual property rights over him, but if the club and the league thought he was truly inappropriate — as opposed to just unpopular and a bad look — they’d have no problem with it. Why profit off of racism? The answer is that the Indians are agnostic enough about what Wahoo means in an ethical sense but are not gonna let anyone else make a buck off of him as long as they might be able to.

Oh, and then there’s this:

No one has ever confirmed that Wahoo was the price for the Indians getting the All-Star Game, bit it’s a pretty plausible story.

In the end, though, I suppose all that matters is that Wahoo is gone. It took long enough and it may have been a case of the right thing being done for the wrong reasons, but at least the right thing was done.

Doubleheader between Cardinals and Tigers postponed

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A doubleheader between the St. Louis Cardinals and Detroit Tigers this week is being postponed to allow more time for additional COVID-19 testing.

MLB opted to postpone Thursday’s doubleheader to continue additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play. More details about the Cardinals’ resumption of play will be announced later this week.

The Cardinals had a series against Pittsburgh set to start on Monday postponed after a weekend series against the Cubs was scrapped due to three positive coronavirus tests.

St. Louis had two more players and a staff member test positive for the virus on Friday and have had eight positive players overall, including star catcher Yadier Molina.

There have now been 29 games postponed by Major League Baseball because of coronavirus concerns. The Cardinals have not played since July 30 and have had 15 games scrapped.

Miami and Philadelphia each had seven games postponed earlier and have returned to the field since the disruptions.

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