“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2016): Cleveland should change it’s logo to Louis Sockalexis

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post (of varying amounts of seriousness) about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2016 season (and in some cases the aftermath). Earlier installments can be found here. Now, the Indians.

The Cleveland Indians, have, wisely, decided to demote Chief Wahoo. It’d be even better if they banished him entirely, or at least relegated him only to throwback uniform days, but it’s a start. Instead, they’ll be going with the block-C logo.

But… why not actually pay tribute to the person who Cleveland has claimed was the inspiration of the name? Louis Sockalexis. Oh, whether or not Cleveland is actually called the Indians because of Sockalexis is… complicated, the fact remains, as the great Joe Posnanski said in that article:

“I don’t believe the Indians were named to honor Louis Sockalexis, not exactly. But I do believe the Indians name could honor him. That choice is ours.”

So… why not honor him? Change the logo to show him or acknowledge him. Perhaps the logo can BE Louis Sockalexis. oh, sure, he wasn’t the most handsome guy, but to honor him would be a much better logo than the hyper-racist Chief Wahoo.

So do it, Cleveland. Make Louis Sockalexis the icon and logo of your team.

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BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: Bartolo, C.C., and the rest of the 2002 Indians rotation in INDIANS STRIKEFORCE VS. THE SCATMAN

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

Ultimate Sports Force. It’s the beloved and now-defunct comic book company that gave us such classics as the Cal Ripken-led Shortstop Squad, the power-filled Cosmic Slam, the Sasquatch-filled Mariners Mojo, and the Yankee retelling (with gratuitous Cal Ripken appearance) of Cosmic Slam entitled Championship Challenge. Today, we look at a Ultimate Sports giveaway comic featuring the 2002 Indians, as we read Indians Strikeforce Versus the Scatman:

StrikeforcecovYes, this is a comic in which C.C. Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Danys Baez, and Ryan Drese have to protect Cleveland from somebody called the Scatman. It also has Bob Feller, now-retired clubhouse manager Cy Buynak, and MONKEYS MADE OUT OF MUSIC. Go below the jump to see some of the glories it brings:

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MVP of Yesterday (August 25, 2015): Michael Brantley

Perhaps you can argue that Dallas Keuchel is a better choice, but I’m going with Michael Brantley, who was 3-5 with 2 HRs, 3 RBIs and a stolen base in Cleveland’s 11-6 win over Milwaukee.

Standings, as always, after the jump:

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“30 Teams, 30 Posts” (2015): Fun Times in Cleveland Again!

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Previous installments can be found here. Today, Cleveland!

Sports Illustrated has predicted that the Cleveland Indians will win the World Series this season, breaking the Curse of Rocky Colavito and bringing (depending on how the Cavaliers do) possibly the first “Big Four” title to Cleveland since the 1964 Browns*.

I don’t agree with them, but I can sort of see where they are coming from- the Indians are one of those teams that are way better than many people think.

After all, they have some of the most underrated players in the game. Michael Brantley came in third place for MVP last year, and yet he’s most anonymous. Yan Gomes is becoming one of the best catchers in the league. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana are good and sometimes great, although Santana had a bad year batting average last year (he made up for it, some could argue, by leading the league in walks). New addition Brandon Moss has pop.

And, oh, right, they have the reigning AL Cy Young in Corey Kluber, who may be the most anonymous Cy Young Award winner ever. I’m reasonably sure that if you asked 100 baseball fans who won the AL Cy Young last year, most of them would think it was Felix Hernandez or Chris Sale or that Clayton Kershaw was so good they just gave him the AL Cy Young based on his interleague games. And it’s not just Kluber- SI noted this:

“After last year’s All-Star break the rotation led the majors in strikeout rate (9.33 per nine), home run rate (0.56 per nine) and FanGraphs’ WAR (11.0), while trailing only the Nationals in ERA (2.95).”

 

Hmm… maybe SI is on to something.

If they are, LeBron James really is going to have to win the NBA title this season, otherwise his title as Cleveland’s savior might end up taken by Terry Francona (who, of course, has a habit of breaking curses). I mean, damn, he comes back to Cleveland and it ends up that the Indians end the city’s long championship drought? And what if they beat the Yankees on the way? Oh, the awkwardness!

Next Time: The Reds

*Football note: It is a cruel irony that all of the Browns’ titles came before the Super Bowl was instituted, as the Super Bowl ended up becoming such an institution that the NFL’s pre-Super Bowl champions have become almost afterthoughts in the sport’s history. The Browns won 4 pre-Super Bowl NFL championships and four title in the All-America Football Conference, a sort of proto-AFL that was partially absorbed into the NFL in 1950. However, their total lack of titles- even conference titles- in the Super Bowl era have turned them into a joke amongst football fans. A similar cruel fate has befallen the Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills’ AFL championship teams.