Baseball commissioner Manfred Mann and the Cleveland Indians Baseball Club LLC have announced that, at long last, the grotesque, shameful caricature mascot Chief Wahoo is going into retirement. The offensive cartoonish mug will no longer appear on the uniforms of the baseball team. To the best of my memory, the ugly mug had quietly disappeared once before until the Jacobs brothers bought the team in 1986. It would have been somewhat appropriate if the nickname had been changed as well but you can’t have everything, can you? Bill Veeck is considered the culprit who originally endorsed using Wahoo as a symbol and that’s too bad because it tarnishes the reputation of the man who also broke the color barrier in the American League by signing Larry Doby, one of the all time great ballplayers.
But wait, there’s more! Wahoo is not going away until 2019. As usual, correcting massive mistakes takes time and we must be patient. Plus, there still exists a warehouse or two full of merchandise to sell and now the price can go up. This bold move has inspired other humanitarians to take similar action. For instance, the Stand Up Comedians Guild has announced that, as of November 2020, jokes about fat people will be eliminated and, further, misogynistic references to wives, mothers-in-law, and girl friends will be dropped by Mother’s Day 2021. How proud we will all be when, eventually, some of these embarrassing facets of our ever evolving culture are made a little bit less so. Today, Cleveland can be proud of having one of the best teams in the major leagues with one of the best managers, Terry Francona. Terry’s father, Tito Francona of New Brighton, Pa. was a very good player in the majors for 15 seasons with several teams and had some of his best seasons for Cleveland, notably batting .363 for them in 1959. Tito passed away just a few days ago.
The commissioner also continued MLB’s farcical feigned interest in the Oakland Athletics and their claim to wish to provide a better yard for the team to play in, again, eventually. Bay area sports writers assigned to cover the A’s are going along with the pretense that they are building a young core of players that will be able to contend when they finally replace the once adequate ballpark that was ruined several years ago to appease the Davis family that owns the Oakland Raiders before Al Davis’ son decided to screw everyone by moving to Las Vegas. Both the Raiders and the A’s have very loyal followers who are, it must be assumed, taken for granted by the greedy owners. Now the basketball Warriors, insufferably lousy for such a long time, have become perhaps the most solid franchise in the NBA, so they are also abandoning Oakland to move back across the bay to San Francisco. So long, Oakland, it’s been good to loot you.