The Woke Cleveland Guardians
Last week, the perpetually offended scored another big win.
The venerable Cleveland Indians announced that next year their nickname will be the “Guardians,” a reference to two large landmark stone edifices near Progressive Field.
For the woke, the triumph isn’t quite on the scale of tumbling down or defacing statues of America’s founding fathers, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but the symbolism is identical.
Indians’ management claims that polling found that the Indians name generated deep dissatisfaction among its fan base. Maybe, but skeptics would like to see who was polled, and how the questions were phrased. In all probability, those questioned were progressive whites who are affronted with almost everything about America’s past.
Leading the anti-Indians charge was MLB’s meddlesome and super-woke commissioner, Rob Manfred. In a saccharine-sweet social media video complete with melodramatic music, Hollywood pitchman Tom Hanks introduced the Guardians.
On the Indians official website, the chief executives’ biographies appear. Paul Dolan, owner, chairman and chief executive officer has a University of Notre Dame J.D. degree. The second in command, Chris Antonetti, president of baseball operations, is a Georgetown University business administration magna cum laude graduate with a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.
Third in the Indians hierarchy, Brian Barren, is a Princeton University alum whose thesis analyzed MLB’s integration. After more than a year of brainstorming, in consultation with other high-powered Clevelanders, and checking in with focus groups, the extraordinarily well-educated Indians management could do no better than rebranding the team the “Guardians.” Only a herculean effort could produce a dumber name.
Some Indians fans hoped that management would reach back into the team’s deep, often unhappy past, and revive the “Spiders.” In 1899, the Spiders logged the worst record in baseball history, 20-134, a dismal performance that included losing 40 of 41 consecutive games. Other names the Indians could have selected, each better than the Guardians, include the old Cleveland-based Negro League teams: the Stars, the Elites or the Hornets.
The Indians have produced some of baseball’s greatest players, including Hall of Fame members Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Tris Speaker and Bob Feller. One wonders what their take on the Guardians would be – an educated guess is that they would strongly oppose eliminating the Indians, and political correctness in general.
Take Feller, a no-non-sense guy. An unadulterated patriot, Feller would have been unlikely to immediately enlist in the Navy for World War II if he knew that 44 months later, he’d return to a woke America.