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About Walk-Off

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    High fly ball into right field, she is ... GONE!

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  1. Predators, Bridgestone Announce Helmet Entitlement Deal
  2. I had not noticed the Blues being in this season's West division when I saw that graphic the first few times. I suppose that it is a testimony to green standing out more on a black background than does blue.
  3. Dallas is farther west than the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, so I am very puzzled as to why the Stars are in this coming season's Central division while the Wild are being put in the West division.
  4. I wonder about how much this situation will doom professional baseball's decades-old exemption from US federal antitrust law. For a long time, one of the strongest arguments in favor of the antitrust exemption was that such a waiver protected US pro baseball's minor leagues and their teams from encroachment by the sport's major pro leagues and their teams, let alone from any upstart pro baseball circuit that intended to compete directly with the sport's established major leagues in the United States. However, I think that such an argument has assumed naïvely that Major League Baseball would deal as fairly as possible with its affiliated minor leagues at all times and refrain from exploiting the antitrust exemption to act as unilaterally as possible toward not only the affiliated minors, but also independent pro baseball leagues and even amateur summer baseball circuits that utilize college players.
  5. I can think of two potential reasons why so many people want the team to be renamed the Spiders: Spiders seems to be the most timeless, most specific, and classiest -- or, to put it another way, the least old-fashioned, least generic, and least cheesy -- of all of the pre-Indians nicknames used by professional baseball teams based in Cleveland. To me, this is the best reason why Cleveland's current MLB club would rebrand as the Spiders. I suspect that many people want Cleveland's MLB team to be called the Spiders for essentially one of the likely reasons why so many people clamored for Kraken to be the new Seattle NHL team's nickname (and maybe even why, in the end, the Seattle NHL club's ownership branded that team as the Kraken) -- a desire for a nickname that is dark, edgy, and intimidating enough to "strike fear in the hearts of opponents and their fans." To such people, the actual or supposed skeeviness of a name like Spiders might be a plus, not a minus.
  6. If "Spiders" is too generic, too interchangeable, and not specific enough to be a good nickname for a sports team, then "Indians" is equally unworthy for all of the same reasons. Among all of the people across the Americas that have been lumped together as "American Indians" by Europeans and descendants thereof for multiple centuries, one will find hundreds of ethnic groups ("nations" or "tribes"), each with discernibly separate languages and cultures. In the Southwestern United States, the Diné ("Navajo") live in a reservation that encircles the Hopi people's reservation, yet the Diné and the Hopi differ widely in their languages, cultures, and even economies. In the 19th century, the US federal government forced the five "civilized tribes" (the Cherokee, the Chickasaw, the Choctaw, the Muscogee ("Creek"), and the Seminole) of the Southeastern United States to move hundreds of miles west to what is known now as Oklahoma -- a place whose established Indigenous groups (e.g. the Arapaho, the Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Osage, the Quapaw) had languages and cultures that were distinct from one another and were definitely different from what any of those freshly exiled newcomers had. Even the Aztec and the Maya, pre-Columbian Mexico's two best known ethnicities, are known to have spoken languages that differed enough to be classified by most linguists as belonging to completely separate lingual families. In short, I think that any belief and/or claim that "Indian(s)" refers to a specific enough and unique enough kind of human being, let alone a more specific and more unique kind of life form than "spider(s)," is naïve at best, and arrogant and insensitive at worst.
  7. If political and business leaders in and around Fresno enforce this deal really aggressively, then a new MLB franchise located somewhere east of the Continental Divide -- such as San Antonio, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, or even Montréal -- may get railroaded into starting off with a Class AAA club in Fresno. Lest we forget, the then-Florida Marlins' very first Class AAA affiliate was the Edmonton Trappers.
  8. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, Music City Baseball wants to form a Nashville MLB team with Stars as the nickname, so a rebranding of Cleveland's MLB club as the Stars would compel the Nashville group to make a stark change of plans. Also, with the Nashville Stars name having roots in Negro League baseball, the MCB organization has had an active relationship with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and has been donating part of the proceeds from its sales of Nashville Stars-related merchandise to the NLBM. As Cleveland was the home of short-lived "Tate Stars" and "Stars" Negro League teams, would Paul Dolan et al. be brave enough and especially generous enough to partner, let alone share revenue, with the NLBM if Stars becomes the Cleveland team's new nickname? The only realistic way that I can see Sounds becoming the Cleveland MLB club's new nickname is if the Nashville Sounds become affiliated with the Cleveland team. Such a deal would (a) require the Cleveland MLB club to deprive its farm system of the much more geographically convenient Columbus Clippers and (b) force the Nashville team to toss aside a newly regained link with the Milwaukee Brewers.
  9. What makes Naps an even worse choice is that while people who are Generation X or older may be quick to think of up to two anti-Japanese epithets when seeing or hearing such a nickname, those who are Millennial or younger would seem to be more likely to associate that kind of name with "nappy(-headed)" -- an adjective known to be used to insult Black people and their hair. I can still remember longtime radio personality Don Imus being fired from his morning-drive gig at New York City's WFAN for referring to players on the Rutgers women's basketball team as "nappy-headed," followed by the plural form of a slang noun whose connotation is both misogynistic and, when used by a white person, racist.
  10. A glaring problem with "Engines" as a replacement for "Indians" is that "engine" sounds much like "Injun" -- a corruption of "Indian" and, historically, one of the most widespread slurs that speakers of English have directed at Indigenous inhabitants of the Americas.
  11. For a long time, I thought that an MLB team based in Nashville should be nicknamed the Elites as a tribute to Negro League baseball's Nashville Elite Giants of the 1920s and 1930s. While the Music City Baseball group is proposing an MLB club whose name pays homage to Nashville's presence in baseball's Negro leagues, that organization intends to use a name used by at least two later Negro League teams, the Nashville Stars. That leaves Elites wide open for Cleveland's MLB team to embrace, and I think that the connotation of success inherent in a nickname of Elites would be a fitting way for the Cleveland MLB club to break free from the legacy of decades of mediocrity. Spiders might be a great nickname in a vacuum, thanks to both its past use in professional baseball in Cleveland and the specter of the name of an often frightening animal "striking fear in the hearts of opponents." Unfortunately, the 19th century's Cleveland Spiders pro baseball club had a track record of even more intense futility than what Cleveland's current MLB franchise has accumulated. Even if the NHL's St. Louis Blues are not relevant to this discussion, one should keep in mind that a Cleveland Blues brand, like a Cleveland Spiders identity, would be harkening back to a period of underachievement by a pro baseball team in Cleveland. To make matters worse from a historical standpoint, the color blue had a more feminine connotation in the 20th century's earliest years than it does today, and the Cleveland Blues had many players who wanted the team to switch to a nickname that they perceived as being more masculine. Finally, while Cleveland has a substantive historical tie to rock (and roll) music, I am not aware of any deep historical connection between Cleveland and blues music. With the possible exception of Elites, my preferred nickname for Cleveland's MLB team is Guardians, both in honor of the Guardians of Traffic sculptures and because of the potential image of the team as protecting and defending all that is great and good about Cleveland and its people. A clear third place in my mind would go not to Blues, but to Blue Sox, if only to round out a patriotic color trio with Boston's Red Sox and Chicago's White Sox.
  12. I am posting this both here and in the thread for the current MLB offseason. Dave Dombrowski to continue Nashville's baseball expansion team effort while in Phillies post https://twitter.com/NashvilleStars/status/1337467270994554884
  13. I am posting this both here and in the COVID thread. Dave Dombrowski to continue Nashville's baseball expansion team effort while in Phillies post https://twitter.com/NashvilleStars/status/1337467270994554884
  14. Here is my take on the news about Tennessee's MiLB clubs: I am curious as to why the Nashville Sounds are once again the Milwaukee Brewers' Class AAA team while the Pittsburgh Pirates, another former parent club of the Sounds, are sticking with the Indianapolis Indians as their top farm team. Milwaukee is closer to Indianapolis than to Nashville, Indy is closer to Milwaukee than to Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee and Pittsburgh are almost equally far from Nashville by airplane. Do the Pirates and the Indy Indians have that good of a relationship with each other? Do the Brewers want nothing to do with the Indy Indians and/or vice versa? Might this be a sign that the Sounds will be staying in the Pacific Coast League (naturally a more tolerable situation for a Milwaukee team than for a Pittsburgh team), whereas the Indianapolis club will remain in the International League (to the obvious delight of an MLB club in an eastern city like Pittsburgh)? As someone who remembers many of the earliest rumors regarding MiLB's contraction from several months ago, I find the Chattanooga Lookouts outlasting the Jackson Generals in Class AA to be something of an upset. On paper, a larger population alone might give a Chattanooga team a more certain future than a Jackson, Tennessee-based team at the same level of any given sport. However, the Lookouts' present home, AT&T Field, is not exactly the most pleasant place either to play a baseball game or to see one in person. For starters, home plate at that ballpark faces toward the north-northwest, which causes the sun to be in the eyes of batters, catchers, home plate umpires, and spectators all throughout the stands during afternoon games and the early innings of night games. It would not surprise me at all if such an ill-thought ballpark design was one of the reasons why the Los Angeles Dodgers (after the 2014 season) and the Minnesota Twins (after the 2018 season) dropped the Lookouts from their farm systems, leaving the Chattanooga club and a seemingly desperate Cincinnati Reds organization to settle for one another.
  15. If only to play devil's advocate, I wonder if a key reason why Comcast / NBCUniversal has been reserving ever more of the most alluring Premier League games for Peacock is a belief that the most fervent non-Hispanic US fans of soccer in general and of top-flight European club soccer competitions in particular are more likely -- and, more importantly, tend to be more willing -- to watch video programming on Internet-and-mobile-app-based, on-demand streaming services such as Peacock and, conversely, are less likely and tend to be less willing to subscribe to traditional cable-based or satellite-based, linear multichannel television services (including, obviously, Comcast's own cable operations). Whether it is fair or not, a common stereotype of non-Latinx fans of soccer in the United States is that they tend to be from either the Millennial generation (a.k.a. Generation Y) or Generation Z, and a widespread stereotype of both Millennials and Generation-Z-ers is that they tend either to be disillusioned former subscribers to cable-based or satellite-based multichannel TV services ("cord-cutters") or to have never had such subscriptions ("cord-nevers"). Another seemingly heavily accepted stereotype aimed at both Millennials and Gen-Z-ers is that such people tend to regard cable TV and even subscription-based satellite TV as costing too much money at best and as using disgustingly unreliable technology, having unbearably bad customer service, being flooded with channels dominated by mindlessly derivative "reality" entertainment programs, and being simply too old-fashioned at worst. For these reasons, I suspect that if Comcast / NBCU were maintaining the pre-Peacock status quo with regard to Premier League coverage in the United States, many of the most hardcore fans of soccer across the nation would be complaining about needing to get a cable or satellite subscription that they deem to be overpriced, and then having to accept a lot of unwanted channels, just to have access to attractive Premier League games on NBCSN ... when those same US fans can spend much less money to watch comparably interesting Bundesliga and Serie A games on ESPN+ and/or UEFA Champions League games on CBS All Access (soon to be renamed Paramount+). As much as it may disappoint those of us who have loved how both NBCSN and the over-the-air NBC network have covered the Premier League, a steady shift of games to Peacock may well be needed in order for Comcast to save face with much of the Premier League's US fandom and for the Premier League to stay relevant among US devotees of European club soccer.