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Everything posted by Walk-Off

  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.
  16. When the Dodgers shifted their Class AAA allegiance from the Albuquerque Isotopes to the former Oklahoma City RedHawks, at least one report that I read at that time indicated that the Dodgers were wanting a Class AAA affiliate that played home games in a locale with a lower altitude than Albuquerque, even if the new team's base was even farther away from Los Angeles. Such a desire makes at least some sense when one considers the relatively low elevation of the field at Dodger Stadium.
  17. If an NBA team can make a game end early by being up by twenty or more points after three quarters or gaining a lead of twenty or more points during the fourth quarter, then, for better or worse, a team in the lead would have a strong incentive to try to run up the score throughout the second half (and especially in the last few minutes of the third quarter). Granted, I am not sure as to whether or not the NBA should adopt any kind of mercy rule, but I think that the NBA and practically every other basketball competition are far overdue for an embrace of probably the best deterrent of game-slowing, boredom-and-frustration-inducing intentional fouls that anyone has devised so far in the whole history of the sport: the Elam Ending.
  18. That logo looks too much like the emblem of a German car manufacturer whose vehicles have not been sold under its own name in the United States since the 1970s. Ironically, Opel, which was a subsidiary of General Motors until 2017, is now owned by a French company that has agreed to a merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles -- the parent company of the firm that absorbed the original American Motors Corporation in 1987.
  19. On the other hand, someone who dislikes whoever is the President of the United States at the moment, but is a fan of a Washington Presidents team, might display a sign at a game or post an image on social media that has a picture of the POTUS with a caption like "THIS is NOT my President!" next to a team pic with a caption such as "THESE are MY Presidents!" Also, just imagine the many American Revolution-inspired chants and memes that could be created if a Washington team nicknamed the Presidents plays for a championship against a team with a monarchic nickname. From what I remember, the notion of changing the Expos' nickname to the Senators was opposed by Washington, D.C.'s local political establishment not so much because of any general sense of polarization regarding the federal government, but rather because of ongoing displeasure over the District of Columbia's lack of representation in the United States Senate. At least one politician in that city suggested Grays, the nickname of a Negro League baseball team that split many of its seasons between Pittsburgh and the District, as a better identity for the team, so the eventual branding of the Washington Nationals may very well have been a compromise between Senators and Grays.
  20. I have never understood why Presidents has never seemed to be a popular choice for a nickname for any sports team based in Washington, D.C., let alone the frontrunner in the debate over what should be the new nickname for Washington's NFL team. A Washington Presidents identity would be an excellent way to convey leadership without having to resort to a monarchic (e.g. Kings, Monarchs, Royals), feudal (e.g. Barons, Dukes), or military (e.g. Admirals, Colonels, Generals) theme. Also, with particular regard to the apparently most likely new nicknames for the Washington Football Team, Presidents would be less generic than (Red) Wolves, be more relevant to D.C. than Red Tails, avoid the awkwardness that a singular noun like Alliance would have, and be free of the Brandiose-style gimmickry of a Seals brand with a Navy SEALs theme.
  21. Is that the head of a particular insect in the logo?
  22. Here is my proposal for a 32-team, eight-division setup for Major League Baseball, assuming that all existing teams stay where they are: American League East Division Baltimore Orioles Boston Red Sox New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays North Division Chicago White Sox Cleveland Guardians (renaming) Detroit Tigers Minnesota Twins South Division Dallas-Fort Worth Rangers (renaming) Kansas City Royals Nashville Stars (expansion) Tampa Bay Rays West Division Anaheim Angels (renaming) Arizona Diamondbacks (league swap) Oakland Athletics Seattle Mariners National League East Division New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Pittsburgh Pirates Washington Nationals North Division Chicago Cubs Colorado Rockies Milwaukee Brewers St. Louis Cardinals South Division Atlanta Braves Cincinnati Reds Houston Astros (league swap) Miami Marlins West Division Los Angeles Dodgers San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants Vancouver Maroons (expansion) With this alignment, and particularly with the placement of expansion teams, geographic symmetry is paramount: A switch of leagues between the Astros and the Diamondbacks not only brings the NL back to Texas, but also gives the AL a presence in the Mountain West. A Vancouver NL expansion franchise endows the Senior Circuit with both a return to Canada and a presence in the Pacific Northwest. A Nashville AL expansion franchise means that, at last, the Junior Circuit has a team in a southeastern state other than Florida. Each league's East division consists solely of teams located both north of the Potomac River and east of the State of Ohio. Each league's South division has one team apiece in Texas, Florida, a second southeastern state, and the Lower Midwest. Each league's West division includes a Pacific Northwest club and contains only teams located west of the Continental Divide.
  23. As I observe these boycotts, postponements, and cancellations in response to the pandemic of discriminatorily violent treatments of Black people by white police officers, I cannot help but be reminded of the 1987 movie Amazing Grace and Chuck. The premise of the film is that a young boy (Chuck) becomes so bothered by the existence of nuclear weapons that he quits playing competitive baseball, and his decision inspires many professional athletes (starting with a basketball star nicknamed "Amazing Grace", portrayed by then-real-life NBA player Alex English) to end (or at least pause) their careers as a mass protest against nuclear proliferation. I have long thought that this movie had a rather naïve and corny plot, but now I am beginning to think that it has become a surprisingly prescient story, even if the overall motive for these disruptions of play is quite different.
  24. @Jamesizzo, if you want an NBA with four divisions of eight teams apiece and you want to revive the Seattle SuperSonics, then I can think of two better ways to make that happen. Let all existing clubs stay where they are, forgo an NBA version of the Kentucky Colonels and thus enable the Memphis Grizzlies to play in the Central Division, and grant expansion franchises to both Seattle and another locale in the Pacific Time Zone; or force a reversal of the ethically questionable relocation that created the Oklahoma City Thunder and thus give the original SuperSonics franchise back to Seattle, have the Memphis Grizzlies play in the Midwest Division, and put expansion teams in both Louisville and someplace in the Pacific Time Zone. The NBA's new team out west could be in Las Vegas, a third chance taken on San Diego (a former home of the Clippers and, before that, the original home of the Rockets), a third team in the Greater Los Angeles region (The Vancouver Grizzlies' last owner, Michael Heisley, gave some thought to bringing that team to Anaheim before he chose Memphis as the Grizz' new home in 2001, and the Sacramento Kings came close to becoming the Anaheim Royals nearly a decade ago.), a second team in the San Francisco Bay Area (Around the same time that Sacramento was on the brink of losing the Kings, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison tried to buy the current New Orleans NBA club and, despite his public denial of a desire to relocate that team, was heavily rumored at the time to have wanted to shift that franchise to San José.), or a brand-new franchise for Vancouver.
  25. I would replace the orange with "old" gold or "Vegas" gold, either of which would emulate the color of a leopard's skin far better than does orange.