After 105 years, the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team is changing their name

CLEVELAND, OH – First, the Washington Redskins team from the National Football Conference (NFC) division of the National Football League (NFL) changed their team’s name – sort of – after several years of debate.

The Washington “Football Team” surely isn’t using their final selection for a team name, but for sure, it’s no longer the “Redskins.” Now, the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball (MLB) will be changing their name from “Indians” to a name that hasn’t been determined yet.

The “Indians” team name has been considered racist by some, and the team has discussed changing the name for decades, and much more intensely in the past few months.

Both the New York Times and the Associated Press have confirmed that the team will formally announce the change during the week of December 14th – 18th. There was no word form either major source if the baseball team in Cleveland has a new name in mind or not.

Some could easily blame this only “cancel culture” or just acknowledge it is a sign of the times as we as a society become more sensitive to names, branding, and other relative measures.

Referencing the Washington Redskins’ name change, the event came about in a similar manner, save for the corporate pressure the NFL team endured.

Washington’s plans became known after being pressured by several sponsors, including FedEx which holds naming rights to the football team’s stadium, the team relented and made a formal announcement, although they didn’t have a replacement name, and still don’t.

The team now in Cleveland originated in 1894 as the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Rustlers, a minor league team in the Western League. The team relocated to Cleveland in 1900 and was renamed the Cleveland Lake Shores. When the Western League became the American League, counterpart to the National League in the newly-formed Major League Baseball organization, the new team was born.

The Cleveland Indians franchise was established in 1901, and since then, the team has won ten Central Division titles, six American League pennants, and two World Series championships. Their drought since winning a World Series championship, though, is the longest for a Major League Baseball team – their last World Series pennant was in 1948. 72 years ago.

From 1901 to 1914, the team was known as the Cleveland “Naps,” named after their legendary and main player, French-born Napoleon Lajoie. After “Nap” departed the team, the team owner, Charles Somers, requested that baseball sports writers help choose a new name for the team, and “Indians” got the nod.

The “Indians” name was sourced after it had been used as a nickname for the team as Louis Francis Sockalexis, a Native American and Deerfoot Indian with the Penobscot Tribe, played for the team.

The team enjoyed nicknames of “The Tribe” until this day, and also the “Wahoos,” named after Chief Wahoo, their mascot and the cartoonish rendering on their uniforms and memorabilia.

For years, Native American groups and others have protested against Cleveland’s use of “Indians” as its name as well as other imagery used by the American League charter franchise founded in 1901.

Last year, the team removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo from its caps and jerseys, but the smiling mascot has remained popular and merchandise is still sold bearing its image.

The Indians have dealt with a backlash from fans upset over Chief Wahoo’s removal and the club is certain to hear more with the decision to change its name.

President Trump released a statement on the mascot’s removal:

“Oh no! What is going on? This is not good news, even for ‘Indians.’ Cancel culture at work!”

In July 2020, just hours after Washington’s Redskins announced their name change, Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan released a statement saying the team would review “the best path forward with our team name.”

In the months since, the team has consulted players, front office members, coaching staff, community leaders, shareholders and Native American groups.

A few days after Dolan’s statement, Indians manager Terry Francona said it was time to “move forward” with the name change.

Francona, who has been the club’s manager since 2013, stated:

“I’ve been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement. I know in the past, when I’ve been asked about, whether it’s our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful.

“And I still feel that way. But I don’t think that’s a good enough answer today. I think it’s time to move forward. It’s a very difficult subject. It’s also delicate.”

Is this a sensitive move, or just more political correctness, a la George Orwell’s 1984?

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Welcome to 1984: CNBC lets people know what words they should and shouldn’t use to describe pandemic

December 3, 2020

OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND – George Orwell was a brilliant British novelist, born in India, and made Oxfordshire, between London and Bristol, his home. His most famous work, without a doubt, is the novel “1984.” 

That work has been marveled for years by young and old. When this author read it in 1979, I thought to myself, “That stuff could never happen!”  I was wrong, and Orwell was right, even though his work was strongly steeped in fiction.

After 105 years, the Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team is changing their name
Screenshot courtesy of YouTube

How many times have we heard the terms “Orwellian,” “groupthink,” “Big Brother,” “doublethink,” “thoughtcrime,” “Newspeak,” “memory hole,” and “2 + 2 = 5?”

Reading the book would explain the origin of all them.  

The book was written in 1949, a year before Orwell’s death. It was his ninth book; the most famous. It is a dystopian social science fiction novel set in the (then) future year of 1984.

It centers on the downsides and fallacies of concepts that weren’t in place in 1949. Or in 1984, for that matter. 

But many are in place now.

There is an authoritarian government in place, politics run society, and facts and information are steadily and regularly manipulated by the state-run media. The book develops the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and repressive regimentation of persons and behaviors within society.

Orwell’s prediction of the year 1984 shows our world fallen victim to perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism (revisionist history (!!)), and propaganda.

Great Britain, known as Airstrip One, has become a province of a totalitarian superstate named Oceania, that is ruled by the Party who employ the Thought Police to persecute individuality and independent thinking. Big Brother, the leader of the Party, enjoys an intense cult of personality despite the fact that he may not even exist.

The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a diligent and skillful rank-and-file worker and Party member who secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion. He enters into a forbidden relationship with a colleague, Julia, and starts to remember what life was like before the Party came to power.  

Parallels have been drawn between the novel’s subject matter and real life instances of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and violations of freedom of expression – that are happening today. 

Things like political correctness, which was witnessed by George Orwell in Hitler’s Germany; Hitler’s Brown Shirts, who regularly interrupted and disturbed the normal business of people to incite fear and oppression; and the thought police, which is now seen as “cancel culture,” publicly trashing you if you don’t toe the line of the leftist media.

Please allow me to introduce you to a very “Orwellian” example of political correctness. There can be no other purpose and definition of the items in this photo besides controlling how you speak and think.  

How you express yourself and interact with others. How you’re simply not allowed to realistically look at negative items in their true light, but instead through rose colored glasses to see an image or phrase that should make you relax and smile.

The “lexicon” is a directive from parties unknown…perhaps “Big Brother?”  To do away with realistic discussion and introduce positive “groupthink.”

Here’s what a CNBC guest does not want you expressing or talking about:

The coronavirus – “virus” is such a scary word. Let’s all use the word “pandemic” instead. It instills even more fear than “virus” and makes people lose hope of a cure and become more government dependent.

Defeat/crush/knock out the virus – please stop using such aggressive terms, as if individuals could “beat” anything on their own. They need the government’s help to “eliminate” or “eradicate” the virus.

Physical distancing – that phrase indicates you would make a personal choice with your own body and choose to stay a certain distance away from others because you chose to do so. “Social distancing” gets in that little guilt trip that it’s not about you, it’s about all of society, and we all aren’t as afraid as we can be, we won’t accomplish anything. Remember – you can’t do it by yourself!

A vaccine developed quickly – we simply can’t think like that. No one can develop a real vaccine in a short amount of time, not even our best scientists and with the president fully supporting them. In other words, we can’t let Trump get a “win” on the vaccine subject – we have to drag out the process so someone else can take credit. Let’s keep repeating that “safe” and “effective” elements.

Orders/imperatives/decrees – oh, heck no! Military leaders give orders, the government sets imperatives, and kings and queens give decrees. We simply can’t use those words.  Let’s use “protocols” instead – that sounds like it came from a doctor or scientist. Much better!

See? How Orwellian of you. Let’s skip the groupthink!

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Author: James E. Lewis

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I'm awesome! What else would I say about myself.