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Elephant Rumblings: Cleveland Indians considering name change

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MLB news roundup

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Athletics Nation!

The Cleveland Indians are considering a name change, the team announced on Friday. This is their full statement:

We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.

We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice.

With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.

While the focus of the baseball world shifts to the excitement of an unprecedented 2020 season, we recognize our unique place in the community and are committed to listening, learning, and acting in the manner that can best unite and inspire our city and all those who support our team.

This news comes on the heels of a similar announcement by the Washington NFL team, which plans to undergo a “thorough review” of their Redskins name.

The Indians’ name dates back to 1915. They had previously been called the Naps, in honor of their best player Nap Lajoie, but switched when Lajoie was sold to the Philadelphia A’s. Before that they’d gone through several other names, as detailed by Ken Rosenthal and Zack Meisel of The Athletic. There are not yet any suggestions for a new moniker.

While the team hasn’t fully committed to changing their name, this is the most serious indication they’ve ever given in that direction — and going public with the idea would only seem to increase the likelihood. It’s not the first step they’ve taken away from their racially offensive branding, as they retired their cartoonish Chief Wahoo logo after the 2018 season.

Cleveland manager Terry Francona spoke on the matter and supported the idea of change, via John Fanta of Fox: “I know that we’re never trying to be disrespectful. But I don’t think that’s a good enough answer today. I think it’s time to move forward.” For more on Francona, check out Meisel’s writeup at The Athletic.

There was a ton of news over the weekend, and we already did roundups of some of it in separate posts, so the first section of Rumblings today will just link to those separate roundups. For more details (and many more links) on those topics, click through to our full stories.

Weekend Roundups:

A’s Coverage:

MLB News, & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

So far, eight MLB players have opted out of the season, from five different teams

Follow-up on the Jorge Mateo trade

Marcus Semien, Team Leader

Getting pointers from a former Rookie of the Year

A.J. Puk got a haircut!

Welp

Gross

Shark tells it like it is

Hall of Fame visit!

Your reaction to the name Pat Listach will help reveal whether you are over or under 35 years old. (Also, best wishes to Webby in his continued recovery from coronavirus!)

Nailed it