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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/31/21

Welcome, Guardians; sup Yankees?

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Cleveland Guardians team name press conference The Cleveland Indians announced on Friday that 'Guardians' will be their new name.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: WKYC Channel 3)
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By Bob Gaydos

I welcome, sort of, the Cleveland Guardians, I apologize to Aroldis Chapman and Tim Tebow "geez, really?

Maybe it's just me, but: The Cleveland baseball team was right to, after decades of insult to Native Americans, finally drop "Indians'' as its mascot. The change, long overdue, takes effect next year. It might've been different if, from the beginning, the choice had been described as a tribute to Native Americans, and the resilience, strength, dignity, and courage of all America's tribes. But it wasn't. Instead of dignifietd tributes, there were goofy looking Indian cartoons on shirts, caps and anything else for sale. Then there was the guy in the bleachers beating the war drums for a rally. Lost in all of this, as it has been for centuries in America really, is a history of native Americans and the indignities they suffered at the hands of foreign settlers. So, "Indians" had to go. But "Guardians"? The team says it received about 1200 suggestions for a new mascot/nickname. This is what they came up with. The team says it's a tribute to the Guardian statues who protect motorist coming in and out of Cleveland on the Hope Memorial Bridge. OK, at least there's some connection. And it's better than the Washington football team, which now call itself the Washington football team because its nickname, "Redskins," was truly offensive. The Washington football team is still working on a new mascot. Perhaps the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Blackhawks would like to join the endeavor. It"s time. Change can be difficult, but if it is handled with a sense of awareness and respect, these changes can be for the benefit of all involved. Go Guardians!

Maybe it's just me, but: When I read a brief report that the Yankees had lost a game to the Red Sox in the bottom of the 10th inning when Boston scored two runs on no hits, but a bunch of wild pitches, I immediately thought Aroldis Chapman. I was wrong, but it doesn't mean Aaron Boone was right. Someone named Brooks Kriske was the offending party. Given a one-run lead to protect in the bottom of the 10th, Kriske started with a runner placed on second base, a little league gimmick now used by baseball, supposedly to speed up the game. It's really tacky. Anyway, Kriske threw two straight wild pitches to allow the runner to come home to tie the score. Manager Boone left the rookie in. He walked that batter. Still, with about a dozen pitchers on the roster, no sign of a replacement for the overwhelmed Kriske. Another wild pitch moved the runner to second. Now, Boone has some million-dollar arms sitting around, any one of whom could be asked at a moment's notice to just go out there to throw strikes with a little velocity and make the batter swing at the ball. Even an infielder with a good arm. But he stuck with Kriske, who threw another wild pitch moving the runner to third. He did manage to strike someone out, but the next batter hit a fly ball, the runner from third scored, the game was over. Not the kind of Yankee baseball I remember. Tacky.

Maybe it's just me, but: Tim Tebow still trying to make a professional sports team roster strikes me as a little desperate. He's one of about 90 players in the Jacksonville Jaguars camp, looking for a position as a tight end. Of the six candidates in camp, he's probably ranked number six. At 33, the former Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida, former Jets, Broncos quarterback, former Mets minor-league baseball player, has apparently decided he's not quite ready to retire and make a living as a motivational speaker or, perhaps, sports broadcaster, both of which he is apparently well-qualified for. He's obviously a great example for his message of believing in yourself and having faith and courage and anything I or anyone else writes about his quest is not going to deter him, but I just wonder if all the effort doesn't just get tiring at some point. Maybe it's time to find a new challenge.

rjgaydos|AT|gmail.comEmail address

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at zestoforange.com.

 

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Bob Gaydos is a veteran of 40-plus years in daily newspapers. He began as police reporter with The (Binghamton, N.Y.) Sun-Bulletin, eventually covering government and politics as well as serving as city editor, features editor, sports editor and (more...)
 

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