SBD/August 8, 2014/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Ohio Politician Urges Indians Owner Dolan To Change Team Name

The AP's Jennifer Smola reported State Sen. Eric Kearney (D-Ohio) "introduced a resolution Wednesday that would encourage" the Indians to "adopt a new name and mascot, citing racial insensitivity." He also sent a letter to Indians Owner Larry Dolan "urging a change." But Indians President Mark Shapiro on Thursday said that the Chief Wahoo mascot "'represents the heritage of the team and the ballpark' and will remain in place." He added that the team will "continue to build and promote the use of the block 'C.'" Kearney, who said that he is a "big baseball fan, didn't expect major change right away but said Thursday he's 'asking for a discussion to occur'" (AP, 8/7).

SINGING THE BLUES: In Toronto, Steve Buffery writes when things are "going south" with the Blue Jays, there has been "no one in ownership to step up and saying anything good, bad or indifferent." There is "no reassurance or promise of better things ahead," and there is "no one with the ownership group being held accountable because, quite frankly, fans don’t know who to blame." Fans in the Toronto market "sometimes feel as if Rogers is an absentee owner." Even though Rogers Communications is "based in Toronto, it seems as if nobody on the board cares that much about the ball team" (TORONTO SUN, 8/8).

BURSTING THEIR BUBBLE: In L.A., Bill Shaikin noted when a Dodgers player "hits a home run, the team celebrates with a bubble machine," but prior to Tuesday's game against the Angels at Dodger Stadium, MLB Exec VP/ Baseball Operations Joe Torre advised them to "stop using the machine." However, the bubble machine "was back Wednesday." Shaikin asked, "Did the Dodgers negotiate a compromise with MLB, or did they unilaterally decide to bring back the bubble machine?" Shaikin: "No one would say." The "ban of the bubble machine was baffling," and the "refusal of Dodgers officials and MLB executives to discuss it was even more baffling" (L.A. TIMES, 8/7).

BETTER CALL PAUL: In Chicago, Danny Ecker reported the White Sox will "send off" retiring 1B Paul Konerko next month with a "series of promotions throughout the team's 11 September home games highlighting the longtime face of the franchise." Most "prominent in the celebration is the creation of 'Club Konerko' seats in sections 158 and 159 in the left-field bleachers." The White Sox are "counting on the novelty" of Konerko's "final games on the South Side to help boost paid attendance down the stretch." The team has "drawn an average of 20,949 fans per game this year," down 8% from '13 (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 8/6).
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