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Volume 26 No. 7

Franchises

The Rams' 54-51 win over the Chiefs last night at L.A. Coliseum "turned out to be an evening of catharsis for a city" dealing with multiple tragedies in recent weeks, according to Jim Alexander of the L.A. DAILY NEWS. Rams Exec VP/Football Operations & COO Kevin Demoff: "This represents the best of Los Angeles and the best of the NFL and how it brings people together." Alexander notes the Rams were "given five days to prepare for a home game suddenly dropped into their laps," and the organization "pulled it all together." There were 77,002 tickets distributed, a "number of them freebies handed out," and the motto of “L.A. Together” was "printed on the rally towels handed out at the gates" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 11/20). Demoff: "When the NFL put a team in Los Angeles, they couldn’t have dreamed of this. There were 77,000 people here on five days’ notice. One of the greatest games of the year, halftime concert, rallying an entire city. It’s beyond words." In L.A., Sam Farmer writes it was a "huge moment for the NFL" in the market, with Commissioner Roger Goodell in attendance, "along with thousands of first responders from the recent fires and mass shooting in Thousand Oaks" (L.A. TIMES, 11/20).

MORE THAN A GAMEIn California, Ryan Kartje in a front-page piece writes, "In a sprawling city so impossibly disparate, a sense of community can feel fleeting." But the Coliseum last night "stood at its unmistaken center" as a "stadium of white towels waved in unison." When L.A. "needed the Rams most, they threw their arms around their city" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/20). Also in California, Rich Hammond notes the Rams "tried to make the night" about the Thousand Oaks and Camp Fire first responders "as much as possible." Their outreach attempts also "will continue." Hammond: "For two years, the Rams have been looking for that signature moment to show they’ve been embraced by Southern California. It happened Monday" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/20). ESPN's Joe Tessitore during the broadcast called the night a "galvanizing rallying point for a community that has been dealing with so much" ("Chiefs-Rams," ESPN, 11/19). Rams QB Jared Goff: "You could really feel the community come together tonight, with the energy from the crowd and everything leading up to the game." Goff said the fact that the team was "able to give joy and some sort of normalcy for a few hours is awesome" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 11/20).

NECESSARY DISTRACTION: In L.A., Blake Richardson notes last night for the first responders "offered a chance to finally relax." Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer Stan Ziegler said that "more than 100 first responders accepted the Rams’ invitation to watch the game." Ziegler: "You would not believe what it means to us" (L.A. TIMES, 11/20). ESPN.com's Arash Markazi noted both Rams and Chiefs players and coaches "wore hats honoring a variety" of L.A. area fire and law enforcement agencies, "including the California Highway Patrol, LAFD, LAPD, LA County Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Ventura County Sheriff." The agency's logo was "on the front of the cap, and the team's logo was on the side." The game-worn hats will be "auctioned off after the game, with the proceeds going to the Conejo Valley Victims Fund and American Red Cross Southern California Wildfire Relief." Game-worn jerseys also will be auctioned off, with proceeds "going to the relief efforts" (ESPN.com, 11/20).

This marks just the second time in franchise history that the Indians will feature red as an official uniform
Photo: INDIANS

The Indians have unveiled a "new, red alternate home jersey, as well as minor changes to the other three options," and among the changes is that Chief Wahoo is "no longer a part of the uniforms or hats," according to Ryan Lewis of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. The new alternate has a red base color with the script “Indians” written "across the chest in navy blue." This uniform "joins the white home jerseys with script 'Indians' in red and the two road uniforms, gray and navy blue, with 'Cleveland' in block letters emblazoned on the front." The navy blue uniforms "will only be worn on the road" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 11/20). In Cleveland, Joe Noga notes there will be "one cap at home," and it features a "navy base with a red bill and the Block C logo as well as a patch" with the '19 All-Star logo on the side. The new alternate home uniform has the "same piping style on the sleeves and collar." It marks just the "second time in franchise history that the team will feature red as an official uniform," the last time being from '75-77. For away games, the Indians will "have the option of wearing their traditional gray tops or a new alternate road blue colored jersey." The road uniforms will "feature one cap." The all-Navy cap with the red Block C will be the "only road cap the team will wear." Indians Senior VP/Public Affairs Bob DiBiasio said that the team is "still working through the process of deciding whether there will be a permanent third logo to replace Chief Wahoo" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 11/20).

BLUE STREAK: In St. Louis, Derrick Goold in a front-page piece notes the Cardinals unveiled a "new powder blue -- or, 'victory' blue -- jersey," marking the "first significant jersey change in six seasons." The blue is "similar to what the Cardinals wore" in '82, though it "appears now in the Saturday home style -- with a script 'St. Louis' and the red piping around the buttons and on the sleeves." The team will "wear the blue for road Saturday games." The original "victory" blue jerseys debuted in '76 and continued through '84 (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/20).

Elias offers the Orioles a blend of both scouting and analytics expertise
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

New Orioles Exec VP & GM Mike Elias during his intro to the Baltimore media "proceeded to outline his vision for an O’s franchise that had gone from renaissance to rudderless over the past two years," according to Peter Schmuck of the BALTIMORE SUN. It was "understandable that he was not long on specifics after spending only a long weekend on the job, but he made it pretty clear what the emphasis will be over the next few years." Elias "fielded questions about every aspect of the organization," including the issue of the ongoing MASN dispute with the Nationals and whether it "might affect the ability to do everything" he might want to do. Orioles Exec VP John Angelos said, "We don’t envision that it will have an impact on anything we’re talking about today. The focus of ownership’s resources in the recent past in an effort to win in the most recent five- or six-year period was very much on investing, perhaps overinvesting in the major league player payroll, relatively. Mike has all the same resources today that we’ve had for baseball ops in the past and he’ll have in the future to do with them as he sees fit" (BALTIMORE SUN, 11/20). 

IF THE SHOE FITS: MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli wrote based on the presser, it was "clear how Elias charmed the Angelos brothers." Elias "talked about how excited he is to restore 'The Oriole Way' to a historic franchise." He "offers a unique blend of scouting and analytics expertise, two areas that the O's have vowed to overhaul." The "full baseball autonomy" that Elias will have includes how he will work with VP/Baseball Operations Brady Anderson (MLB.com, 11/19). The SUN's Schmuck writes, "It’s definitely the start of a new era for a team that lost its mojo over the past couple of seasons and Elias appears to be the right guy to modernize the front office and oversee a multi-year rebuilding program that will not be without some serious growing pains." It "would be hard to fault the renewed commitment of ownership and the dynamic decision to hand full authority over the baseball operation to a 35-year-old new-age exec who just might be able to bring some of that Astros magic to Baltimore" (BALTIMORE SUN, 11/20).

Jones went on to add that his immediate family will run the team "long after" he is gone
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said the team is "just not for sale," but even if it was, he "wouldn’t accept anything less" than $10B, according to Sophie Alexander of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Despite naming a specific figure, Jones has "made it clear no amount of money will persuade him to sell the team." He said, "They’re a long-term asset and my immediate family -- which has been a part of making them what they are today -- they’ll own the Cowboys long after I’m gone." More Jones: "I don’t say $10 billion just to say a ridiculous number. I just think you really have to go on what people would pay. I don’t want to say at least $10 billion but I certainly think you can justify a $10 billion value, but economically I’d rather have the Cowboys than the $10 billion." Alexander noted the Bloomberg Billionaires Index "conservatively values the team" at $4B (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 11/19). YAHOO SPORTS' Shalise Manza Young noted the Panthers earlier this year were sold to David Tepper for $2.3B, and at some point, the Seahawks are "going to be sold as well, after the death of owner Paul Allen last month" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/19).

As many as 3,000 submitted names were considered before the Colorado Springs team chose Vibes
Photo: VIBES

The Single-A Pioneer League Rocky Mountain Vibes unveiled their new name and logo yesterday, and the nickname is an "offshoot of brainstorming sessions" related to a proposed Happy Campers moniker, according to Benjamin Hill of MiLB.com. Vibes GM Chris Phillips said the team will "figure out ways to incorporate the name into theming out different parts" of Security Service Field in Colorado Springs. One such area will "feature fire pits so that fans can make their own s'mores, as this campfire treat is a conspicuous aspect of the Vibes' overall branding" (MiLB.com, 11/19). In Colorado Springs, Brent Briggeman cites sources as saying that the team, formerly the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, was "moving forward with Happy Campers as the probable new name" when MiLB "discovered the existence of The Happy Camper Cannabis Company" in Bailey, Colo. MiLB, with its "focus on family entertainment and looking to distance itself from any perceived endorsement of legalized marijuana, provided a roadblock to that name or at least enough discouragement" that the team decided against the moniker. In naming the s’more mascot Toasty, the team "still found a double-entendre approach to the marijuana issue" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 11/20). Briggeman in a front-page piece notes Phillips "sifted through 3,000 submitted names" before deciding on Vibes. Phillips: "What I came to realize after a lot of this is, I didn’t want to be a thing. I didn’t want to be an animal. I didn’t want to be a mountain. I was like, this is feeling; it’s energy and emotion" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE, 11/20).