How I wish it were the
The Dodgers deserved the chance to humiliate a Cleveland baseball team that not only persists in identifying itself as the “
For those who haven't kept up with the baseball drama, here's a summary: The Cleveland team drew the curtain on its regular-season minstrel show in the spring, having replaced Chief Wahoo on its caps with a vintage red "C." It never officially retired the offending mascot, but Wahoo remained confined only to uniform sleeves throughout the regular season, leading reasonable people to believe that the team ownership had finally seen the light where other franchises such as the NFL's Washington Redskins remained defiantly in the dark, and was easing its fans into the post-"Indians" era.
Or so we thought. Chief Wahoo reappeared when the Cleveland team began its impressive playoff run against the
Sadly, the Dodgers weren’t as lucky as the Cleveland team, having been blocked from World Series glory by the seemingly destiny-bound
I've read the apologists for Chief Wahoo and the Cleveland team's proud embrace of racist caricatures. To say these arguments exist at all is enough to show they're wrong, but for those who need to be told why red-faced cartoon characters and battle cries needlessly offend, the National Congress of American Indians has helpfully explained why mascots and team names that stereotype the continent's first nations do real harm to actual people.
It's tempting to look past all this and take pity on a city that's had it as rough as Cleveland. The Cubs' championship drought has famously lasted for 107 baseball seasons, but the Cleveland team boasts a pitiable 67 years without a World Series title. Beyond sports, Cleveland's decline as an important American metropolis is arguably unmatched, having tumbled from a population peak of 900,000-plus in 1950 to less than 400,000 today. Chicago no longer deserves the title of America's second city, having ceded its silver medal in the population rankings to (ahem) Los Angeles in the 1980s, but no one questions its influence. Chicago's airport is still huge. Its skyline is still impressive. Its pizza is still quite deep. And the city's World Series drought isn't much longer than Southern California's actual drought (remember the White Sox?).
But Cleveland? Hey, I know some generous, wonderfully caring people from that part of Ohio, which makes wishing for their team's brutal defeat personally difficult. But being on the right side of a moral dispute isn't supposed to be easy, especially when the team in question isn't the evil Washington Redskins and its infernal owner, Daniel Snyder. Cleveland's municipal misery doesn't excuse the disgraceful exalting of Chief Wahoo any more than white men's economic hardship makes Donald Trump's popularity OK.
So, Dodgers fans, if you can't support your own team in the World Series, do the next best thing by doing your duty to your country and certainly your anti-Trump first baseman: Root for the Cubs to humiliate the Cleveland team and send Chief Wahoo home in defeat for good.