The Baltimore Orioles are slated to take on Cleveland seven times in June of 2021. Three times at Camden Yards, and four at Progressive Field. The teams didn’t meet during the truncated 2020 season. But what will Cleveland be calling itself at that time?
It was announced last night that the Cleveland Indians will cease to be the Cleveland Indians. The franchise is dropping it’s name, similar to the NFL’s now late Washington Redskins. It’s unclear exactly how this process will work. They might go the route of Washington and become the “Cleveland Baseball Team” for 2021. Or they could play as the Indians for one “farewell season.” Odds are against them having a new permanent name for 2021.
Personally I think that any of those options are fine. The Cleveland Indians are a very historic franchise. I think that giving the fans one last year under that name (whereby they know it’s the last year) is a fair move. Obviously just dropping the name and going with Cleveland would be an option also.
One thing I hear occasionally in regards to the Washington Football Team is why couldn’t they just change the name and move on? Why the temporary name? Well in that specific case, someone had trademarked literally every potential name the franchise could have ever considered. So that’s a problem, and it wouldn’t shock me if the same ended up being true for Cleveland. People can be very resourceful when it comes to something that could make them money.
However generations of fans are going to root for this team – both in Washington and in Cleveland. They need to get this right. From picking a good name and mascot, to designing a new logo. Furthermore they’ll want to do it in a way that still pays homage to the franchise as the Cleveland Indians. This for the sake of the throngs of fans who won’t like the change. You have to find a way to keep those people engaged.
So they should take their time. Get it right, and pick a name that people will like. Granted it’s not my place to say anything, but I’d go with the Cleveland Spiders. That was the name of the team before it was the Indians. It was a long time ago, but that was what they called themselves. It taps into the history of the franchise, and they could probably still keep their colors. Just a thought.