Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition


by mike in boston [@mikeinboston] [hatemailaccount at g/m/a/i/l dot com]


The Beginning of the End of Racist Logos


Last week the editorial board of a Cleveland newspaper came out in support of officially ending the use of the Indians’ “Chief Wahoo” logo. 60% of respondents to their online poll disagreed. The piece explains that the team has been phasing that logo out over the last several years, so there seems to be some internal momentum already. The paper did not come out in favour of a name change (yet) but that would be the logical extension of this move. Some have suggested they should just change to their nickname — The Tribe — and adopt some kind of warrior inspired logo. That seem like a good way of preserving continuity between past and present and future.

If I were a Cleveland fan I would resent the implication that I root for a racist team. That is totally understandable. But I don’t understand people who try to argue that the logo is not racist because it has its roots in sports. If the same logo were part of a cartoon series, we would undoubtedly say it is racist towards First Nations people. Just sub in Jews or Blacks with exaggerated ethnic features and see if the point is more obvious. So, people in Cleveland need to accept that the logo is offensive without feeling personally attacked.

Here’s an interesting thought-experiment: suppose the Indians had the Redskins logo instead. That one shows a person with normal features in tribal head-gear. Then it seems much less racist. It is still culturally offensive, since it is appropriating another people’s traditions without any plausible basis for doing so, but that’s a lesser crime. I’m a little surprised The Indians didn’t try this approach to keeping the logo.

In any case, I applaud the Cleveland paper for taking this stance and I hope this discussion will further isolate Redskins owner Dan Snyder. To have a team called the Redskins in 2014 is unconscionable. It’s a stone’s throw away from calling a team the Darkies.


Jays Talk


The big news this week was that AA came out and suggested they were not thrilled with Happ as their 4th starter, after Happ had a few rough innings. This is after an off-season of saying they were happy with their rotation, and that Happ had changed his arm slot and would be much better in 2014, so they did not see a need to go spend on free agent improvements.

The lack of consistency by AA has been an ongoing theme over the last 14 months. In this case, he ended up making his manger look rather dumb, as Gibbons waxed about how silly it is to judge “secure” guys like Happ on their spring training performance. Gibbons also seems to have been taking logic lessons from Rob Ford as he trotted out this wonderfully self-contradictory sentence: “He had a bad outing, I’m not worried about J.A. He has been battling a little bit of a stiff back. He’s not going to use that as an excuse, we’re not going to use that as an excuse, but it can affect you a little bit.”

I hate spring training. Everyone is in the best shape of his life, everyone is pitching amazing side-sessions, everyone’s fastball looks like it has pop. This drags on forever, and the results don’t matter of course, because guys are just “trying things out.” It’s the best example of confirmation bias you can have: people see what they want to see and ignore anything that doesn’t fit their chosen narrative.

One other thing about spring training is that we get headlines about how people have matured in the off-season. See, for example, Brett Lawrie whose “mentality” has improved and we should expect a much different season from what we have seen from the fiery Captain Dude Bro in the past.  Unfortunately, the same week Lawrie tweeted of a picture he took of himself drinking some sports drink while behind the wheel, leading people to wonder how a person can safely drive with no hands on the wheel. We have pretty good evidence that Lawrie is roughly on a par with Yunel Escobar in the mental quotient department. If he can put a few 3+  WAR seasons like Yunel, then maybe we can deal with the intellectual deficiencies. Good luck to you Brett Lawrie.

Lastly, news broke yesterday that Ervin Santana would sign a one year deal. AA’s line has been that they don’t like the term associated with the fee agent pitchers. This more or less ends that line of justification for not spending. No one is arguing that Santana would make the Jays a World Series contender. What is true is that average teams need as much of a buffer as possible in order to outperform expectations. You need people who can come in and take pressure off everyone else to perform. This means that guys don’t have to handle more than they can, and you don’t need to rush young talent up just to fill a gap.

Santana would do that. He had a  3.24 ERA in 211 innings last year. That is way better than everyone on the Jays staff. If AA does not make this deal, then I think there is a serious possibility the team is planning on a fire sale. How else could you explain refusing to sign a guy to a 1 year deal who would instantly make your team better and protect your young assets? Rooting for this team has become depressing this off-season. This would be a step in the right direction.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • Thank God the NHL trade deadline is over. We use the term “insider” derisively on this site because any talking head who works for either network is presented as an Insider. As such, each network lines up an army of Insiders, because apparently at trade deadline time GMs spill all their secrets to back up goalies and retired goons. It’s farcical. But here’s a question: if you had to fire every supposed insider except one person, who would that be?


  • There’s a game you can play with PTS. It goes like this: see how many seconds elapse between the time you finish Grange’s sentence and when he actually gets around to it. There’s usually a 5 second gap before he figures out how to end his tortuous phrasing. I think Bob is sick of it because he started finishing Grange’s sentences this week. On behalf of the audience, thanks Bob!


  • Twitter brings out the idiot in everyone. Bruce Arthur did not have a very good night responding to criticism:



that’s it for this weekend, thanks for reading and commenting.

mike in boston


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Westdale Rocks
Westdale Rocks
March 8, 2014 10:34 am

Who would my one Insider be? Unquestionably, hands down….Bobby Mac.

March 8, 2014 10:37 am

Generally, I don’t have a lot of problems with “Political Correctness”. I get the genesis of the term. I understand how it applies in society today – we should be more understanding and accepting of everyone (Twitter boneheads notwithstanding) and be aware of how certain words or actions can be very hurtful to many people.

That being said, as much as I think the term Chief Wahoo IS a racist term and the tomahawk chop IS a racist chant, I think the name Cleveland Indians is fine. I’m not offended by the name Washington Redskins, either. I am reasonably empathetic that some are, yet I just feel that there are far more things on the planet to get worked up about. For that matter, there are many things in the world of sports to get worked up about.

The name of a team that has been around for a very long time just is not one of them.

PS – I rarely, if ever, hear mention of the Chicago Black Hawks or the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in these discussions. Is it likely that these two iconic teams would ever change their names?

March 8, 2014 1:19 pm

Here’s another PTS game: count the number of milliseconds after anyone starts to say something before Shannon interrupts.

The round table has been tedious recently. Aside from the rehabilitation of Shannon, most of the topics are a rehash of what had already been discussed earlier in the week. Yesterday’s show discussed who will be fired first, Gillis or Tortorella, whether Pete Rose should be in the hall of fame, and is the Bills in Toronto series dead, all of which had been thoroughly dealt with the couple of days before.

Another Steve
Another Steve
March 8, 2014 1:56 pm

Just out of curiosity, did any show on either 590 or 1050 discuss the suspension of the University of Ottawa hockey team over the rape accusations this week?

March 8, 2014 2:22 pm

Here’s a very good photo comparing the Cleveland Indians logo to equivalent logos for Jews and Chinese people.

It’s easy to see how racist this logo actually is when put into context.

Famous Zeb
Famous Zeb
March 8, 2014 2:28 pm

Arthur is a strange beast on twitter. He is a must follow, but seems to spend 30 % of his time trying to show how evolved he is, and 10 % seeking pointless conflict like above.

March 8, 2014 3:32 pm

Isnt the roundtable always a recap of the weeks news?

Two things i always strobngly disagree with Bob about are ped’s snd pete rose. Imagine them combined in one segment.

Personally, i could also do without ken reid on the roundtable.

When was the last time someone was on the royndtable that was neither a rogers employee or friend of bob (perkins, smith, …)? Dave Andrews a month or so ago?

Westdale Rocks
Westdale Rocks
March 8, 2014 8:56 pm

Drumanchor, FYI, the Blackhawks were given their name by the founder, Frederic McLaughlin. The team is named after the 86th Infantry Division in WWI, a unit that McLaughlin served in–it was nicknamed the “Blackhawk Division”, after a member of the Sauk Nation who was a prominent figure in Illinois history. Personally, I think the logo is one of the VERY coolest in sports, and to me, highly respectful in all aspects. The most offensive team nicknames/mascots/logos are as follows: Cleveland’s Chief Wahoo is the worst. Indians is also an inappropriate name. It’s Natives. Not Indians. Indians come from India. Redskins is completely and totally derogatory. I can’t believe Edmonton still uses “Eskimos”, another derogatory term.

March 9, 2014 12:14 am

FamousZeb: “He is a must follow”.

Correction. He *was* a must-follow. Then everyone said he was a must-follow and he’s head grew to gigantic sizes and now most of his tweets are him trying to give us his opinion on every little thing that happens in the world. Sochi was the last straw for me before I unfollowed him. It’s not that I even read his usually terrible articles, he just occasionally tweeted out good links to other people’s work.

And, yeah, he doesn’t take criticism too well at all which result in such articular gems as the one highlighted above.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
March 9, 2014 2:30 pm

I don’t know why Grange was the PTS co-host during trade deadline week. He’s good on basketball but not hockey. On Monday he didn’t even know how the NHL playoffs work. Maybe eveyone else on SN was busy with TV for the Trade Deadline show, though they still finished a distant 2nd to TSN:

Perhaps Strombo and other new blood will help next year. Maybe the fact that SN is the national rights holder will raise the ratings of all shows. Or will they use Cherry on the trade deadline show? Clearly the current group didn’t get the numbers SN must want.

March 9, 2014 2:55 pm

Grange is a good writer, a decent reporter, but an awful broadcaster. And, despite the long and tortured efforts to tidy up his on-air presence, he has not gotten any better.

As for Arthur, no surprise there. Too many of this country’s leading sports media figures can sure dish out the jabs, but can’t take any criticism whatsoever themselves. The great Gord Miller has banned all Twitter interaction from followers … and don’t dare question the esteemed Mark Spector either.

Dave in Bolton
Dave in Bolton
March 9, 2014 8:04 pm

Bob McKenzie
Lots of talk @strombo will this week be named primary face/host of the other guys’ nat’l package.

And @CoachesCornerCBC is reportedly getting a new 2-yr deal. Sounds like Ron MacLean still involved but not as main man.

It looks strombo will be the new host of HNIC , but I am wondering what type of role MacLean will have on the show?

D Smith
D Smith
March 9, 2014 9:46 pm

I like the idea of Strombo on HNIC. MacLean can host Battle of the Blades

March 9, 2014 9:50 pm

Yeah, Bruce Arthur is a great writer, and as some of you have said, most of what he writes on twitter is excellent.

But yeah… some of the time he can be so ridiculously earnest. And just generally too much on there. For example, I remember when Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away, he tweeted something like ‘No! Fuck you heroin and drug addiction. fuck you.’

Obviously I agree with his sentiment, but… yeah. Bit much.

March 9, 2014 9:53 pm

Snagging Strombo is a pretty interesting move. Certainly high profile. I don’t really watch hockey much, so I’m not too affected either way, but I’m sure we’ll all be hearing him a ton on The Fan from now on. As I mentioned before, Strombo had a CBC Radio 2 show while doing The Hour. I wonder if they’d have him do a Fan show while hosting hockey?

Kind of funny… he started on The Fan in the mid 90s. I remember listening to him on overnights when I was a teenager.

March 9, 2014 9:56 pm

Re Grange – I really like him generally. I think he’s intelligent and makes good points. But yeah, his presentation is really bad. And doesn’t seem to get any better.

March 10, 2014 10:08 am

You Jays haters don’t know baseball. Wilner has it totally right: this team is stocked with elite level talent all over the diamond (Lawrie is one of the best in the game) and their upcoming pitchers are some of the best in the league (Law doesn’t know what he is talking about).

AA has played he off-season perfectly — even if he doesn’t get Santana (and Wilner is totally right that Stroman will be basically as good as Santana) he will have proven that the Orioles overpaid for Ubaldo. Smart move by the Ninja that will put the Jays in a good position to compete in 2016 and beyond.

Some idiot called into THE Jays TALK to say that the Jays gave up too much to get Dickey. FALSE! You can NEVER evaluate a trade based on how much you gave up. AA gave up what he had to to get an ACE in Dickey. I am so sick of people slamming the Jays when they are clearly making all the right moves.

Lee (Oakville)
Lee (Oakville)
March 10, 2014 10:48 am

I must be in the minority but I don’t mind Grange’s lack of on-air perfection. I think he comes across as intelligent with well- thought out and reasoned arguments. I much prefer that to the silky-smooth ignorance we too-often get on the airwaves.

I recently unfollowed Arthur on Twitter for a number of reasons. I found his constant presence in my timeline to be somewhat disturbing (narcissistic and OCD come to mind) and while acting as Mr. Indignant to everyone else’s quotes and actions his immature comments to people that politely disagreed with him showed his true character.

March 10, 2014 12:46 pm

@mib – I think the bills GM was on Brady/walker

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