The reigning American League champion Cleveland Indians played their home opener at Progressive Field on Tuesday, and the club walked off with a 10-inning victory over the Chicago White Sox (CLE 2, CWS 1). Michael Brantley, who missed most of last season with shoulder problems, had the winning hit.
Here's the video of Brantley's walk-off double:
As they did all through the postseason in 2016, the Indians wore their Chief Wahoo caps for the home opener. The controversial logo is considered offensive by many, so much so that commissioner Rob Manfred.
According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, Manfred is now "beginning to apply a little bit of pressure" on the Indians to come up with a plan that will phase out the logo. Here's what an MLB spokesman said to Waldstein on Tuesday:
In a statement to The New York Times, Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said Manfred, in his talks with the Indians' owners, had made clear his "desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo.'
"We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,'' Courtney added. "We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.''
The club also released its own statement on Wednesday:
In recent years the Indians have scaled back their usage of the Chief Wahoo logo, opting for a block "C" on their caps and merchandise. Chief Wahoo is still in the regular rotation, however.
The only real case for keeping the Chief Wahoo is based on tradition. The Indians have been using some version of the logo for nearly a century. While Chief Wahoo is undeniably a part of the franchise's history, it also offends many people, most of whom are not part of the club's fan base.
Manfred is giving the Indians a chance to come up with a plan that will allow them to get away from using the logo, though I wonder how much longer it will be until he gives the team an ultimatum. Clearly, this is an issue MLB wants resolved.