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Cleveland manager Terry Francona knew that changing the team’s name is the right thing to do. Francona admired how the franchise moves forward to a new start. (Photo : Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Cleveland manager Terry Francona supported the organization’s move to change its name.
The franchise announced earlier this week that Cleveland will move forward next season, bearing no name yet. After 105 years, the management will remove the ‘Indians’ nickname that sparked outrage among Indian-American people.
For Francona, Cleveland’s decision was something to be proud of.
“What we’re really proud of is the first name of our team, which is Cleveland. Regardless of how we felt about it, what was important was how other people who it was affecting felt about it. I don’t think anybody was ever trying to be disrespectful. But that wasn’t a good enough answer anymore,” Francona said to the media.
Terry Francona nurtured the Cleveland franchise for the past eight years, together with his father. The iconic Chief Wahoo mascot donning the “Indians” name in jerseys and other apparels took him to nostalgic memory lane.
Since 2013, Terry Francona took responsibility for managing the Cleveland organization. Under his management, the Cleveland franchise held a 673-519 win-loss record and has appeared in five playoffs.
Despite several years spent with Cleveland, the 61-year-old Francona thought of retiring for the 2020 season. He had undergone many surgeries, and his health issues had cost him to miss 48 out of 62 games.
“Some days when I was extremely frustrated, the thought crossed my mind when it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I tried not to think like that,” Francona said during that time.
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Meanwhile, Cleveland owner Paul Dolan revealed that the name-change might not happen any time, but it will be possible when the new MLB season commences.
“Our role is to unite the community,” Dolan told MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince. “There is a credible number of people in this community who are upset by our name, are hurt by our name, and there is no reason for our franchise to bear a name that is divisive,” Dolan said in a statement.
Currently, the Chief Wahoo logo can still be seen in shops and sold as merchandise in the stadium. Dolan added that Cleveland’s new moniker is still in progress as per the organization.
Besides Cleveland, Washington was the first team to announce in July that they will be changing the team’s nickname. After the franchise decided to remove ‘Redskins’ as the team’s nickname, the Washington football team continued playing with no nickname.
Dolan believes that the Cleveland team has experienced a difficult situation this year, given that brainstorming a new name should be well-planned. Moreover, the 61-year-old MLB executive expressed his willingness to work as quickly as possible. He would like to settle the things appropriately for the management, the fans, and the concerned citizens.
Several suggestions, including Blues, Dobys, Crows, Rockers, Guardians, and Spiders, were rumored to become the next nickname for the Cleveland baseball team. But still, in the end, only the organization has the final say to what should be the moniker of Cleveland for the MLB 2021 season.
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