Cleveland Indians players address potential team name change

By , 92.3 The Fan
Cleveland, OH (92.3 The Fan) - For the first time in over a century, we may be seeing an official changing of the guard – or, nickname – of Cleveland’s professional baseball franchise.
A statement was made by the club on Friday that they have been considering changing the name “Indians” in the wake of recent events and protests; and on Sunday, manager Terry Francona said he was in favor of a potential replacing of the name, saying he thinks it’s “time to move forward.”

A day after Francona addressed the issue, his players did the same.

Tribe shortstop Francisco Lindor stated in a press teleconference today: “I understand society’s shifting, and it’s changing. That being said, if changing the name brings more love, more peace…to society, I’m open to the change of the name.”

Pitcher Adam Plutko also added his two cents.

“I know there’s a lot going on in this world right now, and if our name makes anybody uncomfortable, then I think it is time to change our name,” said the Indians right-hander. “But at the end of the day, I don’t really have a good answer for you, and I’m not gonna be the one that sits down and says, ‘Our name is wrong and we need to change it’, but at the same time, I’m not trying to make anybody feel uncomfortable.”

Along with Lindor and Plutko, outfielder Oscar Mercado was also asked about the possible change, and Mercado first responded by saying the last few months have been unlike anything he’s ever seen.

“There’s so much going on around the world, and around the country…during my lifetime, I’ve never really seen anything quite like it, with the coronavirus and [everything going on].”

Mercado followed that with saying, “I’m a big supporter of doing the right thing. [That discussion] is for people above my pay grade to have.”

As the world turns and the baseball season grows closer, other players simply haven’t given as much thought to the issue, such as catcher Roberto Perez.

When asked about the issue, Perez answered, “There’s a lot of movement out there, with what’s going on…that I haven’t had a chance to even really think about it.”

“Right now, my focus is on trying to get ready for the year, and contribute to my team, help my team win…so I haven’t really thought about that.”

The Indians have kept with their current name since 1915, believed by many to have been inspired by a former player, Louis Sockalexis, who played in Cleveland from 1897-1899. Sockalexis is often identified to be the first professional major league player with Native American heritage.