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starlin-castro-batI really can’t imagine being a fan of the football team in Washington. That team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has been in a years-long quest to defend the team’s name – which, for all the history attached to it, is an ethnic slur, let’s be honest – and is completely tone deaf to the way his efforts are perceived on the outside. The latest installment is a letter talking about a tour he took to some Native American communities/reservations, and how there were totally some Native Americans who didn’t have a problem with the name. And then he launches into a “but did you know” that some Native Americans are really struggling, and the Washington football team is going to start a foundation to help them. That’s all well and good, but pairing that effort to the preservation of a racist name smacks of the worst kind of condescension and ignorance. Perhaps the first step would be treating Native Americans as people rather than caricatures for your sports team? (Also, if there’s nothing wrong with the name, why go to such great lengths to refer to them as “Native Americans” in your letter? Why not just call them “redskins”?)

  • More on Starlin Castro’s continued hamstring recovery here. He felt good after yesterday’s minor league game, and the Cubs will figure out today what the plan is going to be for him, in terms of playing in a Major League Spring game. If the Cubs ultimately decide that it’s going to be best for Castro to start the season on the disabled list, his 15-day DL stint can be backdated up to 10 days before the start of the season. That means, he could miss just four or five games, even if he starts the season on the DL.
  • Theo Epstein spoke with Dave Kaplan about the decision to send Javier Baez to AAA to start the year (which was a surprise to no one who has been paying attention), and offered a great line about how some of the very same people who are upset that Baez is going to AAA rather than starting with the big club are the people who rip Starlin Castro for some of his fundamental lapses and struggles in recent years. By going to AAA, Baez can work on not only developmentally necessary things at the plate and in the field, but also on his overall approach so that he doesn’t have those same kinds of struggles when he comes up. The people to which Epstein was referring, by the way, are the meatballs. He just can’t say meatballs.
  • Kyle Hendricks shares his thoughts on being cut from big league camp.
  • The Mariners signed Scott Baker to a minor league deal, but, despite their rotation problems, they apparently told Baker he wasn’t going to make the team, and he elected to opt out of his deal into free agency. It’s been a rough few years for a guy who was quietly so very good in Minnesota for a long time. I’m not sure a reunion with the Cubs is in the cards, but hopefully he winds up somewhere with a shot.
  • Don’t forget to check out this week’s pair of fantasy contests, which kick off on Opening Day. There are $500 and $20,000 prize pools at stake.
  • Junior Lake talks about his three-homer game, and about how he’s working on his approach at the plate. (Cubs.com) Most of the focus of fans looking for a this-could-change-everything story lands on Mike Olt, and I think rightfully so. But if Junior Lake winds up being the rare guy whose tools play up at the big league level and who turns the corner at 23/24, that’s another enormously impactful development for the Cubs.
  • Patrick Mooney spoke with Carlos Villanueva about Lake, and about those Yasiel Puig comparisons last year (remember that?). Villanueva thinks that Lake has, eh hem, a better head on his shoulders and maybe better mentors around him.
  • Speaking of Lake, your kinda-sorta prospect porn of the day (sorry for the (necessary) potty-mouth):

  • Ivy Walls

    I guess Twitter is changing the culture allowing the public’s square to use vulgarity regularly as if we were on a bar stool. That said, yes Lake’s game is not refined in the least, it is all mindless talent, reminds me of Sosa. But that is a known-known among informed Cubs fans.

    What is an unknown-known is how Castro will now react to genuine competition. Will he refine his game for the better instead of again relying on mindless talent. Will having a target in front of Baez at the cherished position of SS cause Baez to refine his mindless talent approach, that is an unknown-unknown.

    • Noah_I

      Parks in particular has been wholly unapologetic, and perhaps even affirmatively supportive, of his use of profanity. Which I’d at least rather have guys say, this is me, this is how I talk, if you want to follow me you’re going to have to at least put up with it than fake apologies.

      • FFP

        As Lauren Bacall says in My Fellow Americans
        “Don’t say ‘friggin’; if you’re going to use the F word go for the gold.”

        It is just that to many of us use ‘the gold’ too often–like a young musician who thinks he must belt every note because he can. Instead, modulate. Save something for a possible crescendo.

        • Ivy Walls

          I concur, true, true, when I use ” THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!”

          it used in its proper context, like on the 18th hole when I blew a 2 footer to win the city championship, then on the first playoff hole saying it again when I sank the 25 footer to win.

          But come on using it on this post simply decreases its value.

        • dash

          It’s pure laziness. Why reach for a thesaurus when one can just use an f-bomb for any needed adjective/adverb/verb/noun/exclamation? Our public square has become the equivalent of a junior high locker room.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            I bet the public square has always had it’s share of expletives. Either that, or humanity has become much more creative in the last 20 years.

            • Ivy Walls

              It has but twitter doesn’t have old English teachers in square toed hard shoes with Dollie’s on the hat smacking the bajeezers out of a fowl mouthed middle schooler. I go with dash, I use it, like when my wife placed a dog dish on the stoop and didn’t tell as she gave me a platter of chicken to grill, When I laid in agony I expressed that word often and loud enough that every small child in the neighborhood could hear it clear as day, and no one not one neighbor who came to my aid thought the worse of it. But to use it as a description of a player’s game, come on—laziness, he needs an old English teacher with a hard shoe.

            • dash

              I’m just saying we’ve reduced our vocabulary to a ridiculous degree. Adults should have the ability to communicate intelligently; in addition to being unnecessarily crass, that tweet is grammatical nonsense.

              • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                “…that tweet is grammatical nonsense.”

                Welcome to Twitter.

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            I appreciate the vulgarity it’s shocking and in your face and Park knows that it gets people talking and it is just a word the is no morality to a word until someone tries to make it a morality issue. The F word is not a slur or an attack on a culture yet people are more offended by it than calling people Redskins. Society as son serious issues (I’m a little sensitive because of the BS going on in Michigan right now).

            But the F word is powerful and slaps people in the face. When I decided to start my multiple sclerosis awareness campaign saying FU MS made do much sense so TeamFUMS was born because it fits.

            The world has so many other things to worry about than how often somebody says FUCK.

        • ssckelley

          I disagree with that, if you are using the F word in a manner that does not describe sex then why not use friggin instead? It would be weird for someone to use friggin instead of the F word when describing having intercourse with someone. I am not a big fan of using “God” or “Jesus”, IMO that is true swearing, so instead I say “goodness” or “doggone”. Although I do admit to being guilty of using jeez, but again I would never say “jeez” if I was talking about the son of god.

          I like friggin, so I am going to friggin use it!

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            Farkety Fark the flippin fark

            Just does’t have the same ring to it but if you need to censor then it’s works.

          • FFP

            That some posters prefer a cheap, Latin-ate derivative of “friction” which implies rubbing in a particular way? (instead of the gold standard?) It fff-figures.

            A crescendo to cheer on an end to MS? Fuck, yes.

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    “If there’s nothing wrong with the name, why go to such great lengths to refer to them as ‘Native Americans’ in your letter? Why not just call them ‘redskins’?”

    Perfect answer for any time the question comes up.

    • WGNstatic

      My thoughts exactly. Brilliant Brett!!

  • J. L.

    “If the Cubs ultimately decide that it’s going to be best for Castro to start the season on the disabled list, his 15-day DL stint can be backdated up to 10 days before the start of the season.”

    But for that to happen he couldn’t take part in a Cactus League game during those 10 days, right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That is my understanding, yes. But the games on Friday and Saturday are “exhibition” games against the Diamondbacks, so I think the Cubs could get away with playing him in those ones – though that’s just educated guessing.

  • King Jeff

    Redskin, as my grandmother explains it, used to mean that that person was one of the warriors of the tribe. It only becomes racist when used by a racist person. If we are getting up in arms about this, then we need to rename Oklahoma(land of the red people) and several other cities and counties across the country for fear of our continued racism.

    • CubFan Paul

      “It only becomes racist when used by a racist person”

      Almost all teams, pro and college with Native American nicknames donate millions collectively to Native American charities and scholarships.

      The only people offended by the nicknames are white people and politicians with agendas (D.C. City Council).

      • WGNstatic

        The notion that this only a cause among white politicians is plain fallacy.

        http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/03/25/outrage-indian-country-redskins-owner-announces-foundation-154153

        It is also worth noting that of of the US Senators most critical of the name is Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, not exactly one of huge more liberal senators. What he is though, is the only Native American senator.

        • CubFan Paul

          “only a cause among white politicians”

          You misread.

          • WGNstatic

            “The only people offended by the nicknames are white people and politicians with agendas (D.C. City Council).”

            This is just not true. Follow Indian Country News and tell me again that the only people offended are white politicians and the DC city council.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett
      • King Jeff
      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        It seems that there is a significant divide on the issue. I highly doubt the nickname was created to be a racial slur but I can see why some folks are upset.

        It’s a tough one for me, while it appears that those who it is directed to are, for the most part, not offended by it, we do need to make sure we don’t offend anyone.

        • Ivy Walls

          WAT?

          “The Rocky Mountain News in 1890 described a war on the whites by ‘every greasy redskin.’ The Denver Daily News the same year reported a rebellion by ‘the most treacherous red skins.’

          The term and its history moved from one of respect and of self description to one where following the Jackson’s Trail of Tears, became synonymous to bounties and trophies.

          If you think that is not a historical racial slur, than why don’t we have teams named after ‘Crackers’ or ‘Japs’ or ‘Micks’, get real.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            I am merely saying that I highly doubt the owner of the team hated a group of people so much that he decided to name his football team after them.

            Generally I try not to associate things I love and work hard to create with things I don’t like. It’d be similar to Brett naming this site based on a derogatory word for the Cardinals.

            It is possible that the original name was meant to be racist and it is possible that the current owner is racist. Lord knows America has and continues to treat Native Americans horribly. I guess the biggest thing about this is the oft-used “If one person is offended, then…” line.

            Redskins used to mean something grand, let’s have that discussion. Let’s talk about the great history Native Americans have. I think a lot of good could be done by keeping the name and using it to promote that grand history rather than trying to abolish it.

            This is a dynamic debate with many sides.

            • WGNstatic

              It’s not that the original names were going out if their way to be racist. Rather it is perhaps a reflection of a culture more willing to accept racism than we live in today. Go back and look at depictions of native Americans from the time that the Redskins name was adopted, you will find that generally, yes, terminology and the depiction of native Americans was pretty derogatory in its caricatures and stereotypes.

              If our society can advance past ingrained racism in other areas of popular culture (black face isn’t exactly accepted anymore) then why can’t our sports teams?

      • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

        But, in the end, it doesn’t really matter. Sounds like the Trademark Office will ban the Redskins from being the Redskins:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/pork-rinds-cant-be-sold-under-trademark-redskins-hog-rinds-agency-rules/2014/01/06/954feea4-7726-11e3-b1c5-739e63e9c9a7_story.html

        • roz

          The PTO can’t force the Redskins to not be called the Redskins anymore, they only decide whether the team can have the trademark “Redskins” for whatever goods and services they want. Of course, there’s a debate as to whether the PTO should have the power to deny otherwise protectable marks on the basis of morality and scandalousness, but that’s a separate issue. Suffice to say, whether the PTO grants the team the mark “Redskins” is a wholly separate issue from whether the Redskins can continue being called the Redskins.

      • King Jeff

        Crud, I didn’t want to post just the link, but it explains that Redskin was coined by some of the different Native American tribes, and that the term is a loose translation of what they told French explorers to call them. Several major Native American tribe leaders have used the word to describe their people. It didn’t become a slur until it was used as slur. I know I’m not going to change a lot of minds with this, but I think it’s important to know that there is a very large percentage of Native Americans, Indians, or whatever general term is used, that find it highly amusing that a country whose politicians stole their people’s land and forced them to reservations is so concerned with hurting their feelings by using an outdated term as a sports team nickname.

        • Jason P

          I agree.

          “There are Native American schools that call their teams Redskins. The term is used affectionately by some natives, similar to the way the N-word is used by some African-Americans. In the only recent poll to ask native people about the subject, 90 percent of respondents did not consider the term offensive, although many question the cultural credentials of the respondents.”

          http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/10/08/how-many-native-americans-think-redskins-is-a-slur/

          • roz

            So I assume you would be ok with a team called the Chicago Niggers?

            • King Jeff

              When was the last time you heard or saw a Native American being called a redskin, in a derogatory manner or otherwise? I have Blackfoot and Sioux relatives and I’ve never heard the term used anywhere but the sports field and history books.

              • roz

                I hear the word nigger used more in an “affectionate” context or however you want to characterize it, more than a slur, but that doesn’t make it right. All I’m saying is that simply because it is used in a non-disparaging context doesn’t mean it’s all right to use as a team name. There may be more to the story that makes it ok, but simply just because it’s not as prevalent now as it might have been once doesn’t mean we should use it.

                • King Jeff

                  My point is, the origin of the word isn’t disparaging, and that it’s current iteration as a team nickname isn’t meant to be disparaging. If we are going to stop using a term because it was at one time used as a slur, then there are a lot of words and phrases we need to stop using. The next time you hear peanut gallery, hip hip hooray, calling a spade a spade, or someone called uppity, then they should be considered deragotory. I guess it’s time to ban Eenie meenie miney moe, too.

            • Pat

              BAN ALL THE WORDS!!!

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Nah. That would be like banning all of the commenters, rather than merely the ones who are thoughtless and unnecessarily combative.

  • PejaO42

    Brett, would you be okay with the Washington Native American’s as a nickname? I am a big Blackhawks fan (and I am sure there are many of us here) and I don’t see that name changing, or the best jersey in sports, changing any time soon. I understand redskin is offensive, just curious what your solution to a new nickname would be

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “Blackhawk” isn’t a derogatory slur, so that ends that parallel for me.

      My alma mater, Miami University, used to be the Redskins, and now they’re the Redhawks. That change worked fine for me. The Washington football team could really go any route like that they wanted. The Washington Native Americans might not be as offensive as “Redskins,” but it’s kind of stupid. The Washington Anglo-Saxons. The Washington African Americans. The Washington Spanish People.

      • PejaO42

        They could become the Washington Politicians and then everyone would REALLY hate them

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Heh. And they’d never really win any games, they’d just hold onto the ball as long as possible so that neither team can win.

          (But we probably shouldn’t go down this road … )

          • Nate

            The Washington Filibusters

        • JakeMac

          There’s been some pretty cool ideas/logos tossed out there recently. I personally like the Warriors option listed in the link here.

          http://fansided.com/2013/10/08/washington-redskins-alternate-names-logos-photos/#!Bi8cw

        • DocPeterWimsey

          There was some support for the Nats being called the Filibusters (among many possibilities). However, the fact that the filibuster was a major tool of racist senators for years was one of the reasons given for why they would never seriously entertain that idea.

          I thought that the Gerrymanders would be a great name. They could have had a mascot salamander with a nickname of …. wait for it…. Fred.

      • WGNstatic

        I liked PETAs idea that they stay the redskins, but switch their mascot to a red potato.

        • DarthHater

          Too offensive to the baking potato community.

      • roz

        I’m with you on this one Brett. I graduated from the University of Illinois, and while I used to be fine with Chief Illiniwek, I realize now that it really wasn’t done properly and it probably should have been ended when it was. I think a Native American mascot can be done properly, like in Florida State’s case, but it definitely wasn’t at Illinois.

        • JCubs79

          What about Chief Illiniwek wasn’t done properly? It was a traditional Native American dance that was taught to the Chief by Native Americans and was meant to honor Native American culture and tradition.

          FSU’s mascot is far more offensive to Native Americans then Chief Illiniwek was. The guy rides a horse with a flaming spear into the stadium. The only reason that’s allowed is due to money.

          • BT

            I’m a U of I alum, and I used to think the Cheif was OK until someone made this analogy. Would it be OK if, at halftime, a college student came out dressed as a priest, and pretended to serve communion to a bunch of people dressed as churchgoers? Even if they were taught the correct way to do it? And it was done to “honor” Christians?

            Feigning a religious ceremony is feigning a religious ceremony. It seems kind of absurd in that light.

            • JCubs79

              Sure, It’s the exact same concept. It’s completely ok. Literally, zero offense should be taken from it.

              • BT

                OK, try it out, let me know how it goes. I’m sure there will be tons of people NOT offended by it. Just for kicks, make sure the kid dressing as the priest is clearly Muslim or Jewish or Buddhist, etc, so all the Christians in the crowd can be certain the person performing the ritual is not actually a member of the faith he is “honoring”. I’m sure that will offend them even less.

          • roz

            This is from the Wikipedia page on Chief Illiniwek:

            “Ron Froman was later elected Chief, by which time his views on the Chief Illiniwek symbol had changed. His opinions shifted following meetings with American Indian students attending the University. In April 2000, the tribal council, with Chief Froman’s support, passed by the margin of 3 to 2 a resolution requesting “the leadership of the University of Illinois to recognize the demeaning nature of the characterization of Chief Illiniwek, and cease use of this mascots [sic]“. Froman said, “I don’t know what the origination was, or what the reason was for the university to create Chief Illiniwek. I don’t think it was to honor us, because, hell, they ran our (butts) out of Illinois.” This puts Chief Illiniwek in a position different from that of the mascots of other schools such as Florida State University, whose American Indian mascots are not opposed by the leadership of the corresponding tribes. In 2005, a new Chief, John P. Froman, when asked his position by the NCAA, indicated that “the Chief was not representative of our tribe and culture, mainly because the costume is Sioux.” In 2006, in response to a widely published column by journalist George Will in support of the symbol’s use, he wrote a letter reiterating the Peoria Tribe’s opposition to the symbol and decrying that the “University of Illinois has ignored the tribe’s request for nearly five years.’”

            I’m also pretty sure that at some point, the tribe asked for the regalia to be returned to them and it wasn’t. My main point is that while I think it was initially done to try and honor them, it transformed into something that wasn’t all that honorable. Also, the fact that you have white students dressing up in Native American regalia is somewhat disconcerting.

            The difference with FSU is that as far as I’m aware, FSU has the full backing of the Seminole Tribe.

            • JCubs79

              The Seminole tribe gets paid, I believe, a million dollars a year by FSU to use their mascot.

              Why should white students dressing up in Native American regalia and performing a part of a culture that has long been forgotten be disconcerting? People are way too sensitive about things that really don’t matter.

              • roz

                You really can’t see what’s disconcerting about a white student dressing up in Native American regalia and doing a Native American dance without the support of the tribe that the student is supposed to be honoring?

                You know, I try not to be too much of a social justice warrior PC-police type, but this one seems obvious to me. I don’t think it’s that hard to see why trying to emulate a culture that you are not part of without the support of that culture is not a good idea.

      • boomindanny

        i didn’t know you were a redhawk, brett. love & honor. from miami’s perspective, i really really prefer their old mascot’s logo and history (the name is disgusting); it is a super old university and, while not a sporting powerhouse, a lot of cool things happened with their redskins’ moniker. having said that, changing a name does nothing to degrade or take anything away from the history of the franchise/college/team/whatever. miami changed their name to the redhawks and continued to capitalize by selling ‘vintage’ sweat shirts and other apparel showing their old logo (logo, without the name). dan snyder is the sort of money hungry sociopath that will surely find this appealing. i bet they change their name by 2020.

    • modje03

      It is a hockey sweater, not jersey. Sorry I am a big hockey junkie and that is one of my biggest sport pet peeves. No disrespect!

  • Darth Ivy

    Wouldn’t changing the name be good for business? A bunch of fans would buy new merchandise. And it’s not like the rebranding will confuse people as to what the new team is. If anything, it would be a huge news story and bring more attention the team than ever before

    • jp3

      Not necessarily, that’s part of the reason they don’t want to change it, branding. Branding is everything and right or wrong it’s one of the most recognizable teams in any sport.

      • Darth Ivy

        Makes sense. I’m no marketing expert

  • Chad

    There are a lot of those meatballs on this board. Theo must be an avid reader. If so, Theo, I would like to apply for a position in the cubs R&D department (I’m sort of qualified).

    Moving on. I don’t believe it is up to me to determine if the term redskin is offensive or racist. It doesn’t offend me, but I’m white. I don’t believe that it (like the indians) is meant to be offensive or racist like King Jeff stated. But if the native americans say we believe it is offensive and racist we would like you to change your name, then yes it should be changed. I’m not saying this is the case here, but people in this generation are just looking for things to call offensive and try to force change. Find a cause. Most of it is not meant that way or had no intent of being taken that way and was innocently stated or placed.
    I don’t care if the redskins name gets changed or not, either way it has no effect on me, but asking those that it may offend what their opinion is, is probably the best way to figure out what needs to happen.

  • mjhurdle

    When do we start the campaign to stop Notre Dame from using their derogatory slur for Irish people?

    • FFP

      Hey, I am Irish and you can take that back;
      Or we can just step outside.

      • Darth Ivy

        I’m half jewish and half italian. I’ll calculate the odds of this fight then pull out my knife and cut you both.

        • mjhurdle

          ha! that made me choke at my desk trying not to spit coffee on my keyboard.

          now everyone in the office is looking at me strangely…

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          I’m German and Native American…so I’ll just spend my time oppressing myself.

          • Darth Ivy

            that’ll make you go blind

            • JB88

              That earned a legit LOL.

        • DarthHater

          I’m half Italian and half Polish. I’ll pull out my knife and stab you with the wrong end of it.

          • Darth Ivy

            hahahaha

          • Jason P

            +1

        • ssckelley

          I am german, irish, french, with a little redskin (oops, I mean native american)……I will…uhhhhh…..DO SOMETHING!

          Probably just have a beer, my irish side usually takes over in situations like this.

    • Brocktoon

      Notre dame is run by the Irish

    • BT

      I’d say “fighting” in that context isn’t derogatory. It’s similar to “battling”.

  • Darth Ivy

    If baby bears have been willing to put up with THIS team for 100 years, c’mon. What’s more offense than this team over the last century?

  • CubsFaninMS

    Raw f****s can be very dangerous. Hoping Lake can be the same.

    • Darth Ivy

      are there any under-the-radar power guys out there who tend not to get drafted?

      Ibanez?
      Byrd?
      Dunn?
      Carter?

    • Darth Ivy

      oops, sorry, I meant to make that a reply to my own comment

  • Darth Ivy

    extremely random comment/rhetorical question of the day brought to you by boredom at work:

    Why is my fantasy team on a 12 deep league better than my team on the 10 team league?

    OK, real qustion: I could use a little more power. Drop Ben Revere (my last pick) for Chris Carter? I already have pretty good batting average.

    • Diggs

      Pick up Baez and stash him.

      • Darth Ivy

        another guy drafted him. I was gonna do that, anyway.

  • Spoda17

    What’s the date Baez can be called up to avoid the super II status..?

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      Mid July.

      However, based on the only other example the Cubs have with this, Super-Two won’t be an issue unless they feel Baez isn’t ready until close to that date (at that point, a couple weeks is enough to wait it out).

  • Javier Bryant

    Rangers looking to add 2B depth

  • Cubbie in NC

    Brett I love you, and your articles.

    But I am not sure how the Redskins bullet is applicable to the Cubs? Are you trying to get a gig at ESPN?

    Let’s try to keep our big boy pants on and not get offended by nicknames of the Indians, Braves logo, Vikings, Notre Dame so nobody’s feelings get accidentally hurt.

    • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

      There are a couple social issues that Brett brings to light every so often. When he does, we generally have the same non-Cubs discussion every time.

      I find it fun. In general, BN is a great commenting community and I use these discussions to re-evaluate my opnions on those matters and discuss them. Generally, smart discussion happens and we are all no worse for the wear.

      • DarthHater

        “Generally, smart discussion happens…”

        Not if I have anything to say about it. :-P

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          What is it, would you say, that you do around here?

          • Myles P

            Laughed at this.

          • mjhurdle

            [img]http://s11.postimg.org/4rtsmzb77/OSpacve.jpg[/img]

      • Cubbie in NC

        Thanks for the historical perspective Hansman.

        This is a place that I go to to try to avoid these serious conversations.

        It is up to the individual as to the connotation they want to take from a word or a nickname.

        It seems as though there is a double standard as to what culturally it is ok to disparage and what it is not ok to disparage. I am tired of where the current focus is and believe the arguments against the name is more about bullying than actual intentions of the nickname.

        • BT

          “It is up to the individual as to the connotation they want to take from a word or a nickname. ”

          That’s not remotely true.

          • Cubbie in NC

            Explain the N word to me then. Racist in some contexts but not in others??

            Why would an owner call his team something that he thought was disparaging to his own team?

            • BT

              It’s not up to the individual. That’s asinine. If I want to call my team “The Money Grubbing Jews” then say “sorry if you find that offensive but I don’t”, I don’t get a free pass. And I don’t get to blame “sensitive” Jews for getting upset about it.

              If you’re argument is that a word is not offensive 100 percent of the time to 100 percent of people, then congrats, I suppose. That doesn’t mean the connotation is up to the user.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      My pants are sufficiently-sized. Sometimes, I share sports-related social thoughts in the Bullets. As Bobby Brown might say, “I can do what I want to do. It’s my prerogative.”

      That said, I do keep those points extremely rare (how long has it been since the last one? a month? that’d be about 200 posts ago), and it’s confined to the Bullets. We’ll all survive.

      • Cubbie in NC

        After reading the financial piece you put together you are entitled to a few non sequiturs…

      • ssckelley

        You old enough for Bobby Brown?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Old enough to hear that line in my head over and over again for some reason.

  • https://twitter.com/LouHemp beerhelps

    If you are having a debate whether or not a word is racist, it’s probably racist.

    Just saying.

    • Cubbie in NC

      Is there a nickname that you can think of that somebody cannot think of a ridiculous argument against?

      • ssckelley

        No, once these activists take care of one “issue” then they will be on to something else. If the animal rights activists go after animal names I am going to be screwed since Hawkeyes, Cubs, Bears, and Bulls are my favorite teams.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          There is a big difference: bears won’t complain about the Cubs. Native Americans do complain (and quite bitterly) about this.

          And, yes, then it’s time to move on to the next issue. They are myriad, after all: humans have been pretty reprehensible throughout most of their history.

          • ssckelley

            But my bigger point was, which you seemed to miss, is when does this stop? So these people who object to the team name Redskin be satisfied if it got changed or would they move on to something else like some of our state names? Someone brought up Oklahoma earlier, the state I live in (Iowa) is named after native americans.

            • Kyle

              Slippery slope fallacy.

              • Pat

                Slippery slope is hardly a fallacy. Just look at the expanse of seizure of assets from when it started with dealers.

                • DocPeterWimsey

                  The slippery slope fallacy refers not to the slippery slope itself, but to the false equation of A and B. Gay marriage = bestiality was cited below: however, one deals with two consent adults whereas the other does not, so they are not equatable. Native Americans = bears is another. However, the former can (and does) take issue with being treated as a mascot, the latter cannot and does not. (Should bears prove my assumption wrong, then I will apologize and lobby on their behalf.)

                  Here is an example of both the slippery slope fallacy and a true slippery slope. If we legalize gay marriage, then we legalize pedophilia. This falsely equates actions of two consenting adults with an adult abusing a minor: the slippery slope fallacy. Ah: but what is a “minor?” Well, the purpose behind the laws is to prevent child abuse: but is a 17 year old really a child? A 16 year old? Not legally in our society, but they usually are physically mature, and historically they were considered adults. Well, how about emotionally? Cognitively? Well, it’s a distribution: some are and some are not: just as some 18 year olds are and some are not. This becomes a slippery slope because some 16 year olds are more mature than some 19 year olds: so, an absolute (if arbitrary) line is used.

                  The true problem is the use of unsound premises in the logic. If we dismiss Native Americans as nothing more than bears, the the logic is valid: but it’s very unsound because they are a lot more than bears.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              It stops when people stop taking it as a personal insult.

              As for naming a place after the people who live (or lived) there, that is hardly new. Naming a country after a nation is quite old. (And, yes, country and nation are very different things.)

              • ssckelley

                Ok, so it never ends. Which is what I said in the first place.

                • BT

                  No, it does end. Which is not what you said, and is what doc said. IF animal rights activists start complaining about calling a team the “Cubs”, or IF Native Americans are mad I work in “Chicago”, you’ll have a point. Until then, as Kyle said, you are simply using a slippery slope to make a poor argument.

                  • Cubbie in NC

                    Are you saying that the Redskins are the first or the last entity that will need to change their name to not hurt anyone’s sensibilities?

                  • ssckelley

                    BT, it will never end people will always find something to take offense to. While my example is a little extreme it was meant to show how ridicules this can get.

                    • DocPeterWimsey

                      But there is a huge difference: your argument works only on the tacit premise that Native Americans and Bears can somehow be lumped together. They cannot. The issue is not whether a honky like me gets offended: the issue is whether Native Americans do. They’ve made it pretty clear that they do. (“I know one how doesn’t” is like saying “I know a woman who is taller than some men, so I don’t know how you can say that most women are shorter than men.”)

                      If bears start complaining, then I will be the first to side with them. As it is, I’m more worried about saving them from being a coelocanth reference.

                    • Pat

                      I think the issue is more one whether making sure no one is ever offended by anything should be a priority. It’s just a word. Words have no more power than what you allow them.

                    • ssckelley

                      Doc, this is getting stupid and you are taking this way off course. You love to make a stand against minor points completely glossing over what someone is saying just because “technically” it is not correct. My word you would not be doing the internet any justice if you did not point it out to them and slapped them in the face with it.

                      Technically the post you responded to never mentioned native american, I said “people”. I am partially native american so I would think that term is too broad of a stroke since not all native americans take offense to this (my grandma didn’t give a crap about an NFL football team being called the Redskins) just like not all white people are not taking offense to it. Instead of “people” I probably should have said “human interest” or “human rights” groups because then my comparison to animal rights groups would be spot on.

                      Based on your argument animal cruelty should be allowed since we have never heard or seen a cat or a dog object to it.

                    • Cubbie in NC

                      Pat and Doc I think that you are both right. Nobody wants names to exist that are hurtful to a race or gender.

                      But I think that there are some questions as to where to draw the line and if the claims are based on a culture being damaged or other motives.

                    • blublud

                      I believe there was a poll that showed that most Native Americans didn’t care one way or another. And numerous polls that show that upwards of 70% of Americans don’t wanna it changed.

              • mjhurdle

                How many people need to be offended for it to matter?
                Clearly not every Native American is offended by the Redskin name.
                So is it a simple majority? or if 20% are offended? maybe just 10%?
                It is very easy to say ‘until people stop taking it as an insult’, but it is almost impossible to define a practical application of that.
                Looking back to Notre Dame, their mascot name ‘Fighting Irish” is an admittedly derogatory term towards Irish and Catholic people. That term was created for the sole purpose of demeaning a group of people based solely on their religion and heritage.
                Notre Dame makes the argument that they embraced the negative and choose to make it a positive. Is that any different than the Redskins saying that they don’t view that name as an insult? Simply because a bunch of people at a college decided than the term ‘Fighting Irish” shouldn’t be insulting anymore, does that make it ok?
                And if not, why are we picking and choosing which offensive names we will campaign against, and which are just harmless?

                I have no problem with people attempting to change the Redskins name. It is just funny to see everyone throw around these vague statements like ‘until people stop taking it as a personal insult’ without truly qualifying what that means.

                • ssckelley

                  I don’t know the percentage but I know if you form a group to protest something and get enough people involved you can create a stir on just about anything.

                • blublud

                  As a descendant of the names McAdoo(Irish) and Inola(Cherokee) and as a black man, the words “Fighting Irish” “Redskin” and ” N*gg*r” don’t offend me because they don’t define me as a person. I think people get to caught up in what other people feel and think about them that they allow peoples words or sayings to offend them. None of these words should offend you unless you associate YOURSELF with them.

                  But maybe I just think different.

                  • Greenroom

                    I can see where you are coming from. But those terms are tied to history. A history of horrible atrocities in the name of racial superiority and power. Power to define and therein “better or worse” “good or bad”. Tough to simply say “hey those words do not define you, it doesn’t matter” yet, they are very much tied to structural inequality, discrimination and prejudice and history. Empathy is a good thing. none of us live the same lives, but it is important not to discount people’s lives. the self arises through interactions with others, both cognitively and socially. Tough to discount how these terms were constructed and how the meaning of these terms benefited people who defined these terms and their implications for opportunities and so much more. peace~

            • Norm

              Or in the words of the Republicans, “Where does it stop after gay marriage? What’s to stop people from wanting to marry animals next?”

              • Cubbie in NC

                Have there been any court cases using gay marriage as a case for polygamy?

  • Fastball

    Not offended by the term redskins. My spouse is Cherokee and she could care less. It’s not being used in a derogatory fashion or phrase. It’s just a logo so who cares but the white liberals who have to make everything an issue in the arena of political correctness. Stop worrying about being so F-ing politically correct. Focus on being a walking HR violation. LOL.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Except, of course, for the many Native Americans who do find this offensive, and who have been complaining about these things for decades…..

      • Greenroom

        Exactly. The problem I am seeing here. Is people are confusing their personal or individual identity with structural and macro- level inequality. A lot of people on here are using “I am not offended.” “my grandmother is not offended”…”why should you”. The construction to racial and ethnic labels is tied to power and opportunities, in the simplest sense. While one tribe has no issue with the term, another one does. While you personally have no issue, the term is racist in its origin. Racism = the belief in biological definitions tied to a person’s skin color (definitions of superior/inferior tied to biology, skin color). Skin color does not predict your intelligence any more than eye color. We would not accept a team entitled the Cleveland “N’s” or Chicago Whitey’s. regardless of your personal opinion, the word is racist in origin. Regardless of whether some Native Americans know certain parts of history that are tied to its origin or not, is irrelevant. We as society should aspire to be better than this. Simply discounting the word as non offensive is not being realistic about history and the level of social problems that pervade Native American nations. One way we could help to construct a more positive identity for some Native Americans is to get rid of this name. this term should be best left to a racial past, that the majority of people should not forget, but not say it is “no big deal”.

        • Greenroom

          Edit. damn mac’s

        • blublud

          My point is I don’t care if it’s racist. Thats his right. Now could there be economical backlash, resulting in a loss of revenue for Gilbert? Yes, it’s possible, though numbers don’t show that. He owns the team, he would have to deal with that if it happens. Everyone is never going to shares the same views. If you don’t like it or his view, don’t support his product. If you think the NFL should make him change it, then don’t watch football until they do. It’s pretty simple.

          • Greenroom

            I get your point but we as a society should aspire for better.

  • http://www.rotochamp.com/baseball/TeamPage.aspx?Team=CHC RotoChamp

    Loved this quote from Kyle Hendricks, especially the 2nd sentence:

    “My best moment on the mound may have been getting Adrian Gonzalez out on a pretty soft ground ball. I faced Yasiel Puig all last year in the minors in Chattanooga. I knew how to pitch him. “

  • cking6178

    Grrrrr….why did you have to go all political here Brett?? Why are we so concerned with offending people? I understand the concept of being polite and such, but our country is drowning in PC…For Godsake’s we can’t even say Merry Christmas to someone without fear of offending them…I don’t condone the use of racial slurs, but as many others have pointed out – Redskins was actually coined as term for warriors…so what if our ancestors were ignorant and used it as a racial slur, we’ve progressed beyond that now and nobody I know uses the term redskins as a racial slur….if they were the Washington N-bombs, then there would be something to talk about bc that was & always has been a term used to oppress a race of people and it’s flat out despicable that it is still in use…and even more appalling that most of it’s use is found in pop-culture…

    Can we please stick to baseball? You do a fantastic job of keeping me in the loop on the goings on with the Cubs and I really appreciate the lost productivity at work (though my manager may not)….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If it’s tied to sports (or, sometimes, even if it’s not), I am pretty open to discussing it in the Bullets, particularly if it’s something on which I have a strong opinion.

      The good news is I keep it pretty localized there, and it’s *really* rare. But sometimes I just have to say what’s on my mind.

  • NorthSideIrish

    Parks posted more notes from the backfield on BP this morning about Almora, Baez, Villanueva, Lake, and Lendy Castillo (one of these things is not like the others)

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23116

    Says Lake’s ceiling is a 30-30 guy but obviously unlikely to reach that. Also some excellent notes on Almora’s defense.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cubman87 cubman87

    Don’t know if anyone saw this, but Brett got a pretty good shoutout in this article (as usual this was probably already talked about and i missed it) http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-insider/2014/03/by-demoting-javier-baez-cubs-perform-mythical-meta-wedgie/

  • Stu

    It’s interesting how PC this site has become with the Native American reference.

    Having actually spent time on a reservation here in Arizona, there are misunderstandings all over the place. Do you know:

    Reservation Land is not a “separate nation”, but federal “trust” land. Laws that apply to us don’t always apply to them.

    Native Americans abused each other way before we screwed them over. Read up on the Apache Tribe.

    Casino tribes do not help non-casino tribes economically. There is a large discrepancy in living standards among themselves.

    There are other facts that can put a lot of grey into the plight of the average Native American. I am actually surprised by the easy characterizations by a commentator who goes out of his way to always put nuances/benefit of the doubt on the Chicago Cubs Corporation when they make decisions. Interesting.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      The points you make and the parallel you draw (apparently between providing explanation for the things the Cubs do, and between providing explanation for why a racial slur is unnecessary and inappropriate) both strange, and – if I’m reading you correctly – disparaging.

      If that’s the entirety of what you believe, I’m fairly satisfied to know how strongly we disagree.

  • ibcnu2222

    Just rename them the Washington Native Americans.

  • blublud

    My view on the Redskin thing is if you dont like it, dont support the team, buy merchandise or go to the games. If it bothers you, dont support them. Simple as that. I have had this convo with people here before. This is America. People have a right to be racist, if that’s what you want to call it as long as it not the government who we all pay taxes to. Also, people have a right to speak out about it, I just dont see the point in wasting my voice over it. As long as no one is physically hurting anyone, why worry about. Either way, Gilbert has the final say. I dont support the Redskins, though my mother is from DC, so my opinion does not and should not matter. Just like people have a right to be gay or straight, anti or pro something, educated or uneducated, employed or unemployed and many others things. He has a right to name his team what he wants. If you dont like it, boycott his product and keep it moving.

  • cubmig

    I didn’t have to read beyond your introductory paragraph to comment. Simply said, your analysis of Dan Snyder’s mindset is right. Imo, Dan Snyder’s interest is $$$, not a people. Historical cultural changes in the country appear to have had no bearing on that mindset. If it had, the name change would have come long ago. As for the foundation being planned, it’s simply salt in the wound. It’s money used to continue abuse in the most nuanced way.

    My note to Mr. Snyder: Change the Washington’s football team’s name and be done with it. The name does NOT make the team. The team makes the name and MORE importantly, the reputation it carries.

  • C. Steadman

    My college mascot is the Trolls…do we have to change it so we don’t offend some of the people that post here?

    • ssckelley

      No, I am honored by the mascot. :D

      • C. Steadman

        I wouldn’t label you as a troll. Your arguments are intellectual and you back it with facts.

  • Stu

    My point is that many Native Americans are not necessarily victims that need special protection from the word “Redskins”. The fact that many tribes were warriors who were savages themselves is factual.

    The parallel that I was trying to make is your arguments try to put a different spin on The Cubs than many in the press try to portray them as.

  • Brocktoon

    The reason Theo couldn’t say meatball was because he was talking to the king of them.

  • lnfihDeL

    I have to disagree about the Redskins name, which is perfectly fine as were both grown adults with differing opinions. If we change the Redskins name, we also have to change the name of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is Choctaw for “red skin.”

    Too much PC for me.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      As you will.

      While we’re on the subject, I’ve never understood or appreciated the term “politically correct.” It suggests that the position being taken is based on something less than an honestly-held belief. I think “redskin” is an unnecessary slur, and I don’t think it should be the glib nickname of a football team. I don’t give a floppy shit about being “politically correct.” I just care about being a version of myself that I consider kind and thoughtful.

      • lnfihDeL

        Fair point.

  • auggie

    This is what pisses me off about MLB teams and especially the Cubs. Immediately the Cubs said that Castro’s hamstring injury was not as severe as the one he suffered last season and he would only a few days to recover. Now they are taking about putting him on the 15 day DL.

    This reminds me of the the time the Cubs said Prior and Wood just needed a few days to recover and didn’t pitch until around the all star break. Although different GMs we get the same lies.

    • Edwin

      Maybe some injuries are just tough to predict recovery for, since the extent and healing time can be different in each case.

    • lnfihDeL

      Have you ever pulled your hamstring?

      it’s the most frustrating muscle to pull.

      It can feel fine, and than yell at you the next day.

      • C. Steadman

        and it plays games with your mind too, you’re constantly thinking about it once you start trying to run full speed again…it’s the hardest injury to give a time table

        • Brocktoon

          I had a tear 4 years back that I started to question when I could run again. Made for a frustrating 16 inch season

  • cubmig

    Something to think about.

    ” The name an owner gives a race horse tells more about the owner than it does about the horse.” (source unknown)

    • blublud

      Exactly. I couldn’t agree more.

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