On Friday, the face of Cleveland Baseball changed forever. In a move that was announced back in December, baseball fans in the Buckeye State now have a new mascot to root for:
So, there you have it…the Cleveland Guardians. Predictably, the internet remained undefeated, and roasted the changed the appropriate amount, as can be seen here, here, and here.
I’m not here to argue the merits of changing the name or not, because whatever stance you have at this point is not going to change. What I am here to discuss is the above-linked video the team put out on their socials announcing the name.
Total mess of a production. I supposed a good starting point is the fact that their social media handles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all still include the very word this entire name change is about. If we’re making the change, the handles have to be updated before the announcement is made. Posting what’s meant to be a powerful statement changing your team’s former identity while the politically charged word is still your handle is just a brutal look. It’d be like, hypothetically telling a trusting group of followers to “be happy with what you have” while sitting in a 17,000 foot mansion, driving a Ferrari, flying in your personal jet, hoarding a $4.4 million PPP Loan, and having a net worth of $100 million. Again, just a hypothetical, but could you imagine being so dense?
Secondly, we all love Tom Hanks; he’s America’s dad for a reason. But, I’m having some trouble finding the connection between TH and the city of Cleveland. The Black Keys provided the music, which makes sense; they hail from Akron. But Tom Hanks?
Well, according to cleveland.com, a seemingly reliant source on the matter, Hanks’ “ties to Cleveland go back to 1977 when he landed his first professional job as an intern at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival…[t]he actor became a huge Indians fan during that time.” OK, fair enough. I just think that a proud, Midwestern city like Cleveland could’ve better used one of its own instead of one of the most popular movie stars on the planet who, by the way, hails from Concord, California.
The state of Ohio boasts a pretty impressive list of celebrities and entertainers who could have nailed the voice over assignment here. Again taking from cleveland.com; how does Halle Berry, Drew Carey, or Terrence Howard sound, Cleveland? If that doesn’t do it for you, how about Arsenio Hall, Trent Reznor, or Wes Craven? No go there? Does Steve Harvey, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, or Ed O’Neill tickle your fancy? If none of those work, you have to believe Kid Cudi, Tracy Chapman, or Kathryn Hahn would have done the trick.
What’s done is done. The name, logo, and video are all out for Cleveland baseball fans to enjoy. Maybe the next time a team with an insensitive name changes, their social media team doesn’t drop the ball like the Guardians did. Until then, let the useless Twitter arguments and dumpster fire comment sections on politics in sports continue to rage until we’re all blue in the face and we’ve solved nothing.