Cleveland Rocks

Don't make my city's culture your culture war.

Leading The Bulwark…

America’s Imperfect Founding

GEORGE THOMAS: To insist that the founding was perfect is at odds with what the founders themselves thought and wrote in the Federalist Papers.

Join now


Today’s soundtrack: Coldplay discovers Pink Floyd.


We’re getting straight to OVERTIME today. Long time readers know why: My beloved Cleveland Indians changed their name today, and it’s the talk of social media.


My rule was: Unless they picked the Spiders, I’d keep my mind open. Otherwise, I was going to decamp to the Cardinals. My wife grew up in St. Louis, my family is from there, and I went to college there. Thankfully, they didn’t pick the Spiders.

While, if I owned the team, I would have kept the name Indians, I give the Dolans (not exactly the best owners in sports) a B for their rebranding. But it’s worth remembering that I do not own the Cleveland Indians.

A few thoughts:

  • After years of transitioning from Chief Wahoo to the Block C, why change it? Silly. The Block C was fine. The new one is OK, but unnecessary.

  • Keeping the color scheme was a good idea. Changing that would have likely been abhorrent.

  • Picking Guardians over Spiders was a smart move. Yes, there is history in the Spiders. But it’s not great! People from Cleveland know the Lorain-Carnegie bridge, and they appreciate the guardians on it. People not from Cleveland don’t appreciate the new name, and they can go fly a kite. Because they don’t know. Cleveland sports are an insular culture. Picking something we appreciate makes more sense than picking something some twit sportswriter, politician, or pundit would have liked. (I’m thinking of Rich Lowry, Ted Cruz, and Josh Mandel, who I have never seen sporting Indians gear, when Sherrod Brown is just a Google search away.)

  • Picking Guardians, with its ending in “ians” and keeping the swoop makes sense. The font is a bit more “crooked” which is an homage to the Cuyahoga River and old Indians branding, so fans wearing old jerseys will largely blend in. Plus, the dot of the “I” in Guardians can be viewed as a nod to the outline of the state of Ohio (which has two baseball teams) or Chief Wahoo. Think of it as a rorschach test.

  • I disagree with JVL that going with the crooked letters in Guardians is a bad font change, but agree that there was no reason to change the CLEVELAND away jerseys. That seems stupid. Keep it blocked.

  • The Gs sandwiching a baseball make no sense and should be killed with fire. It looks ridiculous, but consider its justification. You can’t switch an entire franchise’s branding to a Works Progress Administration bridge and not justify it without any reference. I drove over that bridge twice a day for years. Clevelanders know. And if you’re from the West Side (if so, I am sorry), that’s your gateway to the ballpark.

Also, did you know Tom Hanks, who narrated the name change, got his start in acting in Cleveland? As much as I would have preferred they remain the Indians, I’m just giving you my opinion as a lifetime fan. The other people are just posturing. And they can go fly a kite.

“This is our team, that stood with our city for more than a century,” Hanks narrates. Cleveland natives are very defensive of their city. While I may have preferred the Indians, I will gladly be a Guardian against posers like Ted Cruz, Rich Lowry, Donald Trump (who tried and failed to buy the Indians). Sad!

That is why it is a good name. There was no winning scenario here, and that’s why the Dolans get a B. I did get a kick out of all of the outrage from the “coastal elites” about a baseball team name. Get out more, elites.

Some more background on “Guardians” Which you’ll see here. The Lorain-Carnegie Bridge goes from Progressive Field to the near west side, where my high school is and my sister lives. The bridge really is a big thing for Cleveland types.

On a related note…

Cui bono? Kevin D. Williamson has thoughts about the 1/6 commission. #gametheory.

Will she walk it back? Time will tell for Gov. Kay Ivey.

It’s time to speak up… As Greg Sargent argues, compellingly.

🎧 On the Pods… 🎧

Laura K. Field: What the Hell Happened to the Claremont Institute?

On today's podcast Charlie Sykes talks with Laura K. Field about her recent Bulwark article: "What The Hell Happened To the Claremont Institute?"

Talking About Race Respectfully

Ted Johnson joins the panel to talk about his book: "When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America." Is racism structural? Is it an existential threat?

AFV: Who's ready to hang out in the woods! (Season 4, Episodes 3 & 4)

Join now

For Bulwark+ Members… 🔐

MORNING SHOTS: It Was Never About "Backing the Blue" 🔐

CHARLIE SYKES: Kinzinger, Cheney, Riggleman, Oh my.

THE TRIAD: The New Cleveland Logos Are an Abomination 🔐

Graphic design is JVL’s passion.

SECRET PODCAST: The Unwritten Rules 🔐

The human poison pill, the anti-vaxx holdouts, and baseball.

From The Bulwark Aggregator…

Join now

In Today’s Bulwark...

Olympic Gymnasts, Black Widow, and How We Train Our Girls

LEAH LIBRESCO SARGEANT: Cruelty and dehumanizing discipline in search of great skill and talent.

Can National Solidarity Solve Our Race Problems?

MONA CHAREN: New book is an invitation to grapple with the lasting impact of centuries of racism.

Ivermectin Shows Us the Consequences of Politicized Science

JOHN HAVLIK, PRANAM DEY, AND HOWARD P. FORMAN: Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine.

M. Night Shyamalan's 'Old' Review

SONNY BUNCH on how useful is Netflix's data?

Join now

That’s it for me for today. We’ll see you back here on Monday. Tech support questions? Email Questions for me? Drop me a line:


Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.