A new report from The New York Times states that an announcement of Cleveland’s intent to drop their “Indians” moniker could come as early as this week.
The report cites multiple anonymous sources and mostly echoes what Terry Pluto reported shortly before the 2020 season began: Cleveland will announce that it is dropping the Indians name, but won’t have a new name ready to go by the 2021 season. Instead, they may go with “Baseball Club” or “Baseball Team”, similar to what NFL’s Washington team did when they changed their name prior to this season. Or, as another anonymous source suggested, they may just stay as the “Indians” for another year.
The New York Times also notes, correctly, that changing a team name is no small feat. There are considerations beyond just the name on a scoreboard — including countless supply chain manufacturers and legal issues with a new identity. But that does not excuse Cleveland for taking this long, and it does not excuse them from not having something ready to go for a new season as opposed to being caught nameless for a year like Washington.
By the most charitable estimates, the organization should have known this was inevitable for at least half a decade — if not much, much longer.
But this is at least a first step towards doing the right thing.