Cleveland’s baseball team came just short of ending their own extremely long title drought, but they’ll have to wait until next year to have another shot at it. Here at this particular site, we normally give you a look at the “phantom” champions merchandise that never gets used. Concurrently, that merchandise normally makes its way to third-world countries or places in need of clothing.
Well, Major League Baseball is doing things a little bit differently this year. The AP is reporting that MLB has asked retailers to give them back the merchandise — not so that they can sell it themselves, but so that they can destroy it. Here’s the official reason why:
MLB says it has opted to destroy the items this year in order to “protect the team from inaccurate merchandise being available in the general marketplace.”
That’s a perfectly legitimate reason to keep that merch off of the market, but you also have to take into consideration the fact that Chief Wahoo could be on its last legs despite being prominently featured during the World Series. Commissioner Rob Manfred has already said that he intends to discuss the issue with Cleveland’s management, so there’s a good chance that MLB probably didn’t want anything with that logo in further circulation than it already is — even if it’s relegated to being worn in third-world countries.
However, the latter part is speculation on my part. For all we know, we could see Cleveland kee on using Chief Wahoo, or they could stick to what they promised and further relegate its status. We’ll have to see what happens, but for now, all we know for sure is that we won’t be seeing people in far-off countries wearing commemorative gear of a Cleveland baseball championship that never was.