A Sunday Story: Terry Francona and Political Correctness

() HareWas there no regret seeing Terry Francona in the dugout of the Cleveland Indians?  I don’t follow the exploits of the Red Sox that much but I do recall he managed for them.  I had no idea when he left or why. I thought it might have been because of illness but that couldn’t be for there he was managing a team beating the Red Sox. I thought I would call the biggest Red Sox fan I knew, Zeke, to find out.

It’s always good talking to Zeke. It had been a while. The one downside with doing it is he is a political correctness freak and sometimes I get confused. But I thought how could he possibly get involved in that fetish talking about the Sox.

“Zeke,” I said when he answered his cell. I didn’t have to identify myself since we’d been friends since the old days. I knew he would recognize my voice. “Have you gotten over your blues about the Red Sox losing.”

He replied, “yeah, what do you want?” in an obvious aggravated voice showing he was still sulking.

I figured I’d cut to the chase, usually did when he was in this mood. “Zeke, one question, how did Francona end up with the Indians.” It was the wrong time and the wrong question.

He exploded: “Native Americans, they’re the Native Americans, the Cleveland Native Americans and when you get that right I’ll tell you about Tito.”  He cut me off.

I knew he was very out of sorts doing that but he’s like that every once in a while so I figured I’d call him in a day or two. The one thing that threw me was his reference to the former communist dictator of Yugoslavia.

I waited until Sunday to call him figuring his mind would be off the Sox and he’d be watching the NFL.

“Zeke, what’s up?” I knew better than even hint at our prior call and if was going to be mentioned to let him do it.

Hey, just couching it, I’m watching the Native Americanapolis Colts game. By the way, I ‘m sorry on going off on you the other day, I thought you were rubbing salt in the wound about the Sox trading Tito Francona.”

No problem, I was really wondering about him. Why did the Sox let him go or was it his call?”  I said at the same time understanding that Tito was Zeke’s nickname for Francona.

Tito got dumped by the Sox because some guys drank beer in the locker room during the games when the team went into a death spiral at the end of the year after being up a dozen games. It was a stupid decision since Tito won 2 World Series with the Sox. The guy who did it read too much of his own newspaper.  Right after the Sox let him go he went to manage the Cleveland Native Americans”

He went on: “You know I’m sitting here and thinking I’ve never been to Native Americana. Have you?”

A couple or three times, mostly driving through it but did go to a Notre Dame game there. I think my nephew went to school there.”

Which nephew?”

“It’s really my wife’s nephew.”

“Is he the kid I gave the Native American Head penny to?”

“Yes, that’s him.”  

“Isn’t he the one who used to go to the Native Americanopolis 500”

 “Same one,” I answered trying to get my head around what he was talking about

He then said: Speaking of Notre Dame – they really stink out the house this year. I’m going to head out to South Bend to catch one of their games before Brian Kelly gets canned. Then I can say I’ve been in Native Americana. Is South Bend near Native Americanopois?” 

You know Zeke’s a cool guy but as much as I like him I’m not going to start calling Indianapolis Native Americanapolis.  I replied,     “I’m not sure – I don’t think so. South Bend is near Chicago; I think Indianapolis is in the middle of the state.” 

“Got to go,” he said. Charlotte’s calling.” 

I felt relieved. He didn’t jump all over me for my political incorrectness.

Oh, don’t feel bad for Charlotte his wife. She is as bad if not worse than he is when it comes to political correctness. The other day I mentioned GLBT and she said “please, don’t leave off the QIA and its LG at the start.”

I said: “Why should I do that — you knew who I was referring to.”

She replied: “It’s important to be inclusive and leave no one out.”

I replied, “that’s hardly inclusive when you leave out so many.”

No one’s left out if you say it right,” she replied a tinge of anger in her voice.

I had her going so I said: “You’re leaving out the straights.”

“They’re left out because they don’t belong.”

I couldn’t resist, “So your  inclusiveness excludes others.”

She just stared at me.

I went on: “Rather than saying LGBTQIA wouldn’t it be better to say EBS?”

What’s that supposed to mean,” she answered.

“Everyone but straights.” 

“Stop!” she said waving her hand across her face as if using an eraser to eliminate me while shaking her head,“Stop! You don’t get it!” She turned and walked away.

Like when dealing with Zeke with Charlotte there are some bumps in the road but they are forgotten quickly.

17 thoughts on “A Sunday Story: Terry Francona and Political Correctness

  1. Good column, Matt.

    On the one hand, you’ve shown how progressives et al. have taken this silliness to the nth degree (or at least well on its way toward the nth degree).

    On the other hand, there will be no end to the madness…that is, until and unless the PC crowd abandons this silliness for some other equivalent (I shudder to think what that might be!).

    1. GOK:

      I agree that we have no idea where this PC stuff will end but give the PC crowd its head and I too shutter to think of the end result because there are so many people who are anxious to follow the latest PC mandates as much as the reds could switch course on a dime when Moscow decided to change its course. I figure it will be something like if you hold a door to a building open for a women you are showing some type of male superiority and you’ll be dragged before your employer’s corrective training corps and sent off to have your attitude changed.

  2. Have you ever been to the Pine Ridge Reserve? To people from there, calling them Indians is like saying “Red Niggers.” Do any of you actually know any Native Americans? If you do, try asking them what they would like to be called. It’s not a matter of being PC. It’s a matter of politeness. Folks don’t give a good God damn about what you call the capital of Indiana long as you acknowledge them as Native Americans. Arguing against respect is rude racism. Do you like picking on Native American because you don’t think they’ll fight back?

    1. Khalid:

      Before I wrote the article I did some research on the attitude of American Indians toward being called Indian. Considering that we have a Bureau of Indian affairs I wondered why we would keep such an incorrect name if as you suggest using it is defamatory You may want to know that many consider the term Native American to be more of a slur than Indian because they find being so associated with their oppressor, the USA, is something they do not like. They were here before this place was discovered so why are they being associated with the new name put on the place by others. They prefer Native or Original People of the Land.

      As far as “rude racism” I happened to think all use of racism is rude. I respect the Indians and in my research I found that most do not mind being called that name since it is not intended as a derogatory term. We did have our Indian Wars which are still known by that; and the Indian Chiefs have all been admired. Your absurd suggestion I am picking on Indians because they won’t fight back comes from what post of mine that ever picked on them.

  3. Way off topic…..but feel compelled to comment.

    Today’s…..oops…Globe…

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2016/10/15/blowback-for-american-sins-philippines/VNAmdveJWntU7f8FYnGvPL/story.html

    So, what’s up with the Philippines…..are they finally getting sick of us? Don’t want our “help” anymore?

    The Filipino president cites 1898 as the year we bullied our way into the country permanently, by eradicating the Spanish, then colonizing the Philippines.

    Funny that it is now a mega-military base.

    Same way the US government sneakily stole Hawaii for profit and to build a military base.

    Geopolitics at it’s finest.

    1. Philippinos used to have a hammer-lock on the ship’s steward position. American Admirals wouldn’t go to sea without their stewards. Maybe, that’s not the case any more. Too bad. It was a quirky tradition.

    2. Rather;

      What we did in the Philippines is highly deplorable and can be pointed to as indicted in that article as a reason for the Filipinos to hate America. Ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, murdering all males between a certain age, and similar things that were later considered as horrible acts were done by us there as we tried to Christianize the brown folk who needed to be enlightened by us. If you consider how some groups – such as the Orangemen in Ireland and some Slavic nations go back hundreds of years to celebrate victories or revenge grievances – you can understand the Filipinos gripe about a little over a hundred years. President McKinley did run on a policy to conquer the Philippines and keep its people under our control.

      We mainly know the Second World War where we went in and fought side by side with them to liberate their country from the Japanese. We would expect some sort of appreciation for that but the original wound is very deep and with the right sort of leader – a strong nationalist then thing can change and the little good we did can be suppressed by the bad. Of course, you have to look behind the reason for emphasizing one over the other. With China pressing down on top of it we might be seeing just a real politics switch toward China. The Philippines is in the Chinese sphere of influence and after watching how America flitters from one alliance to another to suit its interests, how America seems to be unable to really stand up to anyone anymore, how America walked away from South Vietnam, the leaders might decide being on America’s side is a losing proposition.

  4. Matt, there was a Tito Francona, played for the Indians – I remember him. According to Wiki, sometimes his son is called Tito – but you probably knew that. I liked your tongue-in-cheek piece.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tito_Francona

    Years ago, when the Revveeerruuund Jessa Jaaackkksuuuuhn was pushing for the Indians to drop their name, a friend of mine suggested that they simply change the name to the Cleveland Jacksons.

    In Cleveland, people know that the name is meant as a sign of respect for the Indians.

  5. There is a deep institutional and cultural rot in words like Paddie or Kike or Nigger or Wop or Wetback. We correctly call these rascist terms as that is explicitly what they are. The genesis of the descriptor “Indians” is not the same linguistic dark chapter in race history in the USA .

    The perfect becomes the enemy of the good when not only is a gently humorous exploration of what is explicitly racist and what is simply, stultifyingly, politically correct is called out by the Camp Director of Leftist Re-Education as … racist.

    The most virulent form of racism and one practiced regularly by the Camp Director is to assume that because a person is black or white or red or yellow or any and all pigmentation that they are therefore … supra-identified … as a human being. It is the ideological shackeling of that person … regardless if Black Republican or White Socialist … to the Camp Director’s agenda . If you are white the Camp Director, like the Auschwitz SS Captain at the head of the diverging line, nods you to the left . The Jews were slaughtered there simply because they were not sufficiently … aryan. And yet they were ” White ” in appearance albeit semitic racially.

    I doubt … ” Just don’t call me a kike ” … was the group sentiment. They were so past ideological niceties by then. Who needs a lecture .

    1. John:

      Good points. I noted in my response to the criticism that I did some research into the use of the name Indian and found that many Indians have no problem at all with it. It seemed that those who seemed to have the most objection to its use were not happy with being called Native Americans objecting to the use of the word American. How then does the Camp Director make the right decision; perhaps tomorrow she will come up with another word that we will have to use and she will tell us in a manner of 1984 that we should always have been using that word.

  6. Matt, I hope you and your readers get a chuckle out of this:

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/10/canadian_judge_rules_cleveland.html#incart_river_home_pop

    CLEVELAND, Ohio – A court in Toronto rejected attempts by an advocate for indigenous people to block the Cleveland Indians from using its team name or Chief Wahoo logo at tonight’s Game 3 of the American League Champion Series.

    Douglas Cardinal, a Canadian architect who designed the National Museum of the American Indian and a member of the Blackfoot tribe had argued that the team name and mascot logo were offensive and discriminatory. He sued in Supreme Court of Justice in Toronto, asking for an injunction from the to block use of the team name or logo in Ontario.

    What was the argument?

    Lawyers for Cardinal argued that the logo — which appears on some team caps and jerseys and depicts a grinning, red-faced cartoon with a feather headband – was racially discriminatory.

    “Using a racially discriminatory caricature is a violation of the Ontario human rights code,” lawyer Monique Jilesen told Ontario Superior Court Justice Tom McEwen, according to The Associated Press.

    Jilesen argued the game could be played with spring training uniforms that don’t carry the name or “Chief Wahoo” logo. Jilesen said the club was informed of this Sunday, and there is no attempt to stop the game.

    Push back from baseball

    Major League Baseball said it “appreciates the concerns” of those who find the name and logo “offensive,” according to the AP.

    “We would welcome a thoughtful and inclusive dialogue to address these concerns outside the context of litigation,” the league said in a statement.

    “Given the demands for completing the League Championship Series in a timely manner, MLB will defend Cleveland’s right to use their name that has been in existence for more than 100 years.”

    The Indians had little comment about the suit. “The Indians are focused on competing in the post season. We will not comment any further on matters that distract from our pursuit on the field,” the team said in a statement.

    A lawyer for Rogers Communications told the judge, though, that if the injunction were granted the broadcast of the game would have to be blacked out in Canada because U.S.-based TBS would not be constrained by the judge’s ruling and Canadian companies picking up their feed would not be able to control what TBS shows during the game.

    1. Elmer:

      I wonder what would have happened if the case was brought before the right judge in the United States. The Major League’s response was somewhat inept suggesting the idea should be discussed outside the context of litigation as if it had some merits. I’m wondering if I should try to stop the Celtics from using that name.

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