CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians are dropping the Chief Wahoo logo from their uniforms next year after decades of protests and complaints that the grinning, red-faced caricature used in one version or another since 1947 is racist.

The move, announced Monday, came after protracted discussions between the team owner, Paul Dolan, and Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The cartoonish image of a big-toothed American Indian with a scarlet face and a single feather in his headdress will come off the team’s sleeves and caps starting in 2019, when Cleveland will host the All-Star Game.

The decision is unlikely to quell complaints from Native American organizations and others who see the symbol – and the team’s name – as insensitive. The Indians will continue to wear the Wahoo logo in 2018, and even after it is gone from the uniform, the club will sell merchandise featuring the mascot in the Cleveland area.

“I’m elated,” said Philip Yenyo, executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio. “But at the same time I think it should be this year. I don’t understand why they’re drawing this out. It doesn’t make any sense to me, unless they want to continue to make what’s basically blood money.”

The Indians had been called the Cleveland Naps but changed the nickname in 1915. The new name honored Louis Sockalexis, a Maine native who played for the team and died in 1913.


RED SOX: Boston’s minor league system continues to weaken under team president Dave Dombrowski, according to Baseball America. The publication announced its annual ranking of organizational talent on Monday and listed the Red Sox 24th, down 10 spots from its No. 14 ranking last year.

According to Baseball America, Boston doesn’t have a prospect among the top 80 in baseball. Two are in the top 100 – pitcher Jay Groome at No. 83 and corner infielder Michael Chavis at No. 85.

In 2014 the Red Sox boasted the No. 2 organization under then-general manager Ben Cherington. Boston also finished last in the American League East that year.

In 2015, Boston’s minor league talent ranked No. 5. But the Red Sox were headed to another last-place finish, when Dombrowski replaced Cherington.

In recent years, some prospects reached the majors, including Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers. Others were dealt, including infielders Yoan Moncada and Mauricio Dubon, outfielder Manuel Margot, and pitchers Michael Kopech and Anderson Espinoza.

Groome, 19, was the 12th overall pick in the 2016 draft. He has been slowed by injuries and is expected to start the season in low Class A Greenville.

Chavis, 22, had a breakout season in 2017, in both high Class A Salem and Double-A Portland. He is expected to be in Triple-A this season.

ROYALS: Kansas City signed Alcides Escobar to a $2.5 million contract for next season, keeping its longtime shortstop on the roster after reaching free agency this offseason.

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