Re-naming and alphabetizing MLB teams by division – American LeaguePosted: November 25, 2013
Something I have noticed, and maybe you have too, is that every MLB division has a few team names that are very close in the alphabet to each other. In fact, each division has at least two names in a row when all the teams in the majors are alphabetized, ever since the Devil Rays became the Rays. Now thanks to the Astros’ move to the AL West, all have at least three names in a row, with the exception of the AL East. This creates an interesting phenomenon: by changing ten of the team names in MLB, an alphabetized list of all teams will also be sorted by division. I intend on changing those ten names in order to create such a list.
Toronto Blue Jays
Baseball has some fascination with colorful birds; the Blue Jays, Orioles, and Cardinals are all named after them. As much as I like colorful birds, the Blue Jays are going to have to switch to something closer to the middle of the alphabet. Depending on other name changes in the NL East, they will have to fit in the N to R range. Other Toronto sports names include the Argonauts, Maple Leafs, and Raptors. Apparently, Toronto likes all of its professional teams to have a main color of blue, which adds more complexity to this re-brand.
One idea is to play on the Canadian aspect and call them the Provincialists, or Provs for short, similar to the Metropolitans of New York. Another regional choice is the Toronto Ontarios, but that’s as ridiculous as calling a team from Houston the Texans (or from Montreal the Canadiens)!
I had some difficulty coming up with a great name, so I asked someone from Toronto! Blake Murphy came up with the idea of Pterodactyls, simply to match the dinosaur theme of the Toronto Raptors. And I love it. First team down, the Toronto Pterodactyls.
New York Yankees
Baseball’s most well-known franchise will have to change its name. Sorry, the alphabet doesn’t lie. The team originally started in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles, but unfortunately that name is already taken. When they moved to New York, they became the Highlanders, but that doesn’t fit within the alphabet range.
What word fits the Yankees and starts with a “P?” Why, Pinstripes does, of course. It’s nearly as connected to the team as the current name and wouldn’t require much of a change at all.
Much controversy surrounds both the name and the mascot of this team, so this is a great opportunity to change both. I was unaware that the Cleveland area was well-known for their connection to Southern Asia, but you learn something new every day. In order to match up with the rest of the AL Central, we will need to change the name to something in the alphabet after Red Sox. We could stay on the Native American route and call them the Shawnee, but I prefer to diverge from that.
There are two other major sports teams in Cleveland – the Browns and Cavaliers. One is a supporter of 17th century King Charles I and the other is a color. The daily newspaper is called The Plain Dealer. I’m originally from the Midwest myself, and I’m bored. One thing the city is well-known for is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That, mixed with the blandness of the other names gives me my first idea: the Cleveland Rocks. Their jerseys can be neutral grey with Drew Carey as a mascot! Maybe that won’t work, but there actually was a now defunct WNBA team named the Cleveland Rockers from 1997 to 2003.
However, the team name should not be bland, it should be exciting and connected to the city in some way. Since Cleveland is known as “The Forest City,” I propose we call the team the Cleveland Squirrels. It may seem odd at first, just because it is a funny word and a small rodent. But honestly, I really like it. This puts the team name firmly between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers, perfectly alphabetizing the AL Central.
Any re-naming of a Seattle baseball team has to start with Pilots, who played in Seattle for one season before moving to Milwaukee and becoming the Brewers. Unfortunately, the name here has to fit at the beginning of the alphabet, so that won’t work. How about the Bald Eagles? It is an American symbol and indigenous to northern Washington. Plus, it is a better nickname than the Seattle Artists, which is the only other name I could come up with.
The Rangers were named after the law enforcement agency of the same name, which evokes the idea of a true Texan (whatever that means). It’s a perfectly good name, but unfortunately it doesn’t work within the strict alphabetical system of the AL West. Some possible names are Arlingtons, Armadillos (state animal), Allies (meaning of the word “tejas”), and Bats. But one name in particular stands out: Brahmas. Fort Worth had a hockey team named the Brahmas which is no longer active. It fits the Texas theme and the alphabet scheme.
With that, the American League is alphabetized. In the East, we have the Baltimore Orioles, New York Pinstripes, Toronto Pterodactyls, Boston Red Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays. In the Central: Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Squirrels, Detroit Tigers, Minnesota Twins, and Chicago White Sox. In the West: Los Angeles Angels, Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Bald Eagles, and Texas Brahmas.
Do you have any thoughts on these new names? Do you have any better ideas than the ones I have given? Next I will run through the National League and complete the ridiculous project of alphabetizing team names by division.