The organization reviewed over 1,000 nickname options and surveyed nearly 50,000 fans. The Guardians name ties into the city’s 43-foot tall “Guardians of Traffic” sculptures on the Hope Memorial Bridge outside of Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. Team owner Paul Dolan also said the name “strongly represents the pride, resiliency, and loyalty of Clevelanders.”
The 2022 jerseys will have “Guardians” in the front of the home versions, while the road will still say “Cleveland” across the chest. The logo features a baseball with a G on both sides and guardians wings coming off the side of the letter.
On the field, the Indians are 48-46 this season, nine games behind the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox and six back in the Wild Card race. They are +800 to make the playoffs and +1400 to come back to win the AL Central. This weekend they host the Tampa Bay Rays and are +105 in Friday night’s contest.
Trade Season is Here
The MLB trade deadline is next Thursday, July 30. The first big piece changed hands on Thursday as the Rays acquired veteran slugger Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for two pitching prospects.
Cruz, 41, made the All-STar team earlier this month, batting .294/.370/.537 on the season with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. He has hit at least 40 home runs four times since 2014 and has 436 career dingers, 46th on the all-time list. The only players in MLB history with more home runs after turning 35 than Cruz’s 220 are Barry Bonds (340) and Hank Aaron (245).
On the season, Tampa Bay is batting just .226 against left-handed pitchers, and their DHs are batting just .219 with a .389 slugging. Cruz immediately upgrades both of those numbers as he is a career .300 hitter against lefties and has six homers against southpaws in 2021. Cruz will be a free agent after the season, and the Rays will pay the remaining part of his one-year, $13 million deal.
Cruz hasn’t played in the field since 2018, so look for Austin Meadows to get more time in the outfield as the veteran DHs on a daily basis. The move also adds veteran leadership to a young Rays clubhouse as Cruz has playoff experience in multiple organizations, including World Series appearances with the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011.
The Rays are battling the Boston Red Sox atop the AL East, and they head into the weekend series against Toronto one game back at 58-39. They lead the Wild Card race by 2.5 games over Oakland and are seven games ahead of the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners for a playoff spot.
The Rays are -450 to make the playoffs and +155 to win the AL East. They are +625 to repeat as American League champions and +1400 to win the 2021 World Series.