While nearly all baseball talk is currently focused on reliving the past or trying to predict when the 2020 season will start and how it will be played, I prefer to get a little silly. Major League Baseball has put forth a few proposals for starting the season without fans in stadiums and the most recent one established last week had teams moving their home fields back to where they started in the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues before they were so rudely interrupted.
With that in mind, it doesn’t really make sense for the the Seattle Mariners to be playing in a state with no natural lakes let alone an ocean or for the Detroit Tigers to play in a state that has no natural tigers. With that in mind, here are 30 much better names for where these teams could be playing their home games in 2020:
Goodyear Burrowing Owls, formerly the Cleveland Indians
Since this is an Indians based website, I’ll start with the Cleveland Indians who (whooo, whoooo) will become the Goodyear Burrowing Owls. This name solves all the problems related to the old name and logo as they will now be thought of as a cute little bird endemic to the Estrella Mountain region. While cute, these are still raptors who can do damage when necessary. While the Indians and Reds share Goodyear Ballpark, I’m going to keep unique location names for every team, so as the more northern of the two practice facilities (and the first to the valley by one year), the Indians get to claim Goodyear while the Reds become the….
Estrella Ground Squirrels, formerly the Cincinnati Reds
Another species of native animal to Goodyear and the Estrella Mountains are the cute ground squirrels who are so common in the area, they became the mascot of the Goodyear Ballpark in 2019 (his name is Ace and he’s blue for some reason). These little rodents are also cute, but tough and can fight off snakes while surviving the Sonoran desert. Be proud of your tiny squirrel hands Cincy.
Camelback Commuters formerly the Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s no public transportation in the west valley, so the Dodgers will have to get themselves to work, but won’t have to worry about dodging the trolley cars of Brooklyn on their way there. Camelback Mountain isn’t anywhere near their stadium in Glendale, but it is the name of the street, stadium and surrounding neighborhood, so they can keep it.
Glendale Bark Scorpions formerly the Chicago White Sox
In a nod to the Arizona Fall League (Scottsdale Scorpions) as well as the pest problem that seems to hit Camelback Stadium every spring, the White Sox are now named after the most venomous scorpion in the west. Now they can’t complain when the little arachnids make their way into the dugout.
Tempe Diablos formerly the Los Angeles Angels
The Angels have fallen far from their lofty peak and are now named after their stadium (Tempe Diablo) with a nod to the nearby Arizona State Sun Devils.
Mesa Pumas formerly the Chicago Cubs
There really aren’t any bears in Arizona (except in Bearizona, but none in the Phoenix area), but we should still name Chicago after the baby version of a large American predacious mammal.
Scottsdale Gigantes formerly the San Francisco Giants
Because they play in Scottsdale proper (and at Scottsdale Stadium), the Giants bump the Rockies and DBacks to other locales. The name is as close as I’ll allow for San Fran as they can accept the Spanish heritage of Arizona.
Phoenix Diamondbacks formerly the Arizona Diamondbacks
With so many teams based in Arizona, it would be unfair for the DBacks to claim the entire state. They can, however, keep the name. While they will probably play their games in the Native American land known as Talking Stick at Salt River Fields, their home base is still Chase Field in downtown Phoenix, so they can grab hold of the largest portion of the metro area.
Talking Stick Rox formerly the Colorado Rockies
They don’t have many big mountains in Scottsdale where the Rockies share a stadium with the Diamondbacks, but they have plenty of rocks, so the Rockies can keep an old nickname and make it official as the Rox.
Sonora Hohokam formerly the Oakland Athletics
Named after the stadium that is named after the ancient native culture from Arizona and Mexico. I guess removing one Native American based team only to replace it with another cancels out the first act, but this seems a bit more respectful.
Maryvale Phoenicians formerly the Milwaukee Brewers
As the only team actually located in Phoenix, they will compete with the Diamondbacks for the love of the folks in the center of the valley.
Peoria Arrowheads formerly the San Diego Padres
I know we’re trying to get away from the Native American imagery, but the biggest draw of Peoria is Arrowhead Mall, right down the street from P83 and Peoria Sports Complex. Tell them to change the name of the mall and we can change them back to the Padres or something.
Lake Pleasant Ghost Pirates formerly the Seattle Mariners
There simply isn’t a large natural body of water in the valley for the Mariners to set sail in, but there is the man made Lake Pleasant just north of the city of Peoria. Of course, they can’t be pirate ghosts, because the lake was created by damning up the Agua Fria in 1927, but they can be ghosts who chose to become pirates following their deaths.
Sun City Seniors formerly the Kansas City Royals
The Royals might not be an elderly team, but the residents of Sun City, located on Bell road between Surprise Stadium and Peoria Sports Complex, are. With the Rangers taking control of the more wild land to the west, the Royals will take the retirement communities to the east.
Surprise Sheriffs formerly the Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers don’t make sense two states away, but they can still invoke some of the old west sentiment
Tampa Yankees formerly the New York Yankees
They get to keep the name, but now it’s an insult.
Clearwater Clearies formerly the Philadelphia Phillies
See how stupid the name Phillies seems now?
Tampa Bay Rays formerly the Toronto Blue Jays
Located in Dunedin right next to Tampa Bay, the formerly Canadian team will now enjoy ample sunshine and they shall be named for it, becoming the Tampa Bay Rays. This won’t be confusing at all.
Bradenton Pirates formerly the Pittsburgh Pirates
The Mariners might not be able to marin (that’s a very, right?), but the Pirates, located on the Gulf of Mexico, can still pirate. With so many other teams facing major changes, it would only be fair make them change their team colors, maybe to black and white like the awful player’s day uniforms of 2019.
Lakeland Mice formerly the Detroit Tigers
Since the Braves have left Disney World and the Angels are no longer in Anaheim, Disney has to grab a piece of the new organization. As the closest team to Orlando and because Tigers aren’t endemic to America, the former Detroit team is now the Mice.
Cape Coral Red Snappers formerly the Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox share a spring home with the Twins and we’ll give Fort Myers to Minnesota with the Red Sox claiming the nearby Cape Coral. The red snapper is a salt water fish native to the area, so the Sox won’t have to change their colors, just their mascot, logo and city.
Fort Myers Manatees formerly the Minnesota Twins
Known for their peaceful demeanor and risk of being decimated by boats, the new Twins moniker obviously is to honor Willians Astudillo and Miguel Sano.
Northport Gators formerly the Atlanta Braves
We need one Florida based team to be named after the American Alligator and we need to get rid of another Native American based team, so the Braves are now named after a very brave reptile.
Port Charlotte Devil Rays formerly the Tampa Rays
They never should have changed the name in the first place.
Sarasota Seagulls formerly the Baltimore Orioles
We’ll allow the former Baltimore team to retain their bird based moniker, but we need to change the species to fit the region. Ibises sounds weird and egrets aren’t alliterative with Sarasota, so they can have the most common bird on all the coast lands of the world, the seagull.
Boca Butterflies formerly the Washington Nationals
I like alliteration and am trying not to give the World Champions a nickname that is too offensive. They share a stadium with the Astros, but we’ll give the actual name of the city to the 2020 runners up.
West Palm Beach Hurricanes formerly the Houston Astros
We need to give some love to the University of Miami if we’re basing so many teams in Florida and who better to give the name of hurricanes to than the team that caused a giant mess during the winter of 2019. Baseball will be cleaning up the wreckage for quite some time.
Port St. Lucie Okeechobees formerly the New York Mets
There aren’t any central Florida spring teams anymore, so we’ll name the nothern-most of the Grapefruit League East teams after the largest lake in the south.
Jupiter Red Spots formerly the St. Louis Cardinals
Like the Red Sox, the Cardinals can keep their color scheme, but they’re going to switch more to a space motif as we pretend Jupiter, Florida is actually the fifth planet from the sun.
Miami Marlins formerly the Miami Marlins
Since the Cardinals get Jupiter, which they share with the Marlins, it seems fitting that the only team that gets to keep both their name and location is Miami. It’s a cool name and logo and, unlike the Diamondbacks, they stopped trying to claim the entire state a few years ago. One twist: all the uniforms are black and done in art deco style with highlights in bright pink and teal. It will be good for the brand, don’t worry.