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Major League Team Names

In honor of the upcoming World Series, I thought I would rank the team names, from worst to first. Note: I am not knocking the city, or the team itself, so keep ‘em from getting bunched up. What I am doing is objectively assessing how cool these team names really are:

Major League Team Names

#28 (tie) Atlanta BRAVES and Cleveland INDIANS - These two are here by default. I have written about this before and if challenged by some idiot am happy to do so again, but we are no longer in an age where teams like this are appropriate. Though not as offensive as the “Redskins,” both of these names need to be changed. The Braves are slightly better than the Indians, if only because “Brave” was a term of honor among Indians, and Cleveland’s horrible logo. (They should at least change it to a man in a turban.)

#26 (tie) Boston RED SOX and Chicago WHITE SOX – You know, we talk about how much things change, but it really makes me gape to think that there was a time in American history when naming your team after hosiery was cool. These two teams have so much history that I think we tend to look past just how lame their mascots are. If we did it today, I would insist on the Boston Spanx (those toe-less pantyhose thingies) or possibly the leg warmers from Flashdance and Fame. What were they called?

#25 Houston ASTROS – I get that the name was supposed to evoke Houston’s NASA ties, but Astro is just so…George Jetsony. Astronauts would have been better. Asteroids would have been cool. (Think of the Atari tie-ins.) Astrologists might have gotten more women in. Even Astro-Physicists would have some Geek cachet, but Astros itself is beyond lame.

#24 San Diego PADRES – I’m pretty sure the Separation of Church and Baseball is somewhere in the Constitution. Having lived in San Diego, I realize the name is to honor the men who founded that town, but if you really translate it, you’re looking at the San Diego Daddies. They can do much better.

#23 Los Angeles DODGERS – The only good dodger should be Roger Dodger and the Artful Dodger. This name—originally from New York—just evokes cowardice to me. I could think of 39 names better suited to L.A.

#22 Cincinnati REDS – I’m hoping this is not another Indian name, and I’m guessing it was to support Communism (or Marlboros, for that matter), but naming a team after a color is not very imaginative, especially when that color is a primary one, and can mean so many different things to different people. I mean, Red State, Red Blood, Red Rover Red Rover…all powerful dangers in our society today. (And if you think Red Rover is not a danger, you’ve never tried to break through the unholy strength of third grade girls locking arms.)

#21 Chicago CUBS – I have to imagine they came before the Bears; why not take that name? New York had a football and baseball team with the same mascot. Cubs is just so…unmanly. They aren’t full grown bears, they are little cute ones. I mean, why not be the Teddy Bears, and just get it over with?

#20 Colorado ROCKIES – Oh, I get it! How clever. When they were trying to name this team back in the early ‘90s I suggested the Colorado Mountain Goats, and was shot down. And by the way (since this is the first time it has come up), why name the team after an entire state? Who are you fooling? Anyway, I guess it could be worse, they could be the Himalayas, but I am not impressed.

#17 (tie) Toronto BLUE JAYS, Baltimore ORIOLES and St. Louis CARDINALS – Bird names feel kind of lazy to me, but if you are going there, why not pick cool fierce birds? Have any of these birds ever killed anyone?

#16 Florida Marlins – Again, what’s up with the whole State? They are in Miami; act like it. (In fact, this inspires me. When this list is done I’m creating a list of names I’d like to see.) A Marlin isn’t all that bad—being a pretty fierce fish and all, but what about the Leopard Shark?

#15 Tampa Bay Devil Rays – I like the idea of an aquatic creature that sounds this scary, but their logo is scaring nobody. Actually, now that I think about it, it would have been much cooler to put Ray Liotta, Ray Charles and Norma Rae on the logo with horns and scary eyes. In fact, they should still do this. Somebody send them this suggestion.

Up next: the top 14 Team names in Major League Baseball