I got mad on line last night, and I’m not sorry about it. Monday night was the night the new Worcester Triple-A team, which is set to replace the PawSox starting in 2021, was set to officially unveil their official nickname as well as their logo. Since the move was first announced there was speculation they would just stick with the Red Sox nickname and unofficially officially go by the WooSox, much like the PawSox. I shrugged it off. Surely, in the over a year they had between the announcement of the move and last night they could come up with something better than that, right? Folks, I’m saddened to announce that they, in fact, did not.
They are indeed going with the Red Sox as their nickname, which I’ll get to later. They are indeed going with the WooSox as the nickname’s nickname. I don’t know if this is some sort of homage to the PawSox or what, but it stinks a whole lot. Their logo is this guy, and the alternate is a “W”.
Look, they have their reasons for at least some of this. The heart in the middle of the “W” in WooSox is because Worcester is known as the heart of Massachusetts. A little conceited, but it’s fine. The yellow guy is because apparently the guy who invented the smiley face is from Worcester? I don’t understand how anyone can claim ownership over art featuring a very nondescript cartoon face smiling unless it was caveman times, but the guy has a Wikipedia page so who am I to argue? Anyway, they have reasons behind these decisions — some of them are laughable, some of them make sense but are still stupid and some I’ll allow — but the main takeaway is this: It all stinks on ice, man.
We’ll start with the WooSox name. I mean, come on. The second this started floating around in the summer of 2018 I was trying to stop this. It just sounds so stupid. And not the good kind of stupid, either. Rumble Ponies? Good stupid. WooSox? Infuriating stupid. Not to mention that’s not even how you say the first syllable of Worcester. I grew up in Haverhill, so I can tell you first-hand how annoying it is to have people consistently mispronounce your hometown, not that I need to tell anyone from Worcester about that. And yes, I realize people from Worcester sometimes call their city “The Woo” but I have some bad news about that, too. It’s really dumb.
As for the mascot, I’m not really sure where to start here. Like I said, I get the history, but all anyone besides people in Worcester see when they see that is the Walmart thing that jumped around and changed prices in those commercials. If you want to use that niche piece of history for an alternate, fine. As a main logo, you’re just asking to be ridiculed. It also doesn’t help that you gave him weirdly detailed feet with no shoes.
And then there’s the explanation for everything, which is somehow even worse than the thing itself. I mean...
I encourage you to read all of that because it’s absurd, but specifically trying to say it’s emulating Ted Williams and David Ortiz with it’s swing. It’s amazing! It’s literally just a left-handed swing by a yellow circle that unfortunately has limbs because, I can only assume, of some horrible science experiment. You can put a picture of any lefty next to that and it will look similar. Exhibit A:
In all seriousness, I really do take some umbrage with the nickname thing, and not only because the term “WooSox” legitimately makes my blood boil. (That’s probably a me problem. I get it.) The minor leagues are for people to get wacky and creative. I realize MLB is unaware of the beauty of minor-league baseball seeing as they’re trying to kill a significant percentage of it, but I figured at least someone would realize this was a chance to get real weird with it. This is a sport with the Rumble Ponies, the Trash Pandas, the Yard Goats and the Baby Cakes. Passing up a chance at having fun with it and just using your major-league affiliate’s name is lame as hell. It’s especially lame when another team (Salem) in the system does the same damn thing. This was a chance for the Red Sox to stop being lame, and they failed. So, yeah. What I’m saying is I hate all of this a lot.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the only reason Worcester has this team in the first place is because Pawtucket refused to give in to Larry Lucchino and his billionaire partners looking for a sweetheart stadium deal from the public. I hate that too.