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MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred denies Wahoo conspiracy for Cleveland's All-Star bid

You can write that as fact."
Credit: AP
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters after a meeting of baseball team owners in New York, Thursday, June 20, 2019. The Tampa Bay Rays have received permission from Major League Baseball's executive council to explore a plan that could see the team split its home games between the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, reports said Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

CLEVELAND — Commissioner Rob Manfred insists Major League Baseball did not make a deal with the Cleveland Indians about banning their contentious logo, Chief Wahoo.

The club agreed to remove the hotly debated, smiling caricature from its caps and jerseys starting this season, a decision that came after Cleveland was awarded the 2019 All-Star Game.

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The timing was curious, but Manfred said there was no link between the two.

"The All-Star Game was awarded to Cleveland by Commissioner (Bud) Selig before I even had one conversation about Chief Wahoo," Manfred said. "You can write that as fact."

Although Wahoo, which has been around since the 1940s, is no longer on the field, the mascot is as popular as ever as fans continue to wear all kinds of merchandise bearing his image.

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