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2004 Indianapolis Indians - Fresh Fitted Friday!!!!

Instead of counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training facilities as we normally would around this time of year, the baseball world has been consumed by the repercussions of the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal and I've been doing my best to abstain from painting broad strokes with my judgement brush.

But as a San Francisco Giants fan it's hard to stay silent, especially when the team I loathe most is mentioned as the potential beneficiary of an L.A. City Council plot to request the recall the of the 2017 and 2018 World Series trophies. At first it made my blood boil but the more I think about how it would play out, the more hilarious that outcome seems.

The "Total Recall" outcome is something that I'm not going to actively back or root against but if it ends up happening, trolling the Dodgers would almost become too easy as Giants fans would have more material to work with than we ever had before.

As I mentioned earlier, it's important to remain calm while the facts of this tribulation continue to come to light. Each day we learn more about how this sordid affair isn't just confined to the 2017 Astros so I'll continue to do my best to steer clear just in case my Giants become implicated. 

An innate quality of humans is to ceaselessly compare one thing to another so of course the topic of conversation has now pivoted to "what's a greater threat to the integrity of baseball: sign stealing or steroid use?"

To answer that question, one must first acknowledge that baseball is a game of nuances and that the distinction between "right and wrong" is often blurred as one team subtly aims to get a competitive edge over another. That being said, I really don't get paid to make that determination so I'll just continue to defend my guys until that's no longer possible!

There's also a big debate centered around the severity of the punishment for those implicated in the sign stealing scandal and as can be imagined, there are calls for lifetime bans, a slap on the wrist and everything in between. As for those advocating for the former, it should come to no surprise that Pete Rose feels the need to weigh in on the situation

My stance on Rose is that his lifetime ban should be lifted but there should be no rush to induct him into the Hall of Fame. There's no malicious intent in my position but I think he's supporting himself well enough by spending his days signing autographs in Las Vegas. A plaque in Cooperstown is only going to obscenely raise his rates.

One benefit of this whole kerfuffle is that talks surrounding MLB's plan to contract 42 MILB teams after the 2020 season have softened to a murmur, which at least as far as I can tell is a positive sign. My prediction remains that this all spells out imminent doom for franchises at the lower levels and that Triple-A teams will likely just need some minor restructuring. 

As it stands now, the International League accounts for 14 out of the 30 total top-level farm clubs while the Pacific Coast League incorporates the remaining 16 teams. As you are probably aware, the PCL is my current focus here on the blog so I'm interested to see how its reformation plays out. 

Last week I wrote about the Iowa Cubs of the PCL while this week's hat is the primary cap worn by the Indianapolis Indians, who are currently in the International League. Both were in the American Association until the league contracted in 1998 and I hope they become rivals once again should the American Association re-emerge as a third Triple-A league.

The team has implemented this cap logo since they switched affiliations from the Montreal Expos to the Cincinnati Reds in 1993. I've made no secret of my affinity for the Expos variant and won't deny that this current iteration is overdue for a rebrand.

The black sweatband is a curious component of this cap as the accompanying tags are of the pre-2005 variety. This combination as well as the updated MILB tag and lack of blue box tags leads me to believe this cap is from 2004.

This week's cap is a size 7 3/8 which fits me fine but as I've mentioned before, I'm not a big fan of caps with red crowns so this one will be going on the Trading Block. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you want this or any other cap from that list and you are willing to part with any of the hats on my Wish List.

As always, thanks for coming back to read about baseball hat geekery. I've got comments disabled here so if you'd like to discuss a trade or simply just chat about hats, please feel free to connect via the following social sites:

Twitter: @FittedFriday