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James Gunn Had A Hilarious Response To The Cleveland Baseball Team's New Name

Major League Baseball announced today that the franchise located in Cleveland, Ohio, would change its name 120 years after the team was founded (via MLB.com). Known as the Cleveland Indians since 1901, the team has will change its name to the Cleveland Guardians for the 2022 season and beyond, in response to years of protest to the original name, which — along with the logo and mascot of Chief Wahoo — has been called offensive to Native Americans. "It is our hope and belief this change will divert us from a divisive path, and instead steer us towards a future where our fans, city, and region are all united as Cleveland Guardians," team owner and CEO Paul Dolan said in a statement.

As the team explained in the announcement, the Guardians moniker is a reference to the iconic Guardians of Traffic architectural statues that adorn Cleveland's Hope Memorial Bridge. The team's secondary "fastball" logo is "inspired by both the helmets and wings of Hope Memorial Bridge's Guardians statues that keep watch over the city." The decision to change the team's controversial name has itself been a source of controversy, having been met with resistance by those who feel that ownership is caving to political correctness.

So what, exactly, does this have to do with Marvel Cinematic Universe director James Gunn? That answer is fairly obvious: nothing at all. Still, the filmmaker responsible for the two beloved "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies weighed in on the name change on Twitter, likely owing to the shared title between the baseball team's new moniker and the film franchise he's built.

James Gunn hopes the Cleveland Guardians go all the way — with the name

When James Gunn saw a tweet from Cleveland's MLB.com beat reporter Mandy Bell, announcing the team's new name, he couldn't help but take the opportunity to make a joke — at least, we think he's joking. "If their logo isn't a raccoon with a machine gun I'm gonna be bummed," Gunn tweeted, referencing the popular Rocket Raccoon character, aka 89P13, from him films. Rocket is, of course, a wise-cracking sentient being who looks suspiciously like a raccoon that walks upright. The character is voiced by Bradley Cooper and James Gunn's brother Sean — who also plays the character Kraglin in the "Guardians" flicks — has provided motion capture for Rocket, in addition to serving as a visual reference for the other actors on set.

Lobbying for support, user @trashpandas — the Twitter account for the Rocket City Trash Pandas, the MiLB AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels — responded to Gunn's tweet, asking if its own logo would work: "How about a raccoon in a trash can spaceship?" Gunn affirmed it would be a "gigantic step up." Gunn will likely be disappointed that the MLB team in Cleveland won't be using the animal character — which is not a rodent! — from his movies, but a quick stroll through Twitter shows plenty of fans would also like to see Rocket's partner, the flora colossus known as Groot, as the Cleveland Mascot. User @MelanieLynnN did a quick photoshop to show a Grootling in a Cleveland cap, snacking out, while user @jswtreeman has an idea for a new Cleveland Guardians shirt.

Disappointed fans will at least get to see Rocket when the release date for "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3" arrives.