Dear Adam Cloud: “Yard Goats” is the definition of unique. Also, your argument that the name is offensive is absurd.

If you haven’t heard, the New Britain Rock Cats – the Colorado Rockies Double A affiliate – are moving to Hartford and have been renamed The Yard Goats.

The Yard Goats get their name from an old railroad slang term for an engine that switches a train to get it ready for another locomotive (thus harkening back to Hartford’s supposed railroad roots), but the goat will most assuredly play a role in the marketing of the team.

The naming was done via fan voting and revealed a couple weeks ago. 


The Yard Goats is a great name. Perfectly befitting the kitchiness of minor league baseball. The Yard Goats will be perfect alongside such teams as the Savannah Sand Gnats, the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Casper Ghosts, and the Albuquerque Isotopes.   


Hartford Treasurer Adam Cloud, who sits on the board of the Hartford Stadium Authority, doesn’t agree with me. He doesn’t like the name one bit. He’s not happy.  

I have no beef with Cloud for not liking the name. My wife doesn’t like the name, either. She was hoping for the Honey Badgers, and for good reason.

About a third of my students don’t like the name.

It’s admittedly an eclectic name.

What I take issue with is Adam Cloud’s comments regarding the name.

Cloud said the name is "neither creative, or unique."

We could argue the merits of the name based upon creativity (though it’s hard to argue that it’s not at least a little creative), but he couldn’t be more wrong in his assertion that the name is not unique.

It’s absolutely unique. No other sports franchise in the world is name the Yard Goats.

That, Mr. Cloud, is the definition of unique.

Cloud also said that Yard Goats is an “absurd” name and is insensitive to people in the city’s Caribbean community, many of whom at one time or another may have owned or tended goats.

That statement, Mr. Cloud, is far more absurd than the team’s new name.

How could using the name of an animal that a person may have owned at one time possibly be offensive to that former owner? The use of the name in no way impugns the current or former owners of said animal. In fact, if anything, the animal is being elevated to celebrity status by the naming.

Should owners of horses, which also eat grass, be offended by the Denver Broncos’ or Indianapolis Colts’ choice of names?

Should the owners of sheep, which also eat grass, be offended by the St. Louis Ram’s choice of name?

Should the parents of twins, which hopefully don’t eat grass (but might), be offended by the Minnesota Twins choice of name? Yes, the Twins are actually named after the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, but the Yard Goats are named after a type of train. If Cloud can conveniently ignore that reality, why shouldn’t the parents of twins also ignore the origins of the Twins name and feel similarly outraged?

There’s nothing wrong with hating the name, Mr. Cloud. My wife doesn’t like it either, and I don’t think any less of her for this opinion.

But the reason she doesn’t like the name?

She thinks it’s dumb. You probably do, too. But in defending her position, my wife doesn’t make any ridiculous claims about the name being offensive to goat owners or failing to be unique. It’s simply a matter of taste.

You don’t like the name. Too bad. Don’t spout nonsense. You sound ridiculous.

Yard Goats for life.