By Samuel Bovitz
Major League Baseball games are a lot of fun, and one of the most fun aspects of gameday experience are the mascots. They are everywhere, but they are especially prevalent in MLB, where 28 out of the league’s 30 teams have mascots. In this MLB Season Preview, we will check in on the mascots and see how they are feeling about their current teams. Note that for the Yankees and Dodgers, who do not have mascots, we will discuss their fanbases instead. Also, the Rally Monkey is not the Angels’ official mascot, but we’re going to include him for the sake of this piece. This is part 1–the American League.
Boston Red Sox:
Wally the Green Monster is feeling upset. He’s been so happy for a while. His team won the 2018 World Series, sending him into another frenzy of happiness that every sports fan knows or dreams about. He even got to celebrate with his new little sister, Tessie! Then the 2019 season started and he was very sad. His team was losing and wasn’t going to make the playoffs. They even fired Wally’s good buddy and President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, who was responsible for putting together the team that won! He was so sad, and once the offseason started, things somehow got worse. His other good buddy, right fielder Mookie Betts, was rumored to be getting traded, and his team was under investigation for cheating to win the World Series! Then, Mookie actually did get traded, and not only that, he went to the Dodgers, the team they beat to win in 2018! Even worse, they traded solid pitcher David Price, too, another one of Wally’s friends! Wally is now very upset, and hopes his team can make it up by having a strong 2020 season.
The Oriole Bird is feeling honored. Forget how bad his team has been lately. He’s going to be inducted this summer into the brand-new Mascot Hall of Fame! He is so excited, yet humbled by the honor.
Chicago White Sox:
Southpaw is feeling on the rise. The White Sox had a fantastic offseason, signing catcher Yasmani Grandal, designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, and pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Keuchel. This team is certainly much better for these moves, and their younger prospects are starting to mature. The question is whether it will be enough to sneak into the playoffs.
Slider is feeling relieved. Despite incessant (and frankly annoying) rumors that Slider’s best friend Francisco Lindor would get traded, both Lindor and Cleveland have reassured the baseball world that he is not going anywhere. Pitcher Corey Kluber did leave, but he’s been on the decline and, with a division that has two horrible teams, Cleveland should be fine and contend for a playoff spot all the same.
Paws is feeling depressed. The Tigers are not good. They are paying a declining, 37-year old Miguel Cabrera 30 million dollars this year. They have very few promising prospects, and they still have a random assortment of veterans signed to short-term contracts. They have no direction and no plan, and it’s honestly sad. Paws understands this, but still holds out hope for the future, as any mascot should.
Orbit is feeling guilty. His team has been found guilty of a scandal. The Astros stole signs in order to win the 2017 World Series. This is terrible, and Orbit should have noticed. He feels horrible for letting this happen under his nose. He will only truly feel redeemed if his team wins the World Series fair and square.
Los Angeles Angels:
The Rally Monkey is feeling excited. Even though the Angels still have not addressed their prominent pitching problem, they did sign marquee free agent Anthony Rendon to a 7-year contract, finally pairing Mike Trout with another star in his (and Rendon’s) prime years.
Kansas City Royals:
Sluggerr is feeling like a new mascot. He has a new boss by the name of John Sherman, and the change couldn’t have come at a better time as Kansas City continues its rebuild. Sluggerr will certainly change a bit, as will almost everything. That’s what happens when a new owner comes around– small changes so a sense of identity is felt around the new owner. The team is still bad for now, though.
T.C. Bear is feeling like he’s almost there. The Twins once again have a deadly lineup and solid array of pitchers, yet the doubts for this team still arise. T.C. Bear, being a beary biased bear, still can’t really understand why.
New York Yankees:
The Yankees fanbase is feeling pretty gosh-darn good right now. Their team won free agency, signing star pitcher Gerrit Cole to a ridiculous 9 year, $324 million contract, filling their biggest need and then some. They are now a true World Series contender once again.
Stomper is feeling lonely. After the departure of the Raiders to Las Vegas, the A’s are the only pro sports team left in Oakland. He only has his buddies on the A’s to talk to. I feel bad for the elephant, he just wants to keep his friends home.
The Mariner Moose is feeling impatient. His team has not been to the playoffs since 2001, and that is something he just cannot accept. The rebuild continues, but the Moose is starting to get riled up.
Tampa Bay Rays:
Raymond is feeling like he doesn’t have a real home. He loves his team, but does not like his current home at Tropicana Field. The dome is weird and not very comfy. He wants to stay in Tampa Bay, though, because that’s his hometown. However, there’s now a potential deal that may make the Rays play half their home games in Montreal! Raymond is super conflicted and really just wants to be comfy and root for his team. Unfortunately for the blue guy, that’s not really happening right now. It should still be noted that, despite everything, the Rays have some real potential this year to do damage in the AL East.
Rangers Captain is feeling so fresh and cool and stuff. The Rangers once again have a new-look stadium, uniforms, and team, but no one seems to really care. It’s sad, because the Rangers Captain loves when things are shaken up. That’s how he was born in the first place. He’s excited for this shiny new stadium, new gear to try on, and new friends to make, but he wants someone to be excited with him!
Toronto Blue Jays:
Ace is feeling like he’s no longer the only ace in town. Blue Jays fans haven’t had that much to cheer for as of late, but their signing of Hyun-Jin Ryu changed that. Ace’s new buddy had a brilliant 2019 season for the Dodgers, going 14-5 with an earned run average of 2.32. The Blue Jays may not quite be contenders yet, but this is a definite step in the right direction.
Part 2 will come out tomorrow. Until then, don’t forget to wash your hands.