I knew a guy who used to do the mascot thing. It’s not an easy gig. The suits are hotter than blue blazes, it’s not easy to see in them, let alone dance and clown around, and you can bet your life on the fact that at least half of the people you interact with over the age of 10 are going to be jackasses to you.
I suppose, given his stature as baseball’s most popular and acclaimed mascot, life for the Phillie Phanatic is a bit better than the guy wearing the bobcat suit for a single-A team, but that does not mean that the job is without its hazards:
The Phillie Phanatic, making a rare minor league visit to Allentown, was taken to a hospital Wednesday night after he was hit in the neck by a foul ball during the IronPigs baseball game at Coca-Cola Park. Tom Burgoyne, the man behind the Philadelphia Phillies mascot’s green fur, was still being treated at 10:15 p.m. in the emergency room of Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.
The Phanatic’s neck is where Mr. Burgoyne’s head would be, so it’s no surprise that he was shaken up. Here’s hoping he’s OK and is back to, I dunno, riding ATVs and picking fights with opposing backup catchers and first base coaches soon.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.