Mascot fight!

As Jerry Seinfeld said, we root for clothes. We want the players in the uniforms we like to beat the guys in the other livery, and oftentimes the people inside the laundry become secondary.

But what if we changed the settings and it was the mascots themselves doing battle? Which team’s representative would survive this battle royale to claim the crown?

To provide the answer, we’ll use intradivision battles to pare down the number of finalists to six, and then we’ll throw then into the ring and see which one emerges victorious. There will be some assumptions made and noted along the way, because really, what is (for example) a Red?

American League East

In this showdown, it’s the real-world champion that gets knocked out first. Sorry, Boston, but how intimidating is a red sock? It puts up so little resistance here that a little oriole takes it apart thread by thread and uses it to build a nest.

Unfortunately for Baltimore, orioles are relatively small birds, and blue jays are mean, nasty creatures. Feathers would fly in the fight, but most of them would be brown and orange, as Toronto’s mascot takes down the representative from the Charm City.

Now we come to our first debates. One, how would a bird (blue jay) do battle with a sea creature (ray). Is Tampa Bay’s mascot that aquatic animal, or is it simply a bit of sunshine? And how to best represent a yankee? What qualities and fighting skills does it possess.

We’ll tackle the last question first, which makes the others much easier to resolve. How? I’m giving the yankee a musket. Is this fair? Well, there seems to be some decent justification for this decision, so I’m running with it. Assuming the musket-wielding New Yorker is a decent shot—and he’s a soldier, so I think that’s reasonable—he can take down the blue jay.

As for the matter of the ray? First, I’m going with the sea creature embodiment, because a ray of light for a mascot is just absurd. And while New York is a long way from the warm waters in which rays can be found, we’re bringing these combatants together in suitable environments for them to face off. It may be unpleasant to think about fish guts, but that’s what we wind up with as the yankee emerges as the AL East’s champion.

National League East

This division is just weird. What’s a Phillie? How about a Met? And a National? And then there are the ramifications of stepping into the political morass of how best to represent a Brave.

Here’s how we will deal with these issues. A Phillie is an average Philadelphia sports fan, one who roots hard for its teams, loves cheese steaks, and throws snowballs at Santa Claus. A Met is similar, though the food of choice for the New York rep is huge slices of thin pizza with slightly burnt crust, and the weapon of choice is profanities (at least toward Boston teams).

For Washington, we’ll draw upon the old Senators nickname and go with a politician. Which means we’ll all be happy to see the Phillie and Met pulverize him.

So now we’re down to two big-city tough guys and a young, male Native American warrior from the outskirts of Atlanta. I’m putting the three of them in a boat, and as they begin to tussle, out of the water springs a marlin from Miami, which runs them all through at once with his spear-shaped bill and moves on to the next round.

American League Central

Another piece of laundry here, a white sock made in Chicago that a royal family member residing for some odd reason in Kansas City slips onto his foot and wears around until he gets a hole in the toe, after which he throws it into the fireplace.

While on a stroll one day, this regal personage comes across what he wrongly refers to as an Indian. Fisticuffs ensue over this misrepresentation, and the Native American from a tribe in the Cleveland area dispatches with the offending eminence whilst humming a certain Lorde song.

Traversing the wilds of Minnesota, our previous victor finds himself face to face with a pair of near-identical behemoths from the north (picture two Jim Thomesside by side). The odds in their favor, the twins take possession of the crown they find in his satchel.

Suddenly and inexplicably transported to Detroit, these two brothers are thrown into a (brief) battle with a tiger. It’s ugly, and it’s brutal, but at least it’s quick, as the large feline becomes king of the AL Central jungle.

National League Central

That long-time rivalry between the Chicago and St. Louis? It’s not nearly so long here once the cub gets a paw on the cardinal.

And now we arrive at the confusion I mentioned up front: what’s a Red? Let’s go with the Mr. Redlegs caricature used for so long by the team. As a mustachioed fellow originally from the 1800s, I assume he can handle his liquor pretty well. But when you encounter a man whose business is brewing beer, you’ve come upon some stiff competition.

With a barrel of beer in front of them, these two fellows engage in several drinking games. Eventually, all of this imbibing gets the better of the gentleman from the Queen City, and when he passes out, the Milwaukee native finishes him off.

However, into the bar saunters a certain pirate, who has sailed down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh in search of this duo. Not bothering to challenge the brewer to any drinking games, our buccaneer simply runs him through with his sword.

I’m not going to detail what happened to our furry little cub. Suffice it to say, the pirate moves on.

American League West

Is an Astro an astronaut? A cartoon dog from The Jetsons? Given Houston’s extra-orbital ties, I’ll go with the former. Unfortunately for this space traveler, upon splashdown off the coast of Seattle on a return from a lunar voyage, the waters surge over him and his pod as a mariner, looking a lot like this guy, takes him down to his watery grave.

Seeking justice, an angel straight from Orange County dives beneath the ocean’s surface and teaches the mariner about an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

However, it turns out this is a fallen angel, and his corrupt nature is his weakness. While seeking souls in Texas, he targets a ranger, figuring he can turn a tidy eternal profit by flipping this lawman to the dark side. However, at the moment our Texan has his grandfather from Georgia visiting, and a brief musical showdown sends the angel packing.

These two Southerners are sitting down to a couple of glasses of sweet tea when an albino elephant on transport from a California zoo suddenly storms into the room and shows off his athleticism and strength by teaching the cowboy that a six-shooter isn’t nearly as effective as an elephant gun. And with that, our Oakland representative reaches the next round.

National League West

It turns out our jovial friar from the heavenly San Diego beaches is no shaolin monk. A shifty trolley dodger from Los Angeles—which of course has no trolleys—shows him his quick feet and hands, polishing off the padre despite his misgivings about fighting a man of the cloth.

His actions are quickly accounted for, as a diamondback snake slithers in from the Arizona desert and delivers a deadly strike. There’s not nearly enough venom to slay a giant, and this San Franciscan colossus delivers what is literally a crushing blow to his serpentine foe.

A bunch of mountains? Really?!?!? (Maybe I should have thought this whole idea through before starting.) Wait, what’s this??? The Russian judge is declaring the representative from the state of Colorado ineligible to compete!

Wow, what a stunning development. Otherwise we may have had to wait for centuries while the giant and his progeny slowly and methodically dismantled those mountains. Instead, our extra-sized human advances to the next round.

Royal Rumble

To recap, our final six contestants are:

- a musket-toting yankee
- a marlin
- a tiger
- a pirate
- an athletic elephant
- a giant

We’ll throw the pirate and marlin against each other first, and the swashbuckler uses his cutlass to turn the marlin into a massive pile of sushi. (Mmm, sushi!)

Next into the ring is the giant. Despite his massive advantage in size, everyone knows a pirate can beat a giant, and that’s what happens here.

Something a pirate has more difficulty against, however, is a steel ball hurtling toward him at hundreds of miles per hour. And with that version of the shot heard ’round the world, the land-lovin’ yankee dispatches the scurvy seafaring dog.

The pale pachyderm charges into the ring next, and as the Texas lawman could have shared (were he still alive), tiny bullets don’t do much again a massive, thick-skinned beast. One well-placed stomp, and the fight is finished.

And now we have our final two, an elephant and a tiger. The big cat is outsized, but he has quickness, razor sharp claws and teeth, and an innate hunting instinct working to his advantage. It will take time and patience, but the bengal eventually will wear down and conquer his titanic prey.

And with that, the tiger claims the crown as the toughest mascot in baseball.

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  1. Jim said...

    If it wasn’t for the Communists, the high altitude would have taken it’s toll on the Giant and the Rocky Mountains would have advanced!

  2. Marc Schneider said...

    If we were to cross sports and stay in the same city, we would have the eternal question of who would win a fight between a Tiger and a Lion.

  3. Greg Simons said...

    @Todd – I’m sure you do quite well every year…

    @Jim – The Russian judges have always been corrupt, but what are ya gonna do?

    @Marc – Tiger wins.  The tiger is bigger and would kick the lion’s butt.  The lion as the king of the jungle is a falacity perpetrated by Disney to sell movies.

  4. Arne said...

    My first thought when I saw the article preview was the Tiger wins. But in the real world, safe to say the Rockies will probably outlast everyone else.

  5. Paul G. said...

    There are lion prides in Africa that hunt and kill elephants.  Adult elephants.  Not all lions do this, given that most lions have less dangerous prey to keep them fed, but desperate times, desperate measures, and all that.  However, that is a pride of lions working in tandem, not a single lion.  No sane tiger (or lion) would even dare take on the elephant one-on-one, except perhaps to take down an injured calf or some other easy target.  I’m pretty sure that injured, underaged pachyderms do not qualify under the “Moneyball” philosophy so the Tiger is toast.

    That said, there’s a reason why elephants mostly disappeared from the battlefield during Roman times.  Elephants can be amazingly skittish creatures.  While the musket or whatever weaponry the pirate is using is probably severely underpowered to kill one, it may be sufficiently noisy to scare the creature to evacuate the area in all due haste for the classic ring out (or the less classic but more splatterific “run off the cliff” out).  Well, that and a pirate has a pirate ship and I’m pretty sure that a semi-well placed cannonball would dispose of all involved fairly quickly.  Hey, it worked against Lord British.

    Now as to the real mascots – you know, the guys in the suits who take pictures with little kids of all ages – that gets much more interesting.  The Royals have a lion with a crown, which is a nice hybrid of power bases; the San Diego Chicken is more or a less a superhero of poultry; and the taxonomic categorization of the Phillie Phanatic remains a mystery, perhaps hiding a hidden power or twenty, supplemented by time traveling adventures giving him the ever valuable “Bill & Ted” edge.  That said, I probably would need to lean towards the Reds as they have four (4) different mascots: Mr. Redlegs, the aforementioned 19th mustache man; Mr. Red, the mid-20th century mascot man; Rosie Red, the distaff counterpart of Mr. Red; and Gapper, something that looks like the unholy offspring of the Phanatic and a Killer Tomato.  Not only does that give them a numbers advantage, but allows them to operate an M1 Abrams tank.  WIN!

  6. cass said...

    I definitely thing the elephant would crush the tiger.

    But if all American sports were included, I think the L.A. Galaxy would pretty clearly come out on top. Galaxies have super-massive black holes at their centers and I think that’d be enough to annihilate the entire competition. That’s not even mentioning super nova and gamma rays.

  7. MikeS said...

    The elephant on the A’s logo looks to be an African elephant – larger ears than an Asian elephant.  Usually, if a tiger messes with the smaller Asian elephant, the tiger loses.

  8. triple-A city said...

    @Paul G.- Your point is well taken about the Reds having the numbers advantage, but don’t forget the Nationals! In addition to Screech the eagle, they have four presidents on their side. The Red representatives may be able to operate an M-1 Abrams, but the Nationals have four iterations of the US military at their disposal. Surely they could defeat the forces of all other 29 mascots combined!

  9. John said...

    Couple of things. 
    I gotta go Indian over Tiger and Brave over Marlin.

    Brave and Indian cancel each other out.
    This said, the Giant wins unless the Pirate gets a firearm (pistol).  I’m not buying a musket (Yankee) getting off a head shot.

  10. Roy in Omaha said...

    This article is so far off base it’s tad hard to believe. I about fell off my chair in incredulity.

    The author, in titling this article, has confused team nicknames with team mascots. They are NOT the same thing. The Royals “mascot” isn’t a “Royal”, it’s a tiger (called Sluggerr).

    Ironically, the Wikipedia page for the term “mascot” points out this very fact (and, purportedly, a very common error in the 2nd paragraph of it’s description):

    Did I miss something here?

  11. Greg Simons said...

    @Roy – I did consider the fact that I was mixing mascots and nicknames.  But a title of “Nickname/mascot fight!” wasn’t quite as catchy.

    And this article wasn’t a detailed analytical piece in which I needed to be correct to the third decimal place; it was a a light-hearted, fun piece, so I took some liberties.

    A tiger?  Nickname and mascot.  An elephant? Mascot, not a nickname.  A Phillie? Nickname and …

    If we’re being picky, I’ll point out that the Royals’ mascot is a lion, not a tiger, and he’s called Sluggerrr (three r’s):

    Not that it really matters.

  12. AAAA-fan said...


    Twins Win with built-in 2-on-1 advantage.  Beat on the brat with a baseball bat!

    Besides, those aren’t Twin Thomes, they’re Twin Killer Killebrews.  Hired killers.  Paid killers.  Professional killers.  Armed & dangerous killers.

    Think: Kray Twins, or better, Doug & Dave Pirranha. 


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