As if the Cardinals’ road through the playoffs hasn’t been wild enough, the appearance of Allen Craig’s pet tortoise and Busch Stadium’s newly-crowned Rally Squirrel have bumped the wacky-meter up a few more notches. With TortyCraig’s Twitter tails of LOBster dinners, doughNUT breakfasts, and pre-game sprinkle soaks, and BuschSquirrel’s determination to outdo Joe Strauss’ follower count and Charlie Manuel’s shotgun, the baseball world (and the sports world in general) has been taken by storm.
First, there was @TortyCraig and the “Do it for Torty!” chant. With more than 12,575 followers (as of 11:30 this morning), the adopted mascot has continued to charm Cardinal Nation with silly stories that, at times, seem all too probably. (Plus, he’s got the Albert Pujols accent down pat, mang!)
This morning, he shared a frightful account of a near petnapping when Torty and @SirGloveAWilson (Jason Motte’s glove, FYI) were making their way to the clubhouse with the daily sprinkle delivery (if you’ve missed out on the sprinkle madness, go back and read it to catch up. Go ahead … then come back.)
It appears the Philly Phanatic had some sinister plans of his own, after being upstaged by a slow poke, a rodent and a glove.
Not to worry, Torty continued. David Frees…er… Batman swooped in, snagged the Phanatic and saved the day.
As for Motte’s glove, he’s got some fightin’ words of his own for those Phils:
Well done, Sir Glovington.
But the real mayhem began with what started as a pesky intrusion to Game 3 of the NLDS Tuesday in St. Louis. In case you’ve been living under a baseball-free rock this week, find the recap from Ann Warner here. Long story short, that squirrel started a rally that hasn’t stopped since Wednesday’s pitch-interrupting home plate dash.
by Joe Holleman at the St. Louis Post Dispatch, featured on ESPN’s Game 4 recap, and covered by the New York Times (the New York Times!) Buschy even forced a press conference in St. Louis that mapped out the humane squirrel catch-and-release plan to rid Busch Stadium of the visitors.
After revealing his plans to travel with Torty and Glovington to Philadelphia, Buschy covered his tracks by tweeting his plans to stay out of sight. You just never know about those Phillies fans…
Squirrel-mania is everywhere. This morning, it was reported that a giant Rally Squirrel impersonator was standing somewhere on highway 40 in St. Louis waving at the passers by. Of course, twitter was all over it.
Poor Torty — upstaged in his own game by a squirrel!
Even KMOX is in on the fun (as they well should be, after John Rooney and Mike Shannon laughed their way through the wackiness on Wednesday night!). But they went big — REAL big. Like, billboard big. And bigger still? they took a chance on playing with the iconic “Go crazy, folks!” call that every Cardinal fan knows and loves.
I guess when something is working, you have to roll with it, right?
Whatever the magic of animal support on Twitter is, I say stick with it. Whatever the distraction it causes for the opponent, I’ll take it. And whatever pleasure it brings to all of us who are guilty of being more than a little amused, it’s worth it.
It’s the postseason. It’s the best time of the year for those lucky enough to have a team in the hunt. So, if it gets a little squirrely along the way, so be it!
Not lost in the mascot madness is the meaningful match-up of pitchers in tonight’s game. Be sure to check out Christine’s preview on the best friends’ face off.
And just for good measure, one last tweet from the fake Chris Carpenter account.
May the force of the replacement mascots be with you, Carp. Go Cards!