PORTLAND, MAINE (CAP) - "Slugger," the mascot for the Double-A baseball team the Portland Sea Dogs, will be the first of many baseball mascots called before a Congressional committee investigating possible wrongdoing at Minor League ballgames, sources say.
"We have credible evidence that, in racing young fans around the bases between innings, Slugger may have, on numerous occasions, let the fan win, thus shattering expectations of fair, above-board play at our sporting contests," Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) wrote in a letter to Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig. "Frankly, I'm appalled. Even more appalled than usual, I mean."
Specter is apparently basing his concerns on a recent study showing that, out of more than 1,000 such races that Slugger has participated in since 1994, he has never won a single one, despite being clearly larger and more skilled at running than most of his young opponents.
"Listen, Slugger is a large, capable half-seal/half-dog with the stamina to lead a crowd of 7,000 through a boisterous version of the Village People's YMCA," noted Specter when contacted by CAP News. "You're telling me he can't beat a 7-year-old around a baseball diamond? Something stinks here."
Specter also claimed that Slugger and other members of his mascot brethren, including Ribbee of the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx and Homer the Polecat of the Huntsville Stars, have attempted to unduly influence fans by offering them free merchandise, such as shirts and towels, usually fired at them at high rates of speed through so-called "T-shirt cannons" that may have been smuggled in from Iran.
"What these characters are going to find out is that baseball fans can't be bought or intimidated, even Minor League baseball fans," said Specter. "They see Homer the Polecat for the skunk he really is. Or weasel. We have it narrowed down to one of those two."
Slugger, who is mute, had no comment. But a spokesman for the Portland Sea Dogs insisted that the races are legitimate, as are the contest to throw fake groceries into giant supermarket carts and the one where a blindfolded man runs around the outfield trying to knock down a gigantic inflated Chick-Fil-A cow.
"We take great pride in our professionalism and our integrity," said Bob Reynolds of the Portland Sea Dogs front office. "Just ask the Sea Dog Trash Monsters when you're throwing away your hot dog wrappers and soda cups in their mouth."
Selig has yet to comment on the scandal, but insiders fear it could have serious repercussions in the mascot community.
"Remember what happened with Mr. Met?" asked one mascot who declined to be named, referring to the 1989 incident where a player hit the New York Mets mascot in the head with a baseball bat. "It took years to get beyond that."
In that case, after a lengthy trial, the player was cleared on the grounds that Mr. Met's head is a giant baseball.
- CAP News Staff