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Mascot Matchup: Sock Monsters

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Our continuing mascot showdown features the Red Sox, White Sox, and Reds' various abominations.

In U.S. Cellular, no one can hear you scream.
In U.S. Cellular, no one can hear you scream.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So we're profiling MLB mascots and picking the champions, because this is Sports Journalism. All of our challengers today have one thing in common: they can terrify children.

Wally The Green Monster -- Boston Red Sox

Wally has his own Wikipedia entry, cut-and-pasted from various material on Boston's MLB.com page. It is a cutesy bio describing Wally as a real, autonomous being, not a kid-friendly Barney ripoff with a human inside. Many teamsites have such info about their mascots; all written in the same fashion. This intends to suggest a fanciful mythological story: "Wally likes to play catch with the Red Sox players, read his favorite book Hello, Wally, and sneak into the concession stands when no one is looking to grab a bite."

Instead, it suggests a potentially dangerous dissociative identity disorder. "Wally likes to watch people. He mostly likes to watch people who don't know he's there. This gives Wally a funny feeling in his furry midregion." Perhaps early signs of the crackup can be detected here:

Wally also has a sister, "Tessie," who appears to be Wally once H.R. Pufnstuf introduced him to LSD. This might be when Wally invented Lefty and Righty, two anthropomorphic socks.

  • Advantages: Team-appropriate name, should have been a giant walking wall, but whatever
  • Disadvantages: Are kids supposed to embrace lovable jealousy now? That's "greed is good" taken to a whole new level.
Southpaw -- Chicago White Sox

Southpaw belongs to the category of "WTF" mascots. It resembles a hybrid between the Muppets Sunffleupagas and Sweedums, dyed in whatever toxic poison turns Budweiser green on St. Patrick's Day. Its body is covered in what looks like fur, yet are actually thousands of venomous tendrils that paralyze a hug victim, allowing the child to be absorbed for vital nutrients. Which Southpaw then lactates into bottles for owner Jerry Reinsdorf to consume. It is on record as calling the Twins "Bad Guys" and not even Sox fans can tell what it is:

  • Advantages: Can be used to threaten bad children, like Krampus
  • Disadvantages: Neither name nor appearance suggest Chicago in any way
Mr. Redlegs -- Cincinnati Red Stockings

The Reds have actually gone through quite a few mascots, but Wiki says Mr. Redlegs is the fan favorite. (Alternatives include Mr. Red, which is this one pre-mustache, Gapper which is a pink Southpaw, and Rosie Red, who badly needs a 21st-century makeover.)

Mr. Redlegs seems harmless enough, minus the Snively Whiplash mustache. Until he was decapitated in an ATV accident. Show that one to your five-year-old, then show them this inadvertently horrifying health network ad, "What Happened To Mr. Redlegs?":

It's pretty obvious what's happened. The ATV accident has turned Mr. Redlegs homicidally insane. A medical team is restraining his thrashing, rage-filled body long enough to apply emergency electroshock therapy. Which sends Mr. Redlegs into a catatonic state where he dreams of domestic bliss. After this, Chief Wahoo will throw a sink out the asylum window and escape to freedom.

  • Advantages: Better than other Sox mascots
  • Disadvantages: Mr. Met ripoff

So, time to pick your winner!