A Cat on the Field. A Mantis on a Hat. Monday Baseball Had It All.
A batting Yankee sparked cheers and chatter as attempts to catch an acrobatic cat fell flat, while in the capital, a mantis sat on a Nat’s hat.
In other words, Monday was an eventful day at the intersection of baseball and animals.
An animal unexpectedly gets lost on a competition field no more than a handful of times a year, and fans generally agree that it never gets old. In 2019, a cat rushed into the end zone at Giants Stadium. In 2017, a cat perched on the garish sculpture of the Miami Marlins.
Most of the time, the animal – usually a terrified cat – exhibits deft skill in evading human capture until it decides to escape the field at will. Fans in the stadium usually support the cat against the villainous field team, and the TV presenters courageously recount the drama.
The latest entry of the genre came on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, when a game against the Baltimore Orioles was interrupted late in the eighth inning by an intruder.
Cameras first caught a cat lurking between shots in foul territory on the third base side. After Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge fouled the field on a 1-2 count, the cat rushed into left center field, putting play on hold.
“Uh oh, that might take a while,” play-by-play announcer Michael Kay said on the Yankees show.
“Look at this thing, come on; it’s faster than anyone on the Yankees, ”Kevin Brown said on the Orioles.
The animal pranced along the warning trail near the Orioles enclosure, then displayed impressive agility as it leaped over the fence.
“Pleasant. Good hops,” Kay said.
After crossing the fence, the cat jumped up and took a peek at the sight. The humans began to approach; the crowd booed.
But humans were no match for the cat easily shied away from them. The crowd applauded.
He jumped on and off the fence, jumping high but not high enough to escape, falling to the ground several times. Being a cat, he got up several times.
Four humans surrounded him; they failed. The crowd started chanting “MVP”
Five other humans surrounded him; they had no chance.
The cat curled up under the fence near the left post. This time, seven people converged.
He ran directly between a man’s legs as he escaped; the crowd went wild.
But the cheers turned to boos as the cat walked straight to an open door on the third base line and ran off the field. Now everyone should go back to watching baseball.
The Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles, 7-1.
Orioles outfielder Cedric Mullins said he saw the cat in the dugout earlier in the game, “just scary.” He added, “The next thing I know, I heard all the fans clapping. I didn’t know what was going on,” according to MLB.com. “I didn’t see the cat until “He’s on the outfield wall. Then he saw seven adult men get their ankles broken by a cat. It was pretty funny to watch.”
A Yankees spokesperson did not respond to a message seeking comment Monday night, so the cat’s fate is, as of yet, unknown.
There was a little less drama the same night in Washington, where the Nationals ‘defense had an additional defender on the pitch: A praying mantis clung to Victor Robles’ cap. He was spotted in the dugout at the end of the eighth inning and stayed on the head of the center fielder until the start of the ninth.
“She’s a mantis praying for a rally,” Bob Carpenter said on the national broadcast as the team was one point behind in the eighth.
At one point, the mantis rose from the top of Robles’ head to the brim of his cap. Robles, appearing to be playing along, reported to the bug how many outs there were in the round, in case he struggled to call.
“You come to the stadium and watch a baseball game, you never know what you’re going to see,” FP Santangelo said on the national broadcast.
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