On Tuesday, I correctly predicted the winners of the Wild Card games based on the awesomeness of their mascots. I'm batting 1.000 and now it's time to pick the divisional series.
Cardinals vs. Pirates
We start with the marquee match-up of two old school mascots who have been dancing on dugouts since 1979. The Parrot is enjoying his first winning season since 1992, after managing to keep his spirits up during 20+ years cheering on a loser. He filmed one of the greatest mascot videos of all time recreating the end of the Sopranos. He has a mini me and great costumes. The Parrot also holds an annual fundraiser where he drives his motorcycle from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati.
Simply put, Fredbird is friggin' hilarious. He moves around with the frantic energy of a real bird, and he can dance. Watching Fredbird in action is a treat because he never stops moving, is always in character, and is constantly doing something funny. While mysteriously absent from Twitter (a bird that doesn't tweet?), there is a great parody account -- Drunk Fredbird.
Both teams have top notch mascots, making this a tough call. However, Fredbird's already a proven champ with three World Series wins in his reign, so my pick: St. Louis Cardinals.
Dodgers vs. Braves
The Dodgers are one of four teams (Yankees, Angels, Cubs) that don't have a mascot, so instead they'll be represented by LA Kings mascot and Dodgers fan Bailey. Bailey was named after Kings scout Ace Bailey, who died in the September 11th attacks. This lion is king of the social media jungle, engaging in fights with WWE star CM punk and warning the Dodgers against acquiring Carlos Marmol. He's the head of a popular kids club bearing his name, and all of his appearance fees go to the Kings Care charity.
Originally cheered on by Chief Noc-A-Homer, the Braves have had two other costumed mascots, the Bleacher Creature and Rally, before settling on Homer. A pretty unimaginative character who looks like a cheap Mr. Met, the Braves didn't even bother to send their mascot to the All-Star game. He's not on Twitter and his official webpage is threadbare. Other than the fact he obviously kicked his meth habit, there is really nothing remarkable about Homer the Brave.
My pick: LA Dodgers.
Tigers vs. A's
Paws is the hardworking mascot of the Detroit Tigers. On the prowl since 1995, this Motown motivator encourages students with his "Casey at the Bat" assembly and will even help you with your wedding proposal. At $125 an appearance, Paws is the most affordable MLB mascot to book, which, in a city that just declared bankruptcy, is a nice consideration to their fan base. He has some great costumes and does a solid job for a rather traditional/conservative team.
The A's have Stomper the elephant as their mascot, who's been working for peanuts since 1997. The elephant became the A's mascot after New York Giants manager John McGraw denounced the 1905 Athletics as a "white elephant." This pachyderm can bust a move and engaged in a "Step Up" style dance off with a fan in this video. Stomper has his own Twitter account and has more followers than cross town rival Lou Seal. He'll show up to your wedding in a custom tux and is a hit with the ladies.
Paws is one of my personal favorites, but after two World Series losses and Stompers sweet moves, my pick: Oakland A's.
Red Sox vs. Rays
Originally booed by the Red Sox faithful, Wally the Green Monster has become one of the most recognizable mascots in sports. Not wanting to be left out of the #GetBeard movement he quickly grew his own giant beard. He starred with David Ortiz in a hilarious SportsCenter commercial and has the biggest following of all MLB mascots on Twitter, where he often talks trash.
Raymond -- my old gig -- is very familiar with Wally and the Red Sox nation, having faced off versus the Green Monster himself , the players, and the fans. Labeled on his official bio as a "Canus Manta Whatthefluffalus," this sea dog lists "poodle shaving, extreme chess, and full contact shuffle board" as his hobbies. Just like Stomper, he can bust a move and loves to jump into his pajamas whenever the game goes into extra innings. After the 2008 Rays-Red Sox brawl, he lobbied for peace in the AL East.
This is another tough call, with two solid mascots to choose from. Despite the fact that Raymond is a far better dancer, with two World Series rings and enough popularity to make him the Mickey Mouse of New England, Wally is my pick: Boston Red Sox. Best of luck to all the hardworking MLB mascots! Check back for my championship round predictions.