Tampa's Archer and Astros mascot make prank battle official

HOUSTON (AP) Tampa Bay ace Chris Archer and Houston Astros mascot Orbit have never been friends.

But on Monday they took their distaste for each other to another level when Archer presented the furry green alien with a ''declaration of unfriendliness'' before Tampa's game against the Astros.

The official-sounding declaration read in part: ''general mischief and rascality have been among Orbit's repeated trespasses. Chris Archer is hereby resolved to carry on a campaign of pranks, gags and high jinx in retaliation which include but are not limited to use of objects such as water balloons, whipped pies, silly string, small motorized vehicles, bubblegum, hand-crafted signage and any of the considerable resources of a Major League clubhouse.''

Orbit did not take kindly to being presented with the declaration. After perusing it, he threw his cap off and began poking Archer in the chest and gesturing wildly. Soon, Archer's teammate Steven Souza Jr. stepped in between the two to end the faux fight.

It was at that point that Orbit took the declaration and wadded it into a ball and threw it at the pitcher. Souza then gestured to Orbit as an umpire would to an ejected player that he was out of there. Archer collected his declaration and stalked away from his confrontation with the rotund mascot.

But the tomfoolery wasn't over yet.

Soon after the Astros tweeted a video of the confrontation with the title ''this could get ugly,'' the Rays took to their star's defense with a silly statement of support in this battle.

It read in part: ''We stand by Chris and offer our full support in these trying times. Orbit's pattern of mischievous behavior can no longer go unchecked. We will provide Chris with all the water balloons and silly string he requires.''

The Astros were unimpressed by the solidarity the Rays showed with Archer and retweeted it with only one word: ''Oh.''

No word on exactly what the pair has planned for future dustups.

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More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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