Go Rally Possum!
After yesterday’s rather bitter piece about the Yankees sticking it to some 16 year old Dominican kid, the Rally Possum nonsense going on in Oakland right now is at least something I can kind of get behind.
The back story: the Oakland Coliseum has an opossum living in it. That’s not particularly unusual — the old Houston Astrodome was famous for its rats and feral cats who had taken up permanent residence.
However, this particular large marsupial rat is braver than most and came out onto the field yesterday in the tenth inning (A’s players say he/she comes out fairly regularly during pre-game warm ups) and the A’s promptly won the game, leading pitcher Jeff Samardzija to call on the animal to be the A’s official rally mascot, at least for as long as the A’s continue winning.
Here’s some footage of “Larry” (scroll down) (a former homeless person I know who used to live out at the Albany Landfill said he and the other campers used to refer to all the possums who would sometimes raid their food stores out there as Larry). Larry is an ugly devil, as all possums are, but I have kind of a soft spot for the creatures, so long as they don’t get too close. They tend to be pretty brave, because their main defense is playing dead and giving off the smell of rotting flesh to discourage predators. According to wikipedia, they do this by emitting a green fluid from the anus, which you have to admit is a pretty amusing solution to the very serious problem of getting eaten.
Ray Ratto has already written a snarky article about why A’s fans should not adopt the Rally Possum as their own, comparing Larry to the Angels’ Rally Monkey and the Giants’ Panda hats. I don’t think the comparison is particularly apt.
Larry isn’t some dumb-ass stuffed-toy; he’s real-life vermin making his way in the big city. The little f*&#$er has figured out a way to make a living scarfing down left-overs at O.co, just like the flocks of seagulls who circle the skies and sit on the rim of AT&T Park across the Bay for the Big Feed as soon as the fans clear out after games. In my mind, Larry’s strategy is eminently practical, at least until they put down the super-size spring trap with his name on it.
Way to Go, Larry — emit some A’s-green anal stink fluid for me!