As we are all aware by know, the St. Louis Cardinals are coming to town. We already have a great series preview coming up tomorrow, so I wanted to break down something a little more important.
Since the end of May, the Milwaukee Brewers have used the phrase “Beast Mode” as a sort of rallying cry. Beast Mode entails throwing your arms up to make yourself, in essence, look like a beast. Meanwhile the Cardinals have rallied themselves around a rascally tree dweller, who was ran across home plate in Game 4 of the NLCS. So, I want to delve into which battle cry/rally rodent has the upper hand?
Now, I am going to do my best to be as democratic about this as possible. Therefore, I must tell you that I know more about “Beast Mode”. It is more familiar to me because I am a Brewers fan. For any Cardinals fans who find themselves here, please keep in mind that I have done a great deal of research and reading about the “Rally Squirrel” and I am also fully aware of “Mr. Tortie”. Are you intrigued? You should be, it’s all very fascinating.
Beast Mode: Origins – The premise for Beast Mode is very simple. The Disney/Pixar film “Monster’s Inc.” was, and is, a wildly popular animated children’s movie. Prince Fielder has two young sons, who naturally would be the ideal crowd for said film. Many athletes in history have special signals they give to their kids at home. My personal favorite was Jeff Hornacek (NBA player), incessantly brushing his forehead before shooting a free throw. I digress. In “Monster’s Inc”, the premise of the film is that monsters scare children, then use their screams for energy (weak plot, I know). So, the monsters practice scaring, or…Beast Mode. Prince Fielders sons, asked him to do that for them during games. As time went on, the other players took notice and tried it out for themselves. And, as theses things tend to do, Beast Mode became a rallying point for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Rally Squirrel: Origins – On Tuesday night, a special visitor made his way into Busch Stadium during the bottom of the 6th inning. Ryan Theriot was at the plate, when the squirrel in question sprinted across home plate. Theriot singled, and the squirrel had a Twitter account. Now a squirrel running onto the field is not anything out of the ordinary. But, when (what I can only assume is the same squirrel) he appeared again as Roy Oswalt was about to throw to Skip Schumaker, a star was born.
Beast Mode: NLCS Impact: Well, there is no doubt that there will be Beast Mode sightings in this series. How many appearances, will dictate the outcome of this series. You see, Beast Mode is only revealed after a big hit. There has never been a Beast Mode defensive sighting. So, should Beast Mode be revealed multiple times over the next few days, it will have a very direct impact on the outcome of this series.
Rally Squirrel: NLCS Impact: There is no way that the Rally Squirrel will not make an appearance in this series. He has been spotted in the clubhouse, my cousins oak tree, and in Citizens Bank Park for Game 5. Do you have any idea how hard it is for a squirrel to travel from St. Louis to Philly? It will be almost impossible to play in St. Louis without a squirrel showing up. The squirrel seems to only show himself when things are about to go the Cardinals way. So, should we have multiple squirrel sightings, he will be a driving force in who takes home the NL pennant.
Beast Mode: Interesting Fact – Over the course of the season, all of the batters have developed their own variation of Beast Mode. They have different arm angles and hand configurations. For example, Zack Greinke’s Beast Mode looks suspiciously like a Velociraptor…so watch out for that guy (heavy sarcasm). No one Beast Mode is exactly the same.
Rally Squirrel: Interesting Fact – After an amazing Game 5 victory, Tony LaRussa gave the Squirrel’s name and the name of an accomplice. Miss Squirrely and a turtle, known as Mister Tortie. At this time very little is known about Mister Tortie, but he is presumed to be armed and dangerous. What we can confirm, is that these two are working together. And I have that from a very reliable source.
Beast Mode: Final Grade – As an overall team rally cry, Beast Mode receives a B+ from me. It is a great story and something that the players have really embraced, but the title “Beast Mode” was actually made famous during last years NFL Playoffs. Marshawn Lynch had one of the greatest running plays ins the history of the game. In his post-game interview, he referred to that run as “Beast Mode”. So, while they are different in concept, they are the same in name.
Rally Squirrel: Final Grade – I classify the squirrel as a mascot, or rallying symbol. The Rally Squirrel gets a B. While there is no doubt that the squirrel possesses some sort of magic, he is not the type of animal that insights fear into it’s opponent. Then I must consider that he works with another animal who has a similar fear factor, the turtle. When I was a kid, if someone would have said, “What are you more afraid of a squirrel or a turtle?”. I probably would have passed. Another factor I considered was longevity. The squirrel is still very new and gaining steam. This grade could very well improve over the next week or so.
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Tomorrow I will have some actual baseball content up for you.