Prior to the sixth inning of Tuesday night's game between the Marlins and Braves at Marlins Park, there came an unexpected delay. It wasn't a swarm of bees, or a rally squirrel. It was a cat and it was in the outfield and on the wall.
It eventually found a home in the home run sculpture in center field.
The Marlins have seemingly already accepted it as one of their own, anointing it as a Rally Cat and crowdsourcing the naming process.
So... what should we name our #RallyCat? ����- Miami Marlins (@Marlins) April 12, 2017
It remains to be seen what tangible effect J.T. Realmeowto will have on the Marlins' on-field success. The early returns on the feline's rally-making powers are not so hot with the Marlins failing to score in the bottom of the sixth inning. But Miami did win the game, 8-4.
After the game, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro spoke to Marcell Ozuna about the cat. "The first thing, I was thinking, bad luck," Ozuna said. "And then, I said, 'Ok, you're here for some reason. Maybe our good luck. Let's play.' ... Every time I came out for defense. I looked at the cat out there, hiding its head into the thing. I'm thinking, 'What are you doing out there?' The last inning, I don't see it. I didn't know where he'd go."
Despite deciding this particular cat was good luck, Ozuna noted that he's not a huge fan of cats. "I detest cats," Ozuna avowed. "I don't like them. No allergies. I don't like them."
Marlins center fielder Christian Yelich approached the situation with a bit more caution and empathy. "It was scared," he said of the cat. "I wasn't about to touch it. It ran right at me out of the stands. It ran. I just let it go. I wasn't about to try to catch it."
"Do we have a new mascot?" manager Don Mattingly said. "I was hoping it wasn't black." Given that the cat was more gray than black and that the Marlins won the game, Mattingly may indeed be looking at a new mascot.
And, of course, the cat got its very own Twitter account.
Wow I look crazy pic.twitter.com/aBvt97DvMi- MarlinsCat (@MarlinsCat) April 12, 2017
Predictably, the internet had some reactions to the cat as well:
Andres Galarraga looks different. pic.twitter.com/862EHlGPKy- Jesse Spector �� (@jessespector) April 12, 2017
Our #OpeningNight attendance: 36,519 humans + one cat. ��- Marlins Park (@MarlinsPark) April 12, 2017
Update: We have suspended use of our home run sculpture for the time being & are monitoring #RallyCat, who appears to be safe at the moment.- Marlins Park (@MarlinsPark) April 12, 2017
It seems we have seen the last of the Rally Cat, at least for the time being.
It was rescued. Nevertheless, it persisted.