This falls firmly into the category of things that really don’t make up for a loss, much less two in a row, at home, to struggling Yokohama, but that we here at Tsubamegun: The Tokyo Yakult Swallows kind of have to at least mention:
Tonight was the 1,000th game for mascot Tsubakurou (?????), who started with the team in 1994, saw it through three of its five Japan Series titles, and has fired thousands of T-shirts into the stands over the years (once to Chris, never to yours truly), finding himself a ladyfriend, a breakdancing alter-ego (or something like that), and a rather irritating dance team in DDS (in its first and, hopefully, last season) along the way.
Points against Tsubakurou: He’s a mascot. I really don’t see the point, but I’ll grant that he entertains the kiddies. I just wish he wasn’t in the team’s official logo. It’s enough that they’ve spent the past couple of years playing like stuffed toys without finding cute ways to advertize it.
Points for Tsubakurou: He is the mascot for the Swallows and is a Swallow, which makes sense. He is not, say, a dancing koala in the role of mascot for the Dragons, a bear replacing a knight as mascot for the Fighters, or a pink mutant rabbit acting as the mascot for the Giants. In other words, Tsubakurou is possibly the least stupid mascot in the land.
And for that, we congratulate him.
Look for him to do a spot of pitching later in the summer if this week was the rule, not the exception.