Mr. Met’s bright eyes never dimmed. The smile on his baseball-shaped head did not falter. Less than a day after achieving viral infamy, the Mets’ beleaguered mascot was back at Citi Field, engaged in far more family-friendly activities than the night before.
The video posted on Twitter on Wednesday night lasted only three seconds, but it seemed to spread far more quickly than even that: Mr. Met, the beloved mascot, delivering an obscene gesture as he entered the tunnel shortly before the end of the Mets’ loss to the Brewers.
The Mets quickly apologized and, on Thursday, sources close to Mr. Met (and the team) said a different employee would don the spherical head and puffy gloves. During Thursday’s matinee, Mr. Met shot T-shirts from a cannon and danced along to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” without incident.
The clip, which originally was posted to Twitter by Adelphi student and Oyster Bay resident Anthony DeLucia, quickly was picked up by a number of outlets, including Sports Illustrated and TMZ. The video left Mets public relations officials scrambling for a response. Though DeLucia declined to elaborate much on the incident, he denied that he instigated the encounter, according to a report in the New York Post.
Back on Twitter, he clarified: “Literally was with my friends and we didn’t even say a word, just reaching over for a high- five.”
The Mets reiterated that they are dealing with the matter internally. A number of people wear the costume in the course of the season. The Mets have had consistent mascots, but the latest one resigned after the 2015 season, according to published reports.
The gesture garnered a mixture of reactions, from disappointment to bemusement. Fudgie the Whale, the Carvel mascot, took to Twitter to ask for the gig, going so far as to take a picture with his resume in front of Citi Field. A former Mr. Met and author of “Yes, It’s Hot in Here,” A.J. Mass, bemoaned the demise of the professional mascot in an article he published to ESPN.
“I’ve been there,” he wrote. “I’ve had beers poured on me. I’ve had drunken fans attack me from behind in an attempt to knock me to the ground . . . as an organization, it behooves you to avoid headaches — like the one the Mets are currently suffering — by making sure your hiring practices are thorough. After all, you never want anyone pointing the finger at you.”
With Steven Marcus