This year it was announced that the long-time San Antonio Missions (currently a AA affiliate of the San Diego Padres) would be packing up and heading north to Amarillo. As the existing team mascot seemed inappropriate for a city with no Missions, the club set out on a mission to find a new mascot. There were five finalists – the Bronc Busters (boring), the Boot Scooters (lame), the Long Haulers (better but with possible porn overtones), the Jerky (who names a team after a food item and this one probably has more porn overtones than the Long Haulers) and the Sod Poodles (???).
Well, what pray tell is a Sod Poodle? Red was a bit embarrassed to learn that it as old name for the five species of stout, short-legged, short-tailed terrestrial squirrels commonly known as prairie dogs and represented in Texas by Cynomys ludovicianus. The name prairie dog derives from the barks or yipping calls of the diurnal rodents who congregate in large underground colonies across the short grass plains of North America.
Well, you might be able to guess which name Red gets behind. While Red has no love lost for squirrels in general, prairie dogs have somehow never gotten on his bad side and they are fun to watch. And the Sod Poodles would be in line with such other imaginative minor league mascots as the Lug Nuts, Sand Gnats, River Bandits, Iron Pigs, Mud Hens, Chihuahuas, Flying Squirrels, Yard Goats, Jumbo Shrimp, Muck Dogs and Hose Jockeys (Okay, Red made that last one up).
And Root, Root, Root for the Sod Poodles would actually kind of make sense.