That now includes the man who portrayed team mascot Billy the Marlin:
Source : The Marlins have terminated the man inside the suit of Billy the Marlin. Marlins spokesman says Billy himself has not been fired. He will remain Marlins Mascot, played by someone else.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 5, 2018
It’s nice the Marlins clarified they hadn’t eliminated the mascot itself, while presumably not clarifying they hadn’t murdered the former employee, an outcome left open by the wording of Craig’s tweet.
It’s a bit of a surprise, given the former…actor? What would you call the guy in a mascot costume? Portrayor? The former guy in the suit had been with the team for a very long time:
Billy the Marlin was played by the same person for 14 years.
— Craig Mish (@CraigMish) February 6, 2018
At least one other MLB mascot has weighed in on the subject:
This is a travesty….. 😢😢😢😢
— TC Bear (@TC_00) February 6, 2018
And it kind of is! What cost-cutting isn’t beneath the new Jeter regime? If you want to kill some time, I’d suggest visiting Billy the Marlin’s Wikipedia entry, which includes a “Skydiving mishap” heading:
U.S. Navy SEAL parachutist, Lou Langlais, dressed as Billy the Marlin, lost the costume’s five-pound head to a gust of wind while parachuting towards (the then named) Pro Player Stadium on Opening Day of the 1997 season, April 1. Langlais altered his course to land outside the stadium, allowing another Billy to make a regular appearance on the field. The head was recovered in good shape, apart from a scratch to the neck, two months later by Victor Rowe and Mike Zinniger at the side of Florida’s Turnpike.
Sure, that sounds about right. Billy is also described as being of “unknown age”, which sounds way more sinister than it should. He was named by Wayne Huizenga, because of course he was; owners micromanaging things down to the mascot name is the least surprising thing ever.
Still, this shouldn’t be a surprise; the Marlins fired a longtime scout battling cancer a few months ago, so no one is really safe.