Baseball has a very long season, with plenty of downtime.

Players find various ways to amuse themselves, and the Royals struck gold this week when they found a praying mantis in their dugout. They rescued it and as they began to win games, realized they had a rally mantis on their hands.

They decided to take the mantis on the road with them, because of course they did. From the Kansas City Star:

The latest episode involving the insect-turned-talisman had begun on Thursday, in the hours after the Royals closed out a series victory over the Chicago White Sox. It was the team’s second straight series win — and the second since the mantis appeared at Kauffman Stadium last Saturday. So the club packed up the Rally Mantis and brought him here to Minneapolis.

On Thursday, the insect spent the night with outfielder Billy Burns, who took on the role of guardian. Burns said he spent part of the night on Google, looking up information on mantises. At one point, he placed the cage on his pillow, snapped a photo of the scene, and texted it to his wife.

“While you’re away,” he told her.

Burns put grass in its wood and wire-mesh cage. He gathered a moth to feed it. He let starter Ian Kennedy lug the contraption around.

You might be able to tell where this is going, but that doesn’t make it any sadder. It turns out that baseball players don’t make the best insect caretakers.

The mantis was indeed dead. And can you really hope to recapture the magic of a rally mantis? Knowing baseball players, they’ll definitely be trying, as they love to run a joke into the ground.

RIP Rally Mantis. 2016-2016.

[Kansas City Star/Photo: Denny Medley of USA TODAY Sports]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.