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The Red Sox played with a toy rat before a live one showed up in the Mets' dugout

Forget the Rally Squirrel -- that's old news. Forget the Rally Goose, too. You know what the most hardcore rally animal is? A rat. That's right, those pesky, frightening creatures, who hold court in the unseen world all around us, have recently risen to prominence at Fenway Park.
After a rat was spotted in the dugout on Tuesday -- and probably stuck its nose out a few more times since then -- the team decided to embrace its role as the Rat Sox and had a toy (we think) rat skeleton in the dugout during Friday's game against the Mets

But maybe they weren't fooling around, but rather than making an offering to the rat king -- like something out of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls" or Stephen King's "Graveyard Shift" -- because in the next inning, a live rat was spotted in the Mets dugout. Jose Lobaton quickly grabbed his bat and started doing "Charlie work." 

While Lobaton was going after the rat, Dominic Smith was a fan:

And here's the little guy who made all that ruckus:

Noah Syndergaard didn't think much of the rat, though:

Oddly enough, a rat plays a pretty big part in Red Sox lore. When Carlton Fisk hit his epic home run that he willed fair in the 1975 World Series, the only reason the camera man didn't pan away from the Hall of Famer to follow the flight of the ball was because of a rat
 "There were some rats running around," NBC cameraman Lou Gerard said. "With Fisk coming up, Harry Coyle, who was the director at the time, he told me, 'Lou, you have to follow the ball if he hits it.' I said, 'Harry, I can't, I've got a rat on my leg that's as big as a cat. It's staring me in the face. I'm blocked by a piece of metal on my right.' So he said, 'What are we going to do?' I said, 'How about if we stay with Fisk, see what happens?'"
Maybe there really is a rally rat ...