Don't lose your keys around Ronald Acuña Jr. unless you want to be humiliated
Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. has developed a reputation for being a punishing opponent on the field. He'll ambush pitchers with leadoff home runs and steal home runs with leaping catches in center field that he makes look impossibly easy. The 21-year-old phenom isn't very forgiving as a rival player, as many teams are finding out the hard way.
Which brings me to the Phillie Phanatic. The mascot is known for some outright high jinks and total nonsense on the field, sometimes involving his trusty ATV, which he drives all over the field for maximum trolling of opposing players -- but sometimes, the players turn the tables
With the Braves in Philadelphia Tuesday night, Acuña did just that, stealing the ATV keys and making the Phanatic truly earn them back.
Acuña caught the Phanatic slippin'.— Subscribe to Cut4 on YouTube!!!! (@Cut4) September 10, 2019
The Phanatic had to earn his ATV keys back the hard way. 😂 pic.twitter.com/5KSHPJXpk2
Look at that. "Sit, roll over, beg," all the requisite dog commands we use to barter with our pets in exchange for treats. In this case, the Phanatic's treat was his keys, and he was absolutely humiliated in the process.
The Phanatic's all-terrain feat of folly is one of his calling cards as far as signature nonsense moves are concerned, and Acuña isn't the first player to use the ATV to his advantage. The Mets' Noah Syndergaard once stole the vehicle and went on a joyride, for example:
Back Acuña's decision to humble the Phanatic by making him do tricks to get his keys back ... that's inspired stuff. I'm also impressed that the Phanatic, who is apparently a bird (a fact worth reminding everyone whenever possible due to its shock value), knows dog commands. My family had pet birds throughout my childhood and none of them even acknowledged our existence, let alone responding to commands. So the Phanatic gets points for this.
But so does Acuña, for showing without a doubt who's the boss when he's on the field. He is. He's the boss. Learn it, live it, love it.
Hope the Phanatic learned his lesson.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.