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David Brown

Photo: Praying mantis shows support for maligned umpires

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Umpire Jerry Layne made a friend at Nationals Park on Tuesday night and it wasn't (necessarily) rookie right-hander Stephen Strasburg(notes).

Don't bug out, everybody, but Layne's new buddy was a praying mantis that I've named Camo Joe. The li'l guy sat atop Layne's cap during the game and was photographed after the final out was recorded in the 8-2 victory by Florida Marlins against the hometown Washington Nationals.

It's believed Camo Joe emerged from the nearby forests of D.C to learn the basics of umpiring so that insects might form professional baseball leagues. He's not worried, apparently, about the spate of disputed calls that has many calling for the heads, figuratively, of some umps.

Speaking of which, can you imagine being a baseball-playing mantis trying to argue a call with an umpire mantis? You don't dare, or else risk being cannibalized.

Perhaps Camo Joe can learn moderation and reason from Jerry Layne and take such knowledge back to the insect baseball world in time for the Mite World Series in October.

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