Big League Stew - MLB

The 1969 Chicago Cubs had their black cat. Will the St. Louis Cardinals look back on the 2011 NL playoffs and lament ... "the squirrel"?

Don't be ridiculous, of course not. Stupid question. However, the Philadelphia Phillies just might want to adopt the li'l guy who briefly delayed Game 3 of the NLDS in the sixth inning, before either team had scored.

What happened afterward? It was all Phillies, in a 3-2 victory Tuesday that put them on the verge of their fourth straight NLCS. Watch the squirrel interrupt Ryan Theriot's(notes) at-bat:

After play resumed, Theriot got a hit but was stranded in scoring position. An inning later, the game's big shot, Ben Francisco(notes), put the Phillies on the board with a three-run homer. Would that have happened without the squirrel appearing? Well, you can't prove that it would have!

Afterward, the main topic of discussion was not the Phillies putting the Cardinals on the verge of elimination. Via the Twitter of Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Gelb, fans learned what really was on the Phillies' minds:

Squirrel! Phillies surge after li’l rodent delays NLDS Game 3

"Dude, that squirrel was unbelievable," Shane Victorino(notes) said. "Did they ever catch it?"

UPDATE: The 700 Level has its own take on the Phillies' rally squirrel, along with Victorino's take on the Budweiser Clydesdale horses making the rounds at Busch Stadium:

"There was poo everywhere."

Horses and squirrels, oh my! As for the squirrel, nobody ever catches it, Shane. Sometimes squirrels fall out of a tree, hit the ground, have convulsions and die (I saw it happen once, at my grandparents' house), but they're never caught. And what about those knuckleheads in the front row at Busch Stadium in the video, lunging at the squirrel like it was a foul ball?

Squirrel! Phillies surge after li’l rodent delays NLDS Game 3

In this extended video hot mix of the squirrel delaying the game, note the look on Jimmy Rollins'(notes) face. He's not going anywhere near the squirrel. He knows what squirrel time it is.

Squirrels might look cute, but as my dog Bevo would tell you, they're evil, evil creatures. If you're lucky, a squirrel will only scratch you, or bite you and give you rabies. If you're lucky. But if you run into the wrong squirrel — one that belongs to the infamous Squirreleone Crime Family, you might be assassinated on the spot.

The lesson: Keep your hands in the ballpark at times when your team's batting and there's a squirrel!

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