Opening day in Cotuit today but I went to Hyannis last night for the season opener against the Hyannis Harborhawks and witnessed the unveiling of their new mascot, a person in a bird suit. The mascot's name is "Ossie" as in Osprey. Hyannis has an identity crisis. They used to be the "Mets" but then the Cape Cod Baseball League's teams who were borrowing the names of major league teams had to stop because of trademark and licensing stuff. So the Mets became the Harborhawks, a nod to the ospreys that next on top of the light poles around the field. They kept the uniform colors of the Amazing New York Mets but the name was changed.
The real birds were there last night, making their screechy osprey peep sounds from their nest on top of the light pole behind the visitor's bleachers. Ossie was introduced to the crowd. This made me ask the guy next to me on the bleachers why they weren't called the "Hyannis Ospreys" in the first place.
The Hyannis Harborhawks are guilty of the same name confusion as Cape Cod Academy which has adopted the "Sea Hawk" as its mascot. There are no such things as Harbor Hawks and Sea Hawks. Yes, "sea hawk" is blessed as a possible synonym for osprey by Wikipedia, but the Britannica Killer also says it can refer to the skua. Then there is the Sea Eagle -- a synonym for that classic crossword puzzle three-letter word: "Ern" -- but no Harbor Hawk exists except in Hyannis.
Personally, I'd embrace the Osprey and be done with it. Ospreys are cool. Ospreys are survivors. And the frigging new mascot is running around calling itself "Ossie". Besides they named a really expensive controversial but bad ass helicopter-plane after the species:
I think Hyannis is at the vanguard of a dangerous trend in Cape Cod Baseball: more mascots. I won't speculate what Wareham would come up with, since they are the Gatemen (maybe a security guard would work). Chatham (the original "quaint little drinking village with a fishing problem") has the Mariners -- so some guy stuffed into some waders with an 11-foot long surfcasting rod could be easily pressed into service and cast t-shirts into the bleachers in between innings. Brewster has the Whitecaps. Tough one there.I guess a custom costume that looked like a Big Wave, give the thing a Supersoaker, have it blast kids. Blow off a tsunami warning horn after every home run?
But Cotuit.... We have a kettle to thank for our name. The kettle that Myles Standish used to "pay" the Wampanoags for the land that became Cotuit, which with a garden hoe thrown in to sweeten the deal, gives us the name of the local tavern, The Kettle-Ho (which lost in the early rounds of the recent Real Cape dive bar contest).
The Kettle-Ho's mascot is a mermaid (arguably a "ho" herself as the bar's motto is "Not the 'Ho You Used to Know") , holding a hoe and cuddling a black kettle with her tail. The sign hangs just a few doors down from the offices of my insurance broker, Mycock Insurance (the Cape Cod Baseball League's championship trophy is named after longtime Cotuit Kettleer manager, Arnold Mycock).
Other than the baseball team and the bar, the kettle thing doesn't have a lot of legs in the village. But, if Cotuit were to get a mascot, what would we get? They pass plastic kettles around the stands to raise some cash every game. And I've seen a fan show up with a brass kettle and bang on it like a Swiss ski fan ringing more cowbell on the slopes of the Matterhorn, I guess it would have to be somebody running around in a kettle specific version of the Kool-Aid Man.
My neighbor at last night's game agreed with the Kool-Aid guy idea, but suggested there would also need to be a "hoe" which of course led to inappropriate speculation about how a "hoe" would be represented in a costume.
Any way, Cotuit lost last night, 3-2 and stranded something like a dozen baserunners, keeping us on our toes with the bases loaded in the ninth. But alas. It was not to be for the 2013 Cape Cod champions. Today at 5 they open at home against Hyannis, game two of the Patriot Cup. Without a mascot but with nice new home stands.