In addition to pumped in crowd noises, MLB clubs have installed cardboard cutouts in the stands to substitute for fans. The cardboard cutout idea was already implemented in South Korea and Taiwan, so the MLB decided to follow up. It is all of course being done in order to add to the atmosphere of games with empty stands.
The Mets took their cardboard cutout strategy to a new level, placing dogs in the outfield seats. Two of the dogs belong to Michael Conforto while the other is Jeff McNeil’s. The pups got as close to the action as possible yesterday when Adam Duvall’s solo home run took a bounce off of the cardboard cutout of Jeff McNeil’s dog, Willow. It remains to be seen whether PETA will be taking time off from making (NSFW) bizarre videos in order to address this.
McNeil actually got the dog at Citi Field. The Mets slugger adopted Willow last July at a North Shore Animal League America event prior to a game. McNeil called his wife, Tatiana, on FaceTime in an effort to convince her to adopt the pup. According to McNeil, there was no convincing needed when the couple visited the dog at the shelter the next morning. “As soon as she picked her up, it was game over,” McNeil told NorthJersey.com
Thankfully the real dog was not harmed by Adam Duvall’s bomb (not the heckin’ dogerrino), nor was the cardboard cutout. The cutout ate it like a champ and is back in action for today’s series finale against Atlanta.
The Mets failed to respond to Duvall’s act of aggression, which was surprising. I thought their Twitter game would match their cardboard cutout game, but I guess not.