It isn’t exactly what you’d expect to see at the ballpark, but it’s definitely something.

In Japan, the sport of baseball enjoys about as much popularity as it does in North America, and with many of the preliminary round matches for the World Baseball Classic games played on Japanese soil recently, the country’s love of the game was firmly on display.

Physically being at the stadium for a Japanese baseball game is truly a different experience for those who have ever attended a Major League Baseball game, with almost everyone in the crowd performing unique singing and dancing routines to cheer for each individual player on the home team. One thing that remains the same though, is the presence of team mascots, which are there to entertain the younger fans and rile up the crowd when needed.

At a recent home game, the Chiba Lotte Marines’ newest mascot made its appearance, and the fans seemed to be doing a little less cheering and a little more scratching of their heads.

While the Marines already have three bird mascots, perhaps the team felt that they weren’t doing enough to appeal to their fans who liked animals that inhabited the marine waters that they were named after. This fish could probably do the trick…if it wasn’t so awkward.

Here it is doing a Mario impression.

Most reactions are strangely amused, while others are questioning the design, but one thing is for sure, this new mascot is getting people talking about the team! There’s no word yet on whether this design has been finalized, nor how it will interact with the other members of the Lotte Marines mascot team.

It’s always interesting to see how a group welcomes a new member onto their team as personalities will clash and everyone has to figure out how they can work together to be successful. However, for the sake of their fans, birds and fish better figure out how to become fast friends! Or else the team might have a bit of a rivalry on its hands, one that may live up to the eternal Fuu-san and Tsubakuro feud.

Source: Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@marinesexprees