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The Secret Behind The New 'Screech'

He's gaunt, scrawny, a shadow of his former, semi-cuddly self. If he were on offer at the poultry counter, you'd give him a pass and wonder what had gone wrong down at the Perdue plant.

The Washington Nationals have unveiled Screech 2.0, the reworked team mascot, and the result speaks of a certain slimming process that fans weren't expecting so soon after the announcement that the team had acquired its first genuine slugger, Adam Dunn.


Somehow, the new mascot looks like an afterthought. Here, the team is saying to future Screeches, put this head on, and oh, yeah, wear this jersey too.

Over on the Bog, Steinberg has Nats PR chief Chartese Burnett saying that Screech has matured and is now "like a teenager.... He wants to be youthful and hip and cool." Which would imply that our Long Nationals Nightmare (a.k.a. "Clint") is either moving toward adulthood or being shoved out entirely. Because no family has room for more than one emerging adolescent, right?

But as ever in the politics of sports and the always-intriguing relationship among the Nationals, the District and an all-too-sensitive fan base, there's a natural tendency to ascribe even deeper meaning to any big move. What does this all mean? Please vote below and come ahead with your own theories to explain the transformation of Screech.

By Marc Fisher |  March 4, 2009; 8:25 AM ET
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He looks like a Chicken now!

Posted by: novahokie2004 | March 4, 2009 9:28 AM

Which is which?

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | March 4, 2009 10:33 AM

Never a fan of the original Screech, this is so much worse it's mind-boggling. Does anyone in this organization have a clue about anything?

Or is the thinner Screech representative of the Nats win total last year?

Posted by: bflorhodes | March 4, 2009 10:45 AM

I saw the new Screech outside the Metro Center station yesterday morning. He did not look as bad as the pictures. I don't think he looks as bad as I had thought.

Posted by: mbrandy | March 4, 2009 10:45 AM

I thought the old Screech was as bad as you can get. Then the new Screech came along.

It's got the permanent look like it's about to be hit by a car.

Posted by: kolbkl | March 4, 2009 11:52 AM

The new Screech looks EXACTLY like the bogus haunting apparition about to be busted by those meddling kids on Scooby-Doo. Can't you just picture Fred ripping that mask off as we discover it's sinister Old Man Bowden underneath.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | March 4, 2009 12:06 PM

I'll take Screech over our "Long Nationals Nightmare". He makes going to the Nationals Park unbearable.

Posted by: wlevey | March 4, 2009 12:49 PM

For some reason, I think the new Screech looks like the illegitimate love child of Sam the Eagle and Sweetums.

Posted by: ilikeike | March 4, 2009 2:14 PM

Screech is better now. He needed to be a lot more agile and a lot more washable.

Posted by: NatsNut | March 4, 2009 3:39 PM

I like new Screech better, too.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 4, 2009 3:43 PM

I can't see how the Orioles/Nationals mascot dance-off will be as entertaining without that weirdly erotic belly wiggle the old Screech employed.

More than anything, though, it just looks like a step down professionally. He's leaner, and thus more agile, but also looks like a high school version of a Screech mascot. I even think you can buy the slippers he's wearing at

Maybe it would've been better to abandon Screech instead of reimagine him. He's now no better than the new Friday the 13th movie - a crappy new version of something we didn't really like in the first place.

Then again, maybe no one outside of DC would appreciate a giant-headed Senator Mark Udall (chairman of the United States Senate Energy Subcommittee on National Parks - get it?) as a mascot.

Posted by: JohninMpls | March 4, 2009 4:22 PM

"It's got the permanent look like it's about to be hit by a car."
Posted by: kolbkl | March 4, 2009 11:52 AM

Nailed it, kolbkl. Perfectly.

I also agree I didn't think it could get worse, and was profoundly wrong. He looks like he's in a complete early teen awkward stage, so I'm hoping that this is only temporary, he has to fill out from his growth spurt, and will be a big ol' buff bird soon. For now, it's just plain gawky frightness. Oy.

Posted by: HotNats | March 4, 2009 4:58 PM

I liked the old Screech -- it was cute and looked peppy.

The new one looks horrible in this photo. Yuck!

Posted by: ellocin1 | March 9, 2009 2:13 PM

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