MLB handy holiday gift shopping guide for each team

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: A man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, in a car driven by Braves cheerleaders, waves to first base coach Brandon Hyde
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: A man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, in a car driven by Braves cheerleaders, waves to first base coach Brandon Hyde /
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MIAMI, FL – OCTOBER 03: Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter speak with members of the media at Marlins Park on October 3, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

NL East

Atlanta Braves—A more creative mascot

No, this isn’t about the name “Braves.” This is about Homer the Brave, the team’s mascot. He’s a guy in an Atlanta uniform with an oversized head.

We’ve seen this before with Mr. Met, who debuted in 1964, and two different Cincinnati mascots, Mr. Redlegs and Mr. Red. Despite the saturated market of big-headed mascots, the Braves introduced Homer in 1989. They should have been more creative back then. They should fix it now.

Miami Marlins—A lump of coal

This one’s for ownership <cough> Derek Jeter <cough>. After trading away Dee Gordon, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton, and firing iconic Marlins Andre Dawson, Tony Perez, Jack McKeon, and Jeff “Mr. Marlin” Conine, it’s a big lump of coal in the stockings for the Miami Marlins ownership this year. The fans deserve much better.

New York Mets—A baby binky

This is another one for the ownership, specifically Mets owner Fred Wilpon. He was reportedly “irate” about the Yankees trading for Giancarlo Stanton.

It seems he gets angry every time the crosstown Yankees make a move. Hey, Fred, do you want me to call you a wambulance?

Philadelphia Phillies—An Eagles’ Super Bowl championship

The Phillies did their holiday shopping early when they signed Carlos Santana to play first base. They also picked up Pat Neshek and Tommy Hunter to fortify the bullpen. And their minor league system is producing major league ready players who need a chance to play.

The Phillies won’t be contenders in 2018, but they’re on their way. In the meantime, the Philadelphia Eagles have the best record in the NFL heading into their game on Christmas Day against the Oakland Raiders.

They haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 2004 and have never won the big game. It would be a nice holiday gift to see them get a win on Christmas Day and the top seed heading into the playoffs.

Washington Nationals—New presidents for the mascot race

On July 21, 2006, the Washington Nationals Presidents Mascot Race was born. For the first seven years, it was a four-man race that included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.

Teddy was notoriously awful. He didn’t win a single race for the first six years. He even failed to win the final Presidents Race at RFK Stadium, despite getting help from the team’s bullpen members, who held back the other three racers.

Alas, Teddy must have missed the memo because he was shown on the video board at unfinished Nationals Park.

The race continued at the team’s new stadium, but Teddy still couldn’t buy a win. He had the lead numerous times, but something always came along to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

He was even attacked by the Racing Pierogis. His losing streak stretched to 525 games before he finally got that first long-elusive victory on October 3, 2012.

William Howard Taft was added to the races in 2013. He lasted four years on the circuit before disappearing last season.

Calvin Coolidge had a one-and-done year in 2015 and Herbert Hoover came and went for the 2016 season, leaving the original four as the sole competitors last year.

It’s time for some new blood, starting with a little bit of diversity. Franklin Delano Roosevelt should get in the mix using a racing wheelchair. Barack Obama, as our only non-white president, should get a chance.

Richard Nixon could join the fray and attempt to obstruct his way to victory. And throw in JFK, who would certainly be popular with the ladies.