Nationals' 'Air Screech' debuted last night, to crickets

Were you at the Nationals game last night? If not, you missed the first{ }— and hopefully last — appearance by the "alter ego" of Screech, the Washington Nationals mascot. The giant, inflatable Air Screech got "no reaction whatsoever" from the fans, according to one WJLA employee who was there. The video below confirms as much; you can hear perhaps one person laugh, once.

Believe it or not, there was a 1995 episode in the Saved by the Bell spin-off series, The New Class, entitled Air Screech:

The gang are all working at Palisades Mall; even Screech and Belding are working at Mr. B.'s brother's sporting goods store. Tommy gets an expensive watch as a gift for Lindsay. Ryan can't afford that kind of competition. R.J. mistakenly spray-paints some athletic shoes at the sporting goods store, but surprisingly, customers like them and want to buy more. Ryan sees the opportunity to make money and soon he has the gang working on making more "Air Screech" sneakers to sell. Ryan makes his move on Lindsay. When Mr. Belding finds out about the "Air Screech" fraud, he finds a way to teach Ryan and the others a lesson. Tommy goes out with Lindsay while Ryan is stuck at the mall in a chicken costume!

Like, OMG!

So how did the fans react? Not that well:


Pointless mascot or MOST pointless mascot?


@Nationals So... How do we put an end to Air Screech right from the get-go?


He's baaaaaaaccckkk! Air screech blows back on field, literally, during stretch. kill me now. #NATS


Over the PA: "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Air Screech." Perhaps a low point for the franchise, or maybe the sport itself.

Others, such as @needham_chris, were not so sure how to handle the news:

I assume Air Screech is performance art like the Krazy Krab. We're supposed to turn on it, boo, and pelt it with trash, right?