Having deposed of GM Jim Bowden Sunday, the Washington Nationals introduced a new, svelte version of Screech to the adoring public earlier today.  While I’m disappointed to learn my closest, best MySpace friend has been replaced, DC Sports Bog‘s Dan Steinberg can barely contain his excitement over Monday’s photo op.

Screech emerged, to the strains of “Thriller.” It was beyond awesome. The cavernous restaurant may have been in slow snow-related traction, but Screech was shaking it. He did Michael Jackson. He did Napoleon Dynamite, to the strains of “Canned Heat.” He did Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” He came out into the crowd and wrapped a scarf around my neck. He was indeed skinnier, and more fluid, and more agile, the mascot equivalent of the trimmed down Ronnie Belliard.

There weren’t really enough fans to do much of a survey about the new look, but after posing for the requisite photos with Screech, I asked one of the bloggers for some thoughts.

“Other than the head, he doesn’t look much like a bird,” noted Dave Nichols of Nationals News Network. “He could use some tail feathers, he could use some semblance of wings.”

Before I left, I talked to another fan. And, believe it or not, he highly, highly approved. See, John Endahl works for the USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service, and he thinks the non-plump version of Screech, fit and active, is a much better image.

“A slimmed-down Screech is just the way it should be,” he told me. “There are too many obese children and children at risk.”