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Rays apologize over Irwin reference

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press

Mascot crossed him off 'to do' list

Friday, April 5, 2013 - 7:24 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays apologized for what the team described as a lapse in judgment by a club mascot photographed holding an “inappropriate sign” making reference to Steve Irwin, a popular television personality and wildlife expert who died in 2006 after being attacked by a stingray.

The furry mascot known as Raymond was handed a “Rays To Do List” by a fan during Wednesday night’s game against Baltimore. The sign had “1. Steve Irwin” crossed off” and listed the World Series second.

The team issued an apology after a photo of the mascot holding the sign wound up on the Internet. A statement said fans are welcome to carry signs that are not offensive into the ballpark but that the club regretted “this particular sign” was displayed.