MLB

Rays apologize for mascot posing with sign

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)

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.

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