Rays apologize for Raymond's 'lapse in judgment'
UPDATE, 1:37: The Rays have checked into the issue and issued a statement apologizing for the "lapse in judgment.''
From the team:
"Last night Rays mascot Raymond was handed an inappropriate sign brought to the game by a fan. Fans are welcome to bring signs into Tropicana Field provided they are not offensive. The Tampa Bay Rays regret that this particular sign was displayed in the ballpark, and we apologize for the lapse in judgment."
UPDATE, 1:26: Deadspin has posted an update, saying it heard from the fan who brought the sign and making it sound like the mascot may have only been guilty of a momentary lapse in judgment.
From the fan who emailed Deadspin:
There were a couple empty seats in front of me so Raymond sat down. I handed him the sign and he read it, obviously thought it was funny because he stood up on the chairs and held it up for literally 3 seconds, obviously realizing what he was doing or when he saw the reaction from some of the fans, and got down and tried to hand it back. That's when I started snappin off photos.
DEVELOPING: The Rays are checking into the situation and may have a statement later today about a photo making the Internet rounds of their mascot Raymond holding up a sign with a to-do list that has Steve Irwin crossed off and a World Series berth next,
Irwin was an internationally famous Australian outdoorsman and wildlife expert who was killed in September 2006 when attacked by a sting ray.
The photo was posted on the Deadspin blog and via several Twitter accounts, and was said to be from last night's game.