Rays minor-league Stone Crabs team apologizes for "A-Rod Juice Box Night!"
UPDATE, 5:15: The Stone have now issued an apology and a statement:
The Charlotte Stone Crabs have decided to cancel tonight's Juice Box Promotion.
The Charlotte Stone Crabs organization would like to apologize for the insensitive
nature of tonight's promotion. We in no way meant any ill-intent or to offend
anyone through this promotion.
We sincerely apologize to the New York Yankees organization, the Tampa Bay Rays organization, and anyone offended by this promotion.
"On behalf of our entire organization I apologize to the New York Yankees, our affiliate club the Tampa Bay Rays, and all fans who may have taken offense," said Stone Crabs General Manager, Jared Forma. "While our intent was to raise awareness for the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition and the Salvation Army, we realize this promotion may have been offensive to many and for that we are sorry and have decided to cancel the promotion. The Stone Crabs organization has the utmost respect for the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays organizations and wishes both organizations only the best in the future."
The Stone Crabs will still be making a donation to both the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition as well as the Salvation Army.
UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: The StoneCrabs canceled A-Rod Juice Box Night after the Yankees and Rays objected, finding it in poor taste. "We have taken many steps in last few hours to get them to cease and desist," Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said before the decision.
The Yankees contacted the MLB commissioner's office and the Florida State League after consulting with the Rays, who notified them of the promotion.
DEVELOPING: Alex Rodriguez still gets booed in most stadiums, but the novelty of his return to the Yankees from a year-long suspension seems to have worn off.
But not in Port Charlotte, where the Rays advanced Class A affiliate is promoting tonight's game against the Tampa Yankees as "A-Rod Juice Box Night!"
Per the team web site, the first 500 fans get a free juice box (which they can drink or donate to the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition) and any fans bringing A-Rod T-shirts, hats or other merchandise to be donated to the Salvation Army can get a free ticket.
In a photo illustration on the team's Twitter and Facebook pages, a woman is drinking from a box with this label (and, yes, with the wrong spelling of effects):
The Sports Drink
100 % Juiced
Side Affects include: tainted records, inflated ego, omission from the Hall of Fame, and more!
It should be in interesting night at the Charlotte Sports Park for the 6:30 p.m. game overall, as the team is also offering a free beer special ($15, all you can drink from when gates open at 5 until end of the first inning) AND it's All-Star Kids Club Night.
Rodriguez, of course, won't be there tonight as he is with the Yankees in New York. He did have spring training in Port Charlotte when he was with the Rangers.
The Stone Crabs team is owned by Ripken Baseball, and operated independently of the Rays front office.