Tampa Bay minor league team apologizes for 'A-Rod Juice Box Night'
A Tampa Bay Class A affiliate nixed plans Friday for an in-game promotion poking fun at Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Port Charlotte Stone Crabs canceled and later apologized for "A-Rod Juice Box Night!" Per the promotion, fans who brought A-Rod merchandise to Friday's game to donate to the Salvation Army would receive a free ticket.
Furthermore, the first 500 fans through the gates at Charlotte Sports Park were supposed to receive complimentary juice boxes which came with a misspelled label warning of: "100 % Juiced. Side Affects include: tainted records, inflated ego, omission from the Hall of Fame, and more!"
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Tampa Bay and New York reportedly objected to the promotion, prompting its cancelation.
A Yankees spokesman told The Times that New York had taken steps to get Port Charlotte to "cease and desist" with the promotion.
The Stone Crabs are owned by Ripken Baseball and operated independently from the Rays organization, according to The Times.
Here's the full text of a release from the team apologizing for the promotion (h/t Tampa Bay Times).
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.