Dave Echols, the president and general manager of the Charleston RiverDogs, has apologized for mocking Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow this past weekend. Echols told The Post and Courier of Charleston that the feedback the team has received has been positive and negative.
“While we believe that our promotions were poking fun at Mr. Tebow’s celebrity status rather than his religion or baseball career, our intent was not to offend anyone, and for the fact that we did offend, we are sorry,” Echols wrote in a statement to the newspaper.
Tebow’s Columbia Fireflies, a Class A affiliate of the New York Mets, were in town for the first time this season to play the Yankees’ Class A farm team in a three-game series. In the series finale last Sunday, the RiverDogs teased Tebow with a variety of antics.
They played video on the jumbotron of Tebow crying on the sideline at the 2009 SEC Championship game. The RiverDogs’ mascot, Charlie T. RiverDog, “Tebowed” on the field while wearing eye black inscribed with “John 3:16” — a reference to Tebow doing the same at the 2009 BCS Championship game. The mascot was referencing the 2009 national championship game, when Tebow wore eye black with the same phrase written on it. In 2010, the NCAA banned players from having messages written on eye paint, a decision that became known as the Tebow Rule.
And whenever one of Tebow’s Columbia teammates stepped to the plate, the big screen in right field would identify him as “Not Tim Tebow.”
Whether the mocking affected him, his Fireflies lost two out of the three games and Tebow’s highlight of the weekend came when he swung at a pitch and the bat slipped out of his hands, helicoptered behind the Charleston dugout and landed in the stands.
No word on whether he was aiming for Charlie T. RiverDog.