After some time for reflection — well, more like after a stream of negative reactions — a minor league general manager is sorry people were offended by his team's trolling of Tim Tebow last week.
Dave Echols, who runs the Single-A Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, didn't apologize directly to Tebow, a devout Christian, for the visual and verbal antics that took place when Tebow's Columbia Fireflies came to town Friday for the start of a weekend series.
“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 told The Post and Courier of Charleston on Tuesday.
Echols also told The Post and Courier that some of the "promotional pieces" were eliminated for the remainder of the series because people thought they were in "poor taste." He also said he received positive feedback for what his staff did.
Even the Fireflies' parent organization, the Mets, took notice. General manager Sandy Alderson told reporters Tuesday (per Newsday.com) that the whole shtick was pretty "minor league."
“We had some of that even before he arrived in the (South Atlantic) League in spring training,” Alderson was quoted as saying. “I was a little surprised that halfway through the season that somebody decided to be cute and pursue that. But he’s bigger than that.”
Tebow's first trip to Charleston attracted big crowds to Riley Park, so Echols won twice; he raked in the cash and he brought national attention to his team. All at the low, low cost of a weak apology.