Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Raymond to retire? April Fools!
Posted Apr 1, 2011 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 2, 2011 at 12:07 AM
BY ROGER MOONEY
ST. PETERSBURG – It wasn’t exactly Sid Finch, the fast one Sports Illustrated pulled on everyone in 1985, but as April Fools tricks go, it was, well, it was Raymond.
The Rays mascot was supposed to announce his retirement during the second inning of Friday’s season-opener against the Orioles. The fact was mentioned in the Rays pre-game notes, and tweeted and blogged by a few reporters.
And, in the second inning, Raymond appeared behind home plate with his things packed in a sack that hung from a stick.
The new mascot was introduced. It was a super hero-looking thing in a yellow body suit and a blue cape. He ran through the stands to the top of the Rays dugout and tried to dance while he was solidly booed by Rays fans.
It was a prank.
Raymond ditched his stick for a sign that read, “April Fools.”