Rays apologize for Avril Lavigne’s dirty mouth

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Avril Lavigne fan club president Kevin Kaduk passes along word that the Rays had to apologize to fans who attended her concert at Tropicana Field following Saturday’s game against the Indians because Lavigne used language “not consistent with the family-friendly atmosphere that Tropicana Field is known for.”

Now, personally I’d rather hear swear words than faux-punk rock from a pretty Canadian girl whose rebel persona seems to be built around wearing neckties with white undershirts, but Rays spokesperson Ray Vaughn explained that they “demand profanity-free performances from all of our concert performers.”

Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times sets the scene:

Lavigne got off to a rough start when her microphone did not work during her first song. She responded to a chorus of boos with a profanity-laced explanation that things like that happen at a live performance, especially at a “baseball stadium.”

Actually, this might be the most punk-like thing Lavigne has ever done.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.

Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.

While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.