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Ryan Dempster apologizes after making bad joke about minor league team's dead dog

Derby, the Trenton Thunder bat dog, died from cancer and ex-MLB pitcher Ryan Dempster made a bad joke about it. (MLB.com/Getty Images)

Ryan Dempster, the colorful ex-MLB pitcher and current MLB Network personality, might have gotten a little too colorful Tuesday when talking about Derby, the famous and beloved bat dog of the Trenton Thunder, who died from cancer over the weekend.

Dempster used the occasion of Derby’s death to make a joke about pace-of-play in baseball. Pace-of-play has been an issue in baseball for a few years and it’s certainly a viable topic of discussion for baseball fans, but Dempster clumsily made a joke about how Derby’s death will speed up the game.

It caught the attention of baseball blogger Patrick Hennessy:


I’m not a professional comedy reviewer, but even I know that’s not a great joke. Dempster got beat up a bit on Twitter, as you’d imagine. Then he sent out a respectful Derby tweet once he was off TV, but he was still catching heat.



It was New York Yankees fans who were mostly outraged at Dempster, and that has some layers we need to peel back. First off, the Trenton Thunder are the Double-A affiliate of the Yankees. But Yankees fans also despise Dempster from his Red Sox days, particularly when he purposely hit A-Rod in 2013.



Some particularly angry people took it even further — wishing bodily harm (or worse) on Dempster. Perhaps they missed the irony. By going after Dempster in such a fashion, they’re showing the same insensitivity toward life that they’re mad at Dempster for.

This might be too hot of a take for the 2018 internet, but let’s give it a try: Making bad jokes about dead dogs is bad and so is saying horrible things to people who make bad jokes about dead dogs.

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at mikeozstew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!