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TBS regrets trolling Cleveland Indians with burning river graphic (pic)


TBS has expressed regret over an attempt to troll Cleveland Indians by making an unflattering and dated joke at the expense of the city.

The incident in question occurred during postgame studio coverage after the Cleveland Indians eliminated the Boston Red Sox in the ALDS Monday night.

A Photoshopped graphic of TBS studio personalities was aired which featured an image of a burning river serving as a backdrop. It included the message, “Welcome to Cleveland,” a reference to the Indians’ hosting Game 1 of the ALCS later this week. The graphic is intended as a joke about the infamous Cuyahoga River fire in 1969.

Interestingly, it was noted after the fact the image used was from a river that caught fire in Moscow last year after an oil spill. Also, it merits mentioning the Indians had some fun at the expense of the Red Sox with some social media trolling.

Facing a backlash on social media — especially from irate and offended residents of Cleveland and Northern Ohio — TBS offered up a mea culpa for the attempt at humor.

“Cleveland is a great city and we regret the use of the image,” a network spokesperson told “We look forward to putting the focus back on an exciting ALCS.”

The Indians and Toronto Blue Jays begin the ALCS with a Game 1 tilt at Progressive Field on Friday. TBS, as it will for the entire series, will handle broadcast duties.