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Ryan Dempster apologizes for joke about death of minor-league bat-dog

Ryan Dempster on Tuesday took to Twitter to apologize for a joke about the recent death of a beloved minor-league bat-dog.

Derby, the revered team bat-dog for the Trenton Thunder, a Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, succumbed to cancer and passed away at the age of nine over the weekend.

“Derby was one of the biggest parts of our identity in the nine years of his life and it breaks my heart to share this news with our fans ahead of our 25th season,” Thunder GM Jeff Hurley announced on Monday. “His presence at our games and in the community was massive and every person and dog that interacted with him will miss him dearly.”

Dempster, a former MLB pitcher-turned-MLB Network analyst, used Derby’s untimely death as a springboard to crack a joke about the pace-of-play issues plaguing baseball.

Dempster later took to Twitter to comment on Derby’s death in a much more mournful tone.

Dempster not surprisingly was called out on social media over is changed tone in regards to Derby’s death. He responded to one tweet to apologize for his “insensitive remark.”

Several Twitter users — presumably dog lovers — were left unsatisfied with Dempter’s apology and harshly criticized him for his insensitivity. One in particular wished for particularly horrible things to happen to Dempster.

The case can be made that hoping for Dempster to suffer such a terrible fate might be just as bad as Dempster making an ill-advised joke about the death of a dog. But that’s social media for you.