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News In Brief

Vuvuzela makes baseball debut to players’ chagrin

Melissa Kaplan Jun 21, 2010

Looks like the vuvuzela isn’t set for world domination after all. The notorious World Cup horn made a weekend baseball cameo at a game between the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays. The buzz around the game: Fans and players on both sides were pretty unhappy.

“They’re annoying,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “I mean, there’s cool things and there’s very non-cool things. Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla said the vuvuzela promo was “the worst handout or giveaway I’ve ever been a part of in baseball.”

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More: World Cup: Noise filter could help cancel out vuvuzela sound

The Marlins’ vuvuzela giveaway went to the first 15,000 fans at a game that drew 23,242. For this particular game, the horn replaced the cowbell, the Rays’ official noisemaking device and a large nuisance in its own right. Rays fans who brought cowbells to the game were told to turn around and leave them somewhere else. Which was probably a significant bummer for The Cowbell Kid, the unofficial mascot of the Rays, who is often seen donning large wigs, a Rays’ uniform and his namesake instrument.

The vuvuzela’s next baseball victim: the New York Mets. The horn strikes this Friday.

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