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Norfolk Tides Working to Ensure Short Winter
01/31/2011 4:33 PM ET
February 2 is as important an offseason date as there is for the Norfolk Tides, and the local baseball team isn't taking any chances that a groundhog in Punxsutawney sees his shadow and curses everyone to six more weeks of winter.

Instead, the Tides have employed the weather-prognosticating services of Rip Tide, and they have even offered a bribe to the furry mascot. If Rip Tide doesn't see his shadow - or just blatantly ignore his shadow all together - then the Tides will give 25 lucky fans a pair of tickets to the Tides game on Sunday, April 17.

"We coin ourselves as the boys of summer," Tides General Manager Dave Rosenfield said. "No one wants winter to end more than we do, and we're doing everything in our power to ensure it ends as quickly as possible."

Questions have surrounded the mascot since the offer was first proposed. What would he do if the sun was shining brightly Wednesday morning? Would he ignore the request of management or would he comply and give the fans a chance to win free tickets?

The situation will play out live Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. when Rip Tide joins the Hampton Roads Show on Fox 43.

Multiple phone calls to Rip Tide were unanswered.

"This is going to go down to the wire for Rip," a source close to the mascot told us on the condition of anonymity. "But he's really hoping that it's a cloudy day Wednesday, and that the decision is simply made for him."

Make sure to tune in to the Hampton Roads show Wednesday when all the questions will be answered.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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