Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You've Got To Push

When a team is going through a tough stretch, where they can't seem to win, the players are looking for anything to end the misery. The Sox already tried the shaving route, both facial hair and head hair. What was left?

Blow up dolls and bats.

In Toronto, an unnamed player or players tried their hand(s) at breaking the losing streak. Doing many other things to bats didn't work out so well. The Sox players tried burning bats, kissing bats, talking to bats and just about everything else under the sun to shake out of their slump. It was enough to drive the average player batty. So, they turned to a slump buster of sorts.

Someone brought in two nude blow up dolls, fanned everyone's bats around them and propped up each doll with a bat. I'll leave it to your imagination to think of where. Each had a sign around the chest area. One said "Let's go White Sox" and the other said "You've Got To Push".

Was it infantile? Yeah. Sexist? Probably. Did the Toronto media make too much of it. Probably. Was it any different than the scene in Major League where the players were inspired by tearing a piece of clothing off of a cardboard cutout of their manipulative owner? Not much different.

Baseball players are like any other people. When they are in a funk, they need shaking out of it as much as the next person. The difference with this is that it's not a movie, it's real life. Women's organizations are up in arms. So are many women in the media. Actually, most of the media in general seems to be offended.

My question is why? Why should this act of stupidity be singled out as offensive? If this strange tactic actually worked, the Chicago media may have been more sympathetic. If anything, it made the team's performance worse. We all thought it was cute when Swisher and Ozzie were talking to the bats in the dugout. Everyone I know yawned when the third base coach's head was shaved. This blow up doll fiasco was done inside the clubhouse, away from the public.

When has this game became an all access event? If players want to be sexist and stupid in private, without harming anyone whatsoever, what's the harm? This seems like a harmless college prank at a kegger. It wasn't done in the dugout or in view of the public. That's the key.

This was meant to be a private thing, for players only. It was meant as an act to shake up a slumping team. To give a little life in a downtrodden team. Maybe even squeeze a win out of players who were amused or disgusted by the display of wood and rubber. I see it as a way to get the players' minds off of the losing streak. Sometimes something so outrageous is needed to take center stage in the players' minds. An act like this, while not exactly PC, is designed to relax and/or shock the players enough to take their minds off of over analyzing each at-bat and each play.

The majority of the media just made things worse by adding more pressure to the team. I could see this definitely being sexist towards women, if the same people responsible for this paid two women to do the same thing in the clubhouse. Since they had enough sense to use two fake women, not made of flesh and bone, I can rack it up to stupidity.

*** To take a breath of fresh air from the pollution that sometimes permeates the game, take a look at this poem from Rossey Weeks of the Rockford Peaches, courtesy of Patricia at Dinged Corners. I think it's a nice alternative to all this vulgar muckraking. Thanks, Patricia. As always, you have a unique way of cutting through the negativity to find the true beauty of the game. ***


Unknown said...

Here's another take on the whole locker room thing that I, as a writer, thought was kind of funny: http://www.holytaco.com/2008/05/06/the-white-sox-can-blow-while-they-suck/

Steve Gierman said...

Thanks for the link. That was good. I think if the Sox want motivation, they should start with a cut-out of Reinsdorf in a g-string. Everytime they win, a piece gets added back on. If that doesn't motivate them to win, I don't know what will. LOL.

Dinged Corners said...

Well, for what it's worth, I find this sort of "jokey" disrespect towards women extremely tiresome. Let's just say it doesn't make raising daughters in this world any easier.

Steve Gierman said...

I totally agree with that. I'm not condoning this type of behavior. It's not something I would ever think of doing. I just think that people tend to blow these things way out of proportion. It shouldn't have happened in the first place, but the media also shouldn't have reported something like this. There is responsibility on both ends. Each have failed to hold onto that responsibility.

Gellman said...

Blow up dolls in the clubhouse are not half as traumatizing as Jay Buhner naked interviews. That is something to gawk about! Yechhh!

Steve Gierman said...

I don't know which is more disturbing, a naked Jay Buhner doing interviews or a naked Rickey Henderson looking into a full length mirror telling himself how great he is.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...