Monday, May 16, 2011

The White Sox and me: the usual Chicago team blues

So we all know that when the Big Day finally comes about, I’ll have a post about how freaking fantastic the whole day was, what fun we had, and so on, right? Because even though my little schtick here is all about the whining, in reality I appreciate all life has to offer, even as I’m slogging my way through a ridiculous bike ride in 45 MPH winds. The little red fox I see makes it all worthwhile.

But be that as it may, the fun times hanging out with Normal Brother and my friends and family, that’ll come later. For now, I have things to say – so let’s commence, with the understanding that I truly am excited about all this.

So I have some friends who were chosen as Bat Girls this year (Dayna for the Yankees, rock star!), and others from last year, and while there’s some variation in what the different teams have the illustrious Bat Girls do, there’s one constant: we get to throw out the first pitch. Always.

So of course, I in my typical dedicated athlete fashion have been practicing my pitch at the dog park. Throwing random tennis balls way past Kona as he looks at his momma like I’ve lost my mind. Practicing my little heart out, since my pitching arm is also my cancer arm, with all the surgeries and so on (Sad Cancer Face). Practicing day and night, rain or shine, picture it, just me, on a cold blustery day, pitch pitch pitch.

You get the idea.

Then a few days ago I talk to the White Sox woman about what’s going on on that day, and we’re talking about how many tickets I need and when to show up, when I ask the all-important question.

Me: Umm, just wondering, I DO get to throw out the first pitch, right?

Her: No, I’m sorry, but you do get a pink bat and a pink wristband.

Me: …….(stunned silence)

Now, I’m not saying the White Sox are the typical Chicago team who doesn’t know how to do anything right – but, they’re the typical Chicago team who doesn’t know how to do anything right. (Hello, Blackhawks! The ones who had the WWF wrestlers doing the Shoot the Puck contest during their so-called Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night!)

I’ve been despondent ever since getting this horrible tragic news. The gleam has gone out of my eye. Especially when I looked up what else is going on on this game day, May 22nd, to discover that it’s also……their Kid Expo Day?? Seriously?? This too was alarming, until I read the following:

On May 22nd join the White Sox and representatives from Chicago area sports teams, including Blackhawks, bears and Bulls, at U.S. Cellular Field as they celebrate a day of health and fitness. Take part in interactive games such as the football toss, shoot the puck and pop-a-shot for various prizes! Activities also include an autograph session, balloonist, caricature artist, face painter, game day entertainment and more!

Blackhawks?? Shoot the puck? Hmm…..

Scenario at White Sox Park on May 22nd, as our plucky heroine arrives for her Big Day

Miss Tasha arrives with her brother and mom for the pre-game festivities, as instructed. There are massive numbers of children running about, screaming and shrieking their little heads off, and instead of the Pink Carpet of Glory Tasha has been expecting, it’s complete chaos.

Me: Andrew! Hey, Normal Brother! Where’s that pink bat? I need to get some of these rugrats out of the way!

Andrew: But I don’t thi….

Me, snarling: Hey kid, outta my way! Have you had cancer? No, I didn’t think so. SCRAM!

Mom: But I don’t thi….

Me, knocking a few kids who are milling about like angry bees out of the way: I see a White Sox player, let’s go! Onward!

Mom: Oh, is it that nice Paul Konerko? I need to talk to him, I’m sure he’s Ukrainian, with a name like Konerko, a son named Nicholas, a…..

(Andrew and I leave our mom with Konerko, and the last we see of them, he looks like a deer caught in headlights, and my mom is pulling out her map of Ukraine to pinpoint exactly where Konerko’s people are from.)

White Sox Rep: Oh, you’re our celebrated Bat Girl! Okay, so, we have these tickets for you in the nosebleed seats, but we’ll pan the camera in your general direction to acknowledge your existence briefly before the game.

Me: Do we at least get our hot dogs on the house?

WSR: Well no, but you do get this pink wristband that signifies how truly special you are to us.

Me: Do we get free mai tais? I’m feeling the need for a drink.

WSR: Well no, but here, have a pink pencil! I know most Bat Girls get to give the dugout lineup card to the umps, but this was the best we could do.

Me: Bu….

WSR, interrupting: Oh, excuse me, I have to go coordinate the helicopter rides and the catered buffet for the children. Have fun!

Andrew: Well, let’s at least try to meet some Sox players, shall we?

Me: Sigh, okay. I think that’s Buehrle over there – I want to tell him how much I appreciate his work on behalf of dog rescue organizations. Wait. WAIT. Is that…Patrick Sharp? A Blackhawk??

Andrew: I have no idea, bu….

(My brother finds himself talking to a vapor trail, as I beeline over to the Blackhawks table and drape myself over it, wielding a pink bat like a cudgel to keep the little ones away.)

Later on the news: “Next up: Chaos erupts at the ball park, as a woman in pink tackles the Komen representative selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch!”

Well, at least it’ll be interesting….

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