What a Knight
Baseball Widow, Hubby, and a couple of colleagues pilgrimaged to South Carolina (yes, South Carolina) last night to see the AAA Chi-Sox affiliate Charlotte Knights take on the Indians' Buffalo Bisons.
Where to start?
The Bisons, uh, stampeded to a quick lead during a three run first inning. Stand-out player of the night was Bison OF Raul Gonzalez, who was hot--5 for 5.
Baseball Widow was also happy to see Russell Branyan. You might remember him from his stint at the Braves' spring training. He was looking good, especially after his huge HR in the 1st--the ball probably went 430 feet--just barely missing the jumbotron. Unfortunately, the Bison 1B displayed an animalistic rude nature. Branyan was always in possession of the ball as he left the field at the end of a half-inning. He toyed with the fans on the 3B side, pretending to throw the ball, but often keeping it for himself. When he did throw, it was always to the same group of tank-top clad girls who also got the free Knights memorabilia (something that Baseball Widow noticed not only because she was sitting two rows behind them, but also because Baseball Widow reader Douglas Nazarian pointed out to her that similar bonuses are bestowed upon similarly clad females during Orioles games). Remind Baseball Widow to show a little more cleavage next time. . .
And this brings Baseball Widow back around to an unfinished issue: that of the Female Fan of the Game, as identified by the Tennessee Smokies at homegames. Baseball Widow still hasn't decided where she falls, but here's what Baseball Widow is thinking:
1. They do not identify a Male Fan of the Game, nor do they choose to identify a Fan of the Game in a way that is unrelated to gender. As anyone who has looked at Supreme Court rulings lately can tell you, that's a warning sign. Whether or not you think it's harmful, you can't get around the fact that it is (nerd alert) prima facie evidence of discrimination.
2. The prize seems specifically targeted to play to a stereotypical image of a woman as someone who loves to shop. All of the other giveaways (such as the signed programs, or prizes that depend upon seat number) seem to be more "neutral"--free groceries, free meals, free t-shirts, etc.
3. It plays into the idea that women need to be rewarded somehow for letting themselves be dragged to a baseball game--that they wouldn't be there without some enticement such as pleasing a boyfriend or the possibility of winning a prize. This reminds Baseball Widow of the "Ladies Night" promotion ongoing at Pittsburgh last summer. (At least, Baseball Widow thinks it was Pittsburgh. Those of you who read the post "What Baseball Widow did on Hubby's Vacation" will sympathize with her inability to remember with accuracy such a quick succession of games and stadiums.) Ladies were invited to stop by a booth to receive a massage, some make-up samples, and some special coupons. Then, as now, Baseball Widow was slightly offended but utterly unable to detail why.
3a. Did anyone notice that in the above paragraph Baseball Widow decried the assumption that women would attend a baseball game only to please their partners while simultaneously implying that any vacation that involves trips to baseball stadiums is best classified as a "Hubby" vacation and not one belonging to the wife. Which brings me to my next point. . .
4. Baseball Widow, like too many women, seems to want a double standard when it works in her favor. Baseball Widow might stand on her virtual soapbox and bemoan her state as a second-class citizen of baseball fandom, but, as she as mentioned before, it is precisely the fact that she is a woman writing about baseball that has given her blog so much early exposure.
Baseball Widow thinks that she will undertake a little investigative journalism and actually call the Smokies to question them on this policy, but first she has to go shopping for a new tank top.