Apologies to the McDonald Brothers (above) for the headline, but Newsday‘s Barbara Barker is barking mad over the White Sox’s “vulgar and sexist shrine”.

Major League Baseball has a problem because it took two days for anyone to voice a concern about what happened in Toronto on Sunday. That’s when an unnamed White Sox player, trying to think of a novel way to break his team out of its slump, set up two blow-up dolls on the clubhouse couch accompanied by “strategically placed” baseball bats, sex toys and a sign that read “You’ve Got To Push,” according to a report in The Canadian Press. According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, one doll had a bat inserted in its “backside” to prop it up.

What’s the next step? How about a noose and a sign urging players to go out and lynch their opponents? How about a picture of two opponents kissing and a sign that says let’s beat those gays? Because for many women and hopefully for many of the men who love them, the symbol of a blow-up doll is offensive and threatening.

My understanding is that there were no women reporters working the game in Toronto. My understanding also is that if there had been, the White Sox might be contending with a lawsuit.

But this issue is not just about how the White Sox treat reporters. It’s about attitudes in Major League Baseball. It’s not enough just to use pink bats to support breast cancer on Mother’s Day every few years. It’s not just enough to make pastel-colored hats.

Fifty percent of baseball’s potential fans are women. They attend games, they drive aspiring players to Little League games and they buy thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

And they deserve better.

Chicago’s Gavin Floyd came within two outs of tossing a no-hitter against Minnesota last night. Clearly, the Twins need to push a little harder.

Next month, Major League Baseball will hold a ceremonial selection of players from the Negro Leagues prior to the annual amateur draft. Hopefully the Mets can find someone amongs the Negro League survivors who can get a hit off Hong-Chih Kuo.

F. Scott Fitzgerald claimed there are no second acts in American lives, but no one bothered to ask him about Aruban jetski enthusiasts.