You've read our "Dark Side of the Locker Room" series, in which journalists share their bizarre encounters with sports figures and, frequently, their genitalia. Consider this the reverse: Sports figures share their (and, perhaps, their genitalia's) bizarre encounters with journalists.
Today's story is from Garrett Broshuis, a pitcher in the San Francisco Giants organization. He wrote the "Suitcase Chronicles" column for Baseball America and maintains a blog, Life in the Minors. You can follow him on Twitter @broshuis.
Given the success of other sausage tales, I thought I'd add my own salacious bit, this time with a misogynistic twist. (Note: I in no way condone misogyny, even though I'm not even sure what it means.) It was my second year of Double-A ball with the Giants affiliate in Connecticut, and I sat in a chair beside my locker awaiting the imminent arrival of my teammates after the game. I had pitched well and received a win that night (a rarity that season), and my arm was cocooned in bulging towels of ice.
The victory song began. The bass kicked in. The walls started to vibrate. Some guys began eating, others began to shower, a few even talked about the game. Suddenly the music stopped.
OK, so the music didn't really stop, but if this were Hollywood it would have. Because the unfathomable had just occurred: A woman had infiltrated our clubhouse.
At the entrance, the rules of the clubhouse were clearly displayed. (Well, not exactly clearly. Only the "Reglas del Clubhouse" remained, as someone had misplaced the English version.) None of us had ever read these rules, but we all assumed that it clearly stated "No Girls Allowed" under 4.1.1, just below the section on gambling and cheating. The Berenstain Bears had this clubhouse rule. Why wouldn't we?
This was a first for most of us. Our regular beat reporter was a guy, and every other beat reporter we'd ever had in the minor leagues was a guy. When in the hell did they start allowing women in here? Couldn't they see that we were trying to shower and do guy stuff?!
Worst of all, the woman approached me. She was a newspaper reporter, from either The Day or the Norwich Bulletin. I respectfully began answering her questions as she respectfully kept a distance of 3 feet between us. Her eyes fixated on a spot just above me, somewhere in the disorganized mess of my locker, and I began to think that this wouldn't be too bad. The thought even entered my mind that this was probably like a snake encounter: They were more uncomfortable than you and wanted to get away just as quickly.
As the interview wrapped up, things took a change for the worse. Most farms keep at least one jackass around, and this baseball farm was no different. They liven things up with random antics. Our jackass had a "mating call." He would flop his penis back and forth in a fashion similar to a Mexican toy drum. It even produced a similar sound. (Buyer beware of this toy.)
So, the poor woman was interviewing me, trying very hard not to look at the wrong thing. And it was at this moment that our jackass, standing about 5 feet away from her, commenced his mating call. He was flopping the thing around as fast as a hummingbird beats its wings. It was a virtuoso solo on the toy drum. I couldn't believe it.
The woman closed her eyes for a second. But somehow, with great resolve, she remained professional. So did I. Many of my teammates were laughing by now, but I kept a straight face. She thanked me for my time, turned away from the toy drum and went on her way.
I figured my teammate was in for all sorts of sexual harassment charges, but they never came. In time, we all grew accustomed to having the occasional woman reporter enter our safe zone. For those lucky enough to don a big-league jersey, I'm sure it became commonplace. We adapted to the change, just as the Berenstain Bears adapted. But I doubt anyone ever forgot that toy drum.
Any athlete out there with a story for "The Other Side of the Locker Room" should send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Other side.