They gave us the “exploding” scoreboard. We’ve seen bobbleheads of groundskeepers, Half-Way to St. Patrick’s Day, and Elvis night.

Now, the White Sox have announced a new promotional gimmick for the 2012 campaign: novelty hires. “Novelty Hires” involve offering employment to someone who is clearly unqualified for a position but brings marketing value to the team, such as hiring Robin Ventura as manager. It’s the latest brainchild of Sox marketing director, Brooks Boyer.

“We think the fans will get behind the ‘everyman’ aspect of this new promotion,” Boyer explained. “It will encourage people in these hard times, keeping hopes and dreams alive. Just imagine, one minute you’re some shlub sitting in the 500-level seats and then, wham, you’re the bullpen coach: novelty hire!”

“Or maybe we go out and get Hulk Hogan to run our security operation. Boom — novelty hire!” he added.

The Cubs are reportedly pursuing their own version of novelty hires. Talks are underway with Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, who if hired as a novelty, would be required only to make appearances at fan appreciation events while the everyday task of building and running the club would remain with Yosh Kawano ‘s Magic 8 Ball.

Cary Nathenson