It’s no secret the sluggish economy has hurt attendance at numerous ballparks around the country, but for the White Sox, who lead their division with only a few weeks left in the season, the inability to sell out games is just embarrassing. The Sox have tried a variety of promotions to get fans to the park, offering everything from free dental cleanings to “Your Parole Officer Gets in Free” day, but nothing seems to be working.

Desperate times are calling for desperate measures. Because the marketing department is concerned their attendance problem will spill over into the playoffs, the Sox are preparing an army of department store mannequins to fill the seats at U.S. Cellular Field.

“We’ve ordered about 10,000 just to be safe, and are busying preparing them should we make the playoffs,” said Mickey Borta, a spokesperson for the White Sox.

By “preparing,” Borta means they’re doing everything they can to make the mannequins accurately resemble Sox fans. The marketing department is tirelessly working on adding misspelled tattoos, mullets, cutoff jeans and digital wrist watches. They’re sparing no expense when it comes to detail, going as far as requesting that each mannequin appear between 30 and 50 pounds overweight and emit terrible odors.

To make sure the mannequins are authentic, the team has begun testing out a few during the latest home stand. Real fans have had a difficult time distinguishing between who is human and who is not.

“One of them looked so real, I asked it out on a date,” said Adam Strojny, a Sox fan from Bridgeport. “I still took it home with me after I found out it was fake. She looks better than all four of my ex wives!”

Michael Kloempken