Pirates player booked for hitting racing sausage

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) Pittsburgh first baseman Randall Simon was booked for misdemeanor battery for hitting one of the Milwaukee Brewers' popular racing sausages with a bat during Wednesday night's game.

Simon was released, said a spokeswoman for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, who asked not to be identified. Simon will meet with the district attorney's office Thursday, and it will be up to prosecutors to determine whether formal charges are filed.

In an event that's a fan favorite at Miller Park, four people in sausage costumes race around the bases between the sixth and seventh innings at Milwaukee Brewers games.

Film of Wednesday night's race showed that when the group went past the Pirates' third-base dugout, Simon took a two-handed chop at the Italian sausage character portrayed by a 20-year-old South Milwaukee woman hitting her from behind and causing her to tumble to the ground.

As she fell, a nearby sausage the hot dog went down as well.

Simon was on the top step of the dugout and reached over the railing to make contact.

''They were doing the sausage race. He hit her with the baseball bat,'' said Deputy Inspector Sherry Warichak of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, which provides security at Brewers games. ''When he hit her, that other character fell.''

''They both were treated at the scene for scraped knees, but at this point I don't think they have any other complaints,'' she said.

She declined to release the names of the women.

Warichak said the two women, along with Simon, were interviewed at the stadium.

Simon drew boos from many of the fans when he was later used as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He grounded out in a game Milwaukee won 2-1 in 12 innings.

Pirates outfielder Reggie Sanders said he thought the weight of the head on the sausage costume contributed to the fall.

''It maybe made it look worse than it was,'' Sanders said. ''It was an unfortunate situation and, hopefully, it gets resolved.''

''It was very strange,'' he said.

Rick Schlessinger, the Brewers' executive vice president for business operations, said he felt Simon's ''conduct is just unjustified.''

Schlessinger said he was in contact with Larry Silverman, vice president/baseball legal counsel for the Pirates.

Ryan Borghoff, 16, who wore the bratwurst costume in the race, called the episode ''unbelievable.''

''He just hit the costume and she fell over,'' he said. ''These things are so top-heavy that it doesn't take much.''

Borghoff went on to win the race.

''Somebody had to, I guess,'' he said.

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