King Kaufman's Sports Daily

Smacking a racing sausage (snort!) on its oversize melon with a baseball bat (ha!) is no laughing matter. Certainly not.

By Salon Staff

Published July 11, 2003 7:00PM (EDT)

Randall Simon should be banned for life from the Hall of Fame after his sausage-whacking incident in Milwaukee Wednesday night.

Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter. This is serious business. Simon's 37 career home runs are tainted now. Never again will our nation's kids be able to look up to this career part-timer who's now playing first base for the fifth-place Pittsburgh Pirates. He had it all and he threw it away. Now he's going to have to live with that. Hall of Fame? Shoot, he should be barred from the Brat Stop.

The Brewers' variation on the always annoying scoreboard "dot racing" concept is to have four underpaid marketing flunkies dress as an Italian sausage, a hot dog, a bratwurst and a Polish sausage, with oversize costume heads, and race around the field. The Brewers do just about everything wrong that it's possible for a baseball team to do, but the sausage race is pretty funny, especially when one of the wienies pulls up lame in the home stretch, clutching at a Polonian hamstring, say, as the brat races to glory.

On Wednesday Simon stood on the top step of the visitors' dugout and lightly whacked the Italian sausage character on its oversize noodle with a bat as the race went past. The 19-year-old woman in the top-heavy costume lost her balance and fell, bringing the hot dog, portrayed by a 21-year-old female co-worker, down with her. They were treated for skinned knees.

It was Simon's first hit since coming off the disabled list on Monday, but he was nonetheless arrested after the game and taken away in handcuffs for questioning -- grilling, according to a Reuters headline. On Thursday he was cited for disorderly conduct and fined $432, which it takes him roughly half an inning to earn, and with which he could have bought seven or eight Italian sausages at most big league ballparks. His bat was confiscated and X-rayed to see if it had mustard in it.

They say if you watch enough baseball you'll see everything once, and now I believe it. I never thought I'd see something that would allow me to get the word Polonian into a column, never mind letting a headline writer somewhere pen this beauty: "Sausage attack overshadows Brewers' win."

"It was very strange," said Reggie Sanders of the Pirates.

Indeed it was, but this is no laughing matter. And please ignore the fact that I'm laughing right now and so are you. I mean, uh, think of the children! That's it, the children.

What kind of example is Randall Simon setting for the kids of America? I don't mean by hitting an Italian sausage in its big melon with a baseball bat. Kids smack each other with baseball bats all the time and they don't need Randall Simon to show them how. Why, when I was a kid we used to play tackle basketball on the blacktop. Baseball bats were for babies!

I mean what kind of example is he setting by wearing that 1970s throwback canary-yellow Pirates uniform, with the 19th century box cap? Did you see the video of the incident? Good God, imagine if your kid left the house looking like that.

Babe Ruth never did anything with hot dogs other than eat them by the fistful, sometimes right before game time, and wash them down with beer. Then he'd get sick to his stomach. But at least he never consented to an all-yellow uniform. That's the kind of example we need today's ballplayers to be setting for our young people.

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Salon Staff

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