by | Nov 21, 2008 | Detroit Free Press | 0 comments

Well, I don’t like sausages, either. But I never hit one with a baseball bat.

Then again, most of my sausages just sit on a plate, next to the hash browns. I never saw one chugging around third base, racing a bratwurst, a hot dog and a kielbasa. There’s no telling what a man might do in those circumstances.

We know what Randall Simon did last week. The former Tiger, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates, leaned out of the dugout and swung his bat at the tip of the sausage — which, of course, was not a real, live sausage. No self-respecting sausage would wear white tennis shoes.

This was a woman inside a sausage costume. Actually, not just any woman, but an employee of the Milwaukee Brewers. At least they didn’t make her wear a beer can.

Nonetheless, even in a sausage costume, a blow from a baseball bat can have repercussions. In this case, the Italian Sausage went down, tumbling into the Hot Dog. The Bratwurst and Kielbasa, showing the kind of affinity that only lunchmeat can know, stopped the race and came back to check on this
“wurst-case scenario.”

What? You think I’m not going to use a few cheap ones?

What were they thinking?

And by now you know — as Paul (Knockwurst) Harvey says — the rest of the story. Simon was led off the field in handcuffs. He was grilled. Or maybe boiled. He insisted he was just love-tapping the sausage. Perhaps he was checking to see if it was cooked.

Police considered charging him with battery — or, at the very least, cruelty to doggies, which carries a minimum fine of 100 franks.

Instead, the sheriff hit him with a disorderly conduct charge and a $432 fine. Simon apologized, saying what he did with the sausage “wasn’t my intention in my heart.” At this point, he was sounding like Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, fans were outraged. They wanted Simon suspended for his sausage attack, never once asking if he wanted mustard.

However, the woman inside the suit, 19-year-old Mandy Block, said she wasn’t hurt at all and blamed her momentary lifelessness on the heavy costume, saying, “The reason I couldn’t get up right away is because I couldn’t get up.”

Why are we wasting a mind like that inside a sausage?

Now, there are a few questions to be asked here:

* 1) What was Simon thinking? I know baseball is boring. But if players have to swing at wieners to stay involved, we might want to reconsider the national pastime.

* 2) What was Mandy thinking? Racing as a sausage? Everyone knows the hot dog is faster.

* 3) What were the fans thinking? They boo Simon, call him inhumane, violent and the most amoral man on Earth, then they stop at the movie theater to see
“Terminator 3.”

Why does food race?

Since when did racing foods become some sort of normal occurrence at sporting events? In the last few years, I’ve seen doughnuts racing bagels, cookies racing popcorn, now bratwurst racing kielbasa. It’s only a matter of time before filet mignon takes on steak tartare.

Isn’t the whole point of going to a sporting event to see the teams and players compete? Why do they have to pluck 3-year-olds from the stands to make them dribble? Why do they ask some guy who is 140 pounds overweight to kick a field goal?

Not that any of this excuses Simon, who proves that lumber should never be left in the hands of a part-time player. “I’ve never hurt anyone in my life,” he says. Then again, we’ve never seen what he does to soup.

Anyhow, for now, Sausage-gate is over. Young Mandy, a sudden celebrity, has asked only for the bat that hit her, so that she can keep it as a souvenir.
(Years from now, she can warn her grandchildren, “Kids, don’t go out with a bun.”)

Meanwhile, Simon’s team has invited Mandy to come to Pittsburgh and sit in
“the best seat in the house.”

I suggest behind the dugout. With some liverwurst. And when Simon comes out .
. .

Contact MITCH ALBOM at 313-223-4581 or “The Mitch Albom Show” is 3-6 weekdays on WJR-AM (760).


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Mitch Albom writes about running an orphanage in impoverished Port-au-Prince, Haiti, his kids, their hardships, laughs and challenges, and the life lessons he’s learned there every day.

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