Date: July 9, 2003
The crime: Alleged misdemeanor battery (assault on a sausage with a baseball bat)
|In happier days: This file photo from the 2002 All-Star Game shows the sausage race in its purest form.|
The victim: Italian Sausage
The alleged perpetrator: Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simon
Scene of the crime: Third-base side of Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wis.
Witnesses: Polish Sausage, Bratwurst, Hot Dog, 25 Pittsburgh Pirates, 25 Milwaukee Brewers and at least 50 people in the stands.
The incident: As the four sausages were coming toward the finish line during their traditional race after the sixth inning, Simon allegedly whacked Italian Sausage over the head with a wood bat (presumably uncorked), causing the meat of the savory Italian variety to fall to the ground and also trip up the Hot Dog in the process. The Polish and the Brat somehow managed to escape harm.
The Italian Sausage was treated at the scene for scraped knees (sausages have knees?), and was last seen diving into a cab with a towel over its head and rushing to a local hospital with three members of its entourage. The Hot Dog also suffered scraped outer casing. The Bratwurst won the race and refused to cooperate with investigators on the scene. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig declared the race "a tie" -- as is tradition for all controversial events at Miller Park.
One TV reporter claimed he had known the Italian Sausage since he "came into baseball as just a small link" and that it would be totally "out of character" for the sausage to provoke anyone.
Physical evidence: Raw meat remnants along the third-base line indicate that a fall took place. Ketchup stains were spotted as far away as the second deck. Simon's bat (taken into custody) smelled like a Fourth of July barbeque.
One witness said the entire incident was a blur, but that it appeared the Italian Sausage was attacked by either a large blob of mustard or a large banana. Investigators noted that Simon was wearing the Pirates' all-yellow throwback uniform from head to toe.
|Photo evidence of Randall Simon: note the distinctive all-yellow jerseys.|
Simon's alibi: Official baseball statistics show Simon has not had a hit in the month of July, so the chances of the .272-hitter being able to nail a speeding sausage are very slim. Also, Simon claims to be a vegetarian and says he would never "harm a sausage or any other meat product."
Simon also claimed the sausage was "going down anyway" and said "it's impossible to run with a head that big because it makes you top heavy." He also claimed that he never actually made contact with the sausage's head because "that freakin' chef hat is a foot and a half tall."
Possible motive(s): Witnesses near the Pirates dugout claim they heard Simon declare that he felt the Italian Sausage was "a real brat." One anonymous teammate claimed Simon had "bet Wednesday's meal money" on the race and made a panicked attempt to try to fix the race at the last minute.
Character assessment: It should also be noted that Simon is a notorious free-swinger who hacks at just about anything. Weighing in at 242 pounds for his booking, the 6-foot Simon also doesn't appear to be a man who is truly abstaining from meat.
The suspect entered the interview room with mustard smudges on his shirt and a glob
of relish on his bottom lip. Interrogating officers, shocked by his casual disregard for the gravity of the situation, and troubled by his cruel, steely gaze, wiped his face clean and pushed him into a chair. The suspect responded only with a belch and a sick, satisfied chuckle.
|Exclusive crime scene photo! Here is what remains of the sausage racer.|
Possible accomplice: After the hot dog tripped over the fallen Italian Sausage, the Polish Sausage turned to help its injured racers The Bratwurst, however, kept on going and crossed the finish line in first place. After the race, the Brat claimed innocence. "Somebody had to (win), I guess," it said. However, the Brat does trail the season race standings.
Possible conspirator: Last September, officials from PETA faxed the Brewers asking that the Veggie Dog (aka "Soysage") be added to the sausage race. "If given a sporting chance, our lean, mean veggie dog might run rings around those fatty 'brats' in the sausage race," PETA's Dan Shannon said at the time. "The Veggie Dog would be a big hit, especially with hip, young baseball fans." The request was turned down by the Brewers, however.
Considering PETA's history of violent protest, we advise an interview with Mr. Shannon and place a trace on phone calls from Mr. Shannon's office or house to the Pirates' clubhouse.