Skip to comments.Sausage not hot over Pirate's foul play-I'm Just A Sausage Running, wants bat he used to slug her
Posted on 07/11/2003 10:47:10 AM PDT by SJackson
Mandy Block recalls seeing Pittsburgh Pirate Randall Simon wind up before he hit her with his bat, but she says she and another racer did not believe Simon meant to hurt them. (Associated Press photo)
MILWAUKEE - Mandy Block says she'll accept an apology from Pittsburgh first baseman Randall Simon, but all she really wants is the bat he used to hit her as she ran past the Pirates' dugout dressed as an Italian sausage.
With a swing of that bat Wednesday night, Simon sent Block, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tumbling to the ground in her heavy costume, and a fellow sausage racer also fell. A videotape of the incident by Thursday became a media sensation.
Simon, cited for disorderly conduct and fined $432, issued a public apology before leaving town with the team after Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Block said a team representative told her Simon would telephone Friday to apologize.
"One of the public relations ladies called me and she talked to me, and she was really nice and offered a lot and said, 'Anytime you're in Pittsburgh ... the best seat in the house is yours,' " Block said as she sat on her couch in her South Milwaukee home late Thursday evening.
"But all I wanted was the bat."
She and the other racer, Veronica Piech, had the day off Thursday from their jobs with the Brewers, but they planned to return Friday. Block said she was told their bats autographed by Simon would be waiting at Miller Park, and hers would be the same bat Simon swung at her Wednesday night.
The sausage race, a fan favorite since the team started running it in 1995, features four team employees dressed as an oversized bratwurst, a hot dog, an Italian sausage and a Polish sausage who run around the infield warning track between the sixth and seventh innings.
Simon said he was just playing around when he swatted at the racer with the bat.
"I thought at the moment they were trying to play with us. They were running right next to the players," he said. "I'm a fun player, and I've never hurt anyone in my life."
Simon appeared in the District Attorney's Office Thursday. Deputy District Attorney Jon Reddin said that after reviewing the tape and interviewing the women, he would not be filing criminal charges.
The incident catapulted Block, of South Milwaukee, into the international spotlight. Videotape of the incident was replayed over and over on national television news and sports programs.
Block said she was to be interviewed for the "Today" show and "Good Morning America" early Friday.
"It's such a silly little thing, you know," she said. "I can see both point of views. ... From my point of view, it's crazy because I am not used to, like, being interviewed or anything. I'm like, 'I'm just a sausage guy. It's not a big deal. I'm fine.' "
Block, who has worked for two summers with the organization as a member of the on-field promotional team, said it's normal for opposing teams to throw peanuts or squeeze water bottles at them as they run by.
"I saw the bat before I got to him. I thought he was just going to fake me out," said Block, who stands 5-foot-3. "I am real little and I didn't take the blow very well."
Block said the blow to the costume didn't hurt because it hit the head section, which is above her head.
"I don't think he did it intentionally, like to hurt me. I think he was doing it as a joke," Block said.
But Piech, a Franklin resident who plays volleyball at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she was "disgusted" with Simon.
"From the moment this has happened, I've had utter disgust with the situation," said Piech, 21, who has a rod in her leg from a prior injury. "I did not think it was a funny practical joke. He could have ended my career just like somebody could end his."
The Pirates apologized for the incident and said the team does not condone Simon's behavior and will address the issue internally. Simon was not in the starting lineup in Thursday's game.
At Miller Park Thursday, Brewers fan Mike Rose of Kenosha was willing to forgive and forget, though he thought a league fine would be appropriate.
"If they weren't really hurt, I don't think they should really charge him," Rose said. "I've seen sausage races where they fall down by themselves."
An apology was not enough for Mark Johnson of Middleton, though.
"He's a professional athlete. He should be a role model," Johnson said Thursday. "I think they should dress him up as the hot dog in the sausage race. Nobody ever likes the hot dog."
Block's mother, Susan Block, 47, said she saw Simon on television Thursday saying he had called her daughter and left messages, but he hadn't.
"That's the part that really makes me mad. ... Now he's in deep doo-doo with me.
"A nice apology to the girls is in order."
Associated Press writers Juliet Williams and Tim Cigelske in Milwaukee contributed to this report.
Published: 10:02 AM 7/11/03
Victim: I'm Just A Sausage Running A Race
MILWAUKEE -- One minute she was just a run-of-the-mill Italian sausage, the next, she was a national celebrity.
"It's crazy. That's all I can think of. It's just crazy. I'm just a sausage running a race. So, I never expected all this hoopla," the Italian sausage, Mandy Block (pictured, right), said
Block, 19, of South Milwaukee, said it all happened so fast. As she and the other sausages ran by the Pirates dugout Wednesday night, Pirates first baseman Randall Simon whacked her with a bat.
"I ran past him and I saw him kinda go like this, and I didn't think anything of it until I felt a blow, and I was like, 'I think that was the bat.' And I wasn't sure, but I fell down and I couldn't get up and I was fine. I was just embarrassed because I couldn't get up out of my costume," Block said.
Block has just a few minor scrapes -- something she explained to relatives all day Thursday.
"They all thought I was in the hospital and they all thought like I was like severely hurt. I'm like, 'I was in a huge stuffed sausage. I'm fine!'" Block said.
Apologies are coming from the offending Pirate.
"I apologize to both of them again, and to the fans of Milwaukee," Simon (pictured, left) said.
After a trip in handcuffs to the Milwaukee County Jail, a rather meek Simon left with a $432 fine and a lesson learned.
"I just wanted to tap the mascot you know at the time, right on the head, so it can keep going and finish up the race, you know. I didn't have no plan to hurt her," Simon said.
The victimized sausage is forgiving.
Witness Describes What Simon Did
"Sounds bad, but I do kind of feel bad that all of this is happening to him like he's this big dirty guy and he's, I'm sure, he's not. He's supposed to call and apologize and give me a bat, so I'm real excited and I just, I hope everything ends soon and this will all just be forgotten," Block said.
Block said she and the Brewers decided it would be best if she took Thursday off, but she'll be back out there, in all her Italian sausage glory, for this weekend's series with the Reds.
Bud Selig's Statement
"Major League Baseball deeply regrets the incident that took place at Miller Park last (Wednesday) night and extends its regards to the victims. We are reviewing the situation pending the diposition of the criminal charges against Randall Simon of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Obviously, the type of behavior exhibited by Mr. Simon is anathema to the family entertainment that we are trying to provide in our ball parks and is wholly unacceptable."
If I was Simon I would not personally deliver it.
How true you are. When I heard of this incident, I thought, "wow, the lawyers must be breaking down the door to get to represent her." I figured a minimum of a six-figure settlement was in order, especially since the offending batsmen was an MLB player.
The fact that this woman saw this entire situation as rather comical speaks volumes for her and her sense of humor. Many less than her would have sued--big time. Thank goodness she wasn't hurt.
And that career would be... dressing as a sausage?
"He's a professional athlete. He should be a role model," (Brewers fan Mark) Johnson said Thursday. "I think they should dress him up as the hot dog in the sausage race. Nobody ever likes the hot dog."
I think the SCOTUS has ruled that as "cruel and unusual punishment," but I'm not sure...
What was this guy thinking? What was the upside supposed to be, to striking the figure with a bat. Was it supposed to elicit big yuks? Sheesh!
I'm glad she's okay. I'll bet MLB management couldn't belive their eyes. Here they are spending huge bucks to create interest in the game in a buildup to the All-Star game, then this schmuck does this.
LOL! My wife and I have been laughing at this story for days now. Can you imagine what your answer would be when someone asks "What do you do?". Your answer would be "I'm am a polish sausage".
This mother is coaching her four-year-old kid to talk about how he was traumatized by the incident - "You had something in your eyes, what was it? What was it? That's right, it was tears. You had tears in your eyes. You were sad, right?"
I have a four-year-old son. He would have fallen off his seat laughing if he saw that.
He wasn't thinking at all. This is only an entertaining story because no one was hurt and the Italian Sausage (a UW-Madison student) has some common sense.
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