Ballplayer Avoids Grilling

In this image from video, Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Randall Simon, second from left, swats Guido, the Italian sausage (white hat) during the team's game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, July 9, 2003, at Miller Park in Milwaukee. Simon won't face criminal charges for swatting the young woman in the costume during the popular human sausage race at the Milwaukee Brewers' ballpark.
Pittsburgh first baseman Randall Simon will not face charges for hitting one of the Milwaukee Brewers' sausage mascots with his bat during a game.

Prosecutors said Thursday they made the decision after reviewing tape of Wednesday night's game.

The women "were not interested in having him charged criminally" and did not believe Simon meant to hurt them, Deputy District Attorney Jon Reddin said

Simon was cited by the sheriff's department for disorderly conduct and fined $432. He can contest the citation at a Sept. 3 hearing.

Simon maintains he did not deliberately try to knock down the female mascot.

"That wasn't my intention in my heart for that to happen," he said before Thursday's Brewers-Pirates game. "I was just trying to get a tap at the costume and for her to finish the race."

Simon said he hopes to apologize to the woman before he leaves Milwaukee.

"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 was taken to the Milwaukee County Jail after the game, won 2-1 by the Brewers in 12 innings. He was booked, released and ordered to appear in the district attorney's office.

Simon had been handcuffed in what is standard procedure for those taken to jail, Deputy Inspector Sherry Warichak of the sheriff's department said. She said he was "totally cooperative."

Four people in sausage costumes race around the infield warning track between the sixth and seventh innings at Brewers' games to entertain fans.

When the group went past the Pirates' dugout, Simon took a half swing at the Italian sausage character, hitting her from behind and causing her to tumble. When she fell, she knocked over the woman dressed as the hot dog.

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

Warichak identified the person in the Italian sausage costume as an 18-year-old woman from South Milwaukee whose first name is Mandy, and the person in the hot dog costume as a 21-year-old woman whose first name is Veronica.

The deputy inspector and Brewers spokesman Jon Greenberg declined to identify them further.

"The Pittsburgh Pirates apologize to the Milwaukee Brewers organization and to the Brewers' fans for this unfortunate incident," the team said.

Rick Schlessinger, Brewers' executive vice president for business operations, called Simon's conduct "one of the most outrageous things I've ever seen inside a ballpark or outside a ballpark. It sickened me to see it."

Greenberg said the racing sausages were scheduled to compete against racing pierogies (dumplings) at a series with the Pirates in Pittsburgh Aug. 15-17 and then again during a series between the teams Aug. 22-24 at Milwaukee.

By Juliet Williams