Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 10, 2003
BASEBALL: Bratwurst Victory Marred By Violence!
Add another darkly humorous chapter to the bizarre history of baseball mascots: Pirates 1B Randall Simon is being investigated by the Milwaukee DA's Office for knocking over the Italian Sausage during the famous Milwaukee Sausage Race by hitting her (yes, the Italian Sausage is a woman, and no, I'm not going there) with a bat from the visitor's dugout. The Italian Sausage fell into the Hot Dog, leaving the Bratwurst to race to a dramatic victory.
I guess the "Soysage" backers at PETA are saying they knew the Milwaukee Sausage Race would lead to violence some day ("Now you see the violence inherent in the system!"), and we know what John Rocker thinks of Simon. But let's consider some other dramatic moments in mascot history:
*The time Billy the Marlin, skydiving into Joe Robbie Stadium on Opening Day, had his head blow off (the costume head, that is) in the wind. SportsCenter had a field day (Bring Me The Head of Billy The Marlin!). The head was eventually found near a highway some miles from the stadium.
*The 1985 Pittsburgh drug trial, when it was revealed that the Pirate Parrot had been dealing drugs to the players. If I remember right, he kept them in the nose of his costume.
*The time Mets catcher John Stearns got annoyed at Braves mascot Chief Nok-A-Homa, tackled him and chased him off the field.
*When pitcher Don Schulze (who also later had a disastrous tour of duty with the Mets in 1987) sued the San Diego Chicken for tackling him while running the bases; Schulze claimed that the Chicken had caused permanent injury to his arm (wanna bet the Italian Sausage and the Hot Dog file suit against Simon?)
UPDATES: I actually didn't see video last night (I was busy finishing the new Harry Potter book), but MSNBC has pictures and an amusing lead headline ("Pirate Grilled For Whacking Sausage"). My prediction: Simon can avoid criminal charges by blaming the attack on the Pirates' all-yellow "Turn Back The Clock" 70s uniforms. Prediction #2: The Italian Sausage gets a standing ovation tonight.
Also, co-blogger The Mad Hibernian asks, "does targeting the Italian Sausage make it a hate crime?"