Perhaps the criminal justice system’s most preposterous challenge of the week was how to handle the case of Pittsburgh Pirates hitter Randall Simon.
As recounted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mandy Block, 19, was competing in a Milwaukee Brewers’ on-field race wearing a sausage costume Wednesday night. Simon, 28, was standing on the top step of the dugout, preparing to pinch-hit. After the first three racers, dressed as a bratwurst, a Polish sausage and a hot dog, passed him, Simon swung his bat into the chef’s hat of Block’s costume. He said it was intended as a joke, but it went awry. Block tumbled to the ground, the costume breaking her fall, and tripped the hot dog, Veronica Piech, 21. Both women suffered scrapes on their arms and legs.
Simon, a native of Curacao in the southwest Caribbean, was arrested after the game, booked on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and was released. He met for two hours yesterday morning with Deputy District Attorney Jon Reddin. A district attorney’s investigator called Block twice, asking whether she wanted to pursue criminal charges, but she declined, saying she would be happy if Simon would give her an autographed bat. He complied. Reddin levied a $432 fine on an accusation of disorderly conduct and set a Sept. 3 court date.
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. didn’t find the sausage-bashing funny. “I think everybody can appreciate a good time and a few yuks,” said Clarke, who suggested that an appropriate punishment for Simon would be to have him to wear a sausage outfit while playing first base. “But you can’t make light of somebody with a baseball bat.”
The Journal Sentinel editorialized: “What happened at Miller Park Wednesday night was not funny. It was dumb and it was reckless, as in bordering on criminal conduct. And considering that an innocent party got blindsided with a baseball bat – no matter how gently it was swung or how innocent the motive – the outcome could have been very different.”