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Player won't be charged for hitting racing sausage

Player won't be charged for hitting racing sausage

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RACINE - Mary Jackson said she was appalled by the sausage-swatting incident Wednesday night at Miller Park.

"I just couldn't believe it when I saw it," Jackson, a Racine native, said on Thursday.

The young woman on the receiving end of Randall Simon's swing, Mandy Block of South Milwaukee, took a more charitable view. As a result, the Pittsburgh Pirates' first baseman will receive only a $432 fine in the incident.

Jackson is a member of the Super Team, the Brewers' on-field promotional group that participates in the sausage races.

Jackson wasn't working Wednesday night when Simon hit Block with a bat as she ran past the Pirates' dugout during the sausage race.

"There's not much room in the sausages and not very much padding," Jackson said. "He could have easily hurt her. I don't know what he was thinking."

Jackson has been a part of the game-day promotion crew for about three years. A student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, being a sausage is a part-time job for Jackson this year.

When a person is inside a sausage suit, their perceptions are off, Jackson said.

"You can't see behind you in the suit," Jackson said. "And when you're running you're concentrating on the finish line. You're trying not to fall and you're trying to beat the other three to finish line," Jackson said.

Simon took a half-swing at Block, who was wearing the Italian sausage costume, hitting her from behind. When Block fell, she knocked over 19-year-old Veronica Piech, dressed as the hot dog.

Block, 19, declined to press charges.

"It just seems ridiculous - it's like a big sausage getting hit by a bat causes all this controversy. It just seems kind of funny to me," Block told WTMJ-TV.

"It wasn't that big of a blow," she said. "I think just because I'm so small, and it's such a big costume that I tumbled, and the reason I couldn't get up right away is because I couldn't get up. I wasn't like hurt so bad I couldn't get up. Luckily, someone helped me up."

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

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department cited Simon for disorderly conduct, which carries a $432 fine.

Simon said he didn't deliberately try to knock down Block. She tumbled to the ground and got a few scrapes but wasn't hurt.

"That wasn't my intention in my heart for that to happen," Simon said in the locker room at Miller Park before Thursday afternoon's game. "I was just trying to get a tap at the costume and for her to finish the race."

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said Simon can contest the disorderly conduct citation at a Sept. 3 court hearing.

The sausage race, a fan favorite at Miller Park, features four people 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.

The Associated Press

contributed to this report.

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