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Friday, July 11
Simon suspended three games, fined for incident

Associated Press

Randall Simon was suspended for three games and fined $2,000 by major league baseball Friday for hitting one of the Milwaukee Brewers' sausage mascots with his bat.

Randall Simon

The Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman did not play Thursday against Milwaukee, so that game will count as one of the three games, a club spokesman said.

Simon chose not to appeal the fine or suspension, which he continued serving Friday night against the Houston Astros.

"I'm certainly not happy with the suspension,'' Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We are playing a first-place club. We've gotten ourselves back into the race. I would like to have my first baseman in there against this team.

"It's very difficult to swallow. I guess baseball thinks they need to make a statement to show they care and this is their way of doing it.''

Simon was not available for comment Friday. The Pirates lost 4-2 to Houston.

Teammate Jack Wilson said the penalty was expected.

"We figured something was going to happen when Bud Selig talks about it on SportsCenter,'' Wilson said. "Three games is not unreasonable. We just want him to serve it and get back as soon as possible.

"It's not like he meant to assault the mascot. But major league baseball players are role models and major league baseball had to do something about it.''

Simon is hitting .272 with seven homers and 40 RBI this season.

Wilson had no problem with the length of the suspension.

"It's not like it's happened before,'' he said. "There's no bar to measure it by as reasonable or unreasonable.''

Simon hit a 19-year-old woman in an Italian sausage costume during the Brewers' popular costume race Wednesday night at Miller Park. A 21-year-old woman in a hot dog costume also fell, and both women were treated for scraped knees.

After the game, Simon was arrested and booked for misdemeanor battery, and told to show up at the district attorney's office the next day.

Simon and one of the women met with prosecutors, but Simon was not charged with a crime. He said he did not mean to knock the women down.

Still, Simon was cited by the sheriff's department for disorderly conduct and fined $432.

The 19-year-old woman, Mandy Block, was among four team employees dressed as an oversized bratwurst, a hot dog and Italian and Polish sausages racing past the Pirates' dugout between the sixth and seventh innings at Miller Park when Simon hit Block with a half-swing.

Block and Veronica Piech, the 21-year-old woman, asked for an apology and an autographed bat from Simon. He gave the Brewers two autographed bats and the team said they were given to the women after Friday night's game.

Simon said Thursday attempts were made to contact the two women and messages of apology were left for both.

"His agent called and left a message,'' Block said Friday. "He hasn't called yet. I understand that. He's traveling, he has games. I'm sure I'll talk to him.''

A Brewers spokesman said the women would be given their bats after Friday night's game against Cincinnati.

Block did not want to have Simon charged with a crime.

"It was just a few scratches,'' she said Friday. "I'm fine. I think the whole thing is funny.''

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