Nats Sausage Fail
You know, these stories are getting progressively more entertaining. Frowny wasn't really all that funny, aside from Stan Kasten calling him the player to be named later. Rijo and Bowden getting fired or resigning or whatever wasn't funny, either, nor was Kasten going on Philly sports radio in search of ticket-buyers. The factual mistakes in the new statues were too confusing to be funny.
But the Natinals was funny. Zimmermann batting with a Zimmerman bat was funny. The failure of TARP was funny, and if there's one thing we all can agree upon, it's that exploding hot dog buns are high comedy indeed.
"It's just funny to watch hot dog rolls explode and come down on people," agreed James Timmermeyer, one of several fans to comment in this space about the malfunction of Nick's Sausage Shooter during Saturday's matinee, just a few hours before the tarp failed to deploy. "I would actually like to see that again. I'd want it to go awry every time."
The Nats declined to comment on any sausage failure, so I'll go by some first-person accounts. Screech came out on a Segway, as he always does for this promotion, and set up shop down the right-field line. (The sausage shooter is used irregularly, but is a season-long promotion that has occurred before and is scheduled to occur again.) This time, though, hot dogs (wrapped in bun, foil and t-shirt, along with a flyer) weren't soaring into the stands with the majesty of a Roethlisberger bomb. This was the Danny Wuerffel version.
"Every time you would see one fire, you would almost see shotgun pellets of stuff come out of it, stuff would explode everywhere," said Alex Zeese, who was sitting in 222. "You would see bits of hot dog bun lying in the field. A guy in front of me caught one, he opens it up, the whole thing was just crushed, and the sausage casing was pretty much the only thing left. It had been torn down the center, all you saw was little bits of meat stuck to the casing. It was basically gutted. I don't think anyone would eat that. I'm just glad there was no mustard in that stuff."
There was at least one report of a sausage flying into the Phillies bullpen, to great amusement of the residents. One commenter said the grounds crew had to retrieve pieces of bun from the field, and that Garrett Mock was showered with the stuff. That's unconfirmed, but it would certainly fit in with the other reports.
"You could just see stuff exploding over the crowd, like confetti raining down," said Timmermeyer, who was sitting in 129, behind the Nats' dugout. "Screech must have dialed up the gun for more power or something. I mean, it was seriously giving off this noise like an explosion. It was a pretty serious gun. It was easier to see the bread than the sausage, the bread is light colored, so you could just see the bread raining down on the people. And one time you could see the t-shirt leave and the bun was still in there, and I don't think Screech saw that, so he put another one in and then you got double-bun in there exploding."
Hey, it's better than a relief staff imploding. Zeese got a look at the t-shirt that landed in front of him, and said while it was covered with hog dog stuff, it seemed basically fine. And, like Timmermeyer, he said he was in favor of a return appearance from the Sausage Shooter.
"I think it was just a PR stunt gone bad," he said. "If they can make it work, I think it's a good idea. Anything they can do to get people in the seats."
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