Last week, the Tigers' concession company fired Charley Marcuse, Comerica Park's locally renowned singing hot dog vendor. It's apparently the worst thing to happen to Detroit sports since the Pistons last played. And the Detroit News is determined to get to the bottom of it.

It can't be that Marcuse was fired for the singing, since he'd been singing for all of the 15 years he was employed to sell hot dogs. Sportservice, the concession company, hasn't commented. But the News is hearing "rumblings," and get a load of what those "rumblings" are:

There are rumblings the real reason was ketchup — or Marcuse’s disdain for it. Marcuse, at the ballpark and on Twitter, has been a strong crusader for only putting mustard on a frank. And some fans thought he got combative when they asked for ketchup. There were complaints filed.

Asked whether condiments actually were behind his dismissal, Marcuse was vague.

“It was general employee conduct,” he said, relaying the reason he was given.

Only barbarians enjoy ketchup on hot dogs, so Marcuse is certainly to be admired for being Against Ketchup. But he was working in the customer service business, after all, and the customer is always right—even a customer so coarse as to demand ketchup on a hot dog.


The Tigers' vendors have a union, and Marcuse has filed a grievance. A hearing about that grievance has yet to be scheduled.

[Detroit News, via Hardball Talk]