Albert Pujols drew a huge crowd during media interviews on Monday. Ichiro Suzuki, followed by a host of Japanese reporters, had an even larger following.
But both of them paled in comparison to Will Ferrell, the actor/comedian who showed up at the Home Run Derby. Ferrell drew quite a following, a group including All-Star officials, VIPs and reporters themselves, all seeming to make an unsaid request: “Say something funny, funny boy.”
Even ex-pros like Tim Salmon and Dave Winfield approached Ferrell for a friendly word and a handshake.
Ferrell didn’t disappoint. When asked what his home run call would be if he were a broadcaster, he paused for a moment, gathered his thoughts, and offered in a voice bordering on monotone: “Check your watches. Guess what time it is? It’s home run o’clock.”
Beats the heck out of “back, back, back, back, back, back,” any day.
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.