Craig Calcaterra

Rojo Johnson

Will Ferrell to play all nine positions in various Cactus League games on Thursday

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Spring training results really aren’t worth looking into. And sometimes they’re even less worth looking into than that:

Is it wrong of me to note that Ferrell has been far more interesting in the small handful of dramatic or semi-dramatic roles he’s had in the past decade than anything funny he’s done? Even if he’s still capable of making you laugh sometimes?

Which isn’t to say he shouldn’t do this. He’s got a lot of goodwill in the bank and can kind of do whatever he wants. I just happen to think that there’s room for more than one Bill Murray these days and that if Ferrell wanted to spend some time doing some acting instead of farting around, I’d be all for it.

Oh, whatever. If he does this, I’ll be fine with it:

 

UPDATE: Major League Baseball has issued a press release about it. It’s part of a promotion for an HBO/Funny or Die special which is aimed at honoring Bert Campaneris, who once played all nine positions in a game, and is dedicated to cancer charities. And Major League Baseball has no problem with it. Rob Manfred:

“Spring Training affords an appropriate setting where our game can serve as the backdrop for an event that will benefit organizations that fight cancer. Will is a big fan of our game, and many of us in baseball – among our clubs, players and our millions of fans – are big fans of his. Major League Baseball is happy to take part in what will surely be a fun and memorable day for a great cause.”

Ferrell will be playing in the following games as part of the special:

March 12 (all times Pacific; subject to change)

  • 12:05 p.m.      Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics (HoHoKam Stadium)
  • 1:10 p.m.        Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
  • 2:10 p.m.        Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks (Salt River Fields at Talking Stick)
  • 4:05 p.m.        San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox (Camelback Ranch)
  • 6:15 p.m.        Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (Peoria Stadium)

I’ll be at the Peoria game at least, and may be at one of the day games so if anything fun happens I’ll post about it.

Two points of spring training optimism, one point of spring training pessimism

Kershaw
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Three other random observations from spring training this fine afternoon, all of which are very spring training-y kinds of thoughts.

1. This is Clayton Kershaw. He’s a bad, bad man:

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But that bad, bad man also hung a curveball to Nick Hundley who deposited it over the fence, Matt Adams-style. I tweeted a joke about him being in postseason form after it happened and some people got genuinely irked. Some other people did the Twitter equivalent of nodding their heads. Combine that with this dumb article from Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday about how the Dodgers’ postseason failure last year was due to some character deficit or something, and you see the makings of the Post-Hoc Narrative Industrial Complex. Baseball just happens, man. Sometimes curveballs get hung.

2. There were two scouts here in the Cambelback press box a couple of hours ago, talking about a pitcher. The pitcher looked good. Sharp. They were impressed by his ticked-up velocity. They think he has a chance to really be special this year. The pitcher’s name: Barry Zito. Indeed, they each prefaced their compliments about the guy with things like “I know it’s Zito,” or “I know it’s just a couple of games in,” but their excitement was real.

In the past I’d chalk all of this up to spring enthusiasm and stuff, but man, Scott Kazmir happened, so I’ll believe anything anymore.

3. Down the road from here in Goodyear, the Cubs are playing the Indians. A few minutes ago Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit back-to-back-to-back homers off of Trevor Bauer.

I know there was already a ton of optimism about the Cubs heading into this season, but it’s probably off the charts in Cubs Country this afternoon.

I’ll be at Cubs camp in Mesa tomorrow to see how nuts it really is.

The sights and sounds of Camelback Ranch

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Camelback Ranch, spring training home of the Dodgers and White Sox, is a seriously beautiful facility.

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The only drawback to it is that it faces south-southeast, so the crowd just bakes in the sun. Not sure why that is. I have to assume there was some reason for it, but sheesh, it’s brutal here. Especially if you’re a pasty mother like I am. The press box is no good place to watch a game, but it’s sort of necessary for me here.

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D*O*D*G*E*R*S

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Yasiel Puig and Erisbel Arruebarrena. As Tommy Lasorda famously saidMuy dificil. 

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Just before Don Mattingly came out for his daily meet-the-press, the assembled Los Angeles press was talking about how there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot to ask him. This Dodgers camp is pretty quiet. The Andre Ethier situation is a bit up in the air, but there are no real position battles. No injuries of note since Jansen. We’ve entered the daily grind portion of spring training. The excitement of the new is over but we’re still weeks away from hard decisions (if any) and games with any significance. There’s a lot of talk of golf and restaurants and stuff.

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A couple of legends just hanging around and talking shop. Tommy Lasorda has become something of a mascot. In public there’s a lot of Dodgers cheerleading and smiling and waving and stuff. But — not that I was eavesdropping or anything — he is still quite capable of delivering a blue streak of colorful language when telling a baseball story from, like, 40 years ago, and I’m happy about that.

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Of course, he can also be pretty horrifying in just the right setting. OMG, that’s nightmare fuel.

It really sucks to be a Colorado Rockies hitter today

Poison
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The Colorado Rockies are playing split squad games, with half of the team heading to Glendale to face the Dodgers and half the team staying at home at Salt River to face the Mariners. Here are the pitching matchups for those two games:

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Kershaw or King Felix? Pick your damn poison. Or, at the very least, ask Walt Weiss and whoever is managing the other game if you can get your hacks in after the third inning.

Cliff Lee has a tear in his flexor tendon

Cliff Lee
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Jon Paul Morosi reports that an MRI confirms that Phillies starter Cliff Lee has a tear in the flexor tendon of his pitching arm.

This comes two days after Lee experiencing discomfort in his left elbow after throwing two innings Thursday in his Grapefruit League debut. And a year in which he was limited to 81 and a third innings due to elbow soreness. The Phillies are saying that this is not the sort of tear that would require Tommy John surgery but, I mean, tears in elbow tendons aren’t exactly wonderful when you’re a pitcher.

Lee, 36, is due $25 million this year. If he does manager to pitch 200 innings this year and not end the season on the disabled list due to elbow problems, he’ll trigger a $27 million vesting option for the 2016 season. Even if he doesn’t — which seems quite likely — he has a $12.5 million buyout because Ruben.