And now warming up in the bullpen ... Will Ferrell!
If baseball ever needs a successor to Max Patkin, the great rubber-faced clown who used to entertain at minor league ballparks around the country -- he has nice cameo in "Bull Durham" -- I'm nominating Will Ferrell. In Texas for a charity golf tournament this week, Ferrell staged an elaborate put-on for the Round Rock Express, the Houston Astros' Triple-A farm team, coming out of the bullpen and posing as newly signed reliever Billy Ray (Rojo) Johnson.
Wearing a No. 99 jersey, a big fake mustache and carrying a paper bag full of beer cans, Ferrell took a few warm-up tosses before digging in against the first hitter from the Nashville Sounds. He didn't last long. He fired his first pitch (though fired might be a tad generous) behind the head of the opposing batter, prompting the home plate umpire to immediately kick him out of the game. Ferrell proceeded to taunt the hitter, then spray him with beer, which led to Ferrell being chased around the outfield and out of the ballpark.
It's pretty funny stuff, almost as funny as watching the Pittsburgh Pirates' Lastings Milledge hit what he thought was a grand slam on Thursday and go into home run trot, only to get tagged out between second and third base when it turned out the ball actually hit off the wall instead of going over it. But no one can top Ferrell when his funny bone's in the right place. Watch for yourself here:
Photo: Will Ferrell at a welterweight title fight in Las Vegas last year. Credit: Al Bello / Getty Images