PEORIA, Ariz. — Look for comedian Will Ferrell to make an appearance Thursday for the Mariners at second base in their game against Oakland at HoHoKam Stadium in Mesa.
Farrell is starring in an HBO production, in conjunction with Major League Baseball, that seeks to bolster public awareness in the fight against cancer.
The premise has Ferrell playing in five Cactus League games — he’ll be escorted from site to site — and to honor former A;s shortstop Campy Campaneris by playing all nine positions at some point during the day.
He'll be at second for the Mariners.
“I’ve spent my entire career…looking to identify and procure talent,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “I can say with confidence that I’ve never scouted a talent like Will before.
“At first it was difficult for me for me to project a big-league position for him. But as I considered the balletic grace he showed on the ice in `Blades of Glory,' the raw athleticism on the court in `Semi Pro,” and the burning desire to win — who can forget his credo: `If you’re not first, you’re last’ — in `Talladega Nights,’ it became clear to me that he should be a middle-of-the-field player.”
(Look, that’s how the release quotes Zduriencik.)
The Mariners/A’s game in Mesa is the first stop on Ferrell's trek, which is why the game time was moved up one hour to a 12:05 p.m. start. Others on Ferrell's schedule:
***1:10 p.m.: Cubs vs. Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
***2:10 p.m.: Reds vs. Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields.
***4:05 p.m.: Giants vs. White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
***6:15 p.m.: Dodgers vs, Padres at Peoria Stadium.
The whole shebang will be chronicled by HBO for airing later in the year. Fans can follow the proceedings Thursday on MLB Network and online at MLB.com.