And they say spring training stats don't matter.
The Mariners have announced that Will Ferrell will be playing for the Mariners in tomorrow's game against the Oakland A's, attempting to honor the Bert Campaneris feat of playing every position on the field some five decades ago. Ferrell will be making his way around 5 different games, and is expected to switch sides at some point during each game.
Here's a quote from Jack Zduriencik, via an M's press release:
"I’ve spent my entire career, including since my arrival in Seattle as General Manager, looking to identify and procure talent," said Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik. "I can say with confidence that I’ve never scouted a talent like Will before.
"At first it was difficult 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."
This is all happening in partnership with MLB and Funny or Die, who's making this whole spectacle a special that will air at some point this year. Ferrell is doing this to help organizations that fight cancer, including Cancer for College, who helps those impacted by cancer realize their dream of going to college. The memorabilia Ferrell wears and uses during the games will be auctioned off later this year on MLB.com, with proceeds going to Cancer for College as well as Stand up to Cancer, which MLB has invested heavily in over the past several years to push ahead innovative cancer research.
The Mariners have moved the start of tomorrow's game to 12:05 instead of 1:05 to help accommodate Ferrell moving around from field to field. It's unclear exactly how he's going to do this, if the outs will be real or ceremonial, but it should be interesting to see. Spring training stats obviously don't matter even a little, and if it's for a good cause, why not be all for it? I'm looking forward to witnessing the spectacle.
MLB.com and MLB Network are expected to track all of the action across multiple games tomorrow if you'd like to follow along. This should be...something. Here's the list of games Ferrell is expected to appear in:
March 12 (all times Pacific; subject to change)
12:05 p.m. – Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics (HoHoKam Stadium)