I arrived at the Angels' spring home, Tempe Diablo Stadium, two hours before game time, after dropping my mom off at Sky Harbor Airport, with my girlfriend and a camera. I'd never been to Diablo before and hadn't really planned on attending this game, but the spectacle of Will Ferrell playing for both the Angels and the Cubs was too enticing a draw to keep me from the ballgame today. So, I snagged a couple of overpriced $27 tickets and hoped it would be worth the price, triple what a Cubs spring lawn ticket costs. It was.
Tempe Diablo is a beautiful ballpark with red mountain backdrops and seemingly great food (I didn't have any, but it looked and smelled delicious). The beer is averagely expensive with a decent selection, and they have food stands featuring local establishments like Tempe Tap and Piggly's BBQ. But who am I kidding? Even a two-homer day from Kris Bryant and a nine-run offensive onslaught was no match for the main event, Will Ferrell and his quest to play 10 positions for 10 teams.
I must admit, I was skeptical, then curious, then excited to see what the comedian would offer on the field. I relentlessly booed Frank Caliendo a few years back as he hammed it up throwing out a relentlessly unfunny first pitch during the Las Vegas weekend games a few years ago. I believe my precise words were: "You suck, Caliendo!" I've also yelled the same thing to Donald Trump on a Mets Opening Day a few years back.
I hoped that Ferrell's performance wouldn't devolve into a carnival of buffoonery. Thankfully, it didn't. He didn't ham it up too much, the jokes he made were decent and he played adequately (except for the strikeout). How do you take a pitch? Just go up there hacking, Will! But overall, it was a fun day at the ballpark despite the Cubs loss, which, we were reminded by Ferrell's third base coach sign, doesn't matter.
Today was a great reminder of why so many people love baseball. It's one of the only sports where you think, if a team ran out of players, they could just choose a guy out of the stands and say, "Suit up, buddy! you're playing left field." Today, that Buddy was Buddy the Elf. If baseball is ultimately about entertainment, then today was a successfully entertaining day for baseball.
Enjoy the pics of the stadium, game and of course Mr. Ferrell!
Here's a video I took from left field of Ferrell coaching third base.