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TV review: Will Ferrell hits it out of the park in HBO special

Will Ferrell teamed with Major League Baseball to raise money for charity by playing (briefly) for 10 teams during spring training in the HBO special, Ferrell Takes the Field.
Will Ferrell teamed with Major League Baseball to raise money for charity by playing (briefly) for 10 teams during spring training in the HBO special, Ferrell Takes the Field.

San Francisco — "I don't think there's a person I hate on planet Earth more than Billy Beane.... He is a bloodsucking liar who hides in his ivory tower in Oakland memorial stadium who tells everyone who comes into his office, 'Hey, do you wanna watch Moneyball? It's a story about me.'" That's Will Ferrell's reaction to the news he's been traded by the Oakland A's to the Seattle Mariners.

No matter. He'll be traded again and again during a single day of playing for 10 different teams during spring training, for two good causes: To raise a million bucks for the scholarship charity Cancer for College, and to make us laugh in a one-hour HBO special called Ferrell Takes the Field. He is successful in both efforts.

Ferrell and his Funny or Die productions company teamed with Major League Baseball to get the 47-year-old comic actor on various Cactus League teams in March. From Oakland, he bounces to Seattle, then to Anaheim, the Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds, the Dodgers and Chicago White Sox, playing a different field position for a few minutes in each game.

He gets one play in the outfield for the A's before being released, but later makes a successful play for the Angels, which he calls "my childhood team." He remembers, truthfully or not so much, being taken to the game by his dad and encountering a urinal trough for the first time.

Ah, memories.

Ferrell isn't the first guy to play every position in a single game. That honor belongs to Bert "Campy" Campaneris, who played all nine positions in a single game on Sept. 8, 1965 as a special promotion for the A's, who were still in Kansas City at the time. Ferrell pays homage to the baseball great in the HBO special, consulting him for tips, which of course he promptly ignores.

Ferrell may never make Cooperstown, but he's a shoo-in for funniest guy in America.

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