As his 10-team, five-stadium tour of Spring Training action with Major League Baseball concluded, actor Will Ferrell heard his fair share of criticism.
Perhaps none of it as vocal as when Los Angeles Dodgers fans booed the actor when he made his last stop.
The 47-year-old actor embarked on a journey for a new HBO special and a fight against cancer, a tour that was met with a lot of fanfare, celebration, and criticism. Ferrell entered the stadium filled with Dodger fans while still donning a San Francisco Giants uniform. The fans weren’t happy.
The Dodger fans weren’t the only ones to voice their displeasure with Ferrell partaking in major league action. One of the more outspoken sports personalities was NFL legend John Madden.
Here is Madden’s take on the situation.
“I hate it. That’s a lack of respect. That’s a lack of respect for the game and a [lack of] respect for what players have to do to get where they are.”
Despite the chorus of boos and Madden’s criticism, the stunt turned out great for everybody involved. The financial profit came in the form of $1 million raised for the fight against cancer, according to Ferrell himself.
One of Ferrell’s managers for the day, Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs, provided praise for the actor and his presence in the dugout for the day. Speaking to CSN Chicago about Ferrell, the Cubs skipper thinks it was great for the game.
“It was a lot of fun, man. Nice play in the outfield, he was a lot of fun on the bench. I think it’s good for baseball in general to have him do something like that with his popularity.”
The most recent time we saw a celebrity suit up with a major league baseball team was when comedian Billy Crystal played in one game with the New York Yankees in 2008. He struck out in his only at-bat. That instance was simply Crystal living out his childhood dream of playing in a game. Ferrell actually had a positive cause behind the stunt.
Many view the Dodger fans and their booing of Ferrell as negative and disrespectful. As stated, the stunt raised $1 million and got attention for Spring Training games that would have been overlooked and watched by considerably fewer people. A good publicity stunt for baseball that raises money for a good cause can’t be all bad. It’s actually kind of a big deal.
[Image by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]