Cactus Leaguers excited for chance to play with Ferrell

Players call actor's plan to participate in 10 games 'awesome,' 'cool,' 'sweet'

Cactus Leaguers excited for chance to play with Ferrell

Like any veteran pitcher, A's left-hander Scott Kazmir knows that when it comes to Spring Training starts, it's anyone's guess as to who will be lined up behind him on any given day.

That said, even he has never experienced anything quite like what's in store during his outing today against the Mariners.

Comedian/actor Will Ferrell is expected to take the field behind Kazmir as part of a charity event that will see Ferrell play 10 positions for 10 Cactus League teams. Ferrell will appear in five games, starting with the A's-Mariners clash at HoHoKam Stadium at 3 p.m. ET.

"I think everyone's going to be up for it," Kazmir said. "I probably speak for everyone in here saying he's probably one of our favorite actors. To have him here is going to be awesome."

Ferrell will be getting the full Major League experience as part of an HBO special, starting with a morning physical followed by team workouts, including yoga, and batting practice. The project intends to raise funds for charities involved in the fight against cancer, including Cancer for College and Stand Up To Cancer, in part by auctioning off his game-used equipment.

"It's pretty cool," said Mariners left fielder Dustin Ackley. "He's a guy everybody has grown up watching and one of the funniest guys on the planet. So to think he's going to be playing in a game with the same jersey is kind of hard to describe. It's just such a cool thing, and from what I hear, it's for a great cause, too, so you can't beat that."

Following his appearances for each team at HoHoKam, Ferrell will continue his quest by also donning uniforms for the Cubs, Angels, Reds, D-backs, Giants, White Sox, Dodgers and Padres.

In addition, Ferrell's goal is to log time at each of the nine defensive positions and also make an appearance as a designated hitter -- a tribute to Bert Campaneris. Campaneris, who will travel alongside Ferrell during his journey, accomplished the historic feat of playing every position on the field as a member of the Kansas City A's in a Sept. 8, 1965, game against the Angels.

With Ferrell set to put his versatility on display, Mariners utility man Willie Bloomquist will be keeping a close eye on Ferrell's performance -- as well as his own job.

"A little bit," Bloomquist said with a grin when asked if he is nervous about Ferrell taking over his utility role. "There's been a number of people trying to take my job over the years, and I know he's extremely versatile himself, judging from the roles he's played in movies. Yeah, I'm looking over my shoulder a little bit."

Bloomquist added that Ferrell "has his work cut out for him" in his attempt to field every position in one day. White Sox utility man Emilio Bonifacio, who has logged time at all three outfield spots as well as every infield position except first base during his career, echoed the sentiment.

"Oh, yeah, it's really hard, but I know that it will be something fun, and let's see how he does," Bonifacio said before adding: "I know he will do great."

Some might be hoping he isn't too great, however, considering Spring Training is the perfect time to win -- or lose -- a starting gig.

"I love Will Ferrell. It sounds like a pretty sweet thing they've got going," said Mariners shortstop Brad Miller. "As long as he doesn't shift over to shortstop. I know he's a bigger guy, so he's probably got some pop."

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.