Three funnymen take turns at live broadcasting

Three funnymen take turns at live broadcasting

Three funnymen take turns at live broadcasting
Here's the thing about Hollywood celebrities and sports stars: The grass, as they say, truly is greener on the other side.

Celebs love athletes. In most cases, at some point, the celebs had aspirations to become athletes, instead of actors of comedians.

And the jocks? Well, for the most part, they find the Hollywood lifestyle deliciously fascinating. Who needs the four major sports when you can be fighting the bad guys as a superhero in a blockbuster action flick?

So when the two worlds collide, the cup of camaraderie overflows, for the simple reason that the sports star wishes he could trade places with the actor, and the actor would give up everything to experience, even for a week, the life of a pro athlete.

That brings us to the latest edition of "Express Written Consent." There's an old saying in sports: When you can't play it, broadcast it.

On Monday, we'll see that firsthand. Three funny Hollywood types -- Kevin Pollak, Robert Wuhl and Jon Gries -- will call three innings apiece from a booth at Dodger Stadium during a National League West matchup between the Giants and Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET.

The broadcast is part of an MLB.com venture, with the goal of bringing nontraditional broadcasters into the booth, to have a go at the pastime that's evolved alongside the national pastime: calling the game.

This one's different, though, in that it's the first live EWC event. The broadcast will be streamed in real-time on MLB.com.

The broadcast team consists of a starter (Pollak), middle reliever (Wuhl) and closer (Gries). They'll be guided by MLB.com's Jeremy Brisiel, and, as we've found out so far, you never know what's going to happen once the mics are live.

This will be Pollak's second go-around as an EWC broadcaster. His first time, he spent the first segment of his time in the booth calling the game not as Kevin Pollak, but as actor Christopher Walken. He used the rest of the broadcast to use a baseball analogy to describe the advice Rob Reiner gave him as he was preparing to join forces with three of Hollywood's biggest stars -- Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore -- in the hit 1990s movie "A Few Good Men."

"'Listen, Jack's going to be hitting the ball out every time he opens his mouth,'" Pollak recalled Reiner telling him. "'Tom's going to be swinging for the fences to kind of go toe-to-toe with Jack and Demi's going to be swinging real hard to keep up with the boys. I need you to hit one to the gap, maybe bring in a run.' It was the perfect analogy for me to understand."

Wuhl, a veteran actor who has plenty of experience talking baseball and sports in general, will follow Pollak for innings four through six. Given Wuhl's extensive resume with sports-related roles in movies like "Bull Durham" and "Cobb," plus his most famous role as a sports agent in the HBO series "Arli$$," it would seem he would be perfect for an EWC cameo.

And what broadcast would be complete without an appearance from Uncle Rico? Gries, a character actor who gained famed in the cult classic "Napoleon Dynamite," has had one brief fling in the Majors -- an appearance at the Brewers Spring Training earlier this year as a guest of pitcher Randy Wolf.

Gries suited up in uniform No. 69 and reportedly ran through a few early-morning drills. His appearance also prompted this tweet from MLB.com's Adam McCalvy: "Brewers win the award for the most random Spring Training visit. Uncle Rico is sitting in the clubhouse eating breakfast."

Gries will serve as the honorary closer during Monday's broadcast, calling innings seven through nine.

Three funny guys, one baseball broadcast. We're guessing Brisiel doesn't get a word in edgewise. Tune in to find out.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.