Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: Will Ferrell

Ping Pong 4 Purpose returns August 11 to aid Kershaw’s Challenge

Audrey Van Slyke, Eric Stonestreet, Scott Van Slyke and Clayton Kershaw at the 2015 Ping Pong 4 Purpose event at Dodger Stadium (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Audrey Van Slyke, Eric Stonestreet, Scott Van Slyke and Clayton Kershaw at the 2015 Ping Pong 4 Purpose event at Dodger Stadium (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Ping_Pong_for_Purpose_Logo_2015copyBy Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw’s back isn’t back, but his service for the community remains front and center.

The fourth annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose event, benefiting Kershaw’s Challenge, will take place August 11 at Dodger Stadium.

Will Ferrell will co-host the celebrity ping-pong tournament with Kershaw and his wife Ellen. The night will feature past and present Dodger players, as well celebrity guests scheduled to include Susan Sarandon, Eric Stonestreet, George Lopez, Anthony Anderson, Mike Epps, Rob Riggle, Omar Miller, Claire Holt, Troy Garity, Mario Lopez, Emily Osment, Becca Tilley, Ben Lyons, Diplo, Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar.

The evening’s top honoree will be Dennis Gilbert, the former agent and founder of the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

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In case you missed it: Bat left, throw left, hold baby right


For more photos from Thursday, visit LA Photog Blog.

DM WF 070By Jon Weisman

It was hard not to be a little skeptical about Thursday’s Will Ferrell stunt across Major League Baseball, but it helped knowing that it was for a good cause, and pretty quickly it became clear how much fun it was going to be.

It helped that Ferrell, while engaging in all the hijinx, displayed such a sincere love for the game himself. And he looked pretty good out there — for a 47-year-old. (I’m particularly sympathetic to that demographic.)

I’m sure it had to be a distraction on some level, but the memories seem to have been worth it.

But now, it’s back to the real players  …

  • A scout told J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News that he was “particularly impressed by Sergio Santos, who touched 94 on the gun.”
  • Julio Urias is the No. 2 pitching prospect in baseball, according to John Sickels’ Minor League Ball, behind local boy Lucas Giolito of the Nationals.  Grant Holmes is 41st. On the hitting side, Corey Seager is sixth, Joc Pederson 10th and Alex Verdugo 50th.
  • You know all the big names by now, but David Hood of True Blue L.A. offers his favorites to watch among the next generation of Dodger prospects.
  • A classic W.C. Heinz profile of the inimitable Pete Reiser is on display, courtesy of The Stacks.
  • Former Dodger Chuck Connors, aka “The Rifleman,” made David Schoenfield’s all-celebrity baseball team at’s Sweet Spot.
  • James Harris, one of my heroes growing up here in the 1970s, gets a nice tribute from Samuel G. Freedman at the New Yorker. It’s a worthwhile history lesson.

Video: Will Ferrell pitches for the Dodgers

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Oh, and Joc Pederson hit a game-winning homer after this, but we’ll get to that.

The craziest thing of all about this game might have been that it only took 139 minutes. (Or that Matt Kemp stepping into the batters box against the Dodgers for the first time got nearly no attention at all.)

Two hits for either side, but Pederson crushed the biggest one.

— Jon Weisman

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In case you missed it: Starting off with sparkle

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For photos from Tuesday, visit LA Photog Blog.

Dodgers at Cubs, 1:05 p.m.
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chris Heisey, RF
Yasiel Puig, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Scott Van Slyke, 1B
Justin Turner, DH
Joc Pederson, LF
Kike Hernandez, 3B
(Zack Greinke, P)

By Jon Weisman

Relive Darwin Barney’s dazzler from Tuesday in the video above, then move right into today’s news and notes …

  • Clayton Kershaw gave up a third-inning home run to Nick Hundley on a hanging curveball in Tuesday’s 2-2 tie with Colorado, but he seemed more annoyed by his 10-pitch walk to Jeremy Barfield in the previous inning, writes Ken Gurnick at Kershaw threw 14 pitches in the bullpen after his three-inning outing.
  • Don Mattingly told reporters that Yasmani Grandal will catch Kershaw in his next outing. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. has more.
  • Dodger relievers Joe Wieland, David Aardsma, Paco Rodriguez and Pedro Baez combined to retire the final 16 Rockies. Wieland was perfect over two innings with four groundouts and a strikeout. Rodriguez struck out all three batters he faced. (Here’s video of the last one.)
  • Julio Urias is scheduled for his second Spring Training outing today and Joc Pederson is OPSing 1.091, but Corey Seager is turning as many heads as anyone. Dylan Hernandez of the Times has more in this feature.
  • Pederson, Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez are scheduled to make the two-day trip to San Antonio for split-squad games against the Rangers at the Alamodome’s Big League Weekend, March 20-21. Tim Wallach will manage. More details about the event here.
  • This story on Grandal from Bill Plunkett of the Register is worth it if only to read Don Mattingly say of Grandal, “He’s a dangerous cat.”
  • Joel Peralta had a successful bullpen session Tuesday and is scheduled for his Cactus League debut Friday, reports Gurnick.
  • MLB Network spent Tuesday at Camelback Ranch, so there’s a lot of Dodger-related content up at
  • Vin Scully talked to Jill Painter Lopez of Fox Sports about his preparation for Year 66 with the Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers have the fourth-easiest schedule in the National League for the first quarter of the season, writes ESPN Insider’s Buster Olney, who adds this tidbit: “The Dodgers will have the bulk of their NL West games completed by the All-Star break. They will play 13 of their 19 games against Colorado by June 3, 12 of their 19 games against the Padres by June 14, and 12 of their 19 games against the Giants by June 20.”
  • Peter Gammons explains at Gammons Daily why he thinks the Dodgers won the offseason.
  • Will Ferrell plans to play in all eight Cactus League games Thursday, traveling to each via helicopter. By the time he’s done, according to the Associated Press, he’ll have played all nine positions. It’s true because it’s crazy. (The Dodgers play the Padres that night, so you can expect many “Anchorman” references that day.)
  • Fielding-independent pitching is ready to be informed by much more context, writes Jonathan Judge at the Hardball Times.
  • Matthew Mesa preserved this Twitter conversation for posterity:

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