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03/21/09 4:36 PM ET
Actor Wilson drops in on Rangers' 'pen
In midst of filming movie, star spends afternoon 'learning' from relievers
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers are looking everywhere for pitching, even Hollywood. They had Owen Wilson in the bullpen Saturday afternoon against the Rockies. That's right, the one and only star of Wedding Crashers, Drillbit Taylor and You, Me and Dupree was an actual Rangers reliever for a day.
Only he was there to learn and not to pitch."He's going to learn from us?" Josh Rupe asked with mock incredulity. That's right. "He'll learn a wide array of things from C.J. Wilson," Rupe said. "We'll teach him a few things," Eddie Guardado said. "We'll teach him how to chew the bubblegum, spit the seeds and hold the cup..." Wilson -- who is from Dallas, went to St. Mark's School of Texas and is a longtime friend of Rangers vice president Dan Fine -- is making a baseball movie, and he apparently is going to be a reliever. Reese Witherspoon is supposedly his love interest, but Wilson wanted to sit in Texas' bullpen during the game to get a feel for what it's like out there. "That's fine, but you tell him that he's a rookie," Guardado said. "I'll be out there telling him, 'Go get my cup of water, my bubble gum and my seeds ... go, get after it, you're a rookie.' The first thing he has to learn is how to be a rookie, and then we'll go from there." Maybe he can learn to play chess from the master himself, Frank Francisco. Actually, cribbage has been big this spring in the clubhouse, but not out in the bullpen during the games. "A lot of jokes," Warner Madrigal said. "We joke a lot. But only with leads. Not in close games." Actually, his bullpen role models said the main thing Wilson needs to pick up is the proper "lingo" of the relief corps. "That's all we do out there is talk, talk, talk," Willie Eyre said. "Maybe we'll get him to rag the right fielder." "He needs to learn the nicknames," Rupe said. "We come up with nicknames all the time. We have a new one today for Derek Holland ... Wonder Boy." Said C.J. Wilson: "He'll learn some authentic lingo. He'll have a chance to learn proper baseball vernacular for his movie, which is extremely rare. Most baseball movies are inauthentic in that respect. "Maybe he'll teach us something. I've heard he's a fun guy."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.