The Ballad Of Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson: A Cautionary Tale
In case you missed it, Will Ferrell made an “appearance” for the Pacific Coast League Round Rock Express on Thursday, where he broke out a new character; legendary Venezuelan pitching star Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson. He was described thusly:
The Round Rock Express have acquired Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson… Johnson, who was born in East Texas but was raised in Venezuela, recently had his prison sentence commuted. He served time for running a smuggling ring that imported rare and illegal species of reptiles into the United States from South America during the mid-to-late 1990s.
Rojo took his time warming up, downing a beer in the process, before finally throwing a pitch during the actual game; with the delivery sailing behind the Nashville Sounds hitter (another “plant”), resulting in Rojo being ejected. That led to the scene you see pictured to the right.
Now, as sick as I am of the sports movies that Will Ferrell continues to be in (Talladega Nights, Semi Pro, Blades of Glory), I can’t lie. I wasn a little bit excited to see Will Ferrell come out and do his thing.
Any pitcher that likes to drink a beer during the game and tosses an opponent in a Nolan Ryan-eque headlock is OK by me.
Ferrell was in the area to host today’s inaugural Will Powered Golf Classic charity golf tournament at the nearby Cimarron Hills Country Club in Georgetown, Texas. From MLB.com’s Danny Wild:
Johnson also appeared to have taken a bag of beer cans with him to the mound.
“Mentally, I feel like I have the strength of 10 men, after that,” Johnson, who ripped off his mustache during the on-field chase, told reporters in a post-game press conference.
“Nashville showed a lot of stuff tonight,” he added. “They’ve got a lot of moxie.”
The Express pulled in more than 10,000 fans that nigh, including over four thousand walk-up sales, so no matter where one sits on weighing in on Ferrell’s comedic abilities it has to be said that this one paid off in the end.
On a side note, it sure as hell is a good thing he wasn’t pretending to be a hitter, or else the Astros would probably have called him up to be their clean-up hitter sometime real soon.