RHP Chad Bradford, working hard to get back from elbow surgery to the big leagues next month, also has a chance to end up on the big screen. Bradford has been invited to play himself in Steven Soderbergh's film version of the book Moneyball. The movie, which starts filming in June in Los Angeles and will be released in 2011, focuses on the 2002 A's, for whom Bradford pitched in 75 games. Bradford would love to be involved — "It would be a once-in-a-lifetime thrill" — but said the scheduling would be tough unless he could film his part during the four-day All-Star break, on a day off or during the Rays' August trip to Anaheim. "I don't think it's going to work out," he said. "For all the guys that are active, I guess they're going to find (former) ballplayers who look like 'em and try to fill in for 'em."
The movie will have star power, with Brad Pitt playing A's GM Billy Beane and comedian Demetri Martin assistant Paul De Podesta. Soderbergh likes to use "real" people in his movies and reportedly has signed on more than two dozen, including former A's David Justice and Scott Hatteberg, coach Rick Peterson and ex-manager Art Howe. But Bradford's role will be tough to fill. He is 6 feet 5 and throws in an unusual way, with his knuckles just about scraping the ground. Bradford had no good recommendations for who should play him. But manager Joe Maddon had a few ideas: "Would Tim Robbins be too old — the guy who played Nuke LaLoosh (in Bull Durham)? He's tall enough to do that. Or maybe Howard Stern." 1B Carlos Peña was a rookie on that A's team for a few months — "I was the young new talent," he joked — before being traded, but he hasn't heard about a role in the movie. If one of him is cast, he hopes it will be with a "young, Latin and good-looking actor." His suggestion: Mario Lopez.
Old yard sale
They're having something of a yard sale in New York, where just about everything from old Yankee Stadium is being sold or auctioned (see steinersports.com). Some items are obvious, such as ticket turnstiles (current bid $2,275) seats from the stadium ($750) and bleachers ($399), and a crystal paperweight of infield dirt ($80). Others are more obscure, such as GM Brian Cashman's leather chair ($5,000), a press room phone ($125), the dugout bat rack ($1,800), trash cans ($375) and stadium signs, such as one that says BE ALERT FOUL BALLS ($811).
What if they were to do the same someday for the Trop? Here are 10 things that might find their way to the auction block:
2. The door to the bathroom in the suite off the press box used by Mets scout Howie Freiling, who was ejected from the Trop by then-managing general partner Vince Naimoli.
3. Joe Maddon's wine rack, stocked with all the free bottles he gets.
4. Book of baby names from Elijah Dukes’ old locker.
5. Wilson Alvarez’s fork, in heavily used condition.
6. Joe Magrane's mirror: The former TV analyst had to make sure he looked that good all the time.
7. Notes from all the good trades Chuck LaMar wasn't "allowed" to make.
8. Wade Boggs' personal recipe for beer-can chicken.
9. Jose Canseco's black book (though there's a good chance Madonna's number has changed).
10. Naimoli's copy of Major League Baseball's guidelines on how to run a franchise, win friends and influence people. Looks like it hasn't been opened.
In ranking Stuart Sternberg Major League Baseball's fifth-best owner, Sports Illustrated lauded him for spending to turn "a former joke of a franchise into what could be a perennial contender" and said the Rays "do business the model way for a low-revenue franchise." … Ex-Ray Jonny Gomes had motivation to homer off David Price in a Triple-A game last week; pregame he received his American League championship ring from executive VP Andrew Friedman. … Baseball America's first mock draft has the Rays taking Boston College C Tony Sanchez with the 30th pick next month. … In Sports Illustrated's pop culture grid, RHP Matt Garza said the body part he'd steal from a teammate belongs to Joe Nelson: "He knows what it is." … Price is working on a new pitch, a "spike" curve akin to a knuckle curve with a tighter spin. … TV analyst Kevin Kennedy didn't work the Baltimore game Tuesday, so he filled in on the Red Sox's regional broadcast for ill Jerry Remy. … RHP Dan Miceli, last in the majors in '06 with the Rays, is pitching at 38 for Long Island in the independent Atlantic League. … National Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game hitting streak was a point of conversation with OF Gabe Kapler, who had a 28-game streak for Texas in 2000.
Got a minute? Lance Cormier
Best meal you can make? Spaghetti, with Ragu or Prego sauce and garlic, but you have to add the onions and bell peppers.
Band you'd want to be on stage with? Third Day
Must-see TV? Grey's Anatomy. My wife (Jamie) and I are big fans.
Skill you have people would be surprised to know? I'm good with numbers. Remembering numbers, I'm very photographic.
Perfect date you'd go on with your wife? She talks about going backpacking in Europe, so maybe to Paris.
Joe Nelson went national with his Vulcan changeup grip, doing an ESPN spot Friday. Noting that new Star Trek Mr. Spock Zachary Quinto reportedly had to have his fingers glued to do the "live long and prosper" gesture, Nelson offered to be a "hand stunt double" in the next movie.
1. Juan Guzman's regular- season uniform: Used only once.