Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Timothy Busfield talks about 'Field of Dreams,' Matt Millen
Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, John Sterling, Michael Kay and Suzyn Waldman were available for interviews on the red carpet before Monday's premiere of the Yankees' World Series DVD.
But I did not interview any of them and instead took the road less traveled by, opting for a mystery guest: actor Timothy Busfield.
I asked him the following questions, including one in which I roped him into a discussion related to my Tuesday column about Matt Millen:
Q: Why are you here?
A: I missed all of [Hideki] Matsui’s hits in that game . I want to see them on the big screen. I really felt robbed. I missed that part of the game.
Q: Are you a Yankees fan?
A: I’m a Yankees fan. I’m a Major League Baseball fan. I was working out of town or I think I would have been at a few of the games. I’m a Tigers fan so I’ve been going to the World Series often throughout my professional acting career.
Q: Wait: Are you a Tigers fan or a Yankees fan?
A: I’m an American League East fan. I like the Yankees. I certainly like the Yankees since I moved here in ’81. I grew up in Michigan. But I live here.
Q: Why did you miss the World Series?
A: I saw a lot of it but I did not see any one of Matsui’s at-bats. I was in Dallas doing a show called “The Deep End’’ with Billy Zane [premiering next year].
Q: Did being a baseball fan help your acting in one of the most beloved baseball movies ever, "Field of Dreams"?
A: Yes, I think where it added was there was a play in front of home plate where I walk in front of home plate and someone swings and a ball gets thrown and I say, “Hi.’’ And that was probably the most difficult baseball move in the whole movie. That took a little bit of Little League or something to not flinch when that ball came.
To me that wasn’t necessarily a baseball movie, because I thought the baseball was terrible and they had to paint the grass green and the fence was about 230 feet away and anybody could hit it out and Shoeless Joe was backward [in how he batted and threw].
But the movie was a beautiful script by Phil Robinson and I know a lot of people see it as a baseball movie.
Q: Have you done any other baseball movies?
A: I did "Little Big League." I played a Major League Baseball player in that. Paul O’Neill was in that. That was a really fun movie to be a part of. It had some really good baseball in it.
Q: Which team did you root for in the 2006 ALDS between the Tigers and Yankees?
A: I’ve got to be honest. I’m from Michigan. This year was disappointing. I wanted to see it really bad. I wanted to see Yankees-Tigers this year and the Twins got in there.
Look, I’m a Lions fan, too. You can’t begrudge me.
Q: How do you feel about Matt Millen announcing NFL games again?
A: He’s not the only guy who’s struggled with that team. That team has not been committed to win for a long time. They just haven’t made the moves to go out and find or buy or steal.
Of course in this recession it’s really hard to justify spending that kind of money in Detroit, but when they had Barry Sanders they could have went and found a quarterback if they’d have spent the money. You need a quarterback if you’re going to win.