Spring Snapshot: Is Philip Seymour Hoffman seeking B.J. Upton?

David Brown
March 13, 2011
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CLEARWATER, Fla. — What is it with these celebrity doppelgangers infiltrating Major League Baseball? First it was Luis the South American Cab Driver — a dead ringer for Tim Lincecum(notes) — letting the world know he would love to host Timmy (for $1 million) when the World Cup comes to his native Brazil in 2014.

And now, a look-alike for Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman — Brandt from "The Big Lebowski" — apparently is politely stalking Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton(notes), presumably for autograph purposes. He came all the way from Hollywood to Bright House Field, where the Rays were visiting the Phillies, just for Bossman Junior's John Hancock.

Upon closer inspection, you will notice a few things about Mr. Capote's sheet o' Rays.

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It's a 2007 Devil Rays sheet, which is neat. Except for two, he's got autographs from everyone on there — including Delmon Young(notes), Scott Kazmir(notes), Rocco Baldelli(notes) and Carl Crawford(notes). That's like the Mt. Rushmore of Devil Rays baseball right there. Upton and right-hander Al Reyes are the only holdouts.

Upton is probably Lester Bangs' last guy, realistically, because he doesn't want to get tasered by accident if something goes wrong with Reyes.

Side note: George Willis Jr. is wearing a wedding ring, which could mean nothing or it could mean he's there for a kid's autograph collection. If this sheet ever goes up on eBay, we'll know it wasn't for the child.

Upton might continue being a tough guy to corral, even for a signature. He's having a good spring, particularly on the bases.

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