I woke up this morning to find a pretty juicy tip in my inbox: A former Venezuelan phenom who throws over 100 mph and recently served jail time for illegal reptile smuggling would be making his debut Thursday night for a farm team of the Houston Astros.
The guy's name was Billy Ray "Rojo" Johnson, said the press release from the Round Rock Express, and an Internet search even uncovered this Wikipedia entry filled with vague language and terms, a grainy YouTube video of him pitching and a video news report on his arrival that sure seemed legit.
Run with it, I thought to myself!
Because as Astros County said: "How Disney doesn't have the movie rights to this is beyond me."
And what a story for Yahoo!'s front page, I told my editors! We'll set an all-time Internet traffic record!
Of course, I'm only pretending to be obtuse here because my B.S. detector was going off from the start. And sure enough, the Round Rock Express announced last month that Thursday's the night that Will Ferrell will be stopping by the ballpark.
Can't imagine these two events could be related. Nah, no way.
But, really: If you're headed to the Express-Nashville Sounds game Thursday night be ready to see Jackie Moon or Ricky Bobby wearing a baseball uniform. Ferrell will be there to raise money for the fight against cancer.
And if you need a crazy minor league pitcher story about overcoming incredible odds while poaching wildlife? Reread DB's piece on Clay Zavada from last season.