Entertainment

Watch A-Rod And This Toddler Go Head-To-Head In A Batting Contest And Become The Best Of Friends

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

It’s not every day that a 22-month-old takes down a baseball giant.

Former New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez was a guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and, of course, he had to show off his batting skills. However, Fallon presented him with a challenge: go head-to-head against viral sensation Asher Willig of Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Willig recently made Internet fame when a video of him killing it at a batting cage went viral. It only makes sense that A-Rod would put his reputation on the line to see if he can outdo a 22-month-old at a friendly batting contest.

“Asher saw me hit my last year so he’s not really intimidated,” Rodriguez said as he walked up to the plate.

No doubt he was just trying to set the bar low so no one would tease him in case the toddler took him out.

“That’s why I’m doing T.V. now, fellas,” Rodriguez told the crowd after a pretty rocky start.

CREDIT: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

By the end of his 30 seconds, A-Rod hit eight balls and things were looking good for him. Then it was time for Willig to take the plate.

The tiny tot did not hold back when it was his time at bat and he did the thing.

CREDIT: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Willig pulled out a victory against A-Rod by one point. One. Point. J.Lo’s boo never stood a chance.

Fortunately, there were no hard fillings.

CREDIT: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

A-Rod even cheered for the young man proclaiming that he is well on his way to becoming a future Yankee.


READ: Alex Rodriguez And Derek Jeter Were At CNBC To Talk About Charity And The Interviewer Wouldn’t Stop Asking About The Freakin Met Gala

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Here’s How Julio Torres Convinced Lin-Manuel Miranda To Play A Little Cactus On An HBO Special

Entertainment

Here’s How Julio Torres Convinced Lin-Manuel Miranda To Play A Little Cactus On An HBO Special

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / NBC / HBO

Julio Torres may have just achieved next level respect and stardom because all he had to do to get thee Lin-Manuel Miranda to play the voice of a tiny cactus in his upcoming HBO special was DM him. During an interview on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, Torres hinted at the presence of some big-name cameos in his HBO comedy special, My Favorite Shapes. 

The most obvious cameo that Torres could think of would be the infamous Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter, composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda playing a “self-conscious cactus.” Of course. Torres has had a successful career behind the screen thus far. Born in El Salvador, Torres began writing for Saturday Night Live, where he initially met Lin-Manuel Miranda. His most recent claim to fame was his starring role alongside Fred Armisen in the HBO series Los Espookys

“We were lucky that some really great actors are voicing the inner spirits of some of those objects because we just needed that,” he told Fallon.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

“The role of the cactus went to Lin-Manuel Miranda. I DM’ed him, being like, ‘Can you just be this cactus? This feels like it should be you.’” Wow. That’s all it takes, huh? We love Miranda for just saying ‘yes.’

“’Cause it’s like, can you think of anyone else who would play a little cactus trapped in a little glass container?” Pues, can you?

HBO

In the teaser trailer for the comedy special, we get a glimpse of the very cactus that Miranda is set to play. “This next shape that I need to show you,” Torres tells the audience through a microphone at his seat, “This is me coming in late for a meeting and immediately chiming in.”

We can’t wait to hear what the cactus iteration of Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to say.

Credit: @joseramonmarmtz / Twitter

The Puerto Rican Hamilton creator and star is on vacation in Europe right now, so we haven’t heard his comment on the new break of his latest role. Miranda and Torres have worked together in the past. Torres’ rise to fame began as a writer for Saturday Night Live. Torres wrote the sketch “Diego Calls His Mom” for Miranda’s episode as a host. 

“Lin-Manuel is the lil cactus…. awwww,” tweets one fan. Why is the prickliest side of Lin-Manuel Miranda the cutest side we might ever see? Call it an obsession with succulents or just an obsession with literally anything Miranda chooses to do. Take your pick, no me importa.

Right now, fans are just tickled that Lin-Manuel Miranda appears to have no ego whatsoever.

Credit: @k_bowes / Twitter

Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, three Grammys, an Emmy, and two Olivier Awards. He’s also been been nominated for an Academy Award. He’s a GOAT, and yet, he’s also down to be the tiniest of cacti “trapped in a little glass container.”

“He solved the problem,” Torres said of Miranda’s willingness to play the tiny cactus.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Torres asked Fallon if he could really think of anyone else that could play the role of the cactus, to which Fallon replied, “I mean, don’t even make me thing of that. Of course not, no. Lin-Manuel Miranda!” Torres agreed–“He solved the problem. 

Torres is the Salvadoran precioso you *would* want to spend time with meeting all his favorite shapes.

HBO 

 HBO describes the Los Espookys comedian’s new special as a worthwhile peek into his “fantastical stories and humorous anecdotes.” We can expect to meet “a plexiglass square, an oval that wishes he were a circle, a self-conscious cactus, and a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.”

We’re curious to see how Lin-Manuel Miranda could ever lead us to believe he could be “self-conscious.” This will be the truest test of his acting abilities. Just kidding, just kidding. 

Tune into HBO August 10 at 10:30 p.m. for what’s looking to be an interesting night with Julio Torres.

Expect Julio Torres to be dressed in a glitter suit on stage with a glass conveyer belt shepherding strange objects his way. The teaser trailer gave us a taste of what we were expecting to be Torres dryly musing on his “favorite shapes.” Now, we know that there’s going to be some serious stardom in the shape of a cactus, and many more cameos to look forward to.

Be there or be square!

READ: HBO’s New Spanish-Language Series Is Exploring Another Widely-Held Love Within Our Culture

Here’s What We Know So Far About The Untimely Death Of Mexican-American Pitcher Tyler Skaggs

Entertainment

Here’s What We Know So Far About The Untimely Death Of Mexican-American Pitcher Tyler Skaggs

tskaggs45 / Instagram

Less than a week after the unexpected passing of 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Tyler Skaggs, there is new controversy surrounding the reporting of his death. The Santa Monica Observer sparked widespread outrage when it speculated that Skaggs had died of an opioid overdose. But after receiving a wave of blowback, the California newspaper scrapped the piece and wrote an op-ed explaining why it did so. The explanation has been met with a tepid response from police and the Angels organization.

There are few details surrounding the reason behind Skagg’s death so far.

Credit: @peteabe / Twitter

Tragedy struck the baseball world last week when Skaggs, who is of Mexican descent, was found by the Southlake Police Department unconscious in a hotel room hours before his team was about to play the Texas Rangers. Authorities pronounced the 27-year-old dead at the scene, a police press release said. But there were still many questions about how such a young promising star like Skaggs could be found like this.

Shortly after, the Santa Monica Observer reported that Skaggs may have been getting opioid prescriptions from doctors who were unaware of each other’s treatments. That report was quickly shot down by Texas police who said there was no credible information to support that Skaggs died of an overdose or suicide.

Angels spokesperson, Marie Garvey, said the report was also wrong citing that the investigation is still ongoing at this time. While an autopsy has reportedly been completed, the results of it and a toxicology report will not be released until October.

“This article is categorically incorrect,” Garvey said in a statement. “The cause of death is still under investigation as stated by the Southlake Police Department. We have tried to contact the paper to correct this story but have [been] unsuccessful in our attempts. This sort of reckless reporting from Tyler’s hometown paper is disappointing and harmful.”

The Op-Ed piece did little to clear things up as many wonder why this was published in the first place.

The op-ed, published this past Saturday, titled “Why Did We Take Down Our Original Story About The Death of a Ballplayer?” says the publication took down the story due to multiple threats. Santa Monica Observer publisher David Ganezer wrote the op-ed and defended it’s publishing. He said the newspaper’s staff received “multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources,” including “a creepy text message” that was sent to a young female intern’s cellphone.

“She wasn’t frightened about it at all,” Ganezer wrote. “But I was. I’m older, much older; and I know more about how out of hand the potential pile-on is getting in this country.”

“Not simply in the form of a threat letter from lawyers Kirkland and Ellis, representing the Angels and a certain deceased ball player. And not just in the form of anonymous phone calls and emails,” Ganezer said. “No, we also received multiple personal threats and attacks from anonymous sources.

The original article was ultimately scrubbed of the opioid details but Ganezer said in his op-ed it was made clear from the author, Stan Greene, the piece was “speculation.”

This isn’t the first time the newspaper publishes “speculative information.”

Credit: @alden_gonzalez / Twitter

The baseball world is still in mourning over the death of Skaggs and many teammates have shown their respect for their fallen teammate in various ways since last Monday. But for Skagg’s family, the last thing they want at this time is presumptive information being released about him.

According to the Santa Monica Lookout, the Observer has had previous situations where the paper published incorrect stories. This past January, a story ran with the headline, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Will Retire from the US Supreme Court in January 2019.” This was false. In December 2016, the headline, “Kanye West Appointed Under-Secretary of the Interior After Meeting at Trump Tower” was published, which was also false. Both pieces were written by Greene, who also wrote the article on Skaggs’ passing.

At this time, the paper says they would comment further on the story when Skaggs’ autopsy and toxicology reports are released in October. Maybe by then, we’ll have a more accurate picture on this unfortunate passing.

READ: Trump Put A Stop To The MLB And Cuban Baseball Federation Deal And Here’s Why It Matters

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