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How TV reporter 'Jim Buchanan' caused chaos in Red Sox camp Thursday

Rob Bradford
March 01, 2018 - 12:52 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It was late morning in the Red Sox clubhouse when Dwight Evans walked over to Joe Kelly.

"So you were the idiot out there," the former outfielder said jokingly.

Kelly, with his face still half covered in white make-up, confirmed he was the person Evans had seen out on the backfields at JetBlue Park. But until that moment, the person of interest would only be identified as a TV reporter named Jim Buchanan from WJWK-TV in Punta Gorda.

From the time Buchanan made his appearance in the Red Sox clubhouse early in the morning, rifling through players' lockers while conducting awkward interviews, the Red Sox employees were transfixed. The routine continued out on Field 3, where the TV reporter and his cameraman ventured out onto the diamond, where coach Ramon Vazquez was hitting grounders to Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Eduardo Nunez.

While Buchanan was trying to give his own instruction just feet away from the players, with an occasional interview mixed in, none of the trio (or their coach) had an idea it wasn't really a media member. It wasn't until the very end that the secret was revealed.

"I was standing over them forever and they had no clue until after I left," Kelly said. "They wanted to kill me. I was throwing balls at them. How does nobody come over and beat me up? If I was throwing a bullpen and somebody started throwing a ball at me from the media, I would be cussing them out. They thought I was a regular person and they were just taking it."

The idea for the gag came from Red Sox Productions, who hired two professional make-up artists to give Kelly his appearance. The Red Sox pitcher had once interviewed the rapper "Nelly" in the dugout once while wearing an old man mask, but this was next level.

"I got here at like 5:15 a.m.," Kelly said. "They wanted me to do it, so I'm like, 'Sure, I'm game.' They wanted me to do something fun during spring training, and I wasn't doing it during the season. It's like acting. I think I would be a pretty decent actor. If you're serious about it. It's easy for me to get serious and fake it."

What was the most awkward moment of the morning?

"I felt bad because there was this security guard who was over 70 years old," Kelly said. "He was like, 'Sir, you have to get out of here now.' I was like, 'No!' He started walking quicker and I ran across the field, but then he started chasing me. I was like, 'All I want is a ball.' Then he called the police and I yelled, 'Don't call the cops on me!' I finally started yelling, 'Can you tell him it's fake?'"

 

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