Lieberthal Gets His Act Together Again

Posted: August 22, 2000

CINCINNATI — Mike Lieberthal squatted behind the plate at Cinergy Field.

He hoped the batter, Ken Griffey Jr., would hit a home run.

And that was fine. Because then the moviemakers could wrap up the scene for "Summer Catch" they were filming yesterday afternoon and Lieberthal could go to the clubhouse and rest.

The movie, starring Brian Dennehy, Jessica Biel and Freddie Prinze Jr., is scheduled to be released next spring.

Lieberthal, centerfielder Doug Glanville and Pat Burrell, who moved back to first base for the sake of his art, had bit parts. None of the players had any lines.

Glanville said he wasn't sure how he became involved except the producer is from Philadelphia and knows his agent, Arn Tellem. His role was to jog back and watch as Griffey's home run cleared the fence.

Each time Griffey swung, a group of extras seated near the Reds dugout stood and cheered. But for take after take, Griffey fouled off pitches or popped up or hit fly balls that dropped in front of the fence. A couple of times he hit the ball out, but not to the proper part of the park.

That's why, after nearly 45 minutes, Lieberthal was hoping Griffey would connect. He never did, so filmmakers had someone else fungo a shot over the wall.

The All-Star catcher, who had a prominent role in an episode of the HBO show "Arli$$," pretended to be miffed he was just a bit player yesterday.

"Hopefully they'll show the back of my shirt so somebody will know it's me with all the [catching] gear on," he said with a smile.

The movie, a romantic comedy, is about a rich girl whose family spends summers in Cape Cod who falls in love with a local poor boy who dreams of becoming a major league ballplayer.

2,000 IN Y2K

Reds shortstop Barry Larkin got his 2,000th career hit in the third inning, a double to left off Randy Wolf. The Reds captain received a two-minute standing ovation. He joins Pete Rose (3,358), Dave Concepcion (2,362) and Johnny Bench (2,048) as the only players to reach that milestone for the Reds.

Phillies manager Terry Francona was a Reds teammate of Larkin's in 1987.

"The funny thing is that, back then, the organization didn't know who was going to be better, him or Kurt Stillwell," Francona recalled. "I guess we found out."

Larkin kidded that teammate Dmitri Young, who hit a grand slam into the upper deck that broke the game open in the third, should be fined for upstaging him on his big night.

PHILLERS

Shortstop Tomas Perez had three doubles last night. He's the second Phillies player this season to have three two-baggers in a game this season. Bobby Abreu did it May 4 at Veterans Stadium. Perez has five hits in his last six at-bats after a 3-for-32 slump . . .Abreu has walked five times in two games since being moved to the leadoff spot in the order. Doug Glanville, the Phillies' regular leadoff hitter until Sunday in St. Louis, has walked 24 times all year.

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