Ferrell defends MLB stunt without ripping into Madden

Actor Will Ferrell went on TV to help clarify any misunderstanding about his spring training appearances with 10 teams in one day.

Casey Sapio/Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

When actor Will Ferrell took to the field for 10 MLB teams in five games in one day, he struck out as an athlete but hit a home run for charity and public awareness. He raised an estimated $1 million for Cancer for College and Stand Up to Cancer. 

The March 12 tour de force also raised the hackles of Hall of Fame NFL coach and football analyst John Madden. Though it had no effect on games that actually count, Madden said shortly afterward in a radio interview that Ferrell had showed "a lack of respect for the game, I think, and a respect for what players have to do to get where they are."

For whatever reason, Ferrell didn’t fire back at Madden. In fact, he didn’t comment in public at all until an appearance Friday on "Conan," during which he gave Madden the benefit of the doubt by speculating the retired commentator simply may not have had all the facts.

"First of all, he’s right. Look at me. I’m all about lack of respect," Ferrell said. "I don’t think the interviewer told him it was all for charity, number one, but I do love that in his mind he just thought I was just like ‘Major League Baseball, I want to play in 10 different games for 10 different teams. I want to do it Thursday! Because I’m a big shot, and make it happen now!’

"Like I’m Veruca Salt. So he’s like, ‘This Will Ferrell thinks he can just insert himself into big league games."