For Karl Ravech, hosting Baseball Tonight: Sunday Night Countdown is always exciting. It’s live, dynamic and there are almost always intangibles to manage.
This past Sunday in Cincinnati, Ravech’s job included managing another intangible – actor Charlie Sheen.
Sheen, or “Wild Thing,” as fans of the film Major League know him, served as a special guest analyst on Sunday Night Countdown prior to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast between his beloved Reds and the rival St. Louis Cardinals.
Sheen, a diehard Major League Baseball fan, joined Ravech and Reds legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin for multiple segments to talk about his beloved Reds, call highlights and provide insight and analysis.
The Wild Thing’s appearance? A home run, according to Ravech and Larkin.
“Charlie has been preparing for his role as a Baseball Tonight analyst since he was a boy,” Ravech said. “His knowledge, passion, enthusiasm and opinions made him a special add to the show.”
Sheen reached out to Larkin expressing interest in appearing on the show. The special appearance was the latest in ESPN’s efforts to expand its Major League Baseball production this season.
“Charlie and I have been friends for a while and he even came to my Hall of Fame induction ceremony,” said Larkin. “I went out to his house in Los Angeles and we talked about doing the Baseball Tonight show in Cincinnati. He was like, ‘Hell yeah, that would be great’. I was just being a friend extending the olive branch.”
By all accounts, the appearance was a great success and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.
Charlie Sheen is killing it on Sunday Night Countdown
— WCC Spurs Capt Javy (@Javy_32_Ruiz) May 25, 2014
Charlie Sheen on BBTN Sunday Night Countdown.. Epic
— MATTDEFENDER (@grade_eh_tweets) May 25, 2014
“Behind the scenes, he was hilarious and inquisitive,” Ravech said. “I think he would have stayed with us and talked baseball the entire night, but his schedule and the demands on his time would not allow it.”
Larkin added, “I think he did well. I thought it was a nice mix of him being Charlie Sheen and him being a baseball guy, which he is. He told me he was nervous before the show, but he settled down and felt better as the show went on. I think the toughest thing is you can’t mince words. You have to say what you want to say in a very concise window of time and it’s very hard to do.”