Four Brewers stars make acting debuts on soap opera

LOS ANGELES -- "The Young and the Restless" is a good way
to describe the Milwaukee Brewers, who are in first place and
baseball's big surprise this season.

So it seemed fitting that shortstop J.J. Hardy, center fielder
Bill Hall and pitchers Chris Capuano and Jeff Suppan taped their
acting debuts on the top-rated CBS soap opera of the same name

I was a lot more nervous doing this than I would be going out
and facing Roger Clemens. I lost some sleep last
night thinking about the lines.

J.J. Hardy

"I've gotten more calls about this than I have about baseball
in the last two years," Hardy said, his face perfectly powdered to
withstand the hot studio lights.

And he figures to get an even bigger response after the episode
airs June 20.

"The ladies might be chasing him after this scene," teased
Hall, noting that teenage girls comprise Hardy's fan base. "Maybe
he can start getting some grandmas and moms."

The players' scene involves them visiting the office of Jack
Abbott at a photo op during his campaign for Wisconsin state
senate. His sexy colleague Phyllis Newman bursts in and is agog at
finding four Brewers in her presence.

Before Abbott's campaign manager yanks her out of the room, she
gushes over each player's achievements on the field.

"Can I get her name and number?" Hardy asks in the scene.

The soap opera's casting director sought out the Brewers for the
appearance since the show is based in Genoa City, Wis., a real town
outside the resort area of Lake Geneva.

"I was a lot more nervous doing this than I would be going out
and facing Roger Clemens," Hardy said. "I lost some sleep last
night thinking about the lines."

The Brewers rehearsed with actors Peter Bergman and Michelle
Stafford before hitting the makeup and hair room, Hollywood's
equivalent to a baseball clubhouse.

As Stafford was primped, she pointed out to Capuano that both
are lefties.

"I do sports with my left hand and eat with my right hand," he

He also explained the differences between right and left-handed
pitchers. "Lefties are more crafty, they don't throw as hard as

Stafford seemed duly impressed.

She suggested the group go over their lines again. As they
volleyed dialogue back and forth, the makeup artists worked their
magic and a hairstylist curled Stafford's red locks.

"I have to memorize that jargon," Stafford said. "Pinch-hit,
go-ahead single."

Suppan's wife, Dana, along for the trip to CBS Television City,
plopped herself into the stylist's chair at Stafford's invitation.

"I have extensions," she confided to the stylist.

"So does everyone else," he said, laughing.

From the other end of the room, a surprised Suppan noticed his
wife getting a blowout. "How'd you finagle that one?" he said.

Before Suppan had joined the group, Capuano cracked, "Sup is
actually in his own room. He needs so much makeup, he has eight
guys working on him."

Bergman, an Emmy-winning 18-year veteran of the show, settled
into another chair and announced to the makeup man, "I got a lot
of young, studly guys in the room, so make me look good."

Waiting around downstairs for taping to begin, Suppan pulled out
the 2006 World Series ring he earned pitching for the St. Louis

"It fits well," actor Joshua Morrow said, slipping it on his
left ring finger.

"That's very impressive," Bergman said.

Actress Sharon Case chatted up the players. "Break a leg," she
told them before realizing who she was talking to. "Or don't,"
she hastily added.

After nailing their scene in two takes, the players admitted
they liked trading their smelly clubhouse for a trip to soap-opera
land, where the women are gorgeous and the men are hunky.

"It was really cool to see behind the scenes how everything
works," Hardy said.

Hall added, "It's a great life. Everybody wants to be on TV
some time or another. I wouldn't mind doing it again."

Bergman singled out Hall, who has done commercials, as the
biggest surprise.

"He was just comfortable in his skin," he said. "The other
guys were a little hyped up."

The millionaire ballplayers earned Screen Actors Guild scale of
$375 each for about 15 minutes worth of work on a soap that none of
them said they watch.

"I might just save that check from CBS," Capuano said.
"That's pretty cool."

Calling it a wrap, the group ventured across the hall to check
out the empty set of "The Price is Right."

On the darkened stage, Suppan begged his wife to take a picture
of him pretending to spin the Showcase Showdown wheel. She
suggested he fall down as he spun it, like some contestants do.

Suppan kept his feet ground, just as he had throughout his visit
to the world of make believe.