Tom Sizemore developed a reputation for playing tough guys in a slew of well-known movies over the last couple of decades. But that doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have a softer, more sensitive side in real life.
That much was obvious recently during a Giants-Dodgers game, when Sizemore tried his hand at broadcasting and extended a surprising, sympathetic hand to Dodgers pitcher Joe Blanton.
Be nice, Sizemore warned. This kid has a mama, you know.
This line of conversation began when MLB.com's Jeremy Brisiel, Sizemore's booth partner for the latest installment of "Express Written Consent," gently suggested perhaps the Dodgers had the unfavorable task of trying to win a game with the hard-luck Blanton tabbed as that game's starting pitcher.
"That might be one blemish ..." Brisiel began, but Sizemore quickly put the kibosh on that criticism.
"How could you say a bad thing about Joe Blanton?" Sizemore said. "He has parents."
The exchange was all in good fun, of course, which is the point of "Express Written Consent," the spirited new MLB.com venture that brings nontraditional broadcasters into the booth to have a go at the pastime that's evolved alongside the national pastime: calling the game.
Sizemore and Brisiel didn't spend a lot of time giving accounts and descriptions of this particular National League West division matchup. Instead, they engaged in back-and-forth banter, which inexplicably kept going back to Blanton's mother.
"All these bad things were said about me when I was going through my problems," Sizemore said, referring to his well-documented checkered past. "I always think, 'Don't those people know I have a mother?' Joe has a mother."
But Sizemore backpedaled, just a little, when Blanton worked his Dodgers into a situation where the Giants had runners on first and third and nobody out.
"I don't want to hurt her feelings either," Sizemore said. "Mrs. Blanton, if you could have just given him more Wheaties, maybe he'd be throwing the ball harder."
Sizemore's foray into the broadcasting booth may be one of those one-and-done deals, but still, the actor made the most of his time. His presence at Dodger Stadium was only appropriate, given the number of Hollywood types who are regularly spotted in the stands throughout the season, and Sizemore's long list of accomplishments as an actor.
Sizemore has an impressive resume, having appeared in several blockbuster movies, including "Saving Private Ryan," "Black Hawk Down" and "Pearl Harbor."
But apparently, even that level of fame doesn't guarantee you'll be recognized on the streets of New York -- especially by people who are just ever-so-slightly more famous that you.
Sizemore experienced that when he witnessed a completely bizarre scene in Manhattan a while back.
"I'm walking down the street. I see this really well-built guy," Sizemore recounted. "I'm going, 'Why does this guy have his shirt off?' It's Alex Rodriguez."
Uh, that Alex Rodriguez? Apparently so.
"I went, 'Hey A-Rod, where's your shirt?'" Sizemore said. "It's nine o'clock in the morning. Where's his shirt, for God's sakes? You're supposed to be going to work."
Sizemore later changed the subject to another Yankees icon, Reggie Jackson, whom he met at the ESPY Awards several years ago. The two discussed, in detail, Jackson's famous three-homer game during the World Series in 1977, a performance that earned him the nickname "Mr. October."
"He described them to me," Sizemore gushed.
Later in the broadcast, Sizemore, perhaps feeling more comfortable with this new gig, turned to Brisiel and said, "I like this. I think I'm going to go after your job."
"Bring it," Brisiel said.