Vizquel turns TWIB into a zoo

Vizquel turns TWIB into a zoo

"This Week in Baseball," presented by Pepsi, features a movie star, a plethora of baseball cards and even a couple llamas this weekend as it shines the spotlight on what players do away from the field.

The first feature on TWIB is on San Francisco Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel. The cameras take the audience to his house in Seattle, where Vizquel shows you what he does off the field.

"We did a shoot with him in the offseason," said TWIB producer James Potocki. "He gave us a tour of his house and gives us a tour of his collection of interesting animals in the backyard. He reveals himself to be quite the renaissance man away from the ball field."

Vizquel's zoo includes chinchillas, llamas and wallaroos (a combination of a kangaroo and wallaby). The wallaroos were hopping around as the cameras rolled.

Vizquel then takes the audience to see his paintings. Vizquel is not only an artist with a glove, but with a brush in hand as well. He's done a few self-portraits.

"Just the way he uses his hands," said Potocki, "in a way kind of speaks to how he is on the field. He's a wizard at shortstop."

The second feature is on the Washington Nationals' Dmitri Young and his extensive baseball card collection.

Young has thousands of cards. He has one collection of Hall of Famers, another of players he has competed against and one of his teammates. Young has signed cards and some on display. His entire collection is worth over $3 million.

Next on the show is a "Gillette Top Five," which looks at some of the hobbies former and current Major League players are involved in outside of baseball.

Darin Erstad is an ice fisher while Bernie Williams is an accomplished guitarist who just put out an album. Scott Spiezio is in a heavy metal band, Bruce Chen does standup comedy and Javy Lopez has a bigger-than-life airplane collection, which he flies.

Front Row Fan of the Week by Chevrolet brings you "CSI: New York" actor Carmine Giovinazzo. The actor talks about the New York Mets and New York Yankees -- two teams he went to watch in their respective stadiums, and yes, he's on the fence about them both.

When Giovinazzo was younger, he had visions of being a baseball player, but an injury turned him to acting, Potocki said.

Then Pepsi Presents the Pepsi Clutch Performer of the Month. The segment will highlight the six nominees -- a mixture of American League and National League players -- with a montage of their best moments on the field. Fans and viewers can vote for the winner by going online.

Finally, "How 'Bout That" by Gatorade will provide bloopers and sound bites by players around the league as well as some of the best plays to the music of heavy metal group Mastodon's, "Colony of Birchmen."

TWIB will air at different times in different markets. Please check your local listings.

Elizabeth M. Botello is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.