Ken Caminiti showed off his scowl on Arli$$
A segment featuring Caminiti and David Justice was recorded during the 1997 All-Star Game festivities and was included in the show's Season 2 finale.
Robert Wuhl pulled double duty at the 1997 MLB All-Star Game.
The actor played in that year’s celebrity softball game, then quickly changed into a suit to appear in character as sports agent Arliss Michaels to film segments for his HBO show, Arli$$.
A segment featuring Ken Caminiti and David Justice was recorded at Jacobs Field during the National League team’s batting practice. The exchange was included in the show's Season 2 finale, Truth and Responsibility, which aired a little over a month later on Aug. 19, 1997.
"Hey-hey! Ken Caminiti! David Justice! How are my two favorite guys?" Arliss asks the duo. They go on to complain about Kirby Carlisle (Jim Turner), a colleague of Arliss’s who is ripping athletes on his radio show.
Ken, with his backward hat and stormy demeanor, doesn't need to say much. His scowl does the talking for him.
The whole segment takes about 10 seconds of air time, but it adds a layer of credibility to the show. Other cameos in the episode include Eric Karros, Pete Rose, Jim Harbaugh and Barry Bonds, also clad in his All-Star warmup uniform, calling Arliss on an oversized cell phone.
For Wuhl, quick segments like these were the easiest way to incorporate star athletes into episodes of Arli$$ while accommodating their busy schedules.
"They were basically there to add texture, to add color, to add resonance," he told me in a 2015 interview.
"Most of the time, they were great. They were perfect to work with and they got better. With reps, they got better. So the more takes you did, the better they got."
Of Caminiti's episode, Wuhl — who’s also appeared in the baseball classic Bull Durham and many other roles — readily admits, "I wouldn't say it's one of our better episodes."
When you go to watch the episode on HBO Max, or check it out IMDb, the teaser image shows Caminiti at the All-Star Game. The scowl was just too good to pass up.