From time to time at Phillies Nation, we afforded the opportunity to talk to some really cool people. Surprisingly, these folks aren’t always Phillies fans. One of the folks we spoke to was Chase Rogan, star of the Spike TV reverse-reality show The Joe Schmo Show. Chase outlasted nine other contestants en route to winning the $100,000 grand prize on The Full Bounty. Or at least he thought he did.
The competitors Chase thought he was playing against on a show to win a $100,000 bounty hunting contract were actors, including Lorenzo Llamas, Michael Weaver (Super Troopers), Lombardo Boyer (Happy Feet, Gone in 60 Seconds), and Rob Belushi. It turns out, the $100,000 prize was real but he just had to last until the end, going through over-the-top challenges and miscalculated stunts that almost gave the show’s premise away.
Chase is a huge Pirates fan – we asked him a little bit about the show but then more importantly, the 2013 Pirates and their chances this week against the Phils!
Ian Riccaboni: What was the casting like for the Joe Schmo Show?
Chase Rogan: I was at the gym one day after work and this girl stopped me and said we’re doing casting for a reality show with mental and physical and challenges. They took my picture and then there were months where I hadn’t heard anything. They had me send in a home video and that’s the one you see in the opening credits.
It was kind of perceived I was scouring the internet looking for opportunities to be a bounty hunter – I never imagined I would be on any reality show! They told me physical challenges and I interpreted that as the show being some sort of Fear Factor type show.
It wasn’t until the final call back when they kind of gave a little bit of a premise. It was kind of like “OK, bounty hunting, whatever.” They were very clear that if you win and don’t want to accept the job, you would still win the $100,000.
IR: Did you recognize any of the contestants as actors? There was a moment in particular where you thought Randy looked pretty familiar on the first day.
CR: I did recognize Randy (Michael Weaver) but he did a really good job playing it off saying “All of us red heads look the same!”. Ya know, you’re brought into this world and you’re there and brought in and you’re introduced to all of these people and you take it at face value. I just kind of brushed it under the rug and forgot about it.
IR: Karlee (Jo Newman, Upright Citizen’s Brigade) was portrayed as someone who was deaf and there was a moment where she did a headstand, teetered, and responded to something you said in a voice different than what she had been using. Did that moment tip you off that it might not all be real?
CR: When that happened, I did notice she looked like she heard me. Michael Weaver did a good job of jumping in and did a headstand and then we were doing headstands for the next 15 minutes. They edited it and made it a little more dramatic! I did notice that and didn’t really pay much attention, but then things started happening like the convict escaping and it got me thinking. There were certainly moments that you had think. In reality, I don’t think that people realize to the extent that people are creating a world around.
IR: The viewers found out you were a huge Pirates fan when you told your spirit animal llama that you would take him to PNC Park if the show let you take him home with you (note: host, and noted Phillies fan, Ralph Garman did tell the contestants they could keep their spirit animals.) Were you ever able to get to the old Three Rivers Stadium?
CR: I went to one game at Three Rivers. I grew up about three hours north of Pittsburgh so it was tough growing up as a kid. I have been to quite a few at PNC Park – last summer I went to about six or seven games. It’s still relatively easy to get a good seat for most games even when the Pirates are doing good. Cincinnati came in when we were still very much in it and that was the only time tickets were tough to come by.
IR: But you have been a lifelong fan – any favorite memories?
CR: Oh yeah, Van Slyke, Bobby Bo, Barry Bonds! Jay Bell is back with the Pirates as their hitting coach and that’s pretty cool. In 91, when they lost to the Braves in the NLCS, I was six going on seven. So much fun to watch those teams Since then, it has been abysmal. This is our year, though!
I think this year, I really think we have a solid team all the way around the diamond with the exception of Clint Barmes. Solid shortstop, just doesn’t hit well. If everyone plays to their potential, we have a really good shot. I really like Starling Marte a lot: from his hitting to his fielding, when he gets on the bases, he’s dangerous. We haven’t had a good lead off hitter in a long time so it’s really good. (Note: Marte is hitting .323/.371/.477 and has already accumulated 0.7 fWAR in just 16 games. Chase is right – this guy is gonna be a tough out!)
Our rotation has question marks but we have Francisco Liriano, Jeff Karstens, and others who may come back from the DL. I think Karstens can bounce back and have a solid year when he returns from the DL. Gerrit Cole is in Triple A and will probably be up sometime this year. We have a young team, if everyone plays up to their potential, they have a good shot to have a winning record and make a playoff run.
IR: Is there anybody on the Pirates who is flying kind of under-the-radar or any favorites you have who are contributing early for the Pirates?
CR: I think Neil Walker is underrated as a second baseman. And I really like Travis Snider: was a first round pick and came up his rookie and had a good second half of the season in 2012. He’s got some power and bats from the left side of the plate. He usually bats second in the line-up. He’s getting off to a solid start and has a good on-base percentage – he can provide some home runs and some power. (Note: Snider is hitting .333/.432/.487 in 45 PA for the Bucs in RF).
IR: You mentioned on-base percentage – are you familiar with Moneyball and do you subscribe to that way of analyzing baseball?
CR: I know what you’re saying: I pay attention to the SABRmetric stats but, to be honest, I believe what I want to believe! I definitely look at on-base percentage, because we need guys to get on base for ‘Cutch. But with guys like Pedro Alvarez, I’m looking for him to hit .250 with a lot of home runs. I don’t get too crazy with it – I try to use whichever stat to my advantage when arguing with friends!
IR: To wrap us up, how about some rapid-fire questions? Favorite player growing up?
CR: Andy Van Slyke
IR: Favorite ballpark?
CR: PNC Park
IR: Favorite recent Pirates memory?
CR: Two years ago when Pirates were starting to make a push – it was the first magic you felt in a really long time as a Pirates fan. We had just traded for Michael McKenry – I wanna say it won the game for us in the bottom of the 9th and everyone blew up! We made the push to get over .500. It just kinda sends chills down your spine.
IR: Pitcher you least want the Pirates to face in Phils’ rotation?
CR: I would have said Halladay – I guess right now you have to go with Cliff Lee – he’s having a solid start and a solid season.
IR: Least wanted Phillie at the plate with a chance to win it or most feared Phillie?
CR: I still gotta go with Ryan Howard – it’s one swing ya know? Utley is having a pretty good year.
IR: Least favorite Phillie past or present?
CR: I never really hated Philly anything except for hockey because they’re in the same division! I guess I’ll go with John Kruk – I like him now as a broadcaster. More recently, I couldn’t stand when Jayson Werth had the little strip on the chin – I felt he got a bigger contract than he deserved, too. (Note: Chase has good reason to dislike Kruker – he hit .311/.396/.422 off of Doug Drabek and .405/.488/.568 against Bob Walk)
I feel like there’s always been kind of a rift between Pittsburgh and Philly – in hockey, I totally get it, same division all the time. In baseball, when the Phillies played the Yankees, I was rooting for the Phillies!
IR: It does feel like there is solidarity between Phils and Bucs fans, would you say that?
CR: I would say that.
IR: Alright, official prediction time – who do you have in this week’s series?
CR: Pirates take three of four, the Phillies have to take one at home. What can I say? I am a fan before I am a realist!
Chase is the owner and agronomist at Pure Turf Consulting, PSU alumn, a huge Pirate fan and can be found on Twitter @ChaseRogan. Be sure to follow him and join in as I, Schmo host Ralph Garman, and the rest of Phillies Nation give him some grief this week when the Phillies sweep the Bucs at Citizens Bank Park!