Monday, November 16, 2015

Best Of: 2006 -- If Aaron Sorkin Wrote a Show About Baseball

Day two of the "Best Of" this blog, leading to my tenth anniversary on the 26th.  I'm taking one post from each year.  This first appeared on October 25, 2006.   Who knew back then that Kauffman Stadium would host back-to-back World Series or that Aaron Sorkin would actually go on to write a movie about baseball (MONEYBALL)? 

This is how I imagine a typical scene would go.

EXT. KAUFFMAN STADIUM -- NIGHT

THE MANAGER, LEO, TROTS OUT TO THE MOUND TO TALK TO BELEAGUERED PITCHER, DANNY (THERE’S ALWAYS A DANNY). THE BASES ARE LOADED. THE CROWD IS GOING NUTS. IT’S GAME SEVEN OF THE WORLD SERIES. LEO
You can’t get a good lobster in this town.

DANNY
Last I checked we were in Kansas City.

LEO
4.6 billion pork ribs sold every year and 18.9 tons of beef consumed annually since 1997 –

DANNY
They like their beef, what can I tell ya?

LEO
But you’d think just for variety’s sake.

DANNY
I can still throw my curve.

LEO
For strikes?

DANNY
I’m not throwing enough?

LEO
I’ve seen more lobsters.

DANNY WALKS TO THE ROSIN SACK, GIVES IT A SQUEEZE, DECIDES TO KEEP WALKING. HE AND LEO NOW WALK OUT INTO CENTER FIELD. DANNYIt’s just that…

LEO
What? Kathy?

DANNY
No. Cabs. There’s no cohesiveness on this team. After road games, 25 cabs for 25 players. There used to be a thing called “the greater good”, forgoing your needs for the betterment of the team and community who looks to us for their identity and self worth. When I’m trying to save a game I’m really trying to save a factory. If baseball is a metaphor for life, then responsibility is its first cousin simile. And Kathy.

LEO
That’s a “1” on your back and not a “2”.

DANNY
I can’t help it. She knocks my sanitary socks off.

THEY CROSS THE CENTER FIELDER, HECTOR. HECTOR
(in thick accent) Hey, Skip. You know where we could get a lobster around here?

LEO
Order a steak with butter sauce.

THEY REACH THE WALL AND BEGIN WALKING AROUND THE WARNING TRACK.

DANNY
I only became a pitcher because of her.

LEO
Does she know that?

DANNY
She knows that a human arm is not supposed to throw a baseball 100 miles per hour. And she knows that Jesus Christ could strike out Babe Ruth every at bat for ten years without so much as a rotator tear. But to answer your question – what was your question again?

LEO
Can you still throw your curve ball for strikes?

DANNY
No. The other one.

LEO
Does Kathy know you became a pitcher for her?

THEY REACH THE RIGHT FIELDER, AN AFRO-AMERICAN NAMED CHET.

CHET
Look up in the stands, guys. Not four black faces. Would Jackie Robinson even want to break into this game now? If this sport speaks to minorities now it speaks in Spanish. Afro-Americans make up less than 5% of the major leagues. Compare that to basketball, football, or even golf. Satchel Paige said, “don’t look back, something might be gaining on ya.” I just did. It’s now hockey.

LEO
Play a little closer to the line.

THEY CONTINUE WALKING AROUND THE WARNING TRACK.

DANNY
I think she knows.

LEO
But do you really know if she knows?

DANNY
No.

LEO
Then you know what you’ve got to do.

DANNY
Yeah.

LEO
Throw strikes.

DANNY
Right. Thanks.

LEO
And when you get home –

DANNY
Yeah?

LEO
Tell her.

DANNY
I’ll take her out for a lobster.

LEO
What do you mean, 25 cabs for 25 players?

AS THEY START AROUND THE WARNING TRACK FOR ANOTHER LAP, WE:

FADE OUT.

10 comments:

emily said...

Gotta love the ol' purposeless "walk and talk"

Glenn E said...

Calling all East-Coasters! There will be an east coast get together to celebrate ByKenLevine’s 10th anniversary. In honor of Ken’s new favorite show Blindspot, we will be meeting inside a big burlap sack in Times Square. The bag will have “Ken’s Ten” written on the side and there will be hors-d'oeuvres, free tattoos, a trivia contest, a special viewing of Ken’s long lost appearance on The Dating Game (courtesy of the Paley Center) and certain surprise guests (Regis please call back and confirm). Space is limited inside the sack to TEN lucky patrons so if you are near Times Square tomorrow at 7:30 PM, join us in the sack and celebrate Ken!

Mighty Dyckerson said...
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Rock Golf said...

Can you link to Sorkin's response to this? I'm sure I remember he read this and enjoyed it.

Pamela Jaye said...

this is the very first one of your blog posts that I read. Alan Sepinwall said we should read it. I liked The West Wing but I'm not into baseball. and somehow I didn't find it funny. However, I did go back and read some of your other blog posts and I found them hysterical. Then I called up a friend and read them to her on the phone. and I bought a couple of your books. I got the one about baseball at the library. I never finished it. but I love the one about traveling, and I'm still saving up the one about growing up in the 60s for more savoring later. I should love the one about killing a TV executive or an executive killing someone - since I really like that episode of the practice where they kidnapped Les Moonves. Maybe I got distracted and somehow I didn't get very far in.
but the point is I spent money. Hopefully you got some of it. & I learned that you created one of my very favorite shows, Almost Perfect.
I hope that your trip to undateable is better this week. if it wasn't for Bill Lawrence and if it wasn't live, I wouldn't watch it. I need more fourth wall breakage!I love Jane the Virgin and the Grinder.and Bill Lawrence has been nice to us - remembering the names of his fans. but somehow that just couldn't get me to watch Cougar Town. I really tried. I got season one from the library and watched it again. It wasn't my thing. and I think maybe shows in bars don't get me either. And not a bar person and I hardly ever watched Cheers. I actually used to think they talked about sex too much. I think maybe I was just really young and naive when I was 30! also some people must think Chris D'elia is sexy, but I find him a bit intimidating. I definitely would not date him. Brent, maybe... So anyway that's my thoughts on everything under the Sun. and I really do love your blog and appreciate it when you put two of my favorite almost perfect episodes on youtube and dissected them. I don't know which VHS tape I have them on and my VCR is deadish.

congratulations on 10 years of making us laugh through blogging! :-)I'm going to go call my friend and let her know it's your anniversary. I'm sure we can find something to read to each other over the phone :-)

Pam from Boston. Also listener of Dale Dorman on WRKO when I was actually awake that early :-)

DrBOP said...

Beautiful!
One of my favorite baseball movie scenes of all time has a bit of a similar ring to it :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc-ruS9DuE0


And a question :What's your take on the fantasy gambling controversy? Do you by any chance partake of the fantasy baseball activity?
And what were/are the guidelines for broadcasters vis-a-vis laying down the occasional bet? How about broadcasters being sources of "inside info" for fantasy, or other, gambling interests? Ever see it? Ever happen?

Diane D. said...

OMG, I love that scene. Absolutely hilarious! How can you not write a whole script just so you can include it?

Diane D. said...

DrBop
I just watched your link. I also thought of that scene from Bull Durham when I read Ken's post. I LOVED that scene too.

BTW, if anyone is interested in finding out how the ROYALS may just have "changed baseball" with the way they played this year, just read the outstanding article by Tom Verducci in the Nov 9 SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. "It's a new model for how the game is played, though one that is not easily replicated." And it will put a lot more action in the games making them more fun to watch.

Sudheer Yadav said...
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dwibs93 said...

I am not an Aaron Sorkin fan.

I have seen two of his movies (Social Network and Steve Jobs) and I didn't like either of them.

Reasons? Well, this parody is pretty accurate and shows pretty much my main issues:

Unlikeable characters (they're either boring as a plank or one of the nastiest people you will ever see) with only 1 or 2 characters being half-way decent people.

Unnatural dialogue: Half the time the characters just randomly start quoting statistics in places where no-one would do so (during a date, for example) or talk like the only vocabulary they know is "novel speech" talk.

Annoying and/or unfunny quips: The quips from the characters aren't very funny to begin with, and they just keep piling up, making it very annoying to listen to.

And I know those examples are based on real-life people. I'm just talking in terms of the movies themselves on their own.