Bull Durham
                           BULL DURHAM

                In baseball, you don't know nothing.

                                --Yogi Berra

                Whoever wants to know the heart and 
                mind of America had better learn   
                baseball.

                                --Jacques Barzun

                You could look it up.

                                --Casey Stengel



        Titles over--

        FADE IN:

        A series of still photos.  Black and white.  Ancient.

        BABE RUTH SWINGS -- An icon of American history.  His giant 
        upper body balanced delicately on tiny ankles and feet.  The 
        huge bat in an elegant followthrough...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        TY COBB ROUNDS THIRD -- The most vicious ballplayer of them 
        all, a balletic whirling dervish.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        JACKIE ROBINSON STEALS ROME -- Yogi Berra applies the tag.  
        Too late.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        JOE DIMAGGIO WITH HIS SON in the Yankee clubhouse.  Walking 
        down the runway, Joe in uniform.  Number five.

        PULLBACK REVEALS:

        A WALL COVERED WITH BASEBALL PICTURES behind a small table 
        covered with objects and lit candles.  A baseball, an old 
        baseball card, a broken bat, a rosin bag, a jar of pine tar-- 
        also a peacock feather, a silk shawl, a picture of Isadora 
        Duncan.  Clearly, the arrangement is-- 

        A SHRINE -- And it glows with the candles like some religious 
        altar.

        We hear a woman's voice in a North Carolina accent.

                        ANNIE (V.O.)
                I believe in the Church of 
                Baseball.  
                    (beat)
                I've tried all the major religions 
                and most of the minor ones--I've 
                worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, 
                Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, 
                and Isadora Duncan...

        PAN AWAY FROM THE SHRINE across the room.  Late afternoon 
        light spills into the room, across fine old furniture, to a 
        small dressing table.  A WOMAN applies make up.

        ANNIE SAVOY, mid 30's, touches up her face.  Very pretty, 
        knowing, outwardly confident.  Words flow from her Southern 
        lips with ease, but her view of the world crosses Southern, 
        National and International borders.  She's cosmic.

                        ANNIE (V.O.  CONT'D)
                I know things.  For instance--
                    (beat)
                There are 108 beads in a Catholic 
                rosary.  And--
                    (beat)
                There are 108 stitches in a 
                baseball.
                    (beat)
                When I learned that, I gave Jesus 
                a chance.
                    (beat)
                But it just didn't work out between 
                us   The Lord laid too much guilt 
                on me.  I prefer metaphysics to 
                theology.
                    (beat)
                You see, there's no guilt in 
                baseball...and it's never boring.

        ANNIE OPENS A CLOSET DOOR -- Dozens of shoes hang from the 
        door.  She chooses a pair of RED HIGH HEELS, with thin straps.  
        She sits on a bench and

                        ANNIE
                Which makes It like sex.
                    (beat)
                There's never been a ballplayer 
                slept with me who didn't have the 
                best year of his career.
                    (beat)
                Making love is like hitting a 
                baseball--you just got to relax 
                and concentrate.

        ANNIE SLIPS ON THE RED HIGH HEELS -- Smoothing her hands up 
        her calves as she does.

                        ANNIE
                Besides, I'd never sleep with a 
                player hitting under .250 unless 
                he had a lot of R.B.I.'s or was a 
                great glove man up the middle.
                    (beat)
                A woman's got to have standards.

        SHE HOLDS OUR HER LEGS DISPLAYING THE HEELS, side by side.  
        Like a little girl showing off her new shoes.

                        ANNIE
                The young players start off full 
                of enthusiasm and energy but they 
                don't realize that come July and 
                August when the weather is hot 
                it's hard to perform at your peak 
                level.  
                    (beat)
                The veterans pace themselves 
                better.  They finish stronger.  
                They're great in September.  
                    (beat)
                While I don't believe a woman 
                needs a man to be fulfilled, I do 
                confess an interest in finding 
                the ultimate guy--he'd have that 
                youthful exuberance but the 
                veteran's sense of timing...

        ANNIE STARTS PACKING A HUGE HANDBAG -- With fruit, an official 
        scorebook, binoculars, a radar gun, and lipstick.

                        ANNIE
                Y'see there's a certain amount of 
                "life-wisdom" I give these boys.
                    (beat)
                I can expand their minds.  
                Sometimes when I've got a 
                ballplayer alone I'll just read 
                Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman 
                to him.  The guys are so sweet--
                they always stay and listen.
                    (beat)
                Of course a guy will listen to 
                anything if he thinks it's 
                foreplay.

        ANNIE TOUCHES PERFUME BEHIND HER EARS and, ever so slightly, 
        in her cleavage.

                        ANNIE
                I make then feel confident.  They 
                make me feel safe.  And pretty.

        ANNIE POSES IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR -- She smoothes her dress 
        along her hips.  And puts on a flashy pair of sunglasses.  
        Stylish and slightly mad.

                        ANNIE
                what I give them lasts a life-
                time.  What they give me lasts 
                142 games.  Sometimes it seems 
                like a bad trade
                    (quickly rebounding)
                but bad trades are part of baseball--
                who can forget Frank Robinson or 
                Milt Pappas, for Godsakes!
                    (beat)
                It's a long season and you got to 
                trust it.

        ANNIE STARTS FOR THE DOOR and grabs her baseball glove

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- DUSK

        A frame house with porch and lots of trees--a Thomas Wolfe 
        house...with a 1959 faded red Volvo in the driveway.

        ANNIE LEAVES ON FOOT, turning onto the sidewalk of a bucolic, 
        old Durham, North Carolina neighborhood.  In the b.g.  other 
        people are heading the same direction ANNIE PULLS A DURHAM 
        BULLS BASEBALL CAP from her handbag and pulls it on her head.

                        ANNIE
                I've tried them all--I really 
                have--
                    (beat)
                and the only church that truly 
                feeds the soul--day in, day out--
                is the Church of Baseball.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE CHURCH -- DURHAM BASEBALL PARK -- DUSK

        Now visible In the late afternoon sun, a rickety old stadium 
        carved into the center of an old Tobacco town.

        People are arriving on foot from all around...

        "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley fills the air.

        CLOSE ON A BASEBALL CLOWN -- MAX PATKIN, 60, at home plate 
        doing his famous Bill Haley routine.- A comic pitcher's windup 
        full of twists and goofy choreography.

                        RECORDING OVER P.A.
                One o'clock, two o'clock, three 
                o'clock, rock...Four o'clock, 
                five o'clock, six o'clock rock...

        ANNIE SITS DOWN IN HER PRIVATE BOX SEAT -- Her chair is wiped 
        off by a young black boy, JACKSON, 11, who then sits next to 
        her.  He is her employed errand runner, note sender, and 
        friend.

        A GROUP OF GROUPIES ENTERS THE PARK -- 20 year old girl/women, 
        dressed in tight pants, tight everything.

        Friendly, eager, innocent--THEY WAVE TO ANNIE.

        FIVE PLAYERS' WIVES AND THREE SMALL CHILDREN sit in a special 
        box seat behind a small sign "Players' Wives".

                        RECORDING OVER P.A.
                Seven o'clock, eight o'clock, 
                nine o'clock rock...we're gonna 
                rock around the clock tonight

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT/INT.  THE DURHAM BULL DUGOUT -- NIGHT

        AS MAX PATKIN CONTINUES HIS ROUTINE, PLAYERS WARM UP, AND-

        THE MANAGER, JOE RIGGINS, 45, known merely as SKIP, short 
        for "Skipper", a chaw of tobacco in his cheek, stands with 
        his pitching coach, LARRY HOCKETT late 30's, an ex-big leaguer 
        whose body has seen too many cocktail lounges.

        LARRY ROLLS SOME RED MAN CHEWING TOBACCO into a slab of pink 
        bubble gum, carefully folding the corners, tucking it neatly 
        together.  Larry examines it as they talk-And shoves the 
        giant chaw into his mouth.

                        SKIP
                Where's Ebby?

                        LARRY
                Ain't he warning up?

                        SKIP
                    (cynically)
                No.  The guy's professional debut 
                and he forgets about it.

                        LARRY
                Better find our bonus baby, eh?

        A PLAYER, DEKE, 25, stuffs a hot dog into his mouth.

                        SKIP
                Seen Ebby?

                        DEKE
                    (mouthful of food)
                Nope.  

        SKIP WHIRLS AND HEADS UP THE TUNNEL into the:

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE DURHAM CLUBHOUSE -- NIGHT

        SKIP enters, shouting--

                        SKIP
                Ebby?!

        CLOSE ON A BARE ASS -- Baseball uniform around the ankles, 
        short t-shirt on top, and on top of that the head of EBBY 
        CALVIN LALOOSH, baseball cap on backwards.  EBBY is a great 
        looking energetic man-child with the endless confidence, 
        naivete and horniness of youth.

        Life is a party.

        A YOUNG WOMAN, MILLIE, 20, half nude, is dressing quickly.

        EBBY WHIRLS as Skip enters.

                        SKIP
                Jesus.  Game starts in four 
                minutes!
                    (beat)
                Why ain't you warm?!

                        EBBY
                I am warm.

                        SKIP
                I'm fining you a hundred dollars.  
                Jesus, Ebby, this is your 
                professional debut tonight--you 
                know how many guys out there'd 
                give blood to be in your shoes 
                an' you're leavin' your fastball 
                in the locker room for some piece 
                of ass!

        MILLIE LOOKS OUT FROM BEHIND A BAT RACK -- Outraged.

                        MILLIE
                Skip, It's me!  I'm not some quote 
                piece of ass unquote.

                        SKIP
                Oh, Millie, jeez, sorry--I didn't 
                recognize ya.  Don't take it 
                personal but if I catch you in 
                here again you're banned from the 
                ballpark.

                        MILLIE
                You can't ban me from the ballpark 
                'cause Daddy donated the scoreboard 
                and if you banned me he might 
                take the scoreboard away.

                        SKIP
                Whatta we need a scoreboard for?  
                We haven't scored any runs all 
                year
                    (tough, to Ebby)
                Get your ass out there.

        As Skip starts to leave.

                        EBBY)
                Hey Boss, I got a question.

                        SKIP
                    (stops, exasperated)
                What?!

                        EBBY
                You think I need a nickname?  I 
                think I need a nickname.  The 
                great ones have nicknames-- 
                somethin' like Oil Can or Catfish 

        Skip stares at him.  He can't believe this guy.

                        SKIP
                Ya got three minutes.

        SKIP WHIRLS AND HEADS BACK OUT TO THE FIELD -- And Ebby 
        unperturbed, turns his attention back to Millie.

                        EBBY
                Got time for another quickie?

                        MILLIE
                Jesus, you got a game to pitch!

                        EBBY
                But we got three minutes.

        EXT.  THE BALLPARK -- MOMENTS LATER -- NIGHT

                                    CUT TO:

        MAX PATKIN STILL FLAILING AWAY to "Rock Around the Clock".

                        RECORDING
                When the clock strikes two, three, 
                and four and the band slows down 
                we'll yell for more, gonna rock 
                around the clock tonight.  

        ANNIE LOOKS THROUGH HER BINOCULARS -- Studying the players 
        warming up casually on the sidelines as Patkin winds up his 
        act.

        P.O.V.  A LATIN PLAYER playing pepper.

                        ANNIE
                Number twenty-two's thighs are 
                just great.  Who's he?

                        JACKSON
                    (reading the program)
                Jose Galindo.  He hit .314 at 
                Lynchburg last year.

                        ANNIE
                Three-fourteen?  Hmmm...  Look't 
                those thighs, Jackson 

        BACK TO MAX PATKIN -- He finishes his routine.

                        RECORDING OVER P.A.
                Gonna rock, gonna rock around the 
                clock tonight.

        INT.  PRESS BOX -- NIGHT

                                    CUT TO:

        A WOMAN ANNOUNCER, MARYLOU, 30, speaks into the P.A.  mike.

                        ANNOUNCER
                Let's hear it for Max Patkin--

        Applause as Patkin takes his bows, leaves the field, shakes 
        hands with a the BULL MASCOT LEADING THE APPLAUSE.

                        ANNOUNCER
                "The Greatest Show on Dirt"--your 
                own Durham Bulls!

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE DUGOUT

        CLOSE ON ANOTHER PLAYER -- MICKEY MCFEE, 23, black.  Smoking 
        a cigaret--always smoking a cigaret.  He snuffs out his 
        cigaret and RUNS onto the field with the rest of the team, 
        as-- 

        EBBY ENTERS THE DUGOUT from the runway.  Larry and Skip 
        encourage their players running onto the field.  Ebby is 
        trying to get the zipper on his fly unstuck.  He smiles 
        broadly at Skip and Larry, and grabs his glove.

                        EBBY
                I'm there, Skip, I'm ready.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE PRESS BOX

        THE RADIO ANNOUNCER, TEDDY CULLINANE, 50, leans into the 
        radio mike of a very small local station.  Next to him is 
        the local SPORTSWRITER, WHITEY SHERRARD, 40.  Between them 
        they've seen a million minor league players come and go.

                        WHITEY
                Is this guy LaLoosh worth a hundred 
                grand?  I hear he's a quart low?

                        TEDDY THE RADIO MAN
                    (covering the mike)
                He's left handed.  Whattya expect?
                    (on the air)
                The Bulls are off to a slow start 
                having dropped their first three 
                games, but hope to turn it around 
                tonight with the professional 
                debut of the heralded young left 
                hander, Ebby Calvin LaLoosh.
                    (beat)
                Stepping In for the Peninsula 
                White Sox is leadoff hitter Willie 
                Foster

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE BALLFIELD -- NIGHT

        ANGLE TO ANNIE'S BOX SEAT -- Millie has joined Annie and 
        Jackson.  Clearly, the younger women look up to Annie for 
        wisdom and insight.

                        ANNIE
                --Millie, you've got to stay out 
                of the clubhouse.  It'll just get 
                everybody in trouble.

                        MILLIE
                I got lured.

                        ANNIE
                You didn't get "lured".  Women 
                never get lured.  They're too 
                strong and powerful for that.  
                Now say it--"I didn't get lured 
                and I will take responsibility 
                for my actions".

                        MILLIE
                "I didn't get lured and I will 
                take responsibility for my 
                actions".

                        ANNIE
                That's better.
                    (to Jackson)
                Got the radar ready?

                        JACKSON
                Ready.

        JACKSON AIMS A RADAR GUN at the plate.

        THE PENINSULA WHITE SOX LEADOFF HITTER steps in.

                        TEDDY THE RADIO MAN (V.O.)
                The word on LaLoosh is that the 
                good looking young lefty has a 
                major league fastball but sometimes 
                has problems with his control

        EBBY CALVIN LALOOSH WINDS UP and fires.  The pitch sails 
        over the batter's head, over the catcher's head, over the 
        backstop, and CRASHES INTO THE PRESS BOX.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE PRESS BOX

        THE ANNOUNCER AND SPORTSWRITER CRASH to the floor as the 
        ball smashes into their booth.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE DUGOUT

        SKIP SPITS TOBACCO, mumbles flatly to Larry.

                        SKIP
                Little high.

                        LARRY
                    (shouts to EBBY)
                C'mon big 'un, you're okay...

        ANNIE'S BOX SEAT -- She turns to Jackson.

                        JACKSON
                Ninety-five miles an hour.

                        ANNIE
                He looks great, just great!

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE PITCHER'S MOUND

        THE CATCHER TALKS TO EBBY, trying to calm him down.

                        CATCHER
                What the hell was that?!  Lighten 
                up a little.  Awright?

                        EBBY,
                    (to catcher)
                Hey--what's your name again--I'm 
                bad with names--

                        CATCHER
                Ed.  You want me to write it on 
                my chest?  Jesus ...

                        EBBY
                Sorry.  Hey, Ed, I got a question.

                        CATCHER
                What?

                        EBBY
                Who's the beef sitting behind the 
                third base dugout?

                        CATCHER
                    (slowly)
                That's Annie Savoy.  Nice eh?  
                But that's more woman than you 
                ever dreamed of, Rook.  She could 
                kick your ass and have you for 
                breakfast 

        THE CATCHER RETURNS to the plate.

        INT.  THE PRESS BOX

                                    CUT TO:

        WHITEY AND TEDDY WARILY CLIMB back to their seats.

                        TEDDY
                One ball and no strikes to Willie 
                Foster...

                                    CUT TO:

        EBBY'S NEXT PITCH HITS FOSTER in the ribs.  He crumples.

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE'S BOX SEAT -- She's writing a note.  She hands it to 
        Jackson.

                        ANNIE
                Take this to Ebby in the dugout 
                between innings.

                        JACKSON
                What's it say?

                        ANNIE
                It says he's not bending his back 
                on his follow-through.

        JACKSON RUNS OFF with the note.  Annie turns to Millie.

                        ANNIE
                Well let's get down to it, honey--
                how was he?

                        MILLIE
                Well, he fucks like he pitches.  
                Sorta all over the place

        P.O.V.  EBBY LALOOSH FIRES ANOTHER ONE into the stands.  And--

        Hit "Rock Around the Clock"--

                                            DISSOLVE INTO:

        QUICK MONTAGE OF EBBY'S FIRST GAME -- Strikeouts and wild 
        pitches.  A young, gifted, uncontrollable thrower.

                        BILL HALEY AND HIS COMETS
                When the chimes ring five, six 
                and seven--We'll be right in 
                Seventh Heaven, Gonna rock around 
                the clock tonight...

        EBBY UNLEASHES A WILD ONE -- And decks the Bull Mascot.

        EBBY IN THE DUGOUT READS THE NOTE from Annie.

        EBBY STRIKES OUT a Peninsula batter.

        EBBY UNLEASHES ANOTHER WILD ONE and a batter hits the dirt.

        End "Rock Around the Clock" and--

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE BULL LOCKER ROOM -- NIGHT

        SKIP WALKS THROUGH THE PLAYERS ROOM -- Players are up, joking 
        irreverently.

                        JOSE
                Hey Lefty, hold 'em to 12 runs 
                every night, you'll win 20--

                        EBBY
                    (he might be serious)
                Had 'em all the way.

        A DURHAM PLAYER SITTING HALF DRESSED in front of his locker.  
        A PICTURE OF JESUS hangs amidst his gear.  The player, JIMMY, 
        25, has a Bible and prays softly to himself.

                        JIMMY
                Dear Lord, thank you for being 
                with us tonight, thank you for 
                protecting us from injury and--

        DEKE WALKS BY, shaking Jimmy irreverently as he prays.

                        DEKE
                Wake up, wake up--

        MICKEY (A BLACK) COMPLAINS TO TONY as they undress.

                        MICKEY
                This league is racist, man.

                        TONY
                Every time you go 0 for 4 you 
                think the league is racist-face 
                it, Mick, you're an equal 
                opportunity "out".

                                    CUT TO:

        THE MANAGER'S OFFICE -- A tiny cubicle, a desk, phone Larry 
        joins him with the pitching charts.  Skip studies the charts.

                        SKIP
                He walked eighteen?!

                        LARRY
                It's a league record.

                        SKIP
                Struck out eighteen...

                        LARRY
                League record.
                    (beat)
                And he hit the Radio Announcer, a 
                Sportswriter, and the Bull Mascot 
                twice--also league records--
                    (beat)
                Joe, the guy's got some serious 
                shit.

        THE DOOR OPENS -- A PLAYER ENTERS, in street clothes, carrying 
        his suitcases.  CRASH DAVIS, 30, older than the other players.  
        And different.  More than just opinions, he actually has a 
        point of view.  A career minor leaguer, hanging on wherever 
        he can get a job.  Unlike Ebby--Crash knows a lot about the 
        world without baseball.  Also unlike Ebby--he loves baseball 
        desperately.

                        LARRY
                Who're you?

        Crash speaks slowly, with a trace of cynicism and pride, 
        like an old warrior who knows he's just a hired gun.

                        CRASH
                I am the player to be named later.

        Beat.  Skip looks out, half dressed, from his cubicle.

                        SKIP
                Crash Davis?

                        CRASH
                The Crash Davis.
                    (beat, then nonstop))
                And you, Larry Hockett, should 
                recognize me 'cause five years 
                ago in the Texas League when you 
                were pitching for El Paso and I 
                was hitting cleanup for Shreveport, 
                you hung a curve on an 0-2 pitch 
                of a 3-2 game in bottom of the 
                8th and I tattooed it over the 
                Goodyear Tire sign, beat you 4-3--
                and I got a free wheel alignment 
                from Goodyear.

                        LARRY
                    (remembering)
                Ohyeah.  I shoulda throwed a 
                slider.  Damn, Crash, how're ya?

                        SKIP
                I'm Joe Riggins.  Sit down

                        CRASH
                I'm too old for this shit.  Why 
                the hell am I back in "A" ball?

                        SKIP
                'Cause of Ebby Calvin LaLoosh.
                    (beat)
                The Big Club's got a hundred
                grand in him-

                        LARRY
                He's got a million dollar arm and 
                a five cent head.

                        SKIP
                --we had the gun on him tonight--
                the last five pitches he threw 
                were faster than the first five.  
                96 miles an hour, 98, 97, 97.  
                97.  (beat) He's got the best 
                young arm I've seen in 30 years.

                        LARRY
                But he ain't quite sure which 
                plane he's on, y'know what I 
                mean...

                        SKIP
                You been around, you're smart, 
                you're professional, you know 
                what it takes--
                    (beat)
                We want you to mature the kid.

                        CRASH
                "Mature" ain't a fuckin' verb.

                        LARRY
                You go to college or what?

                        SKIP
                We want you to room with him on 
                the road and stay on his case all 
                year.
                    (beat)
                He can go all the way.

                        CRASH
                And where can I go?

                        SKIP
                You can keep going to the ballpark 
                and keep gettin' paid to do it.
                    (beat)
                Beats hell outta working at Sears.  

                        LARRY
                Sears sucks, Crash, I tried it 
                once.  Sold Lady Kenmores--it's 
                nasty, nasty work.

                        SKIP
                Even if it's the Carolina League--
                this is a chance to play everyday.

                        CRASH
                    (angrily)
                You don't want a player, you want 
                a stable pony.  My Triple A 
                contract gets bought out so I can 
                hold the Flavor o' the Month's 
                dick in the bus leagues?!  
                    (angrily)
                Fuck this fucking game...  I 
                fuckin' quit.

        CRASH RISES TO LEAVE -- Picks up his luggage, and turns to 
        Skip and Larry before exiting.  A deep breath

                        CRASH
                Who we play tomorrow?

        Beat.  They know, they share the inability to quit the game.  
        They're all clinging to the Church of Baseball.

                        SKIP
                Winston-Salem.  Batting practice 
                at 4:30.

        CRASH LEAVES and as he does -- Ed (the catcher) enters.

                        ED
                You wanted to see me?

                        SKIP
                Yeah, Ed, shut the door...

        He does.  Remains standing.  He can see it coming.

                        SKIP
                This is the toughest job a manager 
                has, Ed...
                    (deep breath)
                But the organization has decided 
                to make a change--we're releasing 
                you from your contract...

        CLOSE ON ED -- Silent.  Motionless.  Empty.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE LOCKER ROOM --

        CRASH PUTS HIS BAG IN A LOCKER as other players return from 
        the shower.  Crash watches as EBBY SOAKS HIS ELBOW IN A TUB 
        OF ICE WATER as the sports writer, Whitey, interviews him.

                        WHITEY
                How's it feel to get your first 
                professional win?

                        EBBY
                It feels "out there".  A major 
                rush.  I mean it doesn't just 
                feel "out there" but it feels out 
                there.

                        CRASH
                Hopeless.  Utterly fucking 
                hopeless.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  MAXWELL'S BAR -- LATER THAT NIGHT

        Loud country music in the players' hangout and pickup spot.  
        It's full of players and lots of young women.

        MILLIE SITS DOWN NEXT TO YET ANOTHER PLAYER, TONY, 25-- He's 
        slick, urban, smooth.

                        MILLIE
                Hi, I'm Millie.

                        TONY
                I'm Tony.  I play left field.

                        MILLIE
                I know.

        ANNIE SITS IN THE CORNER at her own table.  Max Patkin,  
        looking spiffy in a turtle neck sweater and double breasted 
        blazer, sits down next to her.  Old friends.

                        MAX
                Love the game, Annie, love it
                    (dead serious)
                When I die I'm gonna have my ashes 
                sprinkled around a pitcher's mound
                in some ballpark somewhere--
                    (beat)
                --and I'll have a few ashes saved 
                for the rosin bag so I'll still 
                be in the game after I'm gone.

                        ANNIE
                What a sweet idea-

        A COCKTAIL WAITRESS DELIVERS another round to them.

                        ANNIE
                We didn't order this, honey...

                        WAITRESS
                    (she points)
                He did.

        P.O.V. CRASH DAVIS SITTING ALONE IN THE OTHER CORNER.  HE

        waves, and smiles easily.

                        ANNIE
                    (to Max)
                Who's that?

                        MAX
                Hey--that's Crash Davis.  He's 
                played in more towns than I have.  
                Helluva guy--real different...  I 
                actually saw him read a book 
                without pictures once

                        ANNIE
                Really?  Kinda cute...

        ANNIE NODS AT CRASH -- He comes over to her table, greets 
        Max as an old friend, and introduces himself.

                        CRASH
                I'm Crash Davis.

                        ANNIE
                Annie Savoy.  Wanta dance?

                        CRASH
                I don't dance.

                        ANNIE
                I don't trust a man who don't 
                dance.  It ain't natural.

        SUDDENLY -- HARD CORE ROCK AND ROLL on the juke box.  Several 
        couples dance, and out of the pack-- 

        EBBY DANCES WITH A GROUPIE -- Spinning and whirling, 
        uninhibited and infectious.  He's suddenly dancing with a 
        different WOMAN, then another, and another...

        ANNIE, CRASH AND MAX WATCH the mad performance.

                        MAX
                Who's he dancing with?

                        ANNIE
                All of 'em, I think...

        EBBY PUTS ON A ONE MAN SHOW ON THE DANCE FLOOR -- The whole 
        bar stops to watch him, applauding as he spins to a finish.  
        A quirkier "Saturday Night Fever" show.  More naive, fun.  
        He climbs off the floor and joins Annie's table.

                        EBBY
                Thanks for the note--you're right, 
                I wasn't bending my back.

                        ANNIE
                You got a live arm there.

        He extends his hand to introduce himself.

                        EBBY
                Ebby Calvin LaLoosh.

                        ANNIE
                You need a nickname.

                        EBBY
                That's what I been telling 
                everybody!  Wanta dance?

                        CRASH
                She's dancing with me.

                        ANNIE
                Crash, I didn't think you--

                        CRASH
                I'll learn.  C'mon--

                        EBBY
                Just a minute, pal 

        The two men square off quickly.  Annie mocks them.

                        ANNIE
                You boys gonna fight over little 
                me?

        CRASH RISES, pulling Annie with him.  But--

        EBBY STANDS to challenge Crash.

                        EBBY
                Step outside, pal.

                        CRASH
                Love to--

                        ANNIE
                Oh don't be such guys--

        But Crash and Ebby head outside.  She turns to Max--

                        ANNIE
                Hell, Max, wanta dance?

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE PARKING LOT -- NIGHT

        A circle is formed.  Everybody gathers.  Millie clings to 
        Tony, her guy of the moment.  Crash and Ebby face off.

                        CRASH
                I don't believe in fighting.

                        EBBY
                Pussy.

                        CRASH
                Take the first shot at me.

                        EBBY
                I ain't hitting a man first.

                        CRASH
                Hit me in the chest with this...

        CRASH PULLS A BASEBALL from his jacket pocket, tosses it to 
        Ebby.

                        EBBY
                I'd kill ya.

                        CRASH
                From what I hear you couldn't hit 
                a bull in the ass with a slingshot

                        EBBY
                Don't try me.

                        CRASH
                Throw it.  C'mon, right in the 
                chest.

                        EBBY
                No way.

                        CRASH
                C'mon, Meat.  You can't hit me 
                'cause you're starting to think 
                about it already, you're starting 
                to think how embarrassing it'll 
                be to miss, how all these people 
                would laugh.
                    (teasing mercilessly)
                C'mon, Rook--show me that million 
                dollar arm 'cause I'm getting a 
                good idea about the five cent 
                head--

        EBBY REARS BACK AND FIRES THE BALL -- From ten feet away, 
        right at Crash's chest.  But, alas-- 

        THE BALL GOES THROUGH A SECOND STORY WINDOW in the distance.  
        Crash never blinks.

                        CRASH
                Ba11 four.

        EBBY IS ENRAGED -- HE CHARGES CRASH, lunging at him.

                        EBBY
                Who the fuck are you?!

        CRASH LASHES OUT A SHORT LEFT -- With lightning speed, 
        effortless.  And brutal.  BANG!  Ebby goes down.  And stays 
        there stunned.  He looks up.

                        CRASH
                I'm Crash Davis.  Your new catcher.  
                And you just got Lesson Number 
                One--"Don't think--it can only 
                hurt the ballclub". 
                    (beat)
                Buy ya a drink?

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE CLUB -- NIGHT

        ANNIE AND MAX DANCE to Billy Eckstein on the juke box.  Millie 
        and Tony are also on the dance floor.

                        ECKSTEIN (ON JUKE BOX)
                April in Paris, chestnuts in 
                blossom, Holiday tables under the 
                tree...

        EBBY AND CRASH WATCH FROM THE CORNER TABLE -- Ebby's right 
        eye is blackened.  He holds a drink on it.

                        EBBY
                We fight, she gets the clown--
                how's that happen?

                        CRASH
                Shut up--I like this song...
                    (sings along)
                April in Paris, this is a feeling, 
                No one can ever reprieve...

                        EBBY
                She's playing with my mind.

                        CRASH
                It's a damn easy thing to play 
                with.

        ANNIE SUDDENLY APPEARS at the table.

                        ANNIE
                Well--you boys stopped fighting 
                yet?  Are you pals now?  Good.  I 
                love a little macho male bonding-- 
                I think it's sweet even if it's 
                probably latent homosexuality 
                being "re-channeled" but I believe 
                in "re-channeling" so who cares, 
                right?
                    (beat)
                Shall we go to my place?

                        EBBY
                Which one of us?

                        ANNIE
                Oh both of you, of course...

        CLOSE ON EBBY -- His eyes full of fear and wonder.

        CLOSE ON CRASH -- He smiles.

        THE THREE OF THEM LEAVE the bar together.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

        THE SHRINE OF BASEBALL GLOWS -- Annie lights the candles.

        EBBY AND CRASH SIT ON OPPOSITE ENDS OF HER COUCH -- Both men 
        look around the room with wonder.  Ebby is clearly more 
        nervous than Crash, who's been in some strange rooms in his 
        minor league career.

                        ANNIE
                These are the ground rules.
                    (beat)
                I hook up with one guy a season--
                I mean it takes me a couple of 
                weeks to pick the guy--kinda my 
                own spring training...
                    (beat)
                And, well, you two are the most 
                promising prospects of the season 
                so far.
                    (beat)
                So...  I thought we should get to 
                know each other.

                        CRASH
                Why do you get to choose?  Why 
                don't I get to choose?

                        ANNIE
                Actually none of us on this planet 
                ever really choose each other.  
                It's all Quantum Physics and 
                molecular attraction.  There are 
                laws we don't understand that 
                bring us together and break us 
                apart.

                        EBBY
                Is somebody gonna go to bed with 
                somebody or what?

                        ANNIE
                You're a regular nuclear meltdown, 
                honey--slow down.

        Crash rises to leave, and heads for the door.

                        CRASH
                After 12 years in the minor 
                leagues, I don't tryout.  Besides--
                I don't believe in, Quantum Physics 
                when it comes to matters of the 
                heart...or loins.

                        ANNIE
                    (challenging him)
                What do you believe in?

        Crash at the door.  Annie's question is slightly taunting.  
        He stops, and speaks with both aloofness and passion:

                        CRASH
                I believe in the soul, the cock, 
                the pussy, the small of a woman's 
                back, the hanging curve ball, 
                high fiber, good scotch, long 
                foreplay, show tunes, and that 
                the novels of Thomas Pynchon are 
                self-indulgent, overrated crap.
                    (beat)
                I believe that Lee Harvey Oswald 
                acted alone, I believe that there  
                oughtta be a constitutional 
                amendment outlawing astro-turf 
                and the designated hitter, I 
                believe in the "sweet spot", voting 
                every election, soft core 
                pornography, chocolate chip 
                cookies, opening your presents on 
                Christmas morning rather than 
                Christmas eve, and I believe in 
                long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses 
                that last for 7 days.

                        ANNIE
                    (breathless)
                Oh my...
                    (softly)
                Don't leave...

                        CRASH
                G'night.

        Crash heads out into the night.  Annie hurries to the-door 
        while Ebby sits on the couch, bewildered.

                        EBBY
                Hey--what's all this molecule 
                stuff?

        ANNIE STANDS IN THE DOORWAY -- Crash is on the porch.

                        ANNIE
                Wait, Crash--don't go--all I want 
                is a date.  I'm not gonna fall in 
                love with you or nothin'.

                        CRASH
                I'm not interested in a woman 
                who's interested in that boy.

                        ANNIE
                I'm not interested yet.

        Ebby appears in the door.

                        EBBY
                Who you calling a "boy"?

                        CRASH
                See ya at the yard, Meat.

        Crash walks out into the Durham night.  Ebby and Annie stand 
        in the doorway.  She speaks softly to Ebby.  

                        ANNIE
                No ballplayer ever said "no" to a 
                date with me.

                        EBBY
                Well shit, then, let's fuck.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S BEDROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

        ANNIE PUTS ON A RECORD -- Edith Piaf sings "Le Trois Cloches".

        EBBY STARTS UNDRESSING across the room.

                        ANNIE
                Wait, honey, slow down--I want to 
                watch.

        She sits in a chair.  Piaf sings.  Ebby practically rips his 
        shirt off, exposing a great upper body.

                        ANNIE
                No, no, no.  Put it back on and 
                take it off slowly.

                        EBBY
                Jesus, what kinda broad are you?

                        ANNIE
                When you know how to make love, 
                you'll know how to pitch.
                    (turning to the stereo)
                Shh.  I love this part.

        Piaf sings.  Annie listens.  Ebby re-buttons, then unbuttons 
        his shirt.  It drops, revealing his back.

                        ANNIE
                Oh my--what a nice back.

        Ebby drops his pants.

                        ANNIE
                No, no, honey...  first the shoes 
                and socks.

                        EBBY
                The socks?  It's cold in here.

                        ANNIE
                    (sweetly, unthreatening)
                You think Dwight Gooden leaves 
                his socks on?

        Ebby considers this.  Pulls his pants back up.  Takes his 
        socks off.  Then his pants.

                        ANNIE
                Ebby honey have you ever been 
                handcuffed in bed?

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DOWNTOWN DURHAM -- NIGHT

        Deserted streets of the old tobacco town.  Crash walks alone.  
        He picks up an old newspaper out of a trash can.  He stops 
        in front of  a store window.  He rolls the newspaper like a 
        short bat.  He takes a batting stance, and--

        CRASH TAKES HIS BATTING STANCE in front of the window, 
        studying his reflection.  He taken a "swing".  And another.

        A GROUP OF OLD BLACK MEN stand in a doorway, watching.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S BEDROOM -'CONTINUOUS NIGHT

        CLICK -- A handcuff is locked onto Ebby's wrist.  Both his 
        arms are outstretched--he's getting very excited.

                        EBBY
                Awright!  I read about stuff like 
                this.  Bring it on!

        Annie calmly drags a chair over and sits down.

                        ANNIE
                Sweetie, have you ever heard of 
                Walt Whitman?

                        EBBY
                Who's he play for?

                        ANNIE
                Well, he sort of pitches for the 
                Cosmic All-Stars.

                        EBBY
                Never heard of 'em.

        Annie opens a book and begins reading as Piaf sings softly.

                        ANNIE
                Good--then listen.
                    (reading)
                "I sing the body electric.  The 
                armies of those I love engirth me 
                and I engirth them--"

                        EBBY
                We gonna fuck or what?

                        ANNIE
                Shh, shh...
                    (reading)
                "They will not let me off till I 
                go with them, respond to them, 
                and discorrupt them and charge 
                them"

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        SAME SCENE -- LATER

                        ANNIE
                "Limitless limpid jets of love 
                hot and enormous -- quivering 
                jelly of love, white blow and 
                delirious juice--

        CLOSE ON EBBY'S FACE -- Intrigued, aroused, frightened.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DOWNTOWN DURHAM -- NIGHT

        THE OLD BLACK MAN is tossing wadded up balls of paper at 
        Crash who takes beautiful, fluid swings with the rolled up 
        newspaper.  Batting practice.

        CLOSE ON CRASH'S EYES -- Studying the "pitches" with intense 
        concentration, endlessly working on his game.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE DURHAM FIELD -- NEXT DAY

        LARRY, DEKE, MICKEY AND BOBBY ARE SINGING at home plate as a 
        pre-game show.  Larry is Diana Ross, the other three are the 
        Supremes, and the routine is brilliantly tacky.

                        LARRY (AND THE SUPREMES)
                Baby love, oh oh, baby love, I 
                need ya oh how I need ya, All ya 
                do is treat me bad, Take my heart 
                and leave me sad...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  DURHAM BULLS LOCKER ROOM -- DAY

        JIMMY STANDS ON A BENCH trying to get the players' attention.

                        JIMMY
                Listen up, guys, could I have 
                your attention a minute?
                    (a few heads turn)
                I'm going to be leading a daily 
                chapel service at three In the 
                afternoons here in the locker 
                room and you're all invited to 
                drop by and worship before batting 
                practice.

                        BOBBY
                Jimmy, God damn it--loosen up and 
                get laid.

        BOBBY, 25, smooths the creases of his uniform, preening.

                        JIMMY
                I don't care If you think I'm 
                square but I believe what I 
                believe.

        All heads turn as:

        EBBY ENTERS THE LOCKER ROOM -- He looks trashed.

                        BOBBY
                Jesus, Ebby, what truck ran over 
                you?

                        EBBY
                    (glassy eyed)
                Call me "Nuke".  Annie said it's 
                my new nickname.

        Lots of teasing from around the clubhouse.

                        DEKE
                Annie nailed you?  That's great, 
                means you're gonna have a helluva 
                year.  Does she fuck as good as 
                they say?

                        EBBY
                We didn't do it, man--she read 
                poetry to me all night, I swear.  
                It's more tiring than fucking.

        EBBY GOES TO HIS LOCKER and starts undressing.  Crash sits 
        next to him, looking straight ahead.  Bobby nearby.

                        EBBY
                --of love"...hey, Crash, does 
                that mean what I think it means?  
                What's the deal here?

        Crash studies Ebby.

                        CRASH
                Your shower shoes have fungus on 
                'em.  You'll never get to the 
                Bigs with fungus on your shower 
                shoes.
                    (beat)
                Think classy and you'll be classy.  
                If you win 20 in the Show you can 
                let the fungus grow back on your 
                shower shoes and the press'll 
                think you're colorful.
                    (beat)
                Until you win twenty in the Show, 
                however, it means you're a slob.

        CRASH RISES AND HEADS OUT to the field.  Ebby sits silently, 
        holding his shower shoes, taking it all in.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM BALLPARK -- GAME IN PROGRESS -- DAY

        IN THE DUGOUT -- THE GAME FROM A DUGOUT P.O.V.  The players 
        sit, stand, stir restlessly.  A combination of relaxation 
        and intensity not visible from the stands.

        CRASH IS HANDED HIS BAT and helmet by the bat boy.

                        DEKE
                This guy's bringing some serious 
                smoke out there.

        DUGOUT P.O.V. THE WINSTON-SALEM PITCHER throwing hard.

                        CRASH
                He ain't got shit.

        FOLLOW CRASH INTO THE ON-DECK CIRCLE -- The ritual.  The bat 
        boy hands him the pine tar rag and he rubs pine tar on the 
        bat with great care.

        CRASH RISES -- Heads to the plate.  Talking to himself.

                        CRASH
                You ain't getting that cheese by 
                me, meat.

        CRASH TAKES HIS STANCE -- Upright.  Calm.  Head still.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                Look for the fastball up.  He's 
                gotta come with the cheese.  Relax.  
                Relax.  Quick bat.  Pop the 
                clubhead.  Open the hips.  Relax.  
                You're thinking too much.  Get 
                outta your fuckin' head, Crash.

        CLOSE ON CRASH'S FACE -- His eyes intensely focused.

        CRASH'S P.O.V. THE PITCHER -- Starts his windup.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                Get on top of the ball.  Quick 
                bat.  Don't let him in your kitchen--

        THE PITCHER DELIVERS -- Crash strides.  Curveball.

        Crash swings and misses, offstride.  Strike one.

        CRASH QUICKLY STEPS OUT OF THE BOX and picks up dirt.  Rubs 
        it on his hands.  He's pissed.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                You stupid fuck, Crash.  What're 
                you swinging at a breaking ball 
                for?  Why's he starting me off 
                with a hammer?  Fuck me.  
                    (more dirt)
                You're okay.  Stay back.  Stay 
                back, you dumb fuck.  Wait.  Wait.

        P.O.V. THE PITCHER'S NEXT DELIVERY -- CURVE BALL AWAY.

        CRASH STRIDES INTO THE PITCH -- Lashes a line drive down the 
        first base line.  Just foul.

        Crash has started to first.  Pulls up.  Returns slowly to 
        the plate.  Picks up his bat.

                        CRASH
                Throw that shit again, meat.  
                Throw that weak ass shit.  
                    (beat)
                Now he's gotta try to slip the 
                cheese by me.  one and one.

        You're on top.  Now bring me the gas--

        --P.O.V.  PITCHER'S THIRD DELIVERY -- High and tight.  Right 
        at Crash's head.  The ball seems to accelerate.  About to 
        explode his skull.  For a moment--THE FEAR OF DEATH...

        CRASH HITS THE DIRT -- It just misses his head.

        CRASH CLIMBS OUT OF THE DIRT -- Brushes himself off.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                This son of a bitch throws hard.
                    (beat)
                Annie, Annie, Annie--who is this 
                Annie?
                    (catching himself)
                Jesus, get outta the box you idiot, 
                where's your head?  Get the broad 
                outta your head.

        CRASH HOLDS UP HIS HAND to the ump.

                        CRASH
                Time out.

                        UMP
                Time out!

        CRASH STEPS OUT OF THE BOX -- Motions to the bat boy for the 
        pine tar rag.  The boy brings it over.  Crash re-applies it 
        to his bat.

                        BAT BOY
                Get a hit, Crash.

                        CRASH
                Shut up.

        CRASH WALKS BACK TO THE BOX -- Talking to himself.

                        CRASH
                Awright, awright.  You've seen 
                all his pitches.  Two and one.  
                Relax.  Wait.  Quick bat.  You 
                can hit this shit--

        CRASH IN THE BATTER'S BOX -- Digs in-again.  Takes his stance.  
        Upright.  Relaxed.  Ready.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                Shorten up.  Bring the gas...  Be 
                quick--be quick--yeah, yeah...

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE AND JACKSON IN THE STANDS -- She's writing a note 
        quickly, and hands it to Jackson, who hurries off.

                                    CUT TO:

        CRASH'S P.O.V. THE PITCHER'S NEXT PITCH -- A major league 
        fastball.  It explodes to the plate.  Crash swings.  And 
        misses.  Strike Three.

        CRASH WALKS BACK TO THE DUGOUT -- Head high, no show of 
        emotion.  Almost proud.  An old Warrior, not giving an inch 
        even in defeat.

        HE RE-ENTERS THE DUGOUT -- Sits down and starts putting the 
        catcher's gear back on.  Deke leans over.

                        DEKE
                Serious heat, eh?

                        CRASH
                He ain't got shit.

        THE BATBOY TAKES THE NOTE FROM JACKSON -- And hands it to 
        Crash, who refuses to accept it, being busy putting his gear 
        on.

                        BAT BOY
                From Annie.

                        CRASH
                Read it.

                        BAT BOY
                Dear Crash.  You have a lovely 
                swing but you're pulling your 
                hips out too early.  I'd be happy 
                to meet you at the Batting Cage 
                tomorrow to discuss it.  Signed, 
                Annie.

                        DEKE
                Well if there's one chick'd know 
                when you're pulling your hips out 
                early, Annie's the one.

        Crash doesn't seem too amused.  He grabs the note, and the 
        pen hanging from the starting lineup card taped to the dugout 
        wall.  He scrawls a quick note.

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE'S PRIVATE BOX -- She's watching the players through 
        binoculars as Jackson returns with the note.

                        ANNIE
                    (looking through the 
                    glasses)
                What'd he say?

        Jackson looks at the note uneasily, then reads--

                        JACKSON
                It says..."I want to-make...  
                love to you.  Crash".

        ANNIE PUTS DOWN THE GLASSES -- Takes the note.

                        ANNIE
                Oh my...

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  A LOCAL BATTING CAGE DAY

        ANNIE DIGS IN AT THE PLATE -- Bat in hand.  Crash a few feet 
        away.  Annie spits on her hands, wear batting glove, pumps 
        the bat back and forth.  

        THE MECHANICAL PITCHING MACHINE DELIVERS -- Kawoosh. 

        ANNIE SWINGS -- Lashes out a line drive.  Crash smiles.

                        ANNIE
                See my hips?

                        CRASH
                Yep.

                        ANNIE
                I think Thomas Pynchon's a genius.

                        CRASH
                When you're hitting you shouldn't 
                think about anything but hitting.  
                    (beat)
                But you shouldn't think about it 
                too much.  The trick is to use 
                your brain to not use your brain.

                        ANNIE
                But you were pulling your hips 
                last night.

                        CRASH
                So...Wanta make love?

        ANNIE SWINGS AND MISSES the next pitch.

                        ANNIE
                I'm committed to Nuke for the 
                season.  You had your chance the 
                other night.

                        CRASH
                What'you see in that guy--he's 
                dim, pretty boy.  a young, wild,

                        ANNIE
                Young men are uncomplicated.
                    (Crash mutters)
                And he's not "dim".  He's just 
                inexperienced.  My job is to give 
                him "life-wisdom" and help him 
                make it to the major leagues.

                        CRASH
                That's my job too.

        ANNIE SWINGS AND MISSES another pitch.

                        ANNIE
                Damn.

                        CRASH
                You're pulling your hips out.

                        ANNIE
                But they're nice hips.
                    (beat)
                I looked up your records-- You've 
                hit 227 home runs in the minors.  
                That's great!

        ANNIE FOULS ONE OFF and digs in gamely.

                        CRASH
                Don't tell anybody.

                        ANNIE
                Why not?  If you hit twenty homers 
                this year you'll be the all time 
                minor league champ!  The record's

                        CRASH
                247 home runs in the minors would 
                be a dubious honor, if ya think 
                about it.

                        ANNIE
                Oh no, I think it'd be great!  
                The Sporting News should know 
                about it.

                        CRASH
                No.  Please.

        ANNIE SWINGS AND MISSES another one.

                        ANNIE
                Damn.

                        CRASH
                Let me.

        CRASH STEPS IN TO HIT -- He takes his familiar stance.  The 
        pitch comes.  Crash drills it.

                        CRASH
                Your place or mine?

                        ANNIE
                Despite my love of weird 
                metaphysics and my rejection of 
                most Judao-Christian ethics, I 
                am, within the framework of a 
                baseball season, monogamous.

                        CRASH
                Fact is you're afraid of meeting 
                a guy like me 'cause It might be 
                real so you sabotage it with some 
                bullshit about commitment to a 
                young boy you
                can boss around--
                    (whack--a line drive)
                Great deal.  You get to write 
                self- indulgent little poems all 
                winter about how hard it is to 
                find a man even though you just 
                sent him packing-
                    (whack--a line drive)
                So what do you really want?  You 
                wanta be a tragic woman figure 
                wallowing in the bullshit of magic?
                    (whack--a line drive)
                Or do you want a guy?

        The pitching machine arm flaps.  Empty.  Silence.

                        ANNIE
                Oh Crash...you do make speeches...

        Crash puts the bat down, heads out the gate.  She follows.

        A LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM ARRIVES -- Twenty-five 10 year olds in 
        uniform with a couple PARENT COACHES.

                        LITTLE LEAGUER #1
                Hey, are you Crash Davis!  Can I 
                have a autograph?!

        CRASH STOPS TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS amidst 25 Little Leaguers.

                        CRASH
                    (as he signs autographs)
                Well, Annie, your place or mine?

                        ANNIE
                You got me all confused.

                        CRASH
                A batter has two tenths of a second 
                to decide whether to swing--

                        ANNIE
                I'm not a real batter.  I'm a 
                woman.

                        LITTLE LEAGUER
                Hey, when are you guys gonna start 
                winning?  You're terrible!

                        ANNIE
                It's a long season, boys.

        SUDDENLY A VOICE -- Nuke pulls up, gets out of his Porsche.

                        NUKE
                Hey!
                    (coming over)
                What're you guys doing here--
                stealing my girl?

                        CRASH
                Now, Nuke, would I do a thing 
                like that?
                    (to the little leaguers)
                Hey kids, this is the great Ebby 
                Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh.

                        LITTLE LEAGUERS
                It's Nuke, it's Nuke!  Can I have 
                your autograph?!  etc.

                        NUKE
                No prob, kids--

        And suddenly Nuke is swept up into a sea of Little Leaguers.  
        Crash smiles as he turns Annie and the kids over to Nuke.

                        CRASH
                See you guys at the ballpark.

        Crash leaves Annie with Nuke and 25 Little Leaguers.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  CRASH GETS INTO HIS CAR -- CONTINUOUS

        AN AGING SHELBY MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE -- The paint's fading, a 
        couple dings in the body, but loaded under the hood.

        CRASH PUNCHES HIS TAPE DECK -- Sam Cooke's "You Send Me".

        ANNIE BITES HER FIST watching Crash leave.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S BEDROOM -- DAY

        The sounds of lovemaking in a darkened room lit only by a 
        few candles.

                        ANNIE
                Yes, yes, yesnmmmmyes...
                    (beat)
                Oh my...
                    (several beats)
                Oh, that was just fabulous, Crash.

        Several beats of silence.

                        NUKE
                Crash?

        He flips on a lamp near the bed.

                        NUKE
                You mean Nuke.  You said "Crash".

                        ANNIE
                I didn't say "Crash".  I said 
                Nuke.

                        NUKE
                You said "Crash".

                        ANNIE
                Honey, don't ever listen to a 
                woman when she's making love.  
                They'll say the strangest things.

                        NUKE
                You said "Crash".

                        ANNIE
                Would you rather me be making 
                love to him, using your name, or 
                making love to you, using his 
                name?

        Nuke considers this fabulous logic.

                        NUKE
                Yeah maybe you're right.

                        ANNIE
                You see how nice things are when 
                we go slow?

        Nuke sighs; and lets his head sink in the pillow.

                        NUKE
                Mmm, hmmm.
                    (beat)
                You shoulda seen how many people 
                came to the airport to see me 
                off.  When I got drafted first it 
                was the happiest day of my Father's 
                life.
                    (beat)
                He likes baseball more than I 
                do...

                        ANNIE
                You can learn to like it.

                        NUKE
                I wanted to be the host of Dance 
                Fever, somethin' like that...

                        ANNIE
                Y'know if you make it to the Bigs 
                you could still become the host 
                of Dance Fever.  Baseball's a 
                good stepping stone for things 
                like that.

                        NUKE
                God, I never thought of that.

                        ANNIE
                    (sweetly)
                There is a lot of things you never 
                thought of, sweetie--now get some 
                rest for tonight's game.

        Nuke rests his head on Annie's shoulder.  His eyes are wide 
        open and full of nervous energy.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM BASEBALL PARK -- DUSK

        NUKE ON A PAY PHONE -- In his uniform.  Players warming up 
        in the background as the ground crew prepares the field.

                        NUKE
                Hello?  Dad?  This is Ebby.
                    (beat)
                Yeah, I know, I know--you got the 
                Durham papers yet?  Well I been a 
                little wild...
                    (defensively)
                These hitters down here are better 
                than the ones in high school ...
                    (trying to change 
                    subject)
                How's Mom?  Yeah?  Well I am trying 
                hard...  I am bending my 
                back...you're not coming down' 
                here to visit just yet, are you?
                    (beat)
                Can I talk to Mom?

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  HOME PLATE -- THE BALLPARK NIGHT

        THE MAYOR OF DURHAM AND THE CITY COUNCIL stand at a mike in 
        front of home plate.  300 LITTLE LEAGUERS in uniform are 
        lined up along the foul line, restrained by a rope.

                        VOICE OVER P.A.
                Ladies and gentlemen, the Mayor 
                of Durham, the honorable Mutt 
                Clark...

        THE MAYOR STEPS to the mike.  A classic Southern mayor.

                        MAYOR
                Welcome to the "Atlantic Seaboard 
                Tobacco Growers City Council Little 
                League Cash Drop Night"!

        As the honorable Mutt Clark drones on--we INTERCUT:

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE BULLPEN -- CONTINUOUS

        NUKE IS WARMING UP TO PITCH -- Crash and Larry watch him 
        closely, giving advice.  As Nuke delivers--.

                        CRASH
                Drive off your back leg.  You 
                pitch with your legs as much as 
                your arms-

                        NUKE
                I thought I was--

                        CRASH
                Don't think.

        A MANGY DOG EATS FROM A DISH provided by the players.  A 
        couple kids sit with the players.

        MILLIE SITS DOWN NEXT TO A PLAYER -- BOBBY, 25.

                        MILLIE
                Hi, I'm Millie.

                        BOBBY
                I'm married.

        JOSE FASHIONS A SMALL CROSS OUT OF CHICKEN BONES and rubs it 
        on his bat.  Bobby notices this.

                        BOBBY
                What's that?

                        JOSE
                Chicken bone cross take the curse 
                off this bat and bring me hits.

                        BOBBY
                You a God damn witch?

                        JOSE
                Yes.  A switch hitting witch.  
                Very common in Puerto Rico.

                        BOBBY
                Will that work for me?

                        JOSE
                If you believe in Voodoo.

                        BOBBY
                I'm 0 for 16!  Gimme some of that 
                shit.

        BOBBY HOLDS OUT HIS BAT for Jose to rub with the cross.

                        JOSE
                No, that is not belief.  That is 
                desperation.

                        BOBBY
                C'mon, God damn it, gimme some!

        ALL HEADS TURN,- A HELICOPTER APPEARS ABOVE THE FIELD

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK TO THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL -- Hair and hats blowing 
        from the chopper turbulence.

                        MAYOR
                ...five, four, three, two, 
                one...let 'er go!  One thousand 
                big ones!

        THE HELICOPTER DUMPS HUNDREDS OF DOLLAR BILLS above the field.

        The night sky fills with fluttering money THE ROPE IS DROPPED -- 
        THREE HUNDRED LITTLE LEAGUERS charge across the infield to 
        the falling money, scooping it up wildly, brawling, shoving, 
        clawing for the cash.

        As the money flutters down...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM BASEBALL STADIUM -- SHORT TIME LATER

        CLOSE ON THE ROSIN BAG on the mound.  A hand picks it up.

        Puffs of rosin "smoke".  Nuke is on the mound.

        NUKE NERVOUSLY WALKS AROUND THE MOUND -- Just before the 
        first batter.  He picks up the rosin bag.  Digs a slot for 
        his lead foot to land.  And CRASH APPROACHES, in full gear, 
        mask tipped up on his head.

                        CRASH
                Don't try to strike everybody 
                out.
                    (beat)
                Strikeouts are boring.  They're 
                Fascist.  Throw some ground balls, 
                it's more Democratic.

        CRASH TURNS AND HEADS TO THE PLATE and we hear the beginning 
        of Nuke's interior monologue.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                What's this guy know, eh?  If 
                he's so great why's he been in 
                the minors for ten years?  And if 
                he's so hot how come Annie wants 
                me instead of him.

        CRASH TURNS AROUND HALF WAY TO THE PLATE and returns to the 
        mound, as if he knows everything Nuke's thinking.

                        CRASH
                And listen, meat.  You don't know 
                shit.  If you want to get to the 
                Show, you'll listen to me.  She 
                only wants you 'cause she can 
                boss you around, got it?
                    (beat, complete tone 
                    change)
                Relax, have a ball out here.  
                This game's fun, okay?  Fun, God 
                damn it.
                    (beat)
                And don't squeeze the ball so 
                tight.  It's an egg.  Hold it 
                like an egg.

        CRASH SMILES -- And trots back to the plate.

        NUKE'S P.O.V.  The first batter steps in.  Crash gives the 
        sign for the pitch.

                        NUKE
                Fun?  What's he know about fun?
                    (beat)
                Why's he calling for a curveball?
                I wanta bring heat.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                Shake off the pitch.  Throw what 
                you wanta.

        NUKE SHAKES OFF THE PITCH -- Here comes Crash back out to 
        the mound before Nuke's thrown a pitch.

                        CRASH
                Why you shaking me off?

                        NUKE
                I wanta throw the heater to 
                announce my presence with 
                authority.

                        CRASH
                "To announce your fucking presence 
                with authority"?  This guy's a 
                first ball fastball hitter.  He's 
                looking for heat.

                        NUKE
                But he ain't seen my heat--

                        CRASH
                Awright, meat, give him your heat.

        CRASH RETURNS ONE MORE TIME to behind the plate.

        CRASH CROSSES THE PLATE, past the hitter.  He speaks to the 
        opposing leadoff batter.

                        CRASH
                Fastball.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                Why's he always call me "Meat"?  
                I'm the guy driving a Porsche.

        NUKE WINDS UP AND DELIVERS -- A fastball.

        THE LEADOFF HITTER TEES OFF on the pitch and sends a line 
        shot over the right field fence.

        CLOSE ON BILLBOARD -- "Hit Cow, Win Steak" sign, The home 
        run hits the cow on a target painted on the cow's rump.

        The COW'S MOUTH OPENS AND MOOS.

        THE BATTER STANDS AND WATCHES the home run, admiring the 
        shot, enjoying the moment.  CRASH GETS IN HIS FACE instantly--
        and gets very tough.

                        CRASH
                What're you lookin' at?!  You're 
                showing up my pitcher, bush--get 
                your ass in gear!

        THE BATTER TAKES OFF ON A HOME RUN TROT -- Slightly scared.

        AND CRASH HEADS TO THE MOUND where Nuke watches the Mooing 
        Cow and the circling batter with dismay.  Crash smiles.

                        CRASH
                Guy hit the shit outta that one, 
                eh?

                        NUKE
                Well, I held it like an egg.

                        CRASH
                An' he scrambled the son of a 
                bitch.
                    (beat)
                Having fun yet?

                        NUKE
                I'm having a blast.
                    (beat)
                God, that sucker teed off on it 
                just like he knew I was gonna 
                throw a fastball.

                        CRASH
                He did know.

                        NUKE
                How?

                        CRASH
                I told him.

        CRASH SMILES -- Drops the mask, returns behind the plate.

        NUKE SIGHS -- Takes a deep breath.

                        NUKE
                Don't think.  Just throw.  Don't 
                think.  Just throw.

        NUKE'S WINDUP AND DELIVERY -- A fastball.  A powerful, clean, 
        overwhelming fastball.  Strike one.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                God, that was beautiful.  What'd 
                I do?

        NUKE WINDS UP AND DELIVERS HIS NEXT PITCH -- A monster.  An 
        Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh fastball.  Twenty feet wide of 
        the plate.

        THE BULL MASCOT DIVES FOR COVER -- The ball hits the bat 
        rack.  Bats go flying.

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE IN HER BOX SEAT -- Jackson with the radar gun.

                        ANNIE
                Oh dear....easy honey...

                        JACKSON
                Ninety-five miles an hour...

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK TO NUKE -- Pacing the mound.  Looks In for the sign.

        NUKE PITCHES AGAIN -- The batter lines a single to left.

        NUKE'S P.O.V.  THE MANAGER AND PITCHING COACH TALKING

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                Christ, Skip and Larry are talking 
                about me.  Don't get anybody warm 
                in the pen yet.  I'm okay.  I'm 
                having fun.

        NUKE PITCHES AGAIN -- The batter lines a single to right.

        NUKE'S P.O.V. THE BULLPEN -- TWO PITCHERS start warming up.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                Don't yank me in the first, man.

        NUKE'S P.O.V. -- THE MANAGER comes out to the mound to talk.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                Aw, shit.  

        THE MANAGER AND CRASH MEET NUKE on the mound.

                        SKIP
                Relax.

                        NUKE
                Don't pull me, Skip.  I'll settle 
                down.  I'm okay!

                        SKIP
                    (fatherly)
                Relax, Nuke, Relax...
                    (to Crash)
                What kinda stuff's he got?

                        CRASH
                I don't know.  I haven't caught 
                anything yet.

                        SKIP
                What're you thinking about out 
                here, Nuke?

                        NUKE
                I'm trying not to think.

                        SKIP
                Good.  But just 'cause you ain't 
                s'posed to think don't mean you 
                ain't s'posed to use your head.

        SKIP SLAPS NUKE ON THE ASS in a gruff, reassuring way, and 
        returns to the dugout.  Leaving Nuke and Crash.

                        CRASH
                Have some fun, God damn it.

        CRASH SMILES -- And as he returns to the plate...

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE WATCHES IN THE STANDS with Jackson and the radar gun.

                        ANNIE
                Here we go again, Jackson, hold 
                on tight...

        Hit Professor Longhair rock and roll...and:

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        NUKE DELIVERS -- A batter grounds out weakly.

        DURHAM AT BAT -- DUGOUT -- Crash lets Jose rub his bat with 
        a chicken bone cross.  Then steps to the plate and--

        CRASH HITS A LONG HOME RUN -- And circles the bases.

        NUKE DELIVERS -- A line drive nearly undresses him.  Runners 
        circle the bases.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        INT.  LOCKER ROOM -- NIGHT

        THE SHOWERS -- Naked bodies in the steamy room.  No joking 
        around.  A team on losing streak.

        SUDDENLY SKIP STEPS INTO THE SHOWER in his uniform and angrily 
        throws an armload of bats into the shower.

                        SKIP
                Anybody not outta the shower in 
                ten seconds gonna get fined a 
                hundred bucks.  One, two...

        THE SHOWER EMPTIES in seconds.  Players grab a seat, and:

        WHITEY THE SPORTSWRITER ENTERS as he does every night.

                        SKIP
                No press for five minutes, Whitey.

                        WHITEY
                I'm doing a column on the Myth of 
                Sisyphus as manifest in a minor 
                league losing streak, Joe, and I 
                thought 

        SKIP PICKS UP A CHAIR AND FIRES IT AT WHITEY -- The chair 
        crashes into a locker.  Whitey hurries out.

                        SKIP
                If I ever need a brain transplant 
                I'll choose a sportswriter 'cause 
                that way I'd be getting a brain 
                that's never been used.

        A couple snickers from the players.  Skip whirls.

                        SKIP
                What're you laughing at?!

        Silence.

        The Durham Bulls sit and stand quietly.

                        SKIP
                You guys lollygag the ball around 
                the infield, ya lollygag you're-
                way to first, ya lollygag in an' 
                outta the dugout.  You know what 
                that makes ya
                    (beat)
                Lollygaggers.  What's our record, 
                Larry?

                        LARRY
                We're eight and sixteen.

                        SKIP
                Eight and sixteen?!  How'd we 
                ever win eight?
                    (beat)
                Jose, what's this sign?

        SKIP FLASHES THROUGH A SEQUENCE of signs.  Hand to face, 
        hand to belt, hand brushes letters, etc.

                        JOSE
                That's the steal.

                        SKIP
                Wrong.  That's the bunt.  This is 
                the steal.

        SKIP FLASHES QUICKLY ANOTHER SEQUENCE -- Hand to face, hands 
        to hands.  He speaks rapidly--a private language.

                        SKIP
                Face is "skin to skin".  Skin 
                starts with "S".  "S" stands for 
                steal if it follows the indicator 
                which is hand to eye 'cause the 
                word "indicator" starts with an 
                "I" so I figure "eye"--
                    (touches his eye)
                --would remind you of "I" for 
                indicator to indicate that what 
                follows is the sign.  I figure 
                wrong-- You're a buncha 
                lollygaggers.
                    (beat)
                This is a simple game.
                    (beat)
                ya throw the ball, ya hit the 
                ball, ya catch the ball.

        CLOSE ON FACES OF THE PLAYERS -- Sitting silently.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE BALLPARK SIMULTANEOUS -- NIGHT

        THE SIX PLAYERS' WIVES WAIT in a cluster.  Three of them 
        have SMALL CHILDREN.  The children are crying.

        The long-suffering women try to calm the kids.

                        BOBBY'S WIFE
                Bobby went hitless again.  He's 
                gonna be in a terrible mood...  
                terrible.  How'd Mickey do?

                        MICKEY'S WIFE
                He got two hits.

                        BOBBY'S WIFE
                Lucky you.

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK INSIDE THE LOCKER ROOM -- Skip is winding down.

                        SKIP
                We can't win at home--how we gonna 
                win on the road?  We got a twelve 
                day road trip starting tomorrow.
                    (beat)
                Bus leaves at six In the morning.

        SKIP HEADS BACK INSIDE his little office with Larry.

                                    CUT TO:

        INSIDE SKIP'S OFFICE -- He and Larry open a couple beers.

        THE DOOR OPENS -- BOBBY ENTERS wearing only a towel.

                        BOBBY
                You wanted to see me?

                        SKIP
                Yeah, Bobby, shut the door.  
                    (he does)
                This is the toughest job a manager 
                has...  
                    (beat)
                But the organization has decided 
                to make a change--

                        BOBBY
                Skip, I know I'm in a slump but I 
                hit the ball hard tonight, right 
                at 'em.  A couple flares drop in, 
                and I'm back in the groove!

        The nearly naked 25 year old man pleads helplessly--his career 
        is over.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE STADIUM -- NIGHT

        THE PLAYERS EXIT -- The Groupies wait in a cluster.  The 
        wives wait in another group.  Bobby's wife sees Bobby.

                        BOBBY'S WIFE
                    (to child)
                There's Daddy!  Wave to Daddy!

        --P.O.V. BOBBY COMING OUT OF THE CLUBHOUSE -- Another player 
        has his arm around Bobby, consoling him.  The wife knows.

                        BOBBY'S WIFE
                Oh God...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  STADIUM PARKING LOT -- DAWN

        THE DURHAM BULLS TEAM BUS is parked.  Luggage is loaded.  
        Sleepy players arriving, escorted by wives and girlfriends.

        ANNIE BIDS NUKE GOODBYE -- Off to the side.  She pulls 
        something from her handbag and hands it to Nuke.  A pair of 
        WOMEN'S RED PANTIES, with lace and frills.

                        ANNIE
                I want you to wear these on the 
                road trip when you pitch.

                        NUKE
                What?

                        ANNIE
                They'll fit snugly against your 
                balls in such a wonderful way 
                that you'll start seeing things 
                differently--plus they'll remind 
                you of me which is better than 
                thinking about those nasty hitters.

                        NUKE
                Jesus, Annie, I don't know--

                        ANNIE
                You've been pitching out of the 
                wrong side of your brain.  These'll 
                help move things to the right 
                side.

                        NUKE
                Big League pitchers don't use 
                these.

                        ANNIE
                They did when they were in the 
                Carolina League.

        NUKE STUFFS THE PANTIES in his pocket, bewildered.  A small 
        kiss from Annie, and he hurries to the bus.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  LOCKER ROOM -- DAWN

        PLAYERS THROW THEIR GEAR into their travel bags.

        A PAPER BEER CUP IS TAPED TO THE WALL -- With a sign:

        "Married men deposit wedding rings here for road trips".

        CLOSE ON THE CUP -- A ring is dropped in, and another, and...

        We begin hearing Annie's VOICE OVER:

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                A woman should never ask questions 
                about road trips.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE PARKING LOT -- DAWN

        THE TEAM BUS PULLS OUT -- Wives and girlfriends head back to 
        their apartments, leaving:

        ANNIE WALKING BACK ROME -- Several blocks to her house.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                Men don't realize that women always 
                know when they've been unfaithful.  
                    (beat)
                The fact is, upon exact moment of 
                penetration--the woman knows.

        AS ANNIE WALKS BACK through Durham...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  HIGHWAY THROUGH THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS EARLY MORNING

        THE TEAM BUS ROLLS through the North Carolina landscape.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                This sort of spiritual awareness 
                can be a mixed blessing, especially 
                if you're dating a ballplayer.  I 
                believe a woman oughta take care 
                of her man so thoroughly that he 
                can go on the road for a few days 
                without having the desire to search 
                out another pair of panties
                    (self-aware)
                That is probably, however, my 
                most ridiculous belief.
                    (sigh)
                I just hope the boys start winning 
                soon.  In some profound way I 
                fear that a last place team is a 
                reflection on its women...

        THE BUS ROLLS through North Carolina.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE BUS -- MORNING

        SKIP SITS IN THE FRONT of the bus, doing a crossword puzzle.

        LARRY READS A BOOK -- "How to Make a Million Dollars in Real 
        Estate with No Money Down".

        DEKE TURNS UP HIS TAPE DECK -- George Jones sings "He Stopped 
        Loving Her Today".

        MICKEY TURNS UP HIS TAPE DECK across the aisle -- Aretha 
        Franklin sings "R-E-S-P-E-C-T".

        DEKE TURNS HIS VOLUME LOUDER -- Mickey does likewise, and 
        soon we have DUELING TAPE DECKS.  C & W going head to head 
        with R & B.  A cacophony.

        SKIP LEAPS TO HIS FEET, WHIRLS and shouts.

                        SKIP
                I got one word to say to you--
                Shut up!

        Silence.

        And then from the back of the bus, some soft, gentle, but 
        slightly dissonant guitar chords.

        THE BACK OF THE BUS -- Nuke sits across the aisle from Crash, 
        who's re-reading Thomas Pynchon.  Nuke has a guitar and is 
        struggling with some chords to "Try a Little Tenderness".  
        He butchers the chords and the words.

                        NUKE
                    (singing softly)
                Oh she may get wooly, women do 
                get wooly, because of all the 
                stress...

                        CRASH
                    (in disgust)
                Gimme that.

        CRASH STRONGARMS THE GUITAR from Nuke.

                        CRASH
                I hate people who get the words 
                wrong.  It ain't "woolly" it's 
                "weary" and it nobody's got stress, 
                they're wearing a dress.
                    (beat)
                Listen.

        CRASH WHIPS THROUGH THE FIRST FEW BARS of the song.

                        CRASH
                    (sings softly)
                Oh she may be weary, Young girls 
                do get weary, Wearing the same 
                old dress...

        HE SHOVES THE GUITAR back at Nuke.

                        NUKE
                How come you don't like me?

                        CRASH
                'Cause you don't respect yourself, 
                which is your problem, but you 
                don't respect the game--and that's 
                my problem.
                    (beat)
                You got a gift.

                        NUKE
                What do I got?

                        CRASH
                A gift.  When you were a baby the 
                gods reached down and turned your 
                left arm into a thunderbolt.

        Nuke looks at his left arm rubs his shoulder curiously.

                        CRASH
                You got a Hall of Fame arm but 
                you're pissing it away.

                        NUKE
                I ain't pissing nothing away--I 
                got a Porsche already.  A 944 
                with A.C. and a quadraphonic 
                Blaupunkt.

                        CRASH
                You don't need a quadraphonic 
                Blaupunkt--you need a curve ball.
                    (beat)
                In the Show, everybody can hit 
                the fastball.

                        NUKE
                You been in the Majors?

                        CRASH
                Yep.

        Tony and Deke overhear this and turn around.  And Crash gets 
        wistful, lyrical, and even slightly hopeful.

                        CRASH
                I was in the Show for 21 days, 
                once.
                    (beat)
                It was the greatest 21 days of my 
                life.  You never touch your luggage 
                in the show--somebody else handles 
                your bags.  It's great.
                    (beat)
                The ballparks are like cathedrals, 
                the hotels all have room service, 
                the women have long legs and brains--
                it's a smorgasbord.

                        DEKE
                The women are hot, eh?

                        CRASH
                Yeah--and so are the pitchers. 
                They throw ungodly breaking stuff 
                in the Show--exploding sliders.

        Nuke, Tony, and Deke murmur in awe at Crash's pronouncement.

                        CRASH
                You could be one of those guys--
                but you don't give a fuck, Meat.

                        NUKE
                God damn it I'm sick of you calling 
                me "Meat"!  You wanta step outside!

        CRASH HOPS TO HIS FEET as the bus barrels along, grabbing 
        Nuke by the collar.

                        CRASH
                Yeah, let's go.

        Nuke quickly has second thoughts--Crash can be terrifying.

                        NUKE
                No.  Wait a minute.  Calm down, 
                Crash...

        Nuke sits back down.  Calms.  Reaches for a baseball sitting 
        nearby.  He hands the ball to Crash.

                        NUKE
                Teach me how to throw a breaking 
                ball.

        Crash takes the ball gently and speaks softly:

                        CRASH
                As I was saying ya hold it like 
                an egg.

        As the bus rolls through the country:

        A LATE 60'S OLDS CONVERTIBLE ROARS PAST -- Max Patkin at the 
        wheel.  He waves at the team bus and honks.  

        The opening bars on the National Anthem--"Oh Say Can You 
        See"

        And Max roars off through the rolling green-landscape...

        Hit Hank Williams music to play over:

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  WINSTON-SALEM BASEBALL STADIUM -- DAY

        MAX PATKIN COACHES THIRD in his comic routine, now, for the 
        Winston-Salem team, as Durham is in the field.

        A WINSTON-SALEM BATTER lines a double off the wall.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  DURHAM RADIO STATION -- DAY

        TEDDY THE ANNOUNCER re-creates the game for broadcast with a 
        several second delay.

        HIS ASSISTANT (P.A.  ANNOUNCER FROM THE BALLPARK) has a phone 
        to her ear, and writes down each play on a piece of paper, 
        holding it up for Teddy who enhances shamelessly in his ON 
        THE AIR "play by play".

        CLOSE ON PAPER -- His assistant writes "DOUBLE TO LEFT".

        TEDDY HITS A TINY MALLET against a jar.  Thunk.  The sound 
        of ball hitting bat.  He punches one of several tape cassettes 
        cued up.  A crowd roars.  An array of special effects is at 
        his fingertips.

                        TEDDY (ON THE AIR)
                ...double off the wall by Higgins, 
                and once again the Durham pitchers 
                are unable to get the first out 
                of the Inning...

        HIS.  ASSISTANT WRITES ANOTHER NOTE -- "ERROR MCFEE"

        Thunk -- The mallet again.

                        TEDDY (ON THE AIR)
                Line drive to center--a diving 
                stab by McFee--oohhhh!  Ball gets 
                by his glove, another run in and 
                the crowd loves it--

        PUNCHES A CASSETTE -- A crowd roars.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  HIGHWAY THROUGH SMOKY MOUNTAINS -- NIGHT 

        The bus rolls through a small town.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  CHEAP MOTEL IN GREENSBORO -- DAWN

        THE TEAM BUS PULLS IN -- Players stagger off, half asleep.

                        TEDDY (ON THE AIR) O.S.
                Bulls will attempt to end a six 
                game losing streak against the 
                Greensboro Astros with Nuke LaLoosh 
                on the hill...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  GREENSBORO BALLPARK LOCKER ROOM -- DAY

        NUKE DRESSES FOR THE GAME -- He pulls the RED PANTIES out of 
        his bag.  Looks around the clubhouse.  Nobody sees them.  
        He's embarrassed anyway--and stuffs them back.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  GREENSBORO BALLPARK DAY

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS -- The batter swings, and:

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  RADIO STATION -- DAY

        TEDDY AND HIS ASSISTANT -- A note is held up, "Single"--

        THUNK -- The mallet strikes.

                        TEDDY ON THE AIR
                Base hit centerfield off LaLoosh...

        HIS ASSISTANT (ON THE PHONE) SCRAWLS another quick note.

        THUNK THUNK THUNK -- A rapid sequence of the mallet striking 
        the percussive box, and:

                        TEDDY ON THE AIR
                That closes the book on LaLoosh 
                today, 5 earned runs, 5 hits, 5 
                strikeouts, 5 walks, 5 wild 
                pitches...

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  GREENSBORO BALLPARK -- DAY

        SKIP REMOVES NUKE FROM THE GAME and he heads for the showers.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S KITCHEN -- DAY

        ANNIE SITS WITH MILLIE at the kitchen table, listening to 
        the radio.  Annie sighs.  Millie consoles her.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  GREENSBORO LOCKER ROOM -- DAY

        NUKE IN THE SHOWERS ALONE -- Letting the water run over him.

        The voice of Teddy an the air, editorializing shamelessly.

                        TEDDY (ON THE AIR)
                It's time to tell it like it is, 
                sports fans--and this is the most 
                wretched road trip I've seen in 
                20 years, and possibly the worst 
                Durham team in half a century.
                    (beat)
                Where are the great Bull players 
                of yesteryear?  Where are the 
                Footsie Blakes, the Digger O'Dells, 
                the Gus Palowitzes?

        TEDDY'S VOICE PLAYS OVER road trip images:

        NUKE STARTS TO PUT ON THE RED PANTIES -- Changes his mind, 
        and hides them again.

        THE TEAM BUS rolling across North Carolina.

        THE TEAM BUS at a drive through hamburger stand somewhere in 
        the Smoky Mountains.  Sack after sack of fast food is passed 
        through the window to Skip.

        THE TEAM BUS PULLS INTO YET ANOTHER HOTEL and this time, a 
        Bus with a sign--"Holiday on Ice" pulls in next to them.

                        TEDDY ON THE AIR
                Is the modern athlete a pale 
                imitation of the great old 
                warriors?  Only Crash Davis stands 
                out this year, begging the 
                question, "What are these boys 
                thinking about, 'cause it sure 
                ain't baseball".

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT/INT.  THE BUS IN FRONT OF THE KINGSTON HOTEL -- NIGHT

        As the players rise in the bus, Deke is trying to work up 
        excitement about the "Holiday on Ice" bus from which twenty 
        great looking women ice skaters are getting off.

        P.O.V.  HOLIDAY ON ICE GIRLS getting off the bus.

                        TONY
                Ice skaters.  God.  Look't em.  
                that's what we need, y'know--one 
                night with some skaters and we 
                can get back on track...

                        DEKE
                We need a night off just to stop 
                our losing streak.  We need a 
                rainout.

                        CRASH
                I can get us a rainout.

                        MICKEY
                It's 90 degrees, there ain't been 
                a cloud in the sky in weeks.

                        CRASH
                Hundred bucks says I can get us a 
                rainout tomorrow.

                        TONY
                You're on.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  KINGSTON BASEBALL STADIUM -- NIGHT

        A CAB PULLS UP in the dark.  Late at night.  The cab leaves, 
        and the four men climb over the fence.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  INSIDE THE KINGSTON BALLPARK -- NIGHT

        CRASH PULLS THE LID OFF A BOX -- Several valve handles.

        Crash turns several handles with an iron bar, and...

        THE SPRINKLER SYSTEM COMES TO LIFE -- And suddenly the field 
        is covered with the clicking of rain-bird sprinklers, throwing 
        long slow arcs of water across the entire field.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT. THE SCOREBOARD OF THE BALLPARK -- MINUTES LATER -- 
        NIGHT

        THE FOUR PLAYERS sit on the scoreboard, watching the 
        sprinklers flood the field.  A six-pack is passed around.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE BALLPARK -- EARLY THE NEXT MORNING

        A QUAGMIRE ON THE INFIELD -- The Kingston GENERAL MANAGER 
        stands in the muck with his ground crew.  Wheelbarrows, 
        shovels, sand is piled around.  It's hopeless.

                        KINSTON G.M.
                God damn it!  Vandals.  Damn kids!

                        GROUND CREW MEMBER
                We can't get it ready by game 
                time, boss.

        The General Manager studies the field.  Hopeless.

        He looks up at the sky.  Cloudless, sunny.

                        KINSTON G.M.
                    (to his assistant)
                Call the radio and the paper.
                    (with disgust)
                The game's been rained out.

        Organ music -- "The Blue Danube Waltz".

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE KINGSTON CIVIC ARENA -- DAY

        "HOLIDAY ON ICE" in its matinee performance.  The beautiful, 
        leggy women skating to the "Blue Danube Waltz".

        TEN OF THE DURHAM BULLS sit in the front row.  Nuke, Deke, 
        Tommy, others, but not Crash.  'Tony waves to a skater.

        THE SKATER WAVES BACK as she swirls past the Bulls.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE KINGSTON HOTEL ROOM -- NIGHT

        DEKE ICES THE CHAMPAGNE -- In the b.g. Tommy is blow drying 
        his hair.  Mickey puts the finishing touches on his outfit.  
        Several other players get ready to party.

                        DEKE
                Par--ty!  I blew a whole day's 
                meal money for this champagne seven 
                dollars, man, it better be good.

                        MICKEY
                For seven bucks it better be some 
                serious shit.

                        TOMMY
                What time is it, eh?  When are 
                they coming?

        The guys lounge around nervously, trying to be casual.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  KINGSTON HOTEL COFFEE SHOP -- NIGHT

        CLOSE ON A STEAK DINNER set down in front of Crash.

        Nuke hands Crash a hundred dollar bill.

                        NUKE
                This is from Tony for the rainout.
                C'mon, man, let's go to the party.

                        CRASH
                Naw...

                        NUKE
                "Naw"?  There's ice skaters coming!  
                You ever made love to an ice 
                skater?

                        CRASH
                By the dozen.  Holiday on Ice, 
                Ice Capades, Ice Follies--
                    (beat)
                I'm through with one night stands.

                        NUKE
                You're through with one night 
                stands?!  What do you want?

                        CRASH
                I just wanta play everyday despite 
                small nagging injuries--and go 
                home to a woman who appreciates 
                how full of crap I truly am.

        Nuke just stares at him.

                        NUKE
                You're weird, man--I want a ice 
                skater real bad.

                        CRASH
                Go for it.

                        NUKE
                If I get laid, you won't tell 
                Annie?

                        CRASH
                I won't have to.

        NUKE LOOKS AT HIM STRANGELY -- And hurries to the party.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE PARTY ROOM -- NIGHT

        THE GUYS ARE GROOMING TO EXCESS -- Still blow drying and 
        preening for each other.  

        A knock at the door.

        THEY QUICKLY GET "CASUAL" and lounge seductively.

                        DEKE
                It's them, it's them!  Be casual.
                    (calling out)
                Come in!

        THE DOOR OPENS -- It's Nuke.

                        NUKE
                Hey, guys, pa--rty!

                        TOMMY
                Shut up and be cool, man.  Like 
                Mickey there...

        MICKEY "LOUNGES" WITH A DRINK and a cigaret.

                        MICKEY
                You wanta make it to the Show, 
                Rock, you gotta learn how to 
                "lounge".

        NUKE LEANS ON THE BAR with an elbow, striking his version of 
        a "lounging" pose.

                        NUKE
                How's this?

                        MICKEY
                You got it.

        A knock at the door.

                        TOMMY
                Entre.

        EIGHT ICE SKATERS STAND IN THE DOORWAY -- Ready to...

                        ICE SKATER #1
                Pa--rty!

        POP THE CORK ON THE SEVEN DOLLAR CHAMPAGNE -- And party...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

        THE WIVES AND SOME GIRLFRIENDS WATCH "DYNASTY" on Annie's 
        television.  Annie hosts, filling their drink glasses, serving 
        popcorn, and largely staying in the background.

                        MICKEY'S WIFE
                Do you think your husband plays 
                around on the road trips?

                        DEKE'S WIFE
                No way.  Well...God...do we have 
                to talk about that?

                        MICKEY'S WIFE
                I guess not...it's just that once 
                I asked Mickey if he was faithful 
                to me on the road trips and he 
                said "in his heart he was 
                faithful".
                    (beat)
                What the hell does that mean?

                        DEKE'S WIFE
                It means he's unfaithful--but 
                only a man would put it in those 
                words.

        A BABY CRIES -- Tommy's Wife lifts a baby from the couch, 
        begins rocking It.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE PLAYERS' HOTEL -- NIGHT

        Players are dancing, drinking, hustling the ice skaters, the 
        music is up, the party swinging, when:

        SKIP ENTERS -- He's steaming and slightly drunk.  Larry is 
        with him.

                        SKIP
                I just got one word to say to 
                everybody--shut up!

        THE PLAYERS AND ICE SKATERS freeze in mid-party.

                        SKIP (CONT'D)
                Nuke-- get everybody in here.  
                Hundred dollar fine anybody's not 
                here in five.

        NUKE HURRIES OUT THE DOOR

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  HOTEL HALLWAY -- CONTINUOUS

        NUKE POUNDS ON DOORS in a hurry.

        --P.O.V. IN FIRST DOOR -- Jimmy is on his knees at the bed, 
        bare chested, praying with an open Bible.

                        NUKE
                Get your holy ass in Room 401.

        He hustles to the next door, and pounds madly.

        --P.O.V. IN SECOND DOOR -- TWO NAKED WOMEN with Jose and 
        Tony, nearly nude.

                        NUKE
                Hundred dollar fine if you're not 
                in #401 in five.

                        JOSE
                Hundred dollars?!

        JOSE AND TONY LOOK AT THE TWO WOMEN -- It's a lot of money 
        in Class AAA ball.

                        TONY
                Christ.  Sorry ladies...

        JOSE AND TONY HURRY OUT in their shorts.

                        NAKED LADY
                Go to hell!  You're in last place 
                anyway!

        AND NUKE HURRIES DOWN THE HALL -- Pounding on each door.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  COFFEE SHOP -- CONTINUOUS

        CRASH EATING ALONE -- Peacefully.  Nuke arrives excitedly.

                        NUKE
                Crash!  Skip wants everybody in 
                #401 for a team meeting.  Hundred 
                buck fine if ya don't show!

        CRASH PULLS OUT THE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL and hands it to him.

                        CRASH
                Party without me.

                        NUKE
                God--what a Big League move.

        NUKE TAKES THE MONEY and hurries back.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE PARTY ROOM CONTINUOUS

        24 PLAYERS AND 8 ICE SKATERS -- Some of the players Nuke 
        rounded up are partially dressed.  Skip spots the women.

                        SKIP
                Who are you?

                        ICE SKATER #1
                We're ice skaters.  Can we go 
                now?

                        SKIP
                No.  I want you to hear my 
                philosophy.  It'll do you some 
                good
                    (beat)
                Here It is.  This is a simple 
                game.  You throw the ball, you 
                hit the ball, you catch the ball.  
                You got that?!

                        ICE SKATER #1
                    (frightened)
                Yes.

                        SKIP
                Are you lovely creatures aware 
                that you are about to compromise 
                yourselves with a buncha bums who 
                are--
                    (to Larry)
                --what are we?

                        LARRY
                Eight and twenty-four.

                        SKIP
                Eight and twenty-four!  How'd we 
                ever win 8 games?

                        LARRY
                It's a miracle.

                        SKIP
                Look, guys--I'm a man, I got needs 
                too.  I understand this party--
                but...
                    (beat)
                sex is the one thing you can get 
                further behind in and catch up 
                faster than anything I know.
                    (beat)
                There's a baseball lesson in there 
                somewhere.
                    (looking around)
                Where's Crash?

        NUKE STEPS FORWARD -- Hands Skip the hundred dollar bill..

                        NUKE
                He can't make it.  Here's his 
                fine.

                        SKIP
                Aw Christ, he don't have to come.  
                He's hitting .350.

                        TOMMY
                Don't you think that's a double 
                standard--we're here and he ain't?

                        SKIP
                I believe in a double standard 
                for guys hitting .350.
                    (beat)
                Look, men--you got a choice.  You 
                wanta be roasting your nuts off 
                for Midas Muffler welding exhaust 
                pipes up the assholes of 
                Cadillacs...or--
                    (beat)
                You wanta be sitting in the Caddy 
                while some other guy's crawling 
                around in a monkey suit with a 
                blow torch?
                    (beat)
                There's only two places you can 
                be in life--in the Caddy or under 
                it.
                    (nearly pleading)
                These are the best years of your 
                lives.  These are the glamor days.
                    (beat)
                It don't got any better than this.
                    (threatening, tough)
                But...if this club don't start 
                winning soon, there's gonna be 
                changes made!

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE SIMULTANEOUS -- NIGHT

        CLOSE ON TELEVISION -- "DYNASTY" drones on.

                        DEKE'S WIFE
                    (wistfully)
                Deke was a great player in high 
                school.  I thought held go right 
                to the Major Leagues--I was gonna 
                be a Big League wife.  
                    (beat)
                Pass the Pampers, please.

                        CRASH
                Helluva guy--

        Silence.

        Crash flips off the T.V.  with the remote.

                        NUKE
                Can I ask you something?

                        CRASH
                What?

                        NUKE
                What would you think of a pitcher 
                who wore women's panties?

                        CRASH
                If he had a good breaking ball, 
                I'd respect the shit outta him.

        Crash turns off the light.

        CLOSE ON NUKE -- A bit of light spill on his face.  Eyes 
        open.  A long ways from sleep.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  A CAROLINA LEAGUE BALLPARK -- NIGHT

        CLOSE ON NUKE'S FACE -- He takes his cap off, wipes his brow.

        He's pitching.  Everything in SLO-MO.

        FANS IN THE BALLPARK LAUGH at Nuke, mocking his.

        EXTREME CLOSE UP ON NUKE'S EYES -- Frightened.

        SLOW FULLBACK ON NUKE -- HE'S STARK NAKED save for his cap 
        and glove.  Everyone else is clothed.

        NUKE WINDS AND PITCHES in the nude.  SLO-MO...and as the 
        batter cranks up to take a vicious swing--

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  TEAM BUS -- DAWN

        CLOSE ON NUKE'S FACE -- He awakes with a start.

                        NUKE
                No!

        CRASH LEANS OVER and shakes him.

                        CRASH
                Wake up, it's okay...you're 
                dreaming...

        CRASH HELPS NUKE back to consciousness.  Nuke shakes his 
        head, trying to wake up.  Crash Is almost tender.

                        NUKE
                I was playing naked.

                        CRASH
                I know, I know--I have that dream 
                all the time.  We're almost home.  

        The Bus continues across the Carolina landscape.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE STADIUM PARKING LOT -- DAWN

        The team bus pulls into a deserted parking lot.  A few of 
        the players' cars are parked.  Some of the wives and 
        girlfriends.  And Annie.

        THE PLAYERS SHUFFLE OFF the bus.  Tired and beat.  

        CLOSE ON NUKE -- He looks worse than the rest.  He sees Annie 
        and waves.  She's waiting next to her old Volvo.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  STREETS OF DURHAM MOMENTS LATER

        ANNIE'S VOLVO PULLS OUT -- She drives.

        INT.  THE VOLVO -- DAY

        Annie is up--Nuke is down.

                        NUKE
                God I'm tired.  What a trip I was 
                lousy.  I was worse than lousy.  
                Everytime I pitched--it was like 
                throwing gasoline on a fire.  
                Kaboom.  I--

                        ANNIE
                What is this "I, I, I" stuff?  
                You only talk about yourself?  
                Aren't you glad to see me?  Don't 
                I look nice?

                        NUKE
                Sorry.  You look great.  I'm 
                totally exhausted.

                        ANNIE
                Good.  Total exhaustion can be 
                spiritually fabulous.
                    (beat)
                Let's play catch.

                        NUKE
                Catch?

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  ANNIE'S BACKYARD -- MORNING

        Flowers and birdfeeders everywhere.  And, 60 feet away in 
        complete, oversized catcher's gear--

        JACKSON IN A CATCHER'S CROUCH -- Nuke stares, in his street 
        clothes, but now with a glove and ball.

                        JACKSON
                Hum, babe, hum, babe, fire it in 
                here, hum babe--

                        ANNIE
                That's not necessary, Jackson---
                    (beat)
                Okay, Nuke, now lean in for the 
                sign.

        He does.  Jackson flashes some ridiculous signs.

                        NUKE
                This in ridiculous.  I'm a pro.

                        ANNIE
                Just do what I say.  Now, which 
                nostril are you breathing through?

                        NUKE
                Which nostril am I breathing 
                through?

        Annie puts her hand under his nose.

                        ANNIE
                The right nostril.  Good.

                        NUKE
                My right nostril?

                        ANNIE
                There are two important psychic 
                conduits called the "pingala" and 
                the "ida".  The pingala starts 
                with the left testicle (or left 
                ovary of the female) and ends at 
                the right nostril.

        She touches his left nut through his pants in a matter of 
        fact manner.  He stares back.

                        ANNIE
                The ida originates at the right 
                testicle(or ovary) and terminates 
                at the left nostril.

                        NUKE
                I'm really beat.  I need some 
                serious "z's"--

                        ANNIE
                The pingala is the nostril used 
                for throwing a baseball.
                    (beat)
                And if you discover before a game 
                you're in the wrong nostril, it's 
                easy to switch.

                        NUKE
                Switch nostrils?

                        ANNIE
                Right.  Okay, fire a couple in 
                there.

        NUKE TOSSES AN EASY PITCH to Jackson.  Annie's incensed.

                        ANNIE
                You're patronizing me!  I will 
                not be patronized-- 

                        NUKE
                If I throw too hard I'll hurt the 
                kid.

                        ANNIE
                He's handled a lotta pitchers 
                whose records were better than 
                one and six.

        Nuke gets a little steamed.  He feels his nostril, winds, 
        and fires a medium speed fastball to Jackson.

                        NUKE
                    (a bit angry)
                How was that?

                        ANNIE
                A little better.

                        NUKE
                Gimme the God damn ball!

        NUKE WINDS UP and fires a pitch to Jackson.  Alas--

        THE BALL SAILS THROUGH A WINDOW -- Crashing glass.

                        NUKE
                    (cynically)
                How ya like that?

                        ANNIE
                Much better.  Your delivery was 
                fully integrated because you 
                weren't thinking about it 'cause 
                you were pissed off at me.
                    (beat)
                This is progress.

        Nuke smiles and gives in.  And reaches for her.

                        NUKE
                I give up.  Let's go inside, make 
                love, and fall asleep till it's 
                time to go to the ballpark.

        She takes his hand and leads him up to the back porch.

                        ANNIE
                Or...
                    (taking his hand)
                ...We could just take that sexual 
                energy and save it for a few hours 
                and re-channel it into your 
                pitching tonight.
                    (shouting)
                C'mon, Jackson, I've got some 
                lemonade!

        Jackson runs over in full gear to join them.

        SITTING ON THE BACK PORCH -- A pitcher of lemonade.

                        NUKE
                I can't keep up with you.  First 
                you say sex is gonna make me a 
                better pitcher--now no sex is 
                gonna do it?!

                        ANNIE
                It's all the same thing.

        SUDDENLY NUKE'S FACE IS FILLED WITH ALARM -- He points.

                        NUKE
                What's that?!

        --P.O.V. A CARDBOARD BOX ON A TABLE NEARBY -- Scrawled in 
        larged letters on the side are the words "MAX PATKIN".

                        ANNIE
                    (matter of factly)
                That's Max.  His ashes anyway.  
                He left no kin...

        Nuke stares, unsettled.

                        NUKE
                God...I think I'm gonna be sick--

                        ANNIE
                Oh don't be silly.  Death is 
                nothing to be scared of.  It's 
                just another way of living.  It's 
                just a fresh start--kinda like 
                spring training.

        Nuke thinks about this carefully.  Looks at the ashes, at 
        Annie, and at Jackson, in full gear, mask on his head.

                        NUKE
                Death is like spring training?

                        ANNIE
                Yes.  And so is birth.  Now look 
                me in the eyes, Nuke--
                    (sweetly accusing him)
                You haven't been wearing my 
                panties, have you?

        CLOSE ON NUKE -- Utterly bewildered.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  BULLS LOCKER ROOM -- NIGHT

        NUKE PULLS HIS JOCKSTRAP ON over the red panties.

        Crash notices the panties, and snaps the waistband.

                        CRASH
                Hot.  Very hot...

        Nuke looks around nervously, continues dressing quickly.

                        NUKE
                Annie says her panties will keep 
                one side of my brain occupied 
                while I'm on the mound, thus 
                keeping my brain slightly off 
                center, which is where it should 
                be for artists and pitchers.  She 
                also said I should throw whatever 
                pitches you call for.

                        CRASH
                Annie's a smart lady.

        Suddenly Deke spots Nuke's panties.

                        DEKE
                Hey, fruit alert!  Check out the 
                Rook.

        SEVERAL PLAYERS GATHER AROUND -- Wolf whistles aimed at Nuke 
        as the players are dressing into their uniforms.

                        NUKE
                Annie says there's no such thing 
                as straight and gay.  We're all 
                sexual creatures to start with, 
                and we get formed into certain 
                roles.

                        TOMMY
                You believe that?

                        NUKE
                When I'm one and six I'll believe 
                anything.
                    (as they dress)
                Annie also says that God is a 
                woman.  You believe that, Crash, 
                you think God's a lady?

                        CRASH
                God's definitely a woman--but 
                she's no lady.

                        TOMMY
                This is all Commie bullshit.
                    (beat)
                God has a dick, man.

                        TONY
                God damn it, Jimmy, you're an 
                expert--does God have a dick or a 
                pussy?

        JIMMY TURNS FROM HIS CUBICLE to answer the theological 
        question.  All heads wait for the answer.

                        JIMMY
                The Lord God is tri-une--Father, 
                Son, and Holy Ghost.

                        TOMMY
                Father and Son.  Awright!

        The guys slap fives, convinced God is a man.

                        MICKEY,
                    (baiting them)
                Yeah, but He is a brother.

                        TOMMY
                Bullshit!  God ain't no brother!

        Deke turns to Crash, full of despair.

                        DEKE
                If there is a God, why am I hitting 
                .200?

        SUDDENLY SKIP AND LARRY APPEAR to restore order.

                        SKIP
                Shut up!  This is a damn noisy 
                clubhouse for a team that's lost 
                15 straight.

        Silence.

        Skip takes off his cap--instantly sincere.

                        SKIP
                Patkin was a tribute to baseball...

                        LARRY
                ...and one helluva guy.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM BALLPARK -- DUSK

        A BLACK GOSPEL GROUP at a mike at home plate, singing:

                        GOSPEL SINGER (SINGING)
                I come to the garden alone, When 
                the dew is still on the roses, 
                And the voice I hear, whispering 
                in my ear,.  The Son of God 
                discloses--

        ANNIE SPRINKLES MAX'S ASHES on the pitcher's mound, as:

        JACKSON SITS IN THE DUGOUT FILLING ROSIN BAGS with the extra 
        ashes from a box.

        EXTREME CLOSE UP -- A ROSIN BAG MARKED "MAX"

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXTREME CLOSE UP -- "MAX" ROSIN BAG on the mound.

        EXT.  DURHAM BALLPARK -- GAME IN PROGRESS -- NIGHT

        NUKE ON THE MOUND -- PICKS UP the rosin bag, and paces.  A 
        small crowd.  A batter steps in to hit.  Nuke looks.  in for 
        the sign.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                God, these panties feel great.  
                That don't make me queer, right?  
                Right.  Whoo.
                    (reads the sign)
                Breaking ball.

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS -- Breaking ball for a strike.

                        NUKE
                I ain't queer.  I know I ain't...
                    (reads the sign)
                Fastball.

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS -- Fastball for a strike.

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE'S BOX SEAT IN THE STANDS -- She charts pitches.

                        JACKSON
                Ninety-three miles an hour.

                        ANNIE
                He looks wonderful, Jackson...

                                    CUT TO:

        NUKE ON THE MOUND -- He looks in for the sign.

                        NUKE
                Fastball again?  Why's he want 
                the heat--I just threw heat.  
                Don't think, Meat--give 'em the 
                gas.

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS -- An eye-popping fastball.  The 
        batter swings and misses.  Strike three.

                                    CUT TO:

        IN THE DUGOUT -- SKIP AND LARRY LOOK AT EACH other warily.

                        SKIP
                Jesus--what's got into Nuke?

                        LARRY
                I heard he's wearing women's 
                underwear--and he's breathing 
                through his pingala nostril.

                        SKIP
                    (spitting tobacco)
                I'm getting too old for this game.

        P.O.V.  NUKES FASTBALL SHATTERS A BAT -- THE HITTER

        hits a weak roller to third for the second out.

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK TO THE MOUND -- Nuke is pumped up.  Paces.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                God, Annie's got a great ass....  
                How come her panties fit me?  
                That's one of the mysteries of 
                sex I guess...

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS A VICIOUS CURVEBALL -- A check swing 
        dribbler to first for the third out.  And the players run 
        into the dugout.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE DUGOUT

        NUKE PUTS ON HIS WARM UP JACKET and sits down next to Crash, 
        who's taking off his gear, readying to hit.

                        NUKE
                I was great, eh?

                        CRASH
                Your fastball was up and your 
                curveball was hanging--in the 
                Show they woulda ripped you.

                        NUKE
                Can't you let me enjoy the moment?

                        CRASH
                The moment's over.
                    (rising to get a bat)
                If this guy starts me off with a 
                breaking ball, I'm going downtown--

        CRASH SMILES in his disarming way, and grabs a bat.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE ON DECK CIRCLE

        Crash kneels, rubbing the bat handle with pine tar.  He 
        studies the pitcher working the first two hitters.

        CRASH RISES and heads to the plate.

        CRASH STEPS INTO THE BOX -- Digs in.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                I dare you to throw me the hammer--
                you ain't that stupid...

        CRASH'S P.O.V. IN SLOW-MOTION -- The pitcher winds and 
        delivers.  And as the ball leaves the pitcher's hand--

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                Breaking ball--you fool!

        CRASH UNLOADS ON THE PITCH -- Crushing a home run deep over 
        the left field wall.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        INT.  THE PRESS BOX

        TEDDY THE RADIO ANNOUNCER is wary about these events.

                        TEDDY THE RADIO MAN
                Two-nothing Bulls in the second--
                first time the Bulls have been 
                ahead in weeks, eh Whitey--
                    (beat)
                Let's see if the real Nuke LaLoosh 
                will show up--

                                    CUT TO:

        NUKE FIRES THREE QUICK PITCHES for another strike out.  Curve 
        ball, fast ball, curve ball.  Overpowering.

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE AND JACKSON in her box seat.

                        ANNIE
                Oh my...

                                    CUT TO:

        SKIP AND LARRY IN THE DUGOUT -- Skip looks at Larry as if to 
        say "What's happening?"  Larry just shrugs.

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK TO THE FIELD -- Nuke's next pitch.

        THE NEXT BATTER POPS UP -- Crash circles into foul ground to 
        make the catch, whipping the ball around the infield.

        AND CRASH GOES TO THE MOUND for a visit.

                        NUKE
                Hey, I'm cruisin', man--what're 
                you doing out here?!

                        CRASH
                I want you to throw this one at 
                the bat rack.

                        NUKE
                Why?!  I'm finally throwin' the 
                damn thing where I want to.

                        CRASH
                It'll keep the fear of God in the 
                hitters.  Trust me.

                        NUKE
                You're the boss.

        CRASH RETURNS TO THE PLATE -- Flashes a sign.

                                    CUT TO:

        THE PRESS BOX Teddy's getting worked up.

                        TEDDY THE RADIO MAN
                --a staggering start by LaLoosh--
                he's thrown 5 cuts on 9 pitches, 
                all of them strikes--he's got pin 
                point control here tonight, Bull 
                fans...here's the pitch--

                                    CUT TO:

        NUKE'S NEXT DELIVERY -- A wild ass rocket thirty feet off 
        line.  The BULL MASCOT DIVES for cover.

        THE BATTER STEPS OUT OF THE BOX nervously, muttering.

                        BATTER
                This guy's crazy.

                        CRASH
                Yep.  Next one might be at your 
                head.  Hell if I know where the 
                damn thing's going...

        CLOSE ON NUKE -- Smiles.  Winds.  Delivers.  A change up.

        THE BATTER SWINGS TERRIBLY OFF STRIDE -- Strike three.  Crash 
        whips the ball around the infield.

                                    CUT TO:

        SCOREBOARD: DURHAM 11, KINGSTON 0--TOP OF THE NINTH

                        TEDDY THE RADIO MAN
                --top of the ninth, two outs, one 
                out away from a stunning two hit 
                shutout for LaLoosh...

                                    CUT TO:

        NUKE ON THE MOUND -- Bearing down.

                        NUKE (VOICE OVER)
                Bear down, Meat, don't let up.  
                You own these guys.  Dad'll love 
                a shutout ...

        P.O.V.  CRASH FLASHES THE SIGN -- Nuke doesn't like it.

                        NUKE
                No, no--this guy's looking for 
                heat--lemme give him the deuce--

        NUKE SHAKES OFF THE SIGN Cocky, full of himself.

                                    CUT TO:

        ANNIE AND JACKSON in her box seat.

                        ANNIE
                Oh no--he's shaking off the sign, 
                Jackson.  Big mistake...

                        JACKSON
                He'll learn.

                                    CUT TO:

        CLOSE ON CRASH BEHIND THE PLATE

                        CRASH
                This son of a bitch is throwing a 
                two hit shutout and he's shaking 
                me off?!
                    (to batter and umpire)
                Hey Charlie, here comes the deuce.

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS -- A hanging curveball.  The batter 
        takes an ungodly cut, and BLASTS a long home.

        THE BATTER STANDS AT THE PLATE watching the blast...until 
        CRASH SHOVES HIM toward first with a sneer.  For a moment it 
        looks like there'll be a fight--but the hitter backs off and 
        takes the home run trot as:

        NUKE STARES AT THE OUTFIELD WALL as the batter circles the 
        bases.  Crash walks to the mound.

                        NUKE
                You told him I was throwing a 
                deuce, right?

                        CRASH
                Yep.  He really crushed that 
                dinger, didn't he.  Musta gone 
                450 feet...damn...

        NUKE HOLDS OUT HIS GLOVE -- Says nothing.  Crash puts a new 
        ball in the glove.  Returns to the plate.

        NUKE GETS THE SIGN -- Winds.  Delivers.  Batter hits a weak 
        one hopper back to the mound.  Game's over.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  MAXWELL'S BAR -- LATER -- NIGHT

        A raucous celebration of the victory.  Booze flows.

        And we begin hearing the familiar sounds of Piaf ...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- LATER -- NIGHT

        ANNIE COMES OUT OF THE BATHROOM -- Dressed in a long, flowing 
        nightgown, elegant and old fashioned.  She looks fabulous, 
        PRESENTING HERSELF to Nuke.

                        ANNIE
                I'm yours.

                        NUKE
                Y'know, Annie, I been thinking if 
                it works for one game, maybe it'll 
                work for a whole buncha games.

                        ANNIE
                Breathing through your pingala 
                always works, honey--

                        NUKE
                Not that.  I mean the re-channeling 
                of my sexual energy.
                    (beat)
                Maybe we shouldn't make love for 
                awhile.

                        ANNIE
                Now don't go overboard, I look 
                incredibly hot, right?

        She strikes a pose.  She does look hot.

                        NUKE
                You know what it feels like to 
                throw a three hitter?
                    (nervously, with 
                    resolve)
                We better not fuck.

                        ANNIE
                Nuke?!

                        NUKE
                Just till I lose.

                        ANNIE
                Get over here.

                        NUKE
                No.

                        ANNIE
                Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh--

        She starts toward him--and Nuke flees.  Out the door, into 
        the night.  Annie slumps in disbelief.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT

        ANNIE SITS IN BED ALONE -- Lights a cigaret.  A puzzled 
        expression--things have got out of control.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                Nuke was so encouraged that he 
                took a vow to not have sex until 
                they lost...

        Annie reaches over, opens a drawer in her nightstand, and 
        pulls out her baseball glove.  She cradles it fondly in her 
        lap, puts it on, pounds it gently...

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                Y'see a ballplayer on a streak 
                considers himself touched with 
                magic and he'll do anything to 
                keep from breaking the spell ...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  DURHAM BULL LOCKER ROOM -- DAY

        NUKE NEATLY UNFOLDS THE RED PANTIES in his locker.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                In fact the whole team started 
                making religious connections and 
                everybody got hot.

        JOSE BLESSES THE BATS with a chicken bone cross.

        JIMMY READS THE BIBLE and prays alone in the corner.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM BASEBALL FIELD -- DAY

        PLAYERS TAKING GROUND BALLS and batting practice.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                I figured Nuke would win a couple, 
                then lose, and things would get 
                back to normal ...

        PLAYERS PLAYING "FLIP" PEPPER like kids.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                But it didn't happen like that...  
                and for one extraordinary June 
                and July, the Durham Bulls, for 
                whatever perverse reason, began 
                playing baseball with joy and 
                verve and poetry--

        NUKE WARMING UP in the bullpen, listening to Crash.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                The two sides of my own brain 
                were all jumbled up and cross-
                wired...  while one side was being 
                neglected, the other was in 
                paradise watching our Bulls play 
                like Big Leaguers...

        MICKEY RIPS A TRIPLE UP THE ALLEY -- Slides into third.

        DEKE AND TOMMY TURN A SPECTACULAR DOUBLE PLAY

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                We swept a four game series with 
                Kingston, back to back 
                doubleheaders with Winston-Salem, 
                and kicked the holy shit out of 
                Greensboro in a three game 
                series...

        SEVERAL PLAYERS SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS at a local mall.  A line 
        of kids to meet them.  A banner--MEET YOUR BULLS!

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                They were in demand all over town--
                and Crash, who kept hitting 
                dingers, was approaching the minor 
                league record...  though I told 
                nobody.

        CRASH BLASTS ANOTHER HOME RUN -- Another win.

        JULY 4 PROMOTION -- LARRY, DEKE, TOMMY, AND JOSE dressed as 
        the "Spirit of 176 Drum and Fife Corps" at home plate, 
        surrounded by a Boy Scout Troop.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                After sweeping a July 4 
                doubleheader, the Durham Bulls 
                were tied for first.

        THE WIVES, THE GROUPIES, AND MILLIE WAIT for the players 
        outside the clubhouse following a game.

        ANNIE SITS ALONE IN HER BOX SEAT as the stadium empties.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                But beautiful as the winning streak 
                was, I was getting damn lonely.
                    (beat)
                Something had to be done.  I needed 
                a man...

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE TEAM BUS ON THE ROAD BACK --DAY

        The sounds of Diana Ross and the Supremes.

        INT.  THE BUS -- DAY

        LARRY, DEKE, TOMMY AND MICKEY as the Supremes, singing "Stop 
        in the Name of Love" at the front of the bus.

                        NUKE
                I love winning, Crash, you hear 
                me?  I love It.  Teach me 
                everything.

                        CRASH
                It's time you started working on 
                your interviews.

                        NUKE
                What do I gotta do?

                        CRASH
                Learn your cliches.  Study them.
                Know them.  They're your friends.

        Crash hands Nuke a small pad and pen.

                        CRASH
                Write this down.
                    (beat)
                "We gotta play 'em one day at a 
                time."

                        NUKE
                Boring.

                        CRASH
                Of course.  That's the point.
                    (beat)
                "I'm just happy to be here and 
                hope I can help the ballclub."

                        NUKE
                Jesus.

                        CRASH
                Write, write--"I just wanta give 
                It my best shot and, Good Lord 
                willing, things'll work out."

        NUKE STARTS WRITING them down.

                        NUKE
                "...Good Lord willing, things'll 
                work out."

                        CRASH
                Yep.  So how's Annie?

        Nuke looks up from his cliches, startled.

                        NUKE
                She's getting steamed 'cause I'm 
                still re-channeling my sexual 
                energy--maybe I should cave in 
                and sleep with her once just to 
                calm her down.  What'ya think?

                        CRASH
                You outta your mind?  If you give 
                in now you might start losing.
                    (beat)
                Never fuck with a winning streak.

        Nuke nods seriously, listening to the master.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE STADIUM PARKING LOT -- DAY

        THE BUS PULLS IN -- Wives and girlfriends are waiting.

        The players get off, greet their women.

        ANNIE GREETS NUKE -- They head for her Volvo..

        JIMMY STARTS ACROSS THE LOT on foot, dragging his luggage, 
        when Millie pulls up in her car.

                        MILLIE
                Hi, Jimmy.  Want a ride?

                        JIMMY
                    (nervously)
                Have you accepted Jesus Christ as 
                your personal savior?

                        MILLIE
                No.

                        JIMMY
                Can I give you my testimony?

                        MILLIE
                You can do anything you want.
                    (a tiny grin)
                Hop in.

        JIMMY NERVOUSLY GETS IN WITH MILLIE They roar away.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S KITCHEN -- DAY

        NUKE SITS AT THE TABLE -- He's just finished eating.

        Annie circles him.  A pot of soup on the stove.

                        ANNIE
                I'm so proud of you and all the 
                guys.  Want some more soup?

                        NUKE
                No, no, it was great.

                        ANNIE
                How 'bout a back rub?

                        NUKE
                No, that's okay.  All I need's a 
                little nap.

                        ANNIE
                I'll tuck you in.

                        NUKE
                    (nervously)
                You can't seduce me.

                        ANNIE
                I'm not gonna try to seduce you, 
                sweetie...

        ANNIE STRETCHES OUT HER LEG and lays it an the table.

                        NUKE
                What's that?

        She pulls back her skirt slightly, exposing her garter snaps 
        attached to her stockings.

                        ANNIE
                That's my leg.

                        NUKE
                I know what it is.

                        ANNIE
                I figure we could work on some 
                fundamentals even if we don't 
                make love.

        She strokes her leg.  Nuke stares fearfully.

                        NUKE
                Fundamentals?

                        ANNIE
                Sure.
                    (beat)
                Unsnap my stockings.

        Nuke squirms, then reaches for her garter snaps.  And stops.

                        NUKE
                Crash once called a woman's, uh--
                pussy--y'know how the hair kinda 
                makes a "V" shape?--

                        ANNIE
                Yes I do...

                        NUKE
                Well--he calls it the Bermuda 
                Triangle.  He said a man can get 
                lost in there and never be heard 
                from again.

                        ANNIE
                What a nasty thing to say.

                        NUKE
                He didn't mean it nasty.  He said 
                that gettin' lost and disappearing 
                from the face of the earth was 
                sometimes a good thing to do--
                especially like that.

                        ANNIE
                Oh...
                    (beat)
                Crash is a very smart man.  Now 
                c'mon, honey, give it a try.

        NUKE REACHES FOR THE GARTER SNAPS with two hands.  He fumbles, 
        groping awkwardly.  Annie stops him gently.

                        ANNIE
                Watch...one hand--

        WITH A SINGLE HAND ANNIE FLICKS each snap.  Flick, flick, 
        flick.  Magic.  The snaps open effortlessly.

                        NUKE
                oh.

        ANNIE RE-SNAPS THEM QUICKLY, offering her leg to Nuke.

                        ANNIE
                Now you try.

        NUKE TRIES AGAIN -- One handed.  Awkwardly again, but--

                        ANNIE
                    (sighing sexually)
                Mmmmmmm...oh yes...

        BUT NUKE LEAPS TO HIS FEET -- Reacting vigorously, nervously, 
        desperately.  The soup crashes on the floor.

                        NUKE
                No!  You're playing with my mind!

                        ANNIE
                I'm trying to play with your body!

                        NUKE
                I knew it--you're seducing me!

                        ANNIE
                Of course I'm seducing you for 
                Godsakes, and I'm doing a damn 
                poor job of it--
                    (beat)
                Aren't I pretty?

                        NUKE
                I think you're real cute.

                        ANNIE
                Cute?!  I hate cute!  Baby ducks 
                are cute!  I wanta be exotic and 
                mysterious!

                        NUKE
                You're exotic and mysterious and 
                cute--that's why I better leave.

        Nuke starts to leave.

                        ANNIE
                Nuke!  You got things all wrong!  
                There's no relation between sex 
                and baseball.  Ask Crash.

                        NUKE
                I did.

                        ANNIE
                What'd he say?

                        NUKE
                He said if I gave in to you I'd 
                start losing again.

                        ANNIE
                He did?

                        NUKE
                I'll be back when we lose.

        NUKE HURRIES OUT THE DOOR -- Annie just stares.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE DOWNTOWNER MOTEL -- DURHAM -- DAY

        A run of the mill cheap modern motel.

        INT.  CRASH'S ROOM AT THE MOTEL -- DAY

        CRASH WORKS ON HIS SWING in front of a mirror.

        A knock at the door.

                        CRASH
                Come in.

        ANNIE ENTERS the room.  Crash stays with his stance.

                        ANNIE
                Crash...I want you.

                        CRASH
                Nuke won't go to bed with you, 
                eh?

                        ANNIE
                He' s confused--

                        CRASH
                Aren't we all?

                        ANNIE
                Don't you think I'm pretty?

        Crash puts down the bat, and looks directly at her.  As he 
        does he picks up two spring loaded hand exercisers and begins 
        pumping them an he talks.

                        CRASH
                You're gorgeous, God damn it!  
                From the moment I first saw you I 
                knew I had to have you.  I had to 
                have you!

                        ANNIE
                I want to be had.

                        CRASH
                I think of you and the "boy" all 
                the time.

                        ANNIE
                He won't make love to me anymore.

                        CRASH
                And he's right!  A ballplayer on 
                a streak has to respect the streak.
                They don't happen very often.
                    (beat)
                You know how hard this game is?  
                If you believe you're playing 
                well because you're getting laid 
                or because you're not getting 
                laid or because you wore red silk 
                panties--then you are!
                    (beat)
                And I still think Thomas Pynchon 
                is full of shit.

                        ANNIE
                I want you desperately!

        Crash can hardly keep up.  So he slows her down--

                        CRASH
                Who are you?  Do you have a job?

                        ANNIE
                I teach part time at the Junior 
                College.  What if I told you I 
                was through with Nuke?  He learned 
                his lessons quickly and left me.

                        CRASH
                And now you wanta teach me?

                        ANNIE
                I don't imagine there's much I 
                could teach you.

                        CRASH
                I doubt that.

                        ANNIE
                Crash, I get wet just thinking 
                about you.

                        CRASH
                I thought you wanted an 
                "uncomplicated" boy?

                        ANNIE
                I'm ready for a complicated man.

                        CRASH
                --and as soon as we lose a game, 
                he'll be back in your arms.

                        ANNIE
                I said when I think about you, I 
                get wet.

                        CRASH
                Annie, I think you should leave.

        Annie launches into a tirade without orchestration or self- 
        awareness.  She's frustrated, confused, angry and...

                        ANNIE
                God damn you--what is happening?  
                Is there no man who'll have me?
                    (beat)
                This is the weirdest season I 
                ever saw--the Durham Bulls can't 
                lose and I can't get laid!

                        CRASH
                    (softly)
                You okay?

        Annie slides against the wall down to the floor.  Tears flow.  
        Her makeup runs.  Her eyes are red.

                        ANNIE
                    (shakily)
                I need a drink.

        Crash gingerly helps her to her feet.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  MAXWELL'S BAR -- DAY

        ANNIE AND CRASH SIT IN THE CORNER of the empty bar.

                        CRASH
                Why baseball?

                        ANNIE
                    (sighs)
                I was raised in a Baptist church 
                got dipped in the water when I 
                was 5-- born again before 
                kindergarten...by the time I was 
                10 I knew it was bullshit and at 
                15 I ran away from home...

        SHE SMILES at the most painful memories.

                        ANNIE
                pregnant, had an abortion, got 
                pregnant again, had an abortion 
                again...gave up men.  Tried women.  
                Missed men.  My mother died.
                    (beat)
                I bought a car for $200 and drove 
                to Ft. Lauderdale to bury her.
                    (beat)
                And after we'd sung some hymns in 
                some wretched Florida funeral 
                home, I went outside and something 
                happened--

        Her tone becomes wistful, nostalgic.

                        ANNIE
                The smell of cut grass in the 
                warm March air overwhelmed me and 
                I heard a noise--
                    (makes the sound))
                --tok, tok, tok--and some men 
                shouting...then tok, tok, tok.

        Crash smiles slightly.  He knows.

                        ANNIE
                I crossed the street--it was the 
                New York Yankees spring training 
                field--tok, tok, tok, was the 
                sound of a ball hitting a bat--
                and I sat in the warm bleachers 
                to think about my mother...
                    (beat)
                And I saw him.

                        CRASH
                Who?

                        ANNIE
                Thurman Munson.
                    (beat)
                He was covered with dirt and he 
                was fighting with everybody--it 
                was beautiful ...
                    (beat)
                And he called the ump a cocksucker 
                and got thrown out of the game 
                even though it was an exhibition!
                    (beat)
                So I stayed in the bleachers all 
                spring and gradually came to 
                understand what's so great about 
                baseball.

                        CRASH
                What's so great about baseball?

                        ANNIE
                If you know where home plate is, 
                then you know where 1st base is, 
                and 2nd, and everything else--
                'cause they're always in the same 
                place in relation to home.
                    (beat)
                Don't you see?  If you know where 
                home plate is, then you know where 
                everything else in the universe 
                is!

        Silence.

                        CRASH
                I don't know if I'd go that far.

                        ANNIE
                It's true, It's true!
                    (beat, down)
                Least it used to be true.  It 
                ain't possible that baseball's 
                not enough anymore, is it, Crash?

                        CRASH
                It's possible.

                        ANNIE
                No.

                        CRASH
                Are you gonna be waking up next 
                to 20 year old ballplayers when 
                you're 60?

                        ANNIE
                Well...I used to think that wasn't 
                the worst thing in the world to 
                look forward to.  Lately I'm not 
                so sure.

                        CRASH
                Why not?

                        ANNIE
                    (angrily)
                Whatta you mean "why not"?  Are 
                you gonna play forever?!

        Before Crash can answer--

        SUDDENLY A VOICE interrupts.  They both turn to see:

        MILLIE EXCITEDLY DRAGGING JIMMY into the nearly empty bar.

        She leads him by the hand.

                        MILLIE
                Annie, Annie!  There she is--we've 
                been looking all over for ya.  Hi 
                Crash.

        MILLIE LEADS JIMMY right up to their table.  And as they 
        hold hands.  Jimmy stands there shyly.

                        MILLIE
                Well tell 'em, honey.

                        JIMMY
                    (nervously)
                We're getting married.

        MILLIE STICKS OUT HER LEFT HAND Displays a huge ring.

                        ANNIE
                Omigawd, honey, I'm so happy for 
                you.

                        MILLIE
                He's a virgin.

        Jimmy squirms defensively.

                        JIMMY
                Wellyeah...
                    (to Annie and Crash)
                I guess that probably seems pretty 
                corny to people like you.

                        ANNIE
                Oh Jimmy, honey, I think it sounds 
                wonderful!

                        MILLIE
                Annie, will you be the bride's 
                maid?

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM STADIUM -- LATER -- NIGHT

        GAME IN PROGRESS -- Nuke on the mound.

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS -- Very high.  Ball three.

                                    CUT TO:

        INSIDE THE DUGOUT -- Skip and Larry spitting tobacco.

                        SKIP
                Nuke's overthrowing tonight, he 
                don't look loose.  Anything 
                bothering him?

                        LARRY
                He said his chakras were jammed 
                and he was breathing out of the 
                wrong nostril.

                        SKIP
                    (spitting tobacco)
                Okay...

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK TO THE MOUND

        NUKE WINDS AND DELIVERS AGAIN -- Very high.  Ball four.

        CRASH IS QUICKLY to the mound.

                        CRASH
                What's wrong?

                        NUKE
                I'm nervous--my old man's here.

        NUKE MOTIONS -- They both look.

        --P.O.V.  NUKE'S FATHER SITTING in a special box seat.  The 
        man is 45, and is operating a home video camera taking 
        pictures of his son.

                        CRASH
                Hey, he's just your father, man--
                he's as full of shit as anybody.

        TOMMY AND DEKE JOIN THEM at the mound.

                        DEKE
                What the hell's going on?

                        TOMMY
                You breathing through the wrong 
                fucking nostril again?

                        DEKE
                Hey, you guys hear Jimmy and Millie 
                are engaged?!  Wait'll I tell him 
                she's gone down on half the 
                Carolina League--

                        CRASH
                    (threatening)
                Anybody says anything bad about 
                Millie, I'll break his neck.

                        NUKE
                Hey, guys, I got a game to pitch.

        JOSE THE FIRST BASEMAN JOINS THEM ALL at the mound.

                        JOSE
                Don't throw anything to me--my 
                girlfriend put a curse on my glove.

                        NUKE
                I'll take the curse off the son 
                of a bitch!

                        JOSE
                Then you got to cut the head off 
                a live rooster.

                        NUKE
                Shit.

        MICKEY JOINS THE CROWD from third base.

                        MICKEY
                Don't worry, man, this umpire's a 
                God damn racist.

        P.O.V.  THE UMPIRE -- He's black.

                                    CUT TO:

        THE DUGOUT -- SKIP AND LARRY watch the growing meeting.

                        SKIP
                What the hell's going on out there?

                        LARRY
                It's a damn convention.

                        SKIP
                Check it out.

                                    CUT TO:

        THE MOUND -- Larry joins the convention.

                        LARRY
                What the hell's going on out here?

                        CRASH
                Nuke's scared cause his nostrils 
                are jammed and his old man's here, 
                we need a live rooster to take 
                the curse off Jose's glove, and 
                nobody knows what to get Jimmy 
                and Millie for their wedding 
                present--there's a whole lotta 
                shit we're trying to deal with--

                        LARRY
                Oh.  I thought there was a problem.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE NIGHT

        ANNIE IS HELPING MILLIE make her WEDDING DRESS.  

        The game can be heard on the radio in the b.g.

                        MILLIE
                You should be at the game.

                        ANNIE
                No, no--I'm fine.  Millie, how 
                much time did you and Jimmy spend 
                together before he proposed?

        Annie holds the dress up to Millie.

                        MILLIE
                Five hours.  We both just know.
                    (studying the dress)
                Do you think I deserve to wear 
                white?

                        ANNIE
                We all deserve to wear white.

        BOTH WOMEN TURN THEIR HEADS to the radio to listen.

                        TEDDY THE RADIO MAN
                ...line drive up the alley's gonna 
                score at least two, here comes 
                the relay--

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM BALLPARK THE GAME NIGHT

        CRASH FLIPS HIS MASK -- A runner rounds third heading for 
        home.  Here comes the throw, on a line.  It hits once on the 
        infield grass, takes a long hop--

        AS THE RUNNER BARRELS TOWARD THE PLATE -- Crash takes the 
        throw.

        THE RUNNER SLIDES -- Crash blocks the plate.  A cloud of 
        dust.  A close play.

        THE UMPIRE SIGNALS "SAFE" -- And Crash flips out.  In a second 
        he is nose to nose with the UMPIRE.

                        CRASH
                I got him on the knee!

                        UMPIRE
                You missed him!

                        CRASH
                God damn It, Jack, he still ain't 
                touched the plate.

        THEIR FACES ARE INCHES APART -- Screaming face to face.

                        UMPIRE
                Don't bump me.

                        CRASH
                It was a cocksucking call!

                        UMPIRE
                Did you call me a cocksucker?

                        CRASH
                No!  I said It was a cock-sucking 
                call and you can't run me for 
                that!

                        UMPIRE
                You missed the tag!

                        CRASH
                You spit on me!

                        UMPIRE
                I didn't spit on you!

                        CRASH
                You're in the wrong business, 
                Jack--you're Sears-Roebuck 
                material!

                        UMPIRE
                You're close, Crash, you want me 
                to run you?  I'll run you!

                        CRASH
                You want me to call you a 
                cocksucker?!

                        UMPIRE
                Try it!  Go ahead.  Call me a 
                cocksucker!

                        CRASH
                Beg me!

                        UMPIRE
                Call me a cocksucker and you're 
                outta here!

                        CRASH
                Beg me again!

                        UMPIRE
                Call me a cocksucker and you're 
                outta here!

                        CRASH
                You're a cocksucker!

                        UMPIRE
                You're outta here!

        THE UMP THEATRICALLY THROWS CRASH out of the game.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- SIMULTANEOUS

        ANNIE AND MILLIE STARE at the radio.

                        TEDDY ON THE RADIO
                ...I've never seen Crash so angry 
                and frankly, Bull fans, he used a 
                certain word that's a "no-no" 
                with umpires...

                        MILLIE
                Crash musta called the guy a 
                cocksucker

                        ANNIE
                God, he's so romantic...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE SHOWERS NIGHT

        CRASH STANDS AGAINST the water, letting it stream across 
        him.  He raises a can of beer to his lips, drinks it slowly 
        in the shower.

        As the water runs over Crash...

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                When Crash got throwed out, the 
                game got out of hand...  
                    (beat)
                ...Jose made three errors with 
                his cursed mitt...

        JOSE BOOTS A GROUND BALL -- A runner scores.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                Nuke never quite got in the groove 
                though he didn't pitch bad...  

        NUKE JUST MISSES WITH A PITCH -- Ball four.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                ...and the winning streak came to 
                an end with a 3-2 loss...  
                    (beat)
                The good news was that a man was 
                about to come calling...the bad 
                news was--it was the wrong guy.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S LIVING ROOM NIGHT

        AS PIAF PLAYS on the stereo--A knock at the door.

        ANNIE GOES TO THE DOOR -- Then refuses to answer it at first.  
        She hides in a corner.  Bites her fist.

                        NUKE'S VOICE
                Annie!  You gotta be in there--I 
                can hear that crazy Mexican singer!

        Annie smiles slightly, and opens the door.  

                        NUKE
                We lost.  

                        ANNIE
                it's okay..

        She opens the door fully.  Nuke's father stands there.

                        NUKE
                I'd like you to meet my father.

                        ANNIE
                    (surprised)
                Oh--won't YOU come in?

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE

        AS THEY ENTER -- She leads them into the kitchen.

                        NUKE'S FATHER
                Ebby's told me a lot about you.

                        ANNIE
                Uh oh...
                    (beat)
                Can I offer you some coffee?

        THE KITCHEN -- CONTINUOUS -- NIGHT

        She puts a pot of water with a swirl of graciousness.

                        NUKE'S FATHER
                Yeah...Ebby tells me you're a 
                very spiritual woman.  He tells 
                me you've taught him a lot about 
                discipline and self-control.

        Annie and Nuke exchange glances.  Nuke smiles.

                        ANNIE
                He's a good student.

                        NUKE'S FATHER
                We were worried that Ebby might 
                get involved with the wrong crowd 
                in professional baseball--we're 
                so pleased, he met a Christian 
                woman.

                        ANNIE
                Praise the Lord, eh?  

        The Piaf record begins skipping in the next room.

                        ANNIE
                Oh my--I better fix that.  Ebby 
                will you help me?  I'm no good 
                with mechanical things

        Nuke picks up his cue and follows her to:

        THE LIVING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS--- NIGHT

        Annie fixes the record.

                        NUKE
                I couldn't dump my old man but 
                maybe later I can sneak away from 
                him...

                        ANNIE
                You don't have to...

                        NUKE
                I'm starting to understand what 
                you're teaching me.  I mean the 
                panties and the nostrils and all 
                that shit...I mean I'm getting it--

                        ANNIE
                So am I.  Nuke, honey, we need to 
                talk-- 

        Nuke gets very aggressive and playful, pinning her.

                        NUKE
                Aw hell, let's have a quickie 
                right here--

                        ANNIE
                --but you're father's in there!

                        NUKE
                Crash says I gotta quit worrying 
                about him--c'mon, honey, we got a 
                lotta catching up to do--

        He pins her to the wall, she squirms away.

                        ANNIE
                Nuke--we do need to talk!

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK IN THE KITCHEN

        Nuke's father is studying pictures on Annie's wall.

        CLOSE ON A HELMUT NEWTON PHOTO -- A nude woman, two afghans, 
        and a toilet.

        CLOSE ON A PHOTO OF SWAMI PRABHAVANANDA YOGANDA

        CLOSE ON A POSTER OF A MARIJUANA LEAF with the inscription 
        "Better Living Through Mexican Agriculture".

        Nuke's father is a bit unsettled by all this, when:

        The phone rings.

        ANNIE SWEEPS BACK into the kitchen--saved by the bell--to 
        answer the phone.  Nuke trails.

                        ANNIE
                    (on phone)
                Hello?  Skip?  Yeah, as a matter 
                of fact, he is here.

        She hands the phone to Nuke.

                        ANNIE
                It's Skip, for you.

                        NUKE (ON PHONE)
                Yeah, Skip, it's me.
                    (several beats)
                Jeez...Jeez...God...Jeez...

        Nuke hangs up the phone.  Looks at Annie and his father.

                        NUKE
                I'm going to the Show.  
                    (beat)
                They're sending me up to finish 
                out the season with the Big Club.  
                I'm going to the Show!

        NUKE'S FATHER LEAPS TO HIS FEET and embraces his son.

                        NUKE'S FATHER
                Let's have a quick word of prayer, 
                right here, to thank the Lord for 
                all this--

                        ANNIE
                Oh let's not...

                        NUKE
                I gotta leave first thing in the 
                morning.

                        ANNIE
                That's great!

                        NUKE
                How can I possibly thank you?

        He embraces her rather formally.

                        ANNIE
                Just pitch well and do good.

        Nuke hustles his father out of the house.

                        NUKE
                I will, I will--C'mon, Dad, I'll 
                dump you off.  I gotta find Crash.

        As they exit, Nuke's father turns to Annie:

                        NUKE'S FATHER
                God bless you.

                        ANNIE
                    (to herself)
                She will, Mr.  LaLoosh, she will 
                ...

        ANNIE SITS DOWN in a kitchen chair.  An enormous sigh.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE DOWNTOWNER MOTEL -- NIGHT

        Nuke knocks on Crash's door.  Nobody home.  Tony is arriving 
        with his GROUPIE GIRLFRIEND to the next room.

                        TONY
                Crash ain't there.  He never gets 
                back till four or five--

                        NUKE
                Where does he go?

                        TONY
                Well, I'd rather not say.

                        NUKE
                They called me up to the Show and 
                I wanta tell Crash goodbye.

        TONY COMES OVER AND GIVES NUKE a heartfelt "five".

                        TONY
                Goddamn, that's great!  Jesus!
                    (beat)
                Listen, Crash don't like anybody 
                to know it but--
                    (beat)
                Most nights he goes down to, you 
                know, down to Niggertown.  To 
                Sandy's...  the whorehouse.

                        NUKE
                He goes to a whorehouse every 
                night?

                        TONY
                Don't tell him I told you--he'd 
                break my neck.

        CLOSE ON NUKE -- Disturbed.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE BLACK SECTION OF DURHAM -- NIGHT

        A CAB MOVES SLOWLY through a poor neighborhood.  Stops at:

        AN OLD HOUSE -- Decades of ad hoc add-ons.

                        BLACK CABBIE
                That's Sandy's.  Keep your extra 
                cash In your shoes.

        NUKE GETS OUT and goes to the door.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  SANDY'S WHOREHOUSE -- NIGHT

        NUKE KNOCKS AT THE DOOR -- A small barred window opens.

        A face appears--a TOUGH BLACK, SANDY, 50.

                        SANDY
                What'you want, kid?

                        NUKE
                Jim looking for somebody.

                        SANDY
                Who ain't?

                        NUKE
                Looking for Crash Davis.

                        SANDY
                Ain't here.

                        NUKE
                I'm Nuke LaLoosh.  With the Bulls.

                        SANDY
                    (studying him)
                Your breaking ball's getting better 
                but ya need a change up.

        The door opens.  Nuke enters.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  SANDY'S WHOREHOUSE -- NIGHT

        NUKE ENTERS TENTATIVELY -- Another world.  Grim.  Sleazy.

        The Doorman leads him down a hallway full of doors.  A BLACK 
        PROSTITUTE enters a room with a HUGE REDNECK.  As they go 
        down the hallway, and as they do:

        We begin hearing singing--raucous, soulful, drunk.

        NUKE STOPS IN A DOORWAY -- Looks into the "waiting room".

        --P.O.V.  SEVERAL HOOKERS in various stages of undress, sit 
        on couches and chairs.  Bored, smoking, ancient.  The ONE 
        WHITE HOOKER, a skinny 25 year old, accompanies on a guitar, 
        struggling to keep up.  And a couple HOOKERS are hanging 
        around a piano that--

        CRASH IS PLAYING and singing.  He doesn't look up.  Crash Is 
        dressed but barefoot.  A cigaret dangles from his mouth as 
        he accompanies himself with decent cocktail lounge chords.

        Two Hookers at the piano hum along.

                        CRASH (SINGING AND PLAYING)
                But when she does get weary--Try 
                a little tenderness...

        NUKE STEPS INTO THE ROOM -- All the Hookers rise in 
        anticipation of a new customer.  Crash keeps playing, never 
        looking up.

                        CRASH (SINGING CONT'D)
                You know she's waiting, just 
                anticipating, the things that 
                she'll never possess...
                    (beat)
                While she's there waiting--Try a 
                little tenderness...

        Nuke interrupts the instrumental passage:

                        NUKE
                Crash.  I'm going to the Show.

        Crash Ignores him, keeps playing.

                        NUKE
                Club's expanding its roster to
                finish the season--

                        CRASH
                Shut up.  I'm playing.
                    (singing last 8 bars)
                Oh you won't regret it, young 
                girls don't forget it, lost in 
                their own wilderness ...
                    (beat)
                But it's all so easy--Just try a 
                little tenderness...

        As Crash plays on--

                        NUKE
                I'm going to the Show.

                        CRASH
                Then go.

        NUKE GRABS CRASH by the hair and jerks him to his feet.  The 
        two men are face to face.

                        NUKE
                I'm trying to thank you.

                        CRASH
                Let go of me!

        NUKE LETS HIM GO and Crash staggers drunkenly against the 
        piano, regaining his balance as:

        SANDY RUSHES IN WITH A GUN to break it up.

                        SANDY
                He makin' trouble for you, Mr.  
                Davis?

                        CRASH
                No, no, Sandy, put it down.
                    (drunkenly, to Nuke)
                Nuke, you know Sandy Grimes?  Hit 
                .367 at Louisville in 155.

                        SANDY
                I hit .371.

                        CRASH
                He hit .371--C'mon, Nuke--you and 
                me, let's step outside and settle 
                this.

                        NUKE
                Settle what?

                        CRASH
                C ' mon!

                        NUKE
                I don't wanta fight you, I wanta 
                thank you.  Let's have a drink 
                and forget this--

                        CRASH
                God damn it, you fucking virgin 
                prick--step outside.

        Crash drunkenly heads out the back door in his underwear.  
        Nuke reluctantly follows.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  THE ALLEY BEHIND THE WHOREHOUSE -- NIGHT

        Several of the Hookers follow to watch.  Crash is drunk and 
        lost.  Nuke in control.

                        NUKE
                C'mon, we got nothin' to fight 
                about.

                        CRASH
                You fuck!

                        NUKE
                Why am I a fuck?

                        CRASH
                Why are you a fuck?  
                    (beat)
                'Cause you got talent.  I got 
                brains.  But you got talent!  
                You're God damn left arm is worth 
                a million dollars a year.
                    (drunken insight)
                All my limbs put together are 
                worth 7 cents a pound--and that's 
                for science and dog meat.

                        NUKE
                You're a great catcher.

                        CRASH
                Come over here into the light so 
                I can kick your ass.

                        NUKE
                No.

                        CRASH
                Okay, I'll kick your ass there.

        Crash takes a step toward Nuke.  Pulls up his bare feet 
        quickly, stepping on a sharp stone.

                        CRASH
                ...God damn...I forgot my fucking 
                shoes.  Honey, go get my shoes.

        One of the Hookers goes inside for his shoes.

                        NUKE
                I'll take you back to the hotel.

                        CRASH
                    (drunken, mad)
                You know what the difference Is 
                between hitting .250 and hitting 
                .300?  1 got it figured out.
                    (beat)
                Twenty-five hits a year in 500 at 
                bats is 50 points.  Okay?  There's 
                6 months in a season, that's about 
                25 weeks--you get one extra flare 
                a week--just one--a gork, a ground 
                ball with eyes, a dying quail--
                just one more dying quail a week 
                and you're in Yankee Stadium!

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE WHOREHOUSE -- CONTINUOUS

        THE HOOKER FINDS CRASH'S SHOES -- Starts to bring them out 
        to him when...she notices cash in one of them.  The Hooker 
        takes a few bills for herself, and continues out--

                                    CUT TO:

        BACK IN THE ALLEY -- Crash finishes his tirade as:

        THE HOOKER COMES OUT WITH CRASH'S SHOES 

        He struggles drunkenly to put them on.

                        NUKE
                Forget it.  You ain't worth 
                thanking--

        NUKE STARTS TO WALK AWAY -- Crash fires his one free shoe at 
        Nuke hitting him in the back of the head.

        NUKE WHIRLS -- Comes after Crash.

                        CRASH
                Come on, Meat...

        CRASH SWINGS WILDLY -- Nuke ducks it and level s Crash with 
        a short right hand.

        CRASH CRASHES INTO SOME GARBAGE CANS -- Lies there on his 
        back for several beats.  Nuke stares.

        CLOSE ON CRASH -- Blood trickles from his mouth.

                        CRASH
                Nuke...tell me something.  Did 
                you hit me with your right or 
                your left?

                        NUKE
                My right.

        Silence.  Crash's next line is both drunk and sober and we 
        don't know if he's just being clever or if, somehow, he's 
        staged It all.  Maybe even he doesn't know.

                        CRASH
                Good.  Good.  That's terrific...

                        NUKE
                What?

                        CRASH
                If ya get in a fight with some 
                asshole, never hit his with your 
                pitching hand.  ya might get 
                injured.
                    (smiles)
                That's another lesson for ya--now 
                quit fucking around and help me 
                up.

        CRASH REACHES UP A HAND FOR HELP -- Nuke stares back.

        AND FINALLY NUKE REACHES DOWN AND HELPS CRASH to his feet.

                        NUKE
                Ya look like shit.

        The two men head inside.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM STADIUM -- NEXT MORNING -- EARLY

        NUKE'S PORSCHE -- The Clubhouse Boy drags Nuke's out to the 
        car and loads the trunk.  Annie, Larry and a COUPLE KIDS AND 
        DOGS are watching.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE LOCKER ROOM -- CONTINUOUS -- DAY

        NUKE CLEANS OUT HIS LOCKER -- Filling his travel bag.

        Crash sits on a stool next to him.  Sober.

                        CRASH
                Sorry about last night.

                        NUKE
                Forget it.

                        CRASH
                I have been known, on occasion, 
                to howl at the moon.  D'you 
                understand that?

                        NUKE
                No.

                        CRASH
                You will.
                    (beat)
                Look, Nuke--these Big League 
                hitters are gonna light you up 
                like a pin ball machine for awhile--
                don't worry about it.  Be cocky 
                and arrogant even when you're 
                getting beat.  That's the secret.
                    (beat)
                You gotta play this game with 
                fear and arrogance.

                        NUKE
                Fear and ignorance.

                        CRASH
                    (raging)
                No.  Fear and arrogance, you, 
                hayseed, not ignorance!

                        NUKE
                    (smiles calmly)
                I know.  I just like to see you 
                get all worked up.

        Crash calms down.  Sighs.  Nuke nods and picks up his bags.

                        NUKE
                    (knows it's not true)
                Well, I got Annie all warmed up 
                for ya...
                    (knows it is true)
                She's just waiting for you to 
                show up, y'know...

                        CRASH
                I don't need a crazy woman in my 
                life.

                        NUKE
                Maybe you do.
                    (quick beat)
                Y'know I'm starting to like this 
                game--baseball's a helluva good 
                way to make a living.

        Crash speaks with quiet passion, from his soul.

                        CRASH
                It's the best, Nuke...the absolute 
                fucking best.

                        NUKE
                Yeah, thanks for everything.

        They shake hands, and Nuke heads out the door.

                        CRASH
                Nuke--
                    (Nuke stops)
                Good luck.

                        NUKE
                You too...Meat.

        Nuke smiles.  A little arrogance and fear.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM STADIUM -- CONTINUOUS DAY

        NUKE TOSSES HIS BAG in the Porsche and motions to Annie.  
        They step away from the others.

                        ANNIE
                Well I guess this is it.

                        NUKE
                    (smiles)
                I won't be needing these anymore.

        NUKE PULLS ANNIE'S RED PANTIES from his jacket pocket.

        The frilly, silk lace is tattered.  The panties have been 
        through the mill.  She accepts them graciously.

                        ANNIE
                Neither will I.

                        NUKE
                I think I'm ready for the Show.

                        ANNIE
                Ebby Calvin Nuke LaLoosh--don't 
                think too much.

                        NUKE
                Don't worry.

        They look at each other awkwardly, sweetly, and:

        NUKE KISSES ANNIE GENTLY ON THE LIPS -- They hesitate, and 
        Nuke heads for his Porsche.

        CRASH ARRIVES IN THE DOORWAY to watch.  Nuke bids farewell 
        to his father and climbs into his car.

                        NUKE
                I gotta go now, Dad.

                        FATHER
                I was thinking I could fly up and 
                spend a week in the Big Leagues 
                with you--help you get comfortable.

                        NUKE
                No.  If I screw up, I wanta do it 
                alone.  I'll call.

                        FATHER
                We'll be praying for you.

                        NUKE
                Dad--if my curveball is hanging, 
                God ain't gonna help me.

                        FATHER
                We'll pray anyway.

                        NUKE
                    (kindly)
                If it makes you and mom feel 
                better, go for it.  I gotta run--

        THEY SHAKE HANDS, AND:

        CRASH'S P.O.V.  -- NUKE ROARS AWAY in his Porsche, leaving a 
        trail of dust in the Stadium parking lot.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM STADIUM -- DUSK

        MILLIE AND JIMMY'S WEDDING -- A formal wedding on the 
        pitcher's mound.  Millie in white.  Jimmy in his uniform.  
        Skip is the best man, also in uniform, and several players 
        and groupies are the attendants, Annie as the Bride's Maid.

        Organ music plays the wedding march.

        JIMMY LIFTS MILLIE'S VEIL and kisses her.  The stands are 
        full of fans.

        JIMMY LEADS MILLIE DOWN THE "AISLE" towards home plate.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM STADIUM -- GAME IN PROGRESS -- NIGHT

        CLOSE ON SCOREBOARD -- Ninth inning.  Durham is leading by a 
        score of 1 to 0.  Two outs.

        JIMMY IS PITCHING -- He delivers.  The batter rockets a line 
        drive up the alley.  A PENINSULA RUNNER races from first, 
        rounding third, trying to score.  A relay.

        CRASH WAITS AT THE PLATE -- Here comes the runner.  Here 
        comes the throw.  A close play.  A terrible collision.

        Crash goes rolling.  The umpire waits--and in a cloud of 
        dust, Crash holds up the ball.

        THE CROWD ROARS -- Jimmy jumps victoriously in the air.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  THE LOCKER ROOM -- NIGHT

        The air of victory.  The mood is up and goofy.  Beer cans 
        are squirted at Jimmy, the groom.

                        JIMMY
                I wanta thank everybody and the 
                Lord for the victory, it's a 
                wonderful way to celebrate my 
                marriage--and I guess we're all 
                back on a winning streak, eh?l A 
                few raucous "Fuckin A's" from the 
                team.

                        TONY
                Hey, Jimmy--we chipped in and 
                kind got a little gift for ya of 
                a special wedding cake from the 
                Durham Bulls.

        DEKE CARRIES OUT AN WEDDING CAKE -- It's X-Rated.  The 
        decorative Bride and Groom are fucking.  Jimmy's embarrassed 
        but it's all good natured.

                                    CUT TO:

        CRASH COMING OUT OF THE SHOWER -- Toweling off, watching the 
        innocent, vulgar fun.  He sits down in front of his locker, 
        drying his hair, when the CLUBHOUSE BOY approaches:

                        CLUBHOUSE BOY
                Hey, Crash--Skip wants to see ya.

        CRASH RISES AND HEADS FOR SKIP'S CUBICLE -- Wearing only a 
        towel and his shower shoes.

                                    CUT TO:

        INSIDE SKIP'S OFFICE -- Skip and Larry sit in postgame 
        routine, checking charts, smoking, half dressed.

        CRASH ENTERS as he's still drying off.

                        CRASH
                Yeah, Skip, you wanted to see me?

                        SKIP
                Crash, shut the door.

        And it hits him.  Crash looks at Skip, who looks down at the 
        floor, unwilling to face Crash who then looks at Larry, who 
        also looks away nervously.

        CRASH SHUTS THE DOOR -- The party rages beyond.

                        SKIP
                    (heartfelt)
                This is the toughest job a manager 
                has...

        CLOSE ON CRASH -- He's been in the game too long to be 
        surprised; nonetheless, he's surprised.  And hurt.  His 
        stoicism is professional.

                        SKIP
                The organization wants to make a 
                change...now that Nuke's gone 
                they wanta bring up some young 
                catcher...

                        LARRY
                Some kid hittin' .300 in Lynchburg 
                ...probably a bust.

                        SKIP
                I put in a word for you with the 
                organization--told 'em I thought 
                you'd make a fine minor league 
                manager someday...Might be an 
                opening at Salem next year--

        EXTREME CLOSE UP ON CRASH -- His eyes are moist.

                        SKIP
                Helluva year, Crash--you know how 
                it is.

        Silence.

        Crash stands there nearly nude.  He just nods slightly.  
        Without rancor or bitterness, he turns and re-enters the 
        raucous locker room.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  STREETS OF DURHAM -- NIGHT

        CRASH WALKS THE STREETS ALONE -- Crash stops in front of a 
        window and takes his batting stroke, studying the reflection.

        And he keeps walking into:

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT/INT.  CHEAP BAR IN DOWNTOWN DURHAM -- NIGHT

        CRASH DRINKING ALONE at the end of a bar.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  STREETS OF DURHAM -- NIGHT

        CRASH WANDERS ALONG into the residential neighborhoods.

        HE STARTS ACROSS A QUIET INTERSECTION Stops.  Looks at the 
        street signs.  He CHANGES DIRECTION, walks on.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

        The windows glow.  After midnight.

        CRASH STARES AT THE HOUSE -- Hesitates, then walks up the 
        porch stairs.  Knocks at the door.  Moments later:

        ANNIE OPENS THE DOOR -- She looks beautiful.  Almost as if 
        she was expecting him.  At first, silence.  Then:

                        CRASH
                I got released.

                        ANNIE
                I heard already.

        SHE OPENS THE DOOR -- Crash enters Annie's house.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

        ANNIE PUTS ON her favorite Piaf record.

        ANNIE POURS A DRINK for both of them.

        CRASH PUTS A HAND ON HER HIP -- Annie closes her eyes, a 
        tiny gasp.  He kisses her forehead.  She kisses his neck.  A 
        tiny smile from Crash.  The same from Annie.

        SHE KISSES HIM on the corner of his mouth.  Her hand finds 
        the back of his head and she runs her fingers through his 
        hair.

        CRASH RESPONDS -- They kiss slowly, deeply.  As--

        HIS HAND ON HER HIP PULLS UP HER SKIRT -- By degrees, the 
        skirt is raised up her stocking covered leg.  At last exposing 
        the beloved-

        BLACK GARTER SNAPS -- Crash's hand expertly holds up the 
        skirt and effortlessly UNSNAPS THE GARTER with a minimum of 
        effort.

        FLICK, FLICK, FLICK -- The garter snaps are free.

                        ANNIE
                Oh my...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        THE BEDROOM -- Crash carries Annie to the bed.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE'S FOOT KICKS OVER A LAMP onto the floor.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE'S BLOUSE FRONT -- Flick, flick, flick.  Crash unbuttons 
        it with one hand in seconds.  Even Annie is startled with 
        the speed and ease of Crash's hand.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        HER HAND SLIDES UNDER THE WAISTBAND of his underwear

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        HIS HAND SLIDES UP UNDER HER panties.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        A FULL EMBRACE ON THE EDGE OF THE BED -- Remnants of clothes 
        cover parts of their bodies.  They tumble out of control to 
        the floor.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE'S HAND GRABS ONTO A DRESSER LEG -- A carved oak antique, 
        her hand holds on tight and shakes the dresser.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        THE DRESSER TOP SHAKES -- Makeup bottles and pictures and 
        dozens of Annie's special things rattle and fall

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE'S READ RESTS ON CRASH'S STOMACH -- Post coital, they 
        lie on the floor blissfully as Piaf finishes.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE CHANGES THE RECORD to Hank Williams.

                                                DISSOLVE:

        THE KITCHEN -- ANNIE AND CRASH eat an after mid after sex 
        snack.  Crash eats a bowl of Wheaties.  They each wear one 
        of her robes.

                                                DISSOLVE"

        Annie sits, munching a carrot and rolling a joint of marijuana 
        she keeps in a Victorian jewel box.

                        ANNIE
                ...  so you see in a former 
                lifetime I'm sure that I was 
                Alexandria, the Czarette of Russia?  
                What do you think?

                        CRASH
                How come in former lifetimes, 
                everybody was someone famous?  
                    (beat)
                How come nobody ever says they 
                were Joe Schmo?

                        ANNIE
                It doesn't work like that.
                    (stares at him)
                God, you're gorgeous.  Want to 
                dance?

        THEY KISS AGAIN -- And fall gradually onto the table top.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE SITS ON TOP OF CRASH lying on the kitchen table.

        He stretches out a leg and:

        KICKS THE BOWL OF CEREAL to the floor.  It smashes--

        ceramics, milk, cereal go everywhere.  As:

        THEY START MAKING LOVE AGAIN in the glaring kitchen light.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        CRASH AND ANNIE DANCE in her living room.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        THE BEDROOM -- Crash is handcuffed to the bed.  He seems 
        perfectly happy as Annie reads Walt Whitman.

                        ANNIE
                ...mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, 
                roof of the mouth, jaws, and the 
                jaw hinges...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE HANDCUFFED TO THE BED -- Crash reads.

                        CRASH
                ...wrist and wrist joints, hand, 
                palm, knuckles, thumb, fore-finger, 
                finger-joints, finger-nail...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        CRASH AT ANNIE'S RECORD COLLECTION -- He thumbs through it 
        quickly, puts on a new record.

        The Dominoes sing "Sixty Minute Man".  And...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        THE BATHROOM -- Candlelight around the bathtub.  All we can 
        make out is two heads, two bodies, sloshing wildly In the 
        dim glow.  Water splashes, dowses some candles.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        CRASH AND ANNIE IN BED READING -- Each with a copy of a Thomas 
        Pynchon novel.  Crash tosses it aside.  And disappears under 
        the sheets, playing with her as she struggles to keep reading.  
        She puts down the book.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        ANNIE APPLYING EYE MAKEUP TO CRASH -- Who doesn't resist, 
        seems even amused.  He kisses her deeply, slowly.  She kisses 
        him back.  They fall onto the bed.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        P.O.V.  OUT THE KITCHEN WINDOW -- Dawn.  A bird chirps.

        And we hear a record skipping, repeating endlessly.

        PAN ACROSS THE KITCHEN -- Overturned chairs, spilled and 
        broken cereal bowls, liquor bottles.

        PAN ACROSS THE BEDROOM -- A disaster.  Clothes scattered 
        across the floor, overturned lamps, the bed lies at a cockeyed 
        angle.  Annie and Crash lie face down -- asleep, utterly 
        spent.

        CRASH WAKES UP SLOWLY -'Reaches up and pulls his underwear 
        off of a lampshade, pulls them on, and gets slowly out of 
        bed.  He staggers across the bedroom floor, stumbling a bit, 
        into:

        THE LIVING ROOM -- He stumbles across the trashed room.  
        Record album covers, more liquor bottles, pillows, cushions, 
        pictures hanging crookedly on the wall.

        CRASH TAKES THE SKIPPING RECORD off the player and breathes 
        a sigh of relief.  He sees his pants lying on the floor and 
        pulls them on.

        CRASH OPENS A DRAWER -- Pulls out a piece of paper and a 
        pencil.  He starts writing...

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        INT.  THE BEDROOM -- LATER

        Sun streams in.  Annie opens her eyes.  Rubs them.  Reaches 
        over for Crash.  Her hand hits a note.  She whirls.  He's 
        gone.  Only a note.

        SHE SITS UP WITH A START and reads the note.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER)
                Crash said he had to get an early 
                start to drive to Asheville in 
                the South Atlantic League where 
                he heard they might need a catcher 
                to finish out the season...

        ZOOM IN EXTREME CLOSE UP OF NOTE -- "Love, Crash".

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS -- DAY

        CRASH IN HIS CAR heading for Asheville.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  ASHEVILLE BASEBALL PARK -- DAY

        CRASH KNOCKING ON THE BASEBALL OFFICE DOOR -- Looking for 
        work.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ASHEVILLE LOCKER ROOM -- DAY

        CRASH UNLOADING HIS GEAR Into yet another locker.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S KITCHEN -- DAY

        ANNIE SCRUBBING HER KITCHEN FLOOR -- Down on her hands and 
        knees, picking up the broken cereal bowl.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                The house smelled like sex for 
                days.  It was wonderful.  The 
                only real cleaning I did was on 
                the kitchen floor 'cause who likes 
                to walk on spilt cereal?  

        SHE FINDS A BIT OF A JOINT on the floor as she's cleaning.  
        She picks it up, sits on the floor under the table, and lights 
        the tiny joint.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                The funny thing is, I stopped 
                worrying about Nuke.  Somehow I 
                knew nothing would stop him.  
                Crash was right--Nuke had a gift.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  INSIDE A MAJOR LEAGUE STADIUM (ATLANTA) -- DAY

        NUKE IN STREET CLOTHES IN THE DUGOUT of an empty stadium.  
        50,000 seats.  Slick.  Awesome.  He's being interviewed by a 
        BIG LEAGUE REPORTER, who has a small tape deck and has stuck 
        mike in Nuke's face.

                        NUKE
                    (like a big leaguer)
                Y'know, I'm just happy to be here 
                and hope I can help the ballclub.  
                I just want to give it my best 
                shot and good Lord willing, 
                things'll work out...  gotta play 
                'em one day at a time, Y'know...

        THE BIG LEAGUE REPORTER nods attentively as Nuke knowingly 
        delivers the cliches like a veteran.

                                DISSOLVE TO:

        EXT.  ASHEVILLE STADIUM -- DAY

        In sharpest contrast to the Big League stadium, a rickety 
        old wooden grandstand, carved into the pine covered hillside.

        CRASH STEPS TO THE PLATE -- In a uniform we've never seen 
        him in, of course.  The Asheville Tourists.  He picks up 
        some dirt, rubs it on his hands.  He's as intense as ever.  
        Still playing for keeps.

                        CRASH (VOICE OVER)
                    (at the plate)
                C'mon, Meat, throw me that weak 
                ass shit--c'mon, bring the heat, 
                bring it, bring it...

        CRASH'S P.O.V.  -- SLO-MO AS THE PITCHER WINDS AND

        delivers a fastball right down the pipe.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S BEDROOM -- AFTERNOON

        ANNIE LIES IN BED READING -- She suddenly jerks up.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                I was reading in bed when Crash 
                hit his 247th home run.  I knew 
                the moment it happened...

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  ASHEVILLE STADIUM -- DAY

        CRASH UNLOADS A MONSTROUS HOME RUN deep into the trees.  He 
        stands at home plate watching it...like Reggie or the Babe.

        And doesn't move.  For several seconds he indulges himself 
        uncharacteristically--until...

        THE OPPOSING CATCHER SHOVES HIM toward first.

                        CATCHER
                Get your ass in gear...

        CRASH SMILES and takes the home run trot slowly.  As he heads 
        toward first, HE RAISES A CLINCHED FIST for a brief moment, 
        a tiny gesture of triumph.  And then, routinely, he just 
        circles the bases.

        A HUNDRED FANS APPLAUD ROUTINELY as he circles the bases.

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

        SHE LIGHTS A CANDLE for the home run.  Above the candles, 
        displayed in the shrine, are her RED PANTIES.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                I lit a candle for Crash's 
                dinger...and tried to root the 
                Durham Bulls home to a pennant.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM STADIUM -- DAY

        ANNIE AND JACKSON OPEN AN UMBRELLA in her familiar place in 
        the stadium.  Umbrellas go up all around, as:

        THE RAINS COME -- The players huddle-in the dugouts.

        IN THE DUGOUT Skip and Larry reading copies of "The Tantric 
        Yoga of Sex".  And spitting tobacco.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                The Kid from Lynchburg wasn't 
                good enough to hold Crash's 
                jockstrap if ya ask me, and Nuke's 
                replacement had a fastball that I 
                coulda hit
                    (beat)
                We had a three game lead with two 
                weeks to go when the rains came.

        THE GROUND CREW DRAGS TARPS over the mound and the plate.

                        ANNIE (VOICE OVER CONT'D)
                It rained and rained and I thought 
                of driving down to Asheville to 
                see Crash but then I thought "No, 
                what you pursue, eludes you".  I 
                had to trust Quantum Physics and 
                the Church of Baseball.
                    (beat)
                It ain't always easy being this 
                religious...

        ANNIE AND JACKSON POP OPEN THEIR UMBRELLAS and walk out of 
        the ballpark towards home.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  DURHAM NEIGHBORHOOD -- DAY

        ANNIE AND JACKSON UNDER UMBRELLAS -- He turns down one street, 
        she heads toward home.

                                    CUT TO:

        EXT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- DAY

        AS SHE APPROACHES -- She stops.  Looks up.  Crash's beat up 
        car in the driveway.

        P.O.V.  CRASH SITTING ON THE PORCH SWING Still raining.

        CLOSE ON ANNIE -- She hesitates, and smiles.

                        ANNIE
                Oh my...

        ANNIE SITS DOWN on the porch owing next to Crash.

                        ANNIE
                What happened?

                        CRASH
                I quit.  Hit my dinger and hung 
                'em up.

        A moment of silence over the significance of him quitting.

                        ANNIE
                I'm quitting too.  Boys, not 
                baseball.

                        CRASH
                There  might be an opening for a 
                manager at Salem next spring.

                        ANNIE
                Salem, Massachusetts?  Where all 
                the witches were?

                        CRASH
                Yeah...you a witch?

                        ANNIE
                Not yet.  It takes years of 
                practice...

        He smiles slightly and takes her hand.

                        CRASH
                You think I could make it to the 
                Show as a manager?

                        ANNIE
                You'd be great, just great...
                    (rattling quickly)
                'Cause you understand non-linear 
                thinking even though it seems 
                like baseball is a linear game 
                'cause of the lines and the box 
                scores an'  all--but the fact is 
                that there's a spacious-"non-time 
                kind of time" to it...

                        CRASH
                    (interrupting)
                Annie---

                        ANNIE
                What?

                        CRASH
                I got a lotta time to hear your 
                theories and I wanta hear every 
                damn one of 'em...but right now 
                I'm tired and I don't wanta think 
                about baseball and I don't wanta 
                think about Quantum Physics...  I 
                don't wanta think about nothing...
                    (beat)
                I just wanta be.

                        ANNIE
                I can do that, too.

        He rises, takes her hand, and they head inside.

        And as the rains fall on Durham...

                                    CUT TO:

        INT.  ANNIE'S HOUSE -- DAY

        THE SHRINE GLOWS -- Candles everywhere.  Rain pours down on 
        the windows outside.  And...

        ANNIE AND CRASH SIT ON THE COUCH together, in silence.

                        ANNIE
                Walt Whitman once said--"I see 
                great things in baseball.  It's 
                our game--the American game
                    (beat)
                He said "it will repair our losses 
                and be a blessing to us"...
                    (beat)
                You could look it up....

        The music--Dave Frishberg sings "Van Lingle Mungo".

                            THE END

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