Script outline for new B-movie:
A baseball movie
A small market team in a major market that started out as the worst history in the history of baseball and plays in the same market as the evil empire that has dominated the sport through the decades has finally started the journey to respectability. A team whose front office has been dysfunctional to the point of comical. Whose ownership was challenged by being a part of the biggest Ponzi scheme in history and during the recovery doesn’t see the irony of putting an Amway storefront in their new stadium. A stadium that doesn’t honor its own 50 year history but rather honors a former team from the same league that abandoned their fan base, sneaking out under the cover of the night, moving the team across the country. Excitement is starting to build in the long-suffering fan base.
Baseball team built around pitching needs offensive help at the trading deadline.
Team’s GM works trade of player that fans wish wasn’t their shortstop and injured pitching prospect recovering from Tommy John surgery for team’s former player who went on to become a star for another team.
Shortstop hears about trade in the middle of the game and cries on the field (cameo by Tom Hanks – “There’s no crying in baseball”).
Injured pitcher calls GM and tells him that he doesn’t want to be traded but wants to be a part of the team’s return to respectability.
Deal falls through due to health concerns about “star” player and deal is cancelled.
Team makes a different deal acquiring a bat for a couple of minor league players.
Flash forward: team in pennant race with 5 game lead in September.
“Star” player that the team was going to trade for is hitting .213 with 2 homeruns and 10 RBIs for his new team.
Shortstop becomes fan favorite, getting standing ovations at home and on the road, and ratchets up his offense getting many game winning hits to keep bolster playoff chase.
Newly acquired player produces a .295 batting average, 11 homeruns, and 28 RBIs helping turn the team’s offense from the worst in the NL to the best since the trade.
Pitching Diva who returned from Tommy John surgery, who still thinks that he’s the ace of the team, announces at the beginning of September that he’s shutting himself down in 14 innings. This is the same Diva pitcher than exuded machismo and talked all season about pitching in October. He balked about starting the season later or using a 6 man rotation to conserve innings. He didn’t think that the team could reach the post-season and he needed to make sure that he got his 180 innings this season – he couldn’t afford the chance of leaving innings on the table.
“I know from having 178 [innings] the year before I took off, I think the whole idea was not to exceed too much more than that,” Harvey said.
“As far as worrying about that in April, I think I was more worried about getting to this point and having a full season. I couldn’t be happier with how the season has gone, that means I’m healthy throughout the whole year and pitched pretty much every time I’ve had the opportunity.”
Diva pitcher becomes pariah and quickly makes the transition from hero to villain.
Still working on the ending, but here’s a couple of thoughts:
Sometimes the best trades are those that aren’t made. Two talented players that want to be with the team are still there – one contributing already and the other insurance that will permit the Diva to be shown the door for another piece to the puzzle.
The premise of the story is so unbelievable that it is difficult to imagine exactly what the ending will be.