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                                      "BULL DURHAM"

                                            by

                                       Ron Shelton

                

               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 follow-through...

                                                               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, Shiva, 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.)
                         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 cigarette -- always smoking a cigarette. He snuffs out his 
               cigarette 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)
                         Oh yeah. 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
                         Ball 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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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
                         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
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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
                         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
                         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
                         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
                         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
                         Don't yank me in the first, man.

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

                                     NUKE
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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
                         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
                         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 -- ohhhh!  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 (O.S.)
                              (on the air)
                         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.

                                     KINGSTON 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.

                                     KINGSTON 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
                         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.  Ll 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
                         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
                         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
                         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
                         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
                         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 cigarette. A puzzled 
               expression -- things have got out of control.

                                     ANNIE (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         I figured Nuke would win a couple, 
                         then lose, and things would get back 
                         to normal...

               PLAYERS PLAYING "FLIP" PEPPER like kids.

                                     ANNIE (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 clichés. 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 clichés, 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
                         Well, yeah...
                              (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
                         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
                         Nuke never quite got in the groove 
                         though he didn't pitch bad...

               NUKE JUST MISSES WITH A PITCH -- Ball four.

                                     ANNIE
                         ...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
                         I'm 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 cigarette 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)
                         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? I 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 levels 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, he? 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 TO:

               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 TO:

               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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 clichés 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
                              (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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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 (V.O.)
                         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

Bull Durham



Writers :   Ron Shelton
Genres :   Comedy  Drama  Romance


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