The Phenom (2016) Movie Script

So what happened?
- There? Right there?
- Hm-mm. Yup.
The scouting report.
What was that report?
That he's better than
most pitchers at the plate.
Can't lay down a bunt,
can't throw it hard and inside,
because he's got some bad speed.
And instead of an easy out,
like you would have with most pitchers,
you actually had to work for this one.
Hm, maybe that was exasperating to you.
After facing all these good hitters, you
don't even get an easy out with the pitcher.
Is this what you do in here?
I mean, is this... Is this what you do
with players, you review tape?
Is this what we are gonna do all week?
My instructions were to calm you down
for the playoffs.
Yeah, so are we gonna
just watch a tape or...
No, that's what we are doing now.
Tomorrow, it'll be different.
Is that okay with you, man?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Yeah, you are the Coach.
You remember anything else specific?
Yeah, I remember I'm about to throw
five wild pitches and
make a fucking ass out of myself
in front of the entire world.
Yeah, I remember that.
Oh, I got that.
But do you remember what you were thinking,
and what you felt in this moment?
I, I heard this guy in the crowd,
he was a vendor. I heard him yell "Coke."
You ever do coke?
What kind of a question is that?
Just flowing with it.
Just keeping it loose... All right,
let's stick with this, uh, soda guy.
That must have been pretty loud
for you to hear it over the crowd.
Yeah, but when I'm focused,
whenever I'm... you know,
I don't even hear the guy next to me.
He could be saying something
and I won't even hear him.
But right before this pitch,
I remember I heard the Coke guy,
I heard little noises in the crowd.
Sandy Koufax said when he lost focus,
he would see the crowd, not the catcher.
- Koufax said that?
- Uh-huh.
- Really?
- Yeah.
You are not the first pitcher
to have this problem, you know, man.
- Yeah, I know, Howard Glass.
- You're not so special.
- I know Howard Glass had this, right?
- Mm.
And he started throwing, he threw strikes.
Woke up one day, couldn't throw
any strikes, never threw again.
Ah, a lot of pitchers struggle
with control when they are young.
Hey, he killed himself, right?
He hung himself.
- Hm-mm.
- You didn't work with him, did you?
No, not really.
Is there a name for what he had?
Yeah, there's plenty of names
but I don't subscribe to any of those.
Why not?
Don't want to legitimize it.
This is a passing thing for you.
And you give it a name,
it might wanna stick around.
- Yeah?
- Mm.
All right.
Well, I think we are about
out of time for today.
Do you have any other question
you want to ask me, though?
Do you prescribe medication in here?
What's the problem?
I, uh...
I haven't slept in like three days.
I don't sleep so good,
you know. I mean I can,
but I have these bad dreams, so I don't.
Need something to knock me out maybe.
Let's try and see if we can handle that
without meds for now.
- Okay.
- Okay?
All right. Fine.
Also, I'll tell you my memory
is a little bit foggy.
I don't remember things so well.
Um, you know.
Memory is a funny business.
And sometimes we fog over the past,
because of damage.
You know, like in the old movies when
they put Vaseline on the camera lens
to make the faces prettier
and softer, you know?
Yeah, I'm not damaged.
I mean I'm not damaged at all.
Some things I remember very clearly.
- You know?
- Okay.
- But some things I don't.
- Okay.
This is a kid who comes into
the game with six wins, no losses,
a 2.03 ERA.
A terrific strikeout to walk ratio which
makes what happened all the more strange.
Well, yeah.
We have to be a little concerned
with the rookie at this point, anyway.
I mean, throwing five wild pitches
in one inning,
on national television to boot.
You know he must be in a state of shock.
I mean, this is a kid who's never had
any control issues at all.
You are absolutely right about that.
The kid is known for pinpoint accuracy
and well, frankly, a fast bowler
that the Gods would be jealous of.
The Gods being Nolan Ryan and,
Walter "The Big Train" Johnson.
You know, I hope the kid's okay.
Hopper, Rachel Cullum with Sport Net.
Could you tell us what happened out there?
Hopper, right here.
That agent who wants to rep you, Scott...
- Hm-mm.
- He sent me his portfolio of the house.
He thinks I should move in,
five miles from Jensen Beach.
I asked him to do that. What do you think?
I can't believe it. It's a fucking castle.
Well, believe it, Mom, 'cause it's yours.
Just in your name, just for you.
Castle makes me nervous, Hop.
Don't be nervous,
just enjoy it. Look at this.
Look at that pool.
You like swimming, right?
No, you like swimming.
Ever since you saw The Little Mermaid.
I'm scared of sharks.
- Sharks in the pool, really?
- At night, yeah.
I'm always terrified
there's gonna be sharks in a dark pool.
- I know it's not likely.
- It's not likely at all.
But you know what?
You can just turn the pool lights on.
There's lights all over it.
Just enjoy it.
I'll try, Hop. I really will try.
It's a mansion though, right?
- Yeah.
- It's a fucking mansion.
You like it?
Yeah, they cut the lawn so nice, too.
You think your baseball coach
is going to get you out of this?
- No, ma'am.
- Good.
'Cause he's not.
I don't play by those rules.
I don't care if you are the big jock
around here,
you still have to study
when it comes to my class.
Yes, ma'am.
I know those big league scouts
are all over the place. I see them.
You'll have more money in a year from now
than I'll have in... all my lifetimes.
But you and I both know
that does not change one undeniable fact.
You know I know your daddy?
You do?
We were at school here, together.
He was a real piece of work.
An expert at cutting corners.
When there weren't any corners left,
he'd make circles around her.
I was hoping
he hadn't taught you that trick.
Well, I'm not trying to make excuses,
Ms. Epland, but sometimes, I find it
a little difficult to balance
baseball and homework.
Now, you listen to me.
When you're gifted
with a talent like you are,
people will say,
"Wow, that's pretty nifty."
And they'll tell you honestly
that it can change your life,
lead you to inconceivable realms.
But you have to work at bringing
the rest of your person up to that level.
If you only do what comes easy to you,
what you are good at,
you are just an untrained thoroughbred,
which isn't a race horse, at all.
It's a wild animal.
I'm using sports metaphor
so that you can understand,
Yo, what's up, Hopper?
Uh, Dorothy was telling us
that you are trying to decide
between college and being a professional.
I know my college education
is important, but at the same time...
Mm, nonsense.
I mean, when those colleges
start giving kids a share
of all the money they are making
off of them, then maybe.
But as it is, it's absurd.
I mean, the NCAA's completely corrupt.
Who's that guy, at Duke?
The one at Duke that they are paying
ten million dollars a year
to coach a basketball team.
Coach K, absolutely.
Yeah, these coaches
making a million dollars
while the players get nothing,
it should be illegal.
And so should the Major League drafts.
All drafts should be illegal.
You want to sign with the Yankees,
you should be able to sign with Yankees,
don't you think?
I've never really thought about it before.
All drafts should be illegal.
I don't think Yankees
would be my first pick.
Why not?
Well, you know, New York.
All those people, all that money.
Isn't money important to you?
Yeah, money is important to me but,
only enough to take care of my mom
and I don't have to put up
with those Steinbrenner kids.
Talk to the socialist.
What's a socialist?
It's a person who believes in a system
where there's no private property.
Oh, that's not me. No.
I want to buy my mom a house.
Of course.
You're still a ball player, after all.
I mean you couldn't throw all those
strikes if you were a complete Marxist.
When I grew up, athletes were political.
They wanted to be like Muhammad Ali.
Nowadays, they want to be
like Michael Jordon.
Hollow billionaire. They're capitalists.
No heart or love in what they do.
LeBron went back to Cleveland.
There was love in that move. Kevin Love.
Did I tell you the one
about the polar bear and rabbit?
- Oh, the polar bear and the rabbi?
- Rabbit.
Uh, uh, hold it. LeBron,
are you ready for dessert?
I just called you LeBron, didn't I?
Because I love the game.
Oh, Hopper, are you ready for dessert?
No, you can call me LeBron.
You can call me LeBron. I like it.
My parents, they loved you.
I'm not used to talking like that
at dinner at all.
- What's it like at your house?
- My house? At dinner?
I always sit in front of the TV.
We eat, we don't really say anything.
My mom works all the time.
She is in real estate. My dad he's...
He's away.
Your family is so smart.
You're smart.
You're going to be a valedictorian.
You got all the Chinese kids beat.
I'm just good at studying, that's all.
I'm terrible at studying.
My Mom says I have ADD.
How do you focus when you're on the mound?
I just forget about everything.
Hopper, come on in for a second.
- Sunflower seed?
- No, thank you.
How is the change up coming along?
Mm-mm. I don't know. Sometimes,
I think I'm getting it, and then...
There's not really anything to get.
You just can't blow up, you know.
Yeah, I guess.
I heard your dad's coming back this week.
Is that what you wanted
to talk to me about?
Is he going to stay with you and your mom?
Yeah, I think so.
- How do you feel about him coming back?
- I feel great about it.
- Real fucking cocksucker.
- Yeah.
My dad rides me pretty damn hard.
I know he does.
He rides me hard too.
He tells me all the time
not to watch the pitch count,
'cause it's going to make you soft.
A dime a dozen.
He's a piece of work, your pop.
Yeah, he thinks you are...
he thinks you're slow too because you didn't
take that third base Coaching gig at FSU.
- That's what he said?
- That's what he said.
You are doing really good.
- Yeah.
- Staying out of trouble.
I'm trying really hard.
And I like Dorothy. That's a good girl.
- Yeah.
- She's got sturdy head over her shoulders.
It seems to me you've been
in the pink since you been with her.
A lot better than with the last one,
I forgot her name right now.
I think it was another "D" name.
- Doreen.
- Doreen.
Any girl going to math class,
puts on that much mascara,
she does not like herself very much.
Anybody puts on that kind of mask,
they unintentionally expose themselves.
Are you listening? I can't tell with you
if you are listening.
I'm listening.
- Are you?
- Yeah, yeah.
This is bananas.
I think your mom took that picture.
High school yearbook.
I was the yearbook editor.
I found that last night,
going through the garage.
He was a really gifted player,
could have gone pro.
You think?
You know, he hit a lot of doubles,
that's what he says.
He's a doubles hitter.
Double vodka, double soda.
Senior year, he started showing up
to practice late and tired and high,
new tattoos all the time,
and then by the end of the season,
he just simply wasn't showing up at all.
He said he got...
kicked off the team for brawling.
There was a bad brawl,
but he never got kicked off the team.
In fact, I remember
the coaches actually liked
that he threw punches in the brawl,
because it's the only time
they'd seen him with any pep all year.
Little did we know that was it.
That was it.
That would be his pastime
from then on, fracas.
I got to go, Coach.
Dorothy is waiting for me.
Look at me.
Be astute.
If late at night,
trouble comes knocking...
at your door, do yourself
a favor, stay in bed.
Go say hi to Dorothy.
So, I have another joke.
I went to the zoo the other day.
But there was only a dog.
It was a Shih Tzu.
Why do you like mayonnaise on your fries?
- Try it, you might like it.
- Mm, no, I'll take my chances.
You never take the chance.
Whenever we go out, you always sit
in the corner, with your back to the wall,
like you are afraid of your own shadow.
Like the Nutcracker cornered
by the Mouse King.
It's the best spot.
You can see everything coming.
If there's a scout over there,
spying on me, then I know it.
And if there's any trouble coming,
I know it.
But, then you never get surprised.
Yeah, well, surprises are overrated.
Hi, y'all.
What did Coach have to say?
Why do you care what my coach had to say?
Because I care about you.
Do you have any idea how much
pressure I am under right now?
I'm only trying to help.
I know, but, I mean,
I'm the number three ranked prospect
in the country.
Number one pitcher.
You have any idea what kind
of pressure that is?
Well, who do you think has the best
grade point average in the school?
There is not nearly as much as rivalry.
Yeah, but if I want to go to a great
college, then I need to get a scholarship.
I'm talking about
millions and millions of dollars.
I'm talking about being famous. I'm talking
about being a professional athlete.
You know that a Shih Tzu
is a toy dog, right?
- What are you talking about?
- Shih Tzu and a shit zoo.
- Come on.
- And you are telling jokes right now?
- Come now, Hooper, it's only baseball.
- I just...
That's the dumbest thing you've ever said.
It's not just baseball.
You know what? I wanna go home.
You're hurting my feelings.
You really need to toughen up.
- No, I don't.
- Yeah, you do.
No, I don't need to toughen up,
because that's a stupid goal.
Survival of the fittest.
Yeah, it's called Social Darwinism.
And you are scared that if you can't
throw a ball perfectly, then you...
And you think everybody's nice.
Okay, well, that's not how it works.
Everybody is using everybody
all the time. Period.
- You using me?
- Yes, I'm using you.
Of course, I'm using you.
You're using me. That's how it works.
You are a cute little odd ball
that I pass my time with.
You think because
you can throw a baseball,
that you are special
in some kind of real/non-secular way.
- Non-secular, what do you mean by that?
- Well, it doesn't.
Worshiping these false American idols,
and people just buying into
this Harry Potter Syndrome,
like wanting to have a fucking
lightning bolt on their forehead,
do you really believe in any of that?
Because nobody is more special
than anybody else.
I mean like, duh and...
You know what? I really wanna go.
How's your arm?
It's fine.
Got some new ink.
Yeah, I was bored.
Must have hurt getting it that dark, huh?
Pain is just weakness...
...leaving the body, yeah, I know.
Have you grown at all?
I don't think you've grown even a little
bit in the year since I've seen you.
Inch and a half.
You haven't grown
an inch and a half. Bullshit.
Look at you. You're thin like a reed.
You don't have any muscle on you at all.
You know the market's got
the undetectable steroids again.
You might wanna check that out.
How's... How's the great Coach Eddie, huh?
He still think he's got all the answers
'cause he had a cup of coffee at the Majors?
Hm? Didn't have what it takes to stick
so he's been sticking it
to everybody else since, right?
He had what it takes.
Batted 307 before he got injured.
Yeah. Running into a wall.
That's a brainy baby for ya.
Now he's got a job working in a school,
getting paid diddly squat.
That's a loser's game.
And he plays it 'cause he likes losing.
Like the...
freaks on the block who get their kicks
while getting banged around.
No, thank you.
You tell him I say hi.
All right, fine.
Well, you got here just in time.
Who's playing?
Fuck that. You got here
just in time to get me a beer.
Take the edge off.
Appreciate it.
- Is Mom home?
- Why, you wanna cry to her?
No, just wondering
if she got home from work yet.
- You know.
- Hey, sit down.
No, I got homework.
No! I know you don't have
any homework, little liar face.
Huh, you don't have the
brains for homework.
Get your ass, your scrawny ass
to sit down on the couch.
You don't have any homework, hey.
You actually want to make me stand up
and come over there
and sit your scrawny ass down.
Is that what you want?
I don't think so, Slim.
I can't believe all these scouts are buzzing
around a little toothpick like you.
I mean that is full blown
craziness right there.
I threw 98 miles an hour on Saturday.
- Did you throw 98 miles an hour?
- Ninety-eight miles an hour.
Wow, you must think
you're pretty astonishing.
- You can tell me. It's all right.
- No, sir.
- Well, come on, you can tell me.
- No, sir.
It will be our secret.
You think you're pretty astonishing, right?
No, sir.
- You do.
- I don't think I'm astonishing.
- You think you are astonishing.
- No, sir.
Yep, listen.
Everything that you've accomplished,
you owe to me, right. You know that.
Yes, sir.
Don't "yes, sir" me, all right?
That pisses me off.
Don't do that.
I saw you smile at that game on Saturday.
I don't think I was smiling.
Uh, I saw you.
In the photo, in the newspaper.
You are standing on the mound, smiling.
So, what happens when you break a rule?
Hm? What's rule number one?
Never show emotion on the mound.
And what do we do
when you break a rule during a game?
What do we do?
What the fuck!
Huh? What do we do?
Huh? What do we do?
We run wind sprints.
That's right.
Now get your ass outside, come on.
Please don't make me chase you.
Come on, go!
Come on, man,
this is a suicide, not a jog.
Don't make me get up and chase you.
Don't make me get up and chase you!
Do not make me get up and chase you!
Go! Go!
Look, man, I'm old
and I'm faster than you, motherfucker!
Come on, now!
That's better.
What are you boys doing out here?
- Oh, nothing.
- What's going on out here?
Get inside, don't disobey me.
It ain't worth it.
Hey, there.
- What's going on out here?
- Nothing.
Where's he going?
He didn't even say hello.
Well, boys got no manners,
what'd you expect?
Shut the fuck up.
What were you doing to him out here?
What were you doing to him out here?
Junior and me have rules.
And I was remembering them to him.
The rules don't concern you, Susan.
It ain't your concern.
Don't come back here
trying to make things the way they were.
Me and Hop have a certain way of doing
things now and it doesn't include suicides.
You've to get accustomed to that,
you hear me?
What? Come here.
Come here.
Hey, hey.
You know what?
We're doing dandy without you.
So you can either get with the docket
or you can get out.
Susan, you're starting to sound
a lot like my warden, Hal,
and even a little bit more
like my parole officer, Neal.
He'll be all right. Come here.
You have any love for your Daddy? Any love?
You're gonna have to
earn it this time, Daddy.
All right, Susan.
I'm still your fucking husband, right?
I have been getting a lot of the bullshit
whiny card, none of the soft stuff.
Whole fucking world getting Topsy turvy.
Time, the great destroyer.
You want to be the best?
What time is it?
Do you want to be the best?
- Yeah, sure.
- All right then.
The time is now.
Get up.
Yeah, what time is it, seriously?
It's 3:30 am, it's time to jog.
- I've school in three hours.
- Wake up, dude.
I'm not gonna ask you again.
Okay? I'm tryin' to teach you
about greatness.
I know you're pissed at me, all right?
But let me tell you something right now.
We are winning.
You hear me?
Only me, you and the ghosts
of the legends up at this hour.
One of these days,
you're going to be rich.
You are going to be in some fancy hotel.
Two Egyptian princesses
are going to be fighting over
which one gets to suck your cock first.
You're gonna lean back, you're gonna
look at the ceiling and think,
"Goddamn, I love my dad."
Huh? You hear me, son?
You're gonna put your head on the pillow,
close your eyes,
your dreams will line up just right.
I shit you not, son,
we are winning right now.
All right, that's good. That's good.
Take off your gear
and go catch some grounders.
Something bothering you, Hopper?
Just tired, Coach.
What happened to your head?
Ah, it's nothing, Coach.
So where is Hopper Gibson now?
He is not with the Triple-A Minor League club
as he had been for the most of the season.
He is not on the injured list.
When I asked Atlanta's GM,
David Foreman, where Gibson was,
Foreman would only say that Gibson
was taking care of a personal situation
and would rejoin the club shortly.
Thank you, Rachel.
Who knows what darkness lurks
in the heart of a man? His shadow knows.
Here's how Hopper Gibson's stats
compare with Howard Glass.
Their numbers are eerily similar:
When you first came into the public eye,
why did you say your dad was
a fisherman to Sports Illustrated?
Because it's none of their business.
I mean, what am I supposed to do?
Am I supposed to air my dirty laundry
in front of the entire world?
Why would I do that to my mom?
You know? I mean, am I supposed
to say he deals eight balls in SI?
Oh, huh.
Still, you made up
occupations for your dad.
No, I didn't.
- No?
- No.
Every... He... Yeah,
he hung drywall for a while.
He was a fisherman.
He was a fisherman for a year.
- Yeah, okay.
- Yeah.
Well, maybe that's how
you like to think of him.
I have no idea.
All I know is I'm fucking tired.
That's what I know.
Nice rain.
Clean my car off, at least that's good.
- You think I'm lying, don't you?
- No.
We can make things
be the way we want them to be in our head
so that the pain isn't too much.
And that's very different from lying.
That's very different.
My dad always said,
"Pain is weakness leaving the body."
What do you think of that?
I don't know. What do you think?
It has its own warped, macho truth to it.
My dad was a pretty warped, macho guy.
Wouldn't even know
we were in the same family except...
Except for what?
People say that... I mean,
some people say that I favor him.
We have the same look in our eye.
What look is that?
Secretiveness, I guess.
Maybe something's going on,
maybe there's a time-bomb ticking.
I picture my dad and
all I see is a shadow.
A person can reject aspects of themselves
that they don't like
and put them on to somebody else.
You know, project them.
Things that make them uncomfortable
or things that feel dangerous,
things that feel...
But the funny thing is,
there's a lot of positive things
in our shadow that we need.
Like what?
Like our instincts, for one.
Like our animal instincts.
So you want me to get angry?
You want me to explode?
No, I want you to throw
without thinking about it.
I want you to be instinctual.
I want you to get out of your own way.
Leave yourself alone.
Do you want to explode?
You feel like a time-bomb sometimes?
No. Of course, not.
Okay. That's good. I believe that.
Or I guess I was one.
And I didn't even know it.
Open up!
Teresa, you're looking spry.
- Bitch.
- Stop it.
I still haven't seen Dorothy anywhere.
- Does Hop look upset to you?
- No, he doesn't look upset.
I wonder if they broke up.
Shit, I hope not.
Coach Eddie better not even think about
taking him out of the game.
- He looks tired.
- He doesn't look tired, all right?
He looks lazy like his mother.
Come on, Hopper, challenge this guy.
Huh, don't pussy-foot around.
Challenge him!
Coach Eddie, better not make you
pussy-foot these scrubs.
This kid can't hit you!
There you go, there you go.
Christ, big shot, huh?
I guess you were really
important back then, huh?
That's easy.
Come, do this right here right now.
You have a good night, huh, buddy?
You all right?
Yeah, I'm good.
- Arm's fine?
- Yeah.
Just worry about that hitter
right now. That's it.
Yes, Coach.
Where's your mind?
It's in the game.
Nothing else should be
of any concern to you right now.
You got to fuck all that noise.
We'll deal with whatever that is
after the game.
You can't worry about that stuff
'cause you can't control it.
So, there's no point worrying about it.
This is it.
Bailing butt from this all is simple.
This is it.
You ever heard of F. Scott Fitzgerald?
Well, he was a wunderkind,
like yourself. A whiz kid.
So good at his craft, he didn't even
have to think about what he was doing.
Now, this is about Fitzgerald, uh...
- Cracking up.
- Hm.
- You're cool if I read a passage?
- Sure.
Short one?
Okay, uh
"I was him again, for an instant,
I had the good fortune
to share his dreams,
I, who have no more dreams of my own.
And there are still times
when I creep up on him,
surprise him on an autumn morning
in New York
or a spring night in Carolina,
when it's so quiet, you can hear a dog
barking in the next county.
But never again, as during
that all too short period,
when he and I were one person,
when the fulfilled future
and the wistful past
were mingled in a single gorgeous moment,
when life was literally a dream."
- He's talking about being old.
- Hm.
Wishing he was young again?
I don't know anything about that.
Well, he wasn't that old when he wrote it.
He was still a pretty young man.
He felt old, he felt like he wasn't
connected to his younger self any more.
That's the rub.
The part where he's talking about
life being a dream,
I've never experienced that.
- But...
- Never.
Never once, felt any kind of pleasure,
any enjoyment in your success?
No, never. No. My dad always told me,
"No emotions on the mound."
- So you can't show emotions on the mound.
- No.
Were you allowed to show emotion
off the mound?
I was never off the mound.
I was taught, you are always on the mound.
- Right.
- Always on the mound.
You are always supposed to
outfox your opponent.
- Yeah?
- Your opponent?
Your opponent, yeah.
- Who's the opponent off the mound?
- Everyone.
Everyone outside of the family.
Must be pretty hard to talk to me then.
- No, seriously.
- Well, sometimes, yeah. I guess.
- Yeah. Well...
- Sure.
- It's been a difficult challenge.
- Yeah.
Do you think your father had a lot to do
with your success as a pitcher, Hopper?
Hm. I mean, yeah.
When I was a little kid, I never thought
I was gonna make it to the Majors.
I'd wanna go hang out with friends,
go to the beach, you know.
But he, he would say,
"No, that's not gonna work.
If you love it, good things will come."
- So what did you do?
- I loved it.
- Just like that?
- Just like that.
- Really?
- Yeah. Yeah.
With three relief pitchers on the DL,
Atlanta looks to be in trouble,
heading into division playoffs
this coming weekend.
One name that has come up
as a possible remedy
is the last wonder boy, Hopper Gibson.
Gibson has spent the past few months
in the Minors trying to regain control
of his considerable stuff.
In the current vernacular,
the dude's got issues.
It's not that hard. Come on.
Uh, what do I miss most about the Majors?
Probably the jet planes.
Can't jump a jet plane like you can
a freight train, right, Hopper?
What about those geese, Hopper?
How do you mean?
I mean, you watched them a long time.
Yeah, I don't know.
Watching the geese
was just so... peaceful.
I prefer watching jet planes.
Well, then, why don't you follow
someone who is in the Majors?
What can I say? I'm dedicated.
To car crashes, yeah.
Don't talk about yourself like that.
You give good quote.
That shit about geese is nice stuff.
I'm glad you think so.
You have enough so you don't have to
tag along anymore?
It's only a good quote today.
Tomorrow, they'll wrap a fish in it.
I'll have to come back for more, fresh.
Sorry, it's exhausting for me too.
Takes a lot of medicine
to keep up to this pace.
I'm on the Red Bull, heavy.
After this, I have to go on Twitter
and think of something
sexy/informative to tweet.
And then condense it into
a pithy anecdotal
making sure not to go over
the heads of feeble-minded frat boys.
It's a fairly fucking relentless grind.
Yeah, I noticed that.
Hm. I'm still on school schedule, Hop.
I don't know who else to call, sorry.
Wait, wait, wait.
Hold on. I've got, like, no signal here.
I'm gonna go out on the porch
so I can hear you better.
All right, kiddo, go ahead.
I don't know. Last week, you know,
I seemed to be getting better.
Tonight, I can't find the plate.
I never know who's
gonna show up, you know.
Sometimes, we're who we want to be,
sometimes we're just
some dunderhead chump.
That's the way it goes. That's okay.
Sometimes your cutter is hitting,
sometimes it's not.
But there's no need
to, like, elaborate on it,
and beat the shit out of yourself
all the time the way you do.
You add this extra layer of anguish by
judging yourself so harshly all the time.
Yeah. I just wish I could forget about
stuff when I'm out there, you know.
Forget about stuff from yesterday.
Yesterday can't be junked.
You can't just get rid of it.
There's no way to push it aside,
or dig a hole and bury it.
- You know what I'm saying, kid?
- Yeah.
How's Dorothy?
I don't know.
I think she thinks I'm shallow.
You got to be Paul Robeson with her.
She's done with it, you know.
Who's Paul Robeson?
He's an all star who got blacklisted.
A pariah. Where the fuck am I right now?
I'm sorry for calling you,
waking you up. Go back to sleep.
All right?
Who should I make this out to?
- Uh, Fallon.
- Fallon.
How do I spell Fallon?
Does anyone have a pen? Do you have a pen?
Thank you. What is it?
- F-A...
- F-A...
- L-L...
- L-L...
- O-N.
- O-N.
Cool name.
There you go.
- Thank you.
- Yeah.
Sign the ball, please.
- Yeah? Sign it?
- Yeah.
- Please.
- All right.
Thanks. Could you sign this card, too?
My dad says you are going to be fine.
Here you go.
He says you're going to
get your control back in no time at all.
Um, could you show me
your curve-ball grip?
Could you show me a curve-ball grip?
- Let's see your grip.
- All right, cool.
- So, two seams, two seams, get it.
- Yeah, there you go.
- All right.
- Something like that?
Yeah, all right, that's good.
But see the hardest thing for me
to figure out is, you got to snap this.
- Snap it like that?
- Yeah.
There you go. You can't throw it
like a fast ball.
Hm-mm, so right around like that?
- So...
- Dude!
Are you handing out instructions now?
- Better go.
- That is fucking scary.
Thanks, Hopper.
That's the good thing
about youngsters though, right?
They are undiscriminating.
You know that word?
Of course, you do.
I learned that word in the pen.
We had this priest who used to come by
on Sunday nights, you know.
Have a little Bible study.
So I signed right up. For giggles.
And he used to say that
Jesus was undiscriminating.
He loved all of us.
Each and everyone of us, just the same.
You believe that?
- Hm.
- So?
- How's the arm?
- It's fine.
- It's fine?
- Yeah.
- All right.
- What are you doing here?
What do you mean
what am I doing here? Come on.
I came to say hi.
Well, I'm not pitching today, so...
I know, I know. I'm relieved.
You wanna go get some peanuts?
Come on, let's get some peanuts.
What are you doing in California?
I got a job, buddy of mine...
Okeechobee, hooked me up with a...
a little deal in Mexico, at the border.
Job, good one.
What kind of job is that?
The best kind.
The kind that might be my last.
You know, set me up
for early retirement, like your mom.
I saw the house you bought her.
Lot of carpenters there.
Hittin' it.
Well, I guess the priest
didn't reform you, did he?
No, sir.
They don't make 'em like me anymore.
They try to bring me down.
Well, see with me,
it's a matter of self respect.
- Yeah, I got to go do some running.
- No, you don't.
No, you don't. Come on, now.
I hear you got knocked around
a little bit the other night.
- Yeah.
- You know why?
- Yeah, I know why.
- Why?
- My footing's off.
- Yeah.
I've got professional coaches
to help me with that now.
- Oh, you do?
- Yeah, I do.
Okay. Okay.
They helping you with your face?
- My face?
- Hm-mm.
Your intimidation stare.
Do you remember
anything that I taught you?
Huh? Bob Gibson?
Dave Stewart.
"The Rocket" Clemens.
Bitchin' motherfuckers would have you out
before you stepped in the batter's box
with their fucking eyes.
Okay? And look at you,
you're not even a paper tiger.
You wander over to the mound with your
tail between your legs like a little puppy.
I was worried you were
gonna piss yourself.
I'll work on my Rocket.
Get some HGH and some steroids
while I'm at it.
Hey, look, are you joking?
Right? But...
Five, ten years from now,
all that shit's gonna be legal.
You know that, right?
The government can't stop evolution.
All drugs should be legal.
- Then you'd be out of a job.
- Hm-mm.
I'd still have you as my
full time fucking employment, hm?
When I delivered you,
you were a perfectly sound pitcher.
Two years with these so called experts,
and what? You are all banged up.
You are all... You are all tangled up.
It's not their fault, Dad.
So you say.
They got a weight room here
in the Minors Leagues, Skinny?
- All right. I got to go.
- No, no, listen.
- I'm serious about the anabolics.
- Yeah. I will.
- I can get you the undetectable stuff.
- All right.
Get in.
You got to get wet all at once,
then it's awfully pleasant.
If it's so pleasant,
why aren't you getting in?
I was on my feet all day
waiting on suckers.
That makes me a sucker, too, huh?
I work at Millie's a mile away.
Do you see bunions on my feet?
No, I don't see any bunions.
Not from this distance, anyway.
You with the ball club, Hopper?
That's right.
- What position?
- Pitcher.
- Throw fast?
- Very.
Oh, regular Bob Feller.
That might be.
My name's Candace, by the way.
I'm a regular Candace.
What's that mean?
Get it? Regular Bob Feller,
regular Candace.
Oh, I got you.
So you're a waitress around here?
And you live in the motel?
For the night, at any rate.
My old man's a fucking child.
He ran out of generosity,
even for himself.
He tells me he lifted me out of the gutter,
but I'm pretty sure I'm still there.
Maybe you know how it can be with drunks.
Do I have something
on my mouth or something?
You keep staring at my mouth.
Okay, it's okay.
Here. Watch it blow you a kiss.
You seem ill at ease, homeboy.
Yeah... If I... get caught
by the coaches I'm dead.
You'll die satisfied.
Hey, come here.
You're a stud.
I could kiss you forever.
You expecting someone?
As a matter of fact, I am.
Don't be too sore with me, okay?
Whatever's got a tail at one end,
has teeth at the other.
What the fuck are you talking about?
I claimed that from The Nature Channel.
Door's not locked.
It's okay, it's okay.
It's okay.
I'm just gonna...
I'm just gonna take this, okay?
And this.
- Do whatever you want.
- Those are real nice.
Oh, you need a watch, right, baby?
Don't you worry.
Turn over and lie on your stomach.
My ride's downstairs
in the form of a motorcycle.
I'm going to take your party favors
and start the engine.
My pal sees you move,
or hears you breathe,
he's gonna blast you
in the back of your head.
So, don't move or breathe, Hopper.
- Are you breathing?
- No.
Well, you can breathe a little.
Oh, man, sometimes,
I'm just plain mean and salty.
Son of a bitch.
I'm sorry that you're in distress
but that doesn't change
the way things went down.
- You know?
- Yeah.
I thought I was your best friend,
and, all of a sudden,
you treated me like a stalker.
I felt bad for even calling you.
You don't know what it's like.
To be what, like, illustrious you mean?
Are you still on that trip?
No, I'm not.
Still trying to be the dude
from the Wheaties Box?
The sooner you realize
that we are all just utterly unique aliens
in this vast universe,
and stop trying to be
some commercial, conditioned,
brain-washed, TV cowboy
version of yourself,
- Yeah, I know. I know.
- ...the less you're gonna suffer.
I know and that's not... I was...
I was confused.
I'm sorry.
I can't. I don't know what else to say.
I go back to New Haven soon.
I don't know what else I can do.
Do you have another boyfriend
waiting for you?
But I have papers and,
I can't be here for you like that anymore.
You're scared and you need somebody,
maybe anybody.
That's not what it's like. Okay?
That's not what it's like. I promise.
Then what is it like? Talk to me.
It's not fair.
I'm not good at talking about stuff.
Well, when you want to talk...
I'm in love with you, Hopper.
Like a lot, you know?
So, when you do want to talk,
let me know.
Okay. Now I want you to throw one
right over the plate, strike.
Okay? Show me what you've got.
What do you want? Cheese, Charlie?
- Change up?
- Whatever you want.
- Anything?
- Just throw me a strike.
All right?
All right.
What's the most fun
you ever had playing baseball?
- Fun?
- Hm-mm.
Now, come on, there must have been
one time. Come on.
Yeah, I guess there was one time.
When I was five or six, we used to play
in this abandoned parking lot.
That was fun.
- Did you pitch?
- Yeah, that's the first time I pitched.
- And that was fun?
- Yeah.
What was so fun about pitching then?
I don't know. We were just stupid kids.
Nobody expected anything of us, you know.
How do you think you can
get pitching to feel that way again?
I don't know. That's the big question.
You add millions of dollars to it
and something changes, I guess.
Probably have to do hypnosis
to make me think
I'm in an abandoned
parking lot or something.
Close your eyes.
- I wasn't serious.
- I am. Now close your eyes.
- Huh.
- No laughing, come on, man.
See it, hear it, feel it, smell it.
- Smell it?
- Yeah.
Yeah, you are five years old.
could be a warm day like this one,
if that's what you remember.
- Seriously?
- Can you see anything?
Can you see anything?
Yeah, I can see it, kinda.
And what do you see?
I don't know.
I, uh...
You are, what, five years old.
Deep, deep breath.
That's it. Take another deep breath.
Wind up and throw whenever you want.
Go for it.
How'd that feel?
Felt good.
How did it look?
- There he is!
- Hopper! Hopper!
Any comment on your dad's arrest?
How do you feel about
his criminal record being exposed?
Come on, Hopper. It's me, talk to me.
Ladies and gentlemen,
my client has no comment at this time.
Give me an exclusive.
I'll put sugar on it.
Oh, you filthy little girl.
We can't get the public to be sympathetic
to Hopper if they don't know him.
Hey, where are JD Salinger
and Boo Radley staying? Go there.
Go. Go.
You got to tell me when the club
puts you in a shitty dump like this.
They didn't put me in here,
I asked to be put in here.
What's with the get-up?
Ah, fundraising benefit.
I figured I'd go as the Duke of Earl.
You look like hell, Hopper.
You should have Mobley
prescribe you some sleeping pills.
Well, Mobley doesn't like pills.
- He doesn't like pills, huh?
- No.
- You still like him, though?
- He's all right.
- Those fucking parasites.
- What did they get my dad on?
Drug smuggling.
- It's pretty serious.
- So did we lose any endorsements?
No, you did not.
Under Armour has contacted me.
They want to talk. But it's cool.
You did not get into trouble,
your father did.
Could you not worry
about the companies? That's my job.
Okay. Sick.
Let's dry you off.
Okay? Let's not catch a cold
on top of everything else.
I'm gonna stay with you
till things settle down.
It's all right. You don't need to do that.
- With all your other clients...
- Nonsense.
You wanted to stay here, huh?
We're stuck.
We've got the leeches outside.
All right. I'm gonna order us dinner
from the Four Seasons, okay?
Pass me the salt, please.
Thank you. So...
now that I've shown up, it's gonna deflect
a lot of negativity away from you.
The press hates me more than anyone.
When we have the families come in, when
we are representing the premium people,
the draft, you know, the parents,
fathers and mothers and players,
and they look at me
and they thank me for what I do,
I don't give a shit what the press says.
I mean, we got to have
a thick skin in this game.
All of us do.
- Right?
- Right.
Big league team is calling you up.
Go to LA, couple of days.
My dad's in prison in LA.
I thought of that.
You don't have to think about that.
You gotta try that with butter.
I won't tell.
So, where did they find Dr. Mobley?
Everyone in sports knows him.
- He's got a good reputation?
- What do you think? Yeah.
The guy was on the cover of Time Magazine
when he was, like, 22 years old.
He's brilliant.
What was he on the cover
of Time Magazine for?
He was the first mental skills coach hired
full time by a big league club at, like, 21.
He was a prodigy. He was like
the Bobby Fischer of Sports Psychology.
Who's Bobby Fischer?
No one. No one you need to think about.
That's a shitty example.
You ever been to any kind of
mental coach or psychologist before? No?
- No.
- So...
When I got some money, the first thing
I did was I got a shrink. Right?
And I went every other day for five years,
And finally, the guy says to me, "Oh...
you want to kill your father
and fuck your mother."
I said, "Oh, thanks, Tyreseus,
that's why people go to shrinks.
Can I have my
quarter of a million dollars back now?"
You know?
But, look, Mobley, he's the man.
He worked with Howard Glass
before people even understood
that there's such a thing
as Sports Psychology.
He said he didn't work with Howard Glass.
- Really?
- Yeah.
I mean, you know these fucking shrinks,
they say one thing to their patients,
another thing to their non-patients,
and another thing altogether to their wives.
They work in strange and mysterious ways.
I mean, you and me are friends.
We straight talk to each other,
but shrinks have...
weird ways. That's how they are.
Yeah. You sure
he worked with Howard Glass?
- Yes.
- Yeah?
When Glass died,
Mobley dedicated his practice
solely to athletes who are suffering from
you know, from the yips.
Well, he's the expert in the field now.
Perhaps, you misheard him.
No, I didn't mishear him.
Hop, I'm telling you, Mobley is the man.
I trust him. Do you trust me?
- Yeah.
- Then we are all good.
Eat your fancy dinner.
When I threw with my eyes closed,
I wasn't throwing strikes.
Right? You were just fucking with me?
No, I'm not just fucking with you.
Those were strikes, man.
I guess I really won't know for sure
until it's too late.
Out there, humiliating myself
in front of the entire universe again.
Okay. Well.
- What's up, man?
- You didn't tell me anything
about Howard Glass.
When I brought him up,
you just glazed right over it.
Don't you think I would wanna
know about that?
I didn't want you to dwell on him.
In that moment, uh...
In that moment, I wanted to keep
the focus of the sessions squarely on you.
So, we don't keep the focus on you?
- No.
- We stay away from the focus on you.
Howard Glass was my patient, yes.
It's true.
And his suicide affected me greatly.
Altered the course of my life.
It altered the course of my practice.
You're a great talker.
But you couldn't talk him out...
of killing himself.
No, I couldn't, no.
Does that haunt you?
There was a time
when I put the blame on myself, yeah.
But I was...
And I've learned things since then.
Um, I know now what I can and can't do.
I can only talk to you
and listen to you and be here with you.
I can't go out the door with you.
Or take the mound for you.
Or pitch for you. Only you can do that.
- So?
- Are you married?
I'm divorced.
Is there anything else you want to know?
- She left you?
- Yeah.
- Why did she leave you?
- That's right.
- What?
- Why did she leave you?
Um, I was never home.
I was always working.
And even when I was at home.
Um, see, there's now a little, kinda...
It's not exactly the truth, is it?
I mean, I did a lot of Googling on you.
I read the web. It's out there.
- I got the scoop on you, doc.
- Yeah.
All right, let's hear it then.
Your life, I mean, you sound
like you have it all together,
but your life is
pretty fucking far from perfect.
I think both of us have some issues
about being perfect, man.
After he died, you hit the bottle
pretty hard, right?
Arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct.
- Yeah.
- Holy fuckin' shit.
Doc, I mean, she probably
thought she was marrying a superstar,
and you didn't
live up to those expectations.
Sounds familiar.
Yeah. Kinda fell short.
Bye-bye, magazine covers.
That was the best part, actually.
And I wasn't all that comfortable
with the attention myself.
Well, try living under
a fucking microscope today.
- Yeah.
- You know?
They will eat you alive.
They find the smallest chink
in your armor.
Take off the armor.
- Take off the armor?
- Yes.
That's easy for you to say, because
nobody gives a shit about you anymore.
A lot of people want an arm
that throws a 100 mile an hour fast ball.
You know what? They can have the arm.
They really can. You want the arm?
You can have it. It's yours.
- No, thank you.
- Oh, come on. You know you want it.
Who doesn't want an arm
that can throw a fast ball?
Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure.
Are you sure you don't want it?
- Oh, I'm sure I don't want it.
- Okay.
- I promise you that.
- Then what do you want?
- What do I want?
- Yes.
- Fuck you, we're not going there.
- No. Fuck you.
Fuck you, come on.
- Oh, fuck you, fuck you.
- Okay.
That feeling you had when you were a kid,
playing in the parking lot
with your friends,
that's still available to you.
That's still available to you,
that still exists.
I swear to God, it does.
Now you may feel
kinda beat up and fucked up,
and you're siting in the corner
of some washed-up asshole's office.
But I swear to you,
that feeling of being and playing,
that still is available to you.
You threw strikes.
I couldn't bullshit you about that.
You know it.
So, believe me.
And this overwhelming suspicion
you have of people,
is old, old, old fear,
and you can let go of that now.
Let go of it now.
I compete out of fear.
How am I gonna compete
if I don't have fear?
You wanna compete?
You just said you wanted...
I doesn't matter what I want,
'cause I have a contract.
And you know what?
I'll tell you something.
They picked the wrong fucking guy.
Because I'm just an ordinary kid.
I'm just an ordinary kid.
And maybe that's what
makes you the right kid.
- Can I lie down for a second?
- Yeah.
So, you ready for the big game, hm?
Got you coming out to the pen, huh?
You're going to save everybody?
I raised you to be a horse,
not to come out to the pen.
So, hero, what you doing here?
Well, my mental coach
thought it would be a good idea.
- Your what?
- My mental coach.
- What do you talk about with him?
- I don't know. Whatever.
Whatever we want to, I guess.
What's the... what's the diagnosis?
Ah, it's complicated.
- Oh, I bet.
- Actually, it's pretty simple.
But, I'd rather not get into it.
Suit yourself.
We got a shit load of shrinks around here.
I just never...
feel like telling my private life
to some total stranger.
You know Frank Bullet
never cried to a quack, right?
- You know who that is?
- Frank Bullet?
- He's from the...
- From the movie, "Bullet."
- Bullet?
- Yeah.
Anyway, he's a cop, right? But he's not
some loud ol' pig like these fuckers.
- Yeah.
- They are trying to reform me.
Yeah, turn me into a...
modern man.
Modern man, to me,
looks an awful lot like a modern sissy.
So do you have any friends
in here this time?
All my friends are dead.
I had a dream about your mom last night.
She was the same age as when we met.
You know, head cheerleader.
That's all she cared about.
You know, but she was...
she was super pretty.
She'd do those tumbles
into jumps, you know.
Stellar shit.
She led her whole team
to this competition in, uh,
Tokyo, Japan. Did you know that?
- Your mom competed in Japan.
- No.
- You didn't know that?
- No, I didn't.
I mean, I knew she was a cheerleader,
but I didn't know...
- She was the captain, dude.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, Regional Four champion.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, she didn't tell you that?
- No.
Well, she was never
the bragging type, you know.
I'll give her that.
High-school sweethearts die hard.
Champ, beware.
Well, you know what?
- I started talking to Dorothy last night.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, we talked for five hours.
- Five hours?
- Five hours.
- You're Chatty Cathy, huh?
- I guess so.
- You think you love her?
- I think so.
- Hm.
You know how to do that, huh?
Love somebody.
I need someone.
I think, she doesn't like, she...
- I have to communicate.
- Yeah, right.
- Or she gets pissed.
- Yeah.
So you don't even care, huh?
You just, you let her wear the pants?
Yeah, sometimes. I guess.
What are you doing here, horse, hm?
I mean,
I taught you everything I know already.
You got my two cents.
But you knew that.
But here you are.
You just come to see the old man, huh?
Your old man who's not worth a damn.
I mean, the fact that you
would come here to see me,
before your big...
It's a big game, you know.
It is.
I mean...
Show me what you're made of,
why don't you?