Major League: Back to the Minors (1998) Movie Script

I got it.
You want Tobik to finish
it off for you, Gus?
No I'm fine.
Just need to get out of this inning
and get a little breather.
"Hey" nothing.
That ball is tagged!
It's going... going... nowhere.
Hold on just a minute.
Let me see that ball.
- What?
- You heard me, let me see it.
- Frozen ball, Gus.
- Where did that come from?
You shouldn't have to resort to this.
I mean, where's your pride?
You know I searched high and low.
You know I have to throw you out.
C'mon Mick, I'm five outs
from finishing this. You don't...
I'm sorry Gus, but you got to go.
You are gone. You're outa here!
Don't hold on to that too long, Mick.
If it freezes, they have to cut your
fingers off to get rid of the damn thing.
Give me some water, now!
Is that arm numb yet or is it
at that tingly, burning stage
just before everything freezes?
Look what the cat drug in.
Don't pretend to act like you're
not surprised to see me.
Picked up a whiff of your cologne
about half an hour ago.
Will you look at these fancy clothes.
- Flatterer.
- Bullshiterer.
How you doing?
Sorry I missed it.
How'd you throw?
Pretty good. Moved the ball around a lot,
even blew a few fastballs by them.
I'm okay to drive.
I know you are, but you're a little
too drunk to walk to your car.
So this nice taxi driver is
going to give you a lift.
- Strong and capable woman.
- You left out "independent".
- You must be smitten.
- Went past smitten a long time ago.
For the first time, the woman I love and
the woman I like are the same person.
That's a dangerous combo.
And the kicker is, she loves me
but she's not desperate for me.
Which could only mean,
you're desperate for her.
Six marriages had to
teach me something.
- Ever think about getting out?
- This is my last season. I'm hanging it up.
What are you going to do?
Don't know, still kicking
a few ideas around.
It just so happens that
I've got a proposition for you.
And I though you came here because
you missed the sound of my voice.
There is that...
Gus, I'd like to ask you:
how would you like to manage?
I've got a AAA team with a heap of talent
but not a baseball player in the bunch.
What I need, what they need,
is a genuine baseball man,
someone who really knows the game.
I figure with all that you
know about baseball,
and their natural ability,
it would be a perfect match.
I don't know Rog.
I spent the better part of my life
kicking around the Minor Leagues.
Hell, my ass has gone flat from sitting
on hard benches and riding bad busses.
I ain't so sure I'm interested
in signing up for more of the same.
But this is something that you know,
something you could be really good at.
Who says I can't be good at
something other than baseball?
No one.
Look, thanks...
Come the end of the season,
I'm quitting. Cold turkey.
I know how to take
"no" for an answer,
but maybe you can do me
one little favor?
If I can.
I'd like you to take a look at
Mr. "Downtown" Anderson.
He is a pure hitter.
You got the day off tomorrow, right?
Why don't... the three of us, why we go
down and we can watch the kid play?
I'm in.
So it's either wrestle me from
the ball or let me stay in.
So I let you stay in?
- Two dogs and two Cokes.
- Just ketchup and mustard on mine.
Do my eyes deceive me or
is that who I think it is?
Slick guy, overdressed,
helmet hair, shit-eating grin?
You must have eyes in the
back of your head.
Leonard Huff, manager/bullshit
artist extraordinaire.
I know a broken down old
ballplayer when I see one.
No offense.
And who is this lovely
little lady?
- I'm Maggie Reynolds.
- Maggie.
- That's four bucks.
- I'll get those.
- I got it.
- No, no. Save your money.
- Here we go...
- Out of a ten.
- The change is yours, my friend
- Thank you sir.
- So, Maggie are you a baseball fan?
- As a matter of fact I am.
I manage a team, the Minnesota Twins.
Maybe you've heard of them.
Minnesota Twins. Maybe I've heard
of them... you asshole.
First class all the way.
That's how we do it on the big team.
He says "big team" one more time,
I'm gonna pinch his neck
until his head pops off.
- Here's the kid I'm talking about.
- Now coming to the plate,
number 1, Billy "Downtown" Anderson.
Number one in your heart,
number one in the program.
I like this kid.
Super, just super.
I was just telling
Mr. Downtown here
that he is going to be with
the big team real soon.
No question about it.
The sooner the better
as far as I'm concerned.
What do you think, Gus?
I think he's got a real nice bat.
They say I've got a pure swing
and that I'm a natural.
As soon as you get over that lack
of confidence, the sky's the limit.
Good game. Why don't you get a shower,
don't want my star player catching a cold.
Wait a second... Gus Cantrell.
6'1, 185 lbs, throws right, bats right.
I had triples of your rookie card
when I was in grade school.
- You still got them?
- No.
I traded them all for one player
to be named at a later date.
See ya.
Well, I've got to roll.
- I've got to get back...
- Back to the big team?
- Margaret...
- Nice meeting you.
Listen, you ever get tired of the Minor
Leagues, you give me a call. Just kidding.
No, seriously...
Kidding. Kidding.
Let's go to the airport, my friend.
Hey listen, keep me
posted on that kid.
Let's go!
Airport. Big tip waiting.
Like a vulture circling fresh meat.
- Well he wants Downtown.
- He's not gonna wait.
He's gonna bring him up
before he's ready.
See, that's exactly what I've been saying.
You know how to bring a player along.
I need a manager with that kind of
touch, that kind of instinct.
I want you to take him to AAA.
I want you to teach him how to hit.
Sounds like a lot of work.
Try it for a couple of weeks.
You don't like it, no harm,
no foul. You quit.
- I need to think about it.
- Gus, I need a coach.
- Let you know in the morning?
- You're on.
- What if I hate it?
- You quit. He even gave you an out.
- Are you scared?
- No.
You can't let fear of the unknown
keep you moving off the dime.
What if Christopher Columbus had
let fear get in the way?
- I'd be playing Cricket.
- You know what I'm saying.
You really think I could
manage a baseball team?
I know you can.
What about us?
"Us" will be here.
"Us" isn't gonna go anywhere.
- You must be Gus Cantrell.
- What gave me away?
Frank Morgan, everybody calls me Pops.
Can I grab these? Come on, jump in.
- This is Mr. Buzz.
- Hi, how you doin'?
We're about an hour from gametime,
so I brought your uniform along.
We'll move Mr. Buzz' head up here.
Excuse me.
Watch your...
- You must be pretty excited.
- Oh yeah.
This is the clubhouse.
In some parts of the world
this is called a basement.
Good news is, it's cool in August.
Other times it can be a little musky.
- Dank?
- That too, but cool.
It's your office.
Another prayer unanswered.
Lance Pere.
Gus Cantrell, our new skipper.
Welcome to our
unique little troupe.
- You aren't stuck or anything, are you?
- Nah. It's yoga.
Limber mind leads to a limber spine
which leads to a long life.
As we go, so goes the world.
We are the world, the world is us.
I'll have to jot that down.
You'd better unwind and get dressed,
unless you plan on playing naked.
Alright, Pops.
Came to baseball by way of the
New York City Ballet.
Went to an open tryout, he was such
a natural athlete they signed him.
He used to be a ballerina?
- I don't think guys are ballerinas.
- Balladeer?
- Don't balladeers sing?
- Nah, I think that's troubadours.
- That was me, I was out of position.
- Hog Ellis.
This is our new skipper, Gus Cantrell.
What's up?
- Nice to meet ya.
- Hog, show the skipper your fastball.
- Got some velocity there.
- Yeah.
You can bet on the hummer, babe.
It's all good.
Well, don't let me interrupt.
It's cool.
"Cool" is the only thing
he said I understood.
Hog ain't much on communication.
Remind me not to sit
next to him on road trips.
Gus Cantrell?
Remember me?
Rube Baker. I thought
you were with San Diego.
I was. Little control problem
came creeping back to haunt me.
Trouble making the throw to second?
Yeah, second...
And first.
Third a little. Still have trouble
getting it back to the pitcher.
Come on, I don't believe that. Just take
a deep breath, rear back and let her rip.
- Mom, they did it again!
- See what I mean?
You're a little bit off the mark,
but don't worry,
we'll get you straightened out.
You want me to go get that?
Don't worry about it.
Just keep warming him up.
- Good seeing you, Rube.
- Good seeing you, Gus.
Got any more balls?
I remember Gus Cantrell
from the old California AA league.
It was before Diet Coke became my beverage
of choice. Gus was a pretty fair pitcher.
But he'll have to be more than
pretty fair to turn this bunch
into anything that resembles
a baseball team.
Perplexed? Carlton Windgate, pitcher.
Everyone calls me Doc.
Gus Cantrell, manager.
Everybody calls me... Gus.
- Delighted to make your acquaintance.
- Yeah. Likewise.
So you have a question regarding
the scorecard?
As a matter of fact there
seems to be a mistake.
You've got Juan Lopez at second
and Juan Lopez at short.
It's no mistake. Juan!
- Hello Coach.
- Buenos das.
- Brothers?
- Twins.
- With the same name?
- Confounding isn't it?
Confounding seems to be
the word of the day.
Listen, from now on,
you're going to be Juan One.
- And you're gonne be Juan Two.
- Sounds good, Coach.
But... by numbering them, you risk
stifling their identities
and squelching their self esteem.
I don't wanna be rude here, Doc,
but how would you like to be Juan 3?
So a routine throw becomes a
2-base throwing error.
Mr. Buzz almost got nailed
by that missile.
And we all might be better off
had he got nailed.
All right, Lance! Shake it off, buddy!
Shake it off! Get the next one, bud!
Lance the dance had a
slippery one that time.
They don't call him
Ol' Stone Hands for nothing.
I've seen better hands on a clock.
Juan 1 has the ball,
still time to make the throw.
No, Juan 2 has the ball!
Hey, wait a second! It's a brawl!
Here we go again.
Come on, cut it out, you guys!
The brothers Lopez are going at it.
Juan 2 looks hurt.
No! Here he comes fighting back!
He connects with a right! Whoo! What a shot!
- Stop it! You can't play ball,
- I'll kill you!
You! You! You're both out of here!
So all Juan Lopezes concerned
get the heave-ho.
And right about now, Gus Cantrell
has gotta be wondering
why he ever took this job.
You know, fans, it's games like this
that used to get me overmedicated.
Just keep hitting them up the middle,
all right? They'll catch on.
He got a bad jump on that one.
Not only that, he ran too long
in the same spot.
Huh. Couldn't get a reading.
I got that used from
the highway department.
It doesn't pick up
anything under 55.
Under 55?
- How was that, Coach?
- Good, Doc.
You want to see my change-up
before you go?
No, no. I'm good.
Super. All right, we'll
stay with the heater.
Lance Romance.
Let me see your mitt.
Try this for a while.
I can't field with this.
Well, I hate to tell you, but
you ain't so hot with a glove, either.
Look, I want you to get
used to feeling the ball.
Loosen up those hands a little bit.
Okay, coach.
Go ahead, open it up.
It's a first baseman's mitt.
Yeah, that's what the guy at the
sporting goods store said it was.
I'm no first baseman. I'm an outfielder.
Been an outfielder all my life.
I know you're an outfielder, Pops.
I just think it might be
better for the team if we...
Hold on now.
I've been around a long time.
You don't have to give me
"the best thing for the team" speech.
I'll take it straight.
You're too old, you're too fat,
and you're too slow. Straight enough?
- Ah, that'll do it.
- But I like your bat.
And I need a leader on the field,
and I think you're my man. So, uh...
What do you say?
You want to give first base a shot?
Sure. I'm... If you think
that's best for the team.
Thanks, Pops.
Ok, so, "pure hitter"...
now, what's that mean?
See, I got these naturally
quick hands, you know?
I told you. We got Ranch, Italian,
Chunky Blue Cheese, which is 50 cents extra.
Do you have any
balsamic vinegar?
I got Ranch, Italian,
Chunky Blue Cheese.
Ok. You know what?
Forget the salad.
Bring me a gun, and I'll just
shoot myself, ok?
Pops, I was wondering...
You, uh... you ever
make it to The Show?
Came close once.
With the Red Sox organization.
It was in October.
A player got injured.
I got the call.
And I was on the plane flying into Boston
when a freak snowstorm hit.
We couldn't land.
Two days later, weather's fine,
so is the player.
- That was it?
- 20 years, professional baseball,
I circled The Show, couldn't land.
Windgate is what you'd
call a finesse pitcher...
moves the ball up and
down, in and out,
relies on control and savvy.
They time this kid's fastball
with an hourglass.
- Sacrifice him over.
- Sacrifice?
- Yeah. Bunt him over into scoring position.
- You're kidding me.
No, I'm not kidding you.
Lay one down.
Anderson drives one to left and deep.
Hey, get up, get out of here, gone!
And the Buzz lead this game 3-2.
I need to see you.
I'll put this sandwich to go,
bro, all right?
Pull up a chair.
See, uh... this ain't the
Downtown show, so, uh...
...when I ask you to lay one down,
you lay one down.
But I won the game.
Well, that's not the point.
We're a team here.
We do what's best for the team.
And I make that decision.
See, this isn't about one guy
doing what he wants to do.
Even if that one guy
wins a ball game?
Even if that one guy
wins a ball game.
I'm benching you
for the next 3 games.
- You're serious?
- Yeah.
But I'm on a roll. I've had 5 hits
in my last 12 at-bats,
and you're going to bench me?
3 games, you sit.
- Is that all?
- Yeah, that's it.
- Skipper, can I talk to you for a second?
- Sure. What's up, doc?
Well, I've been working with Rube,
trying to help him to open up.
We've actually been breaking down
some walls, and I really believe...
...that Rube's whole
throwing problem goes back... a rather abrasive
little league coach.
Rube can't throw worth a shit
because of some jerk-off
little league coach?
In layman's terms, yes.
And I want to ask you
if you could just be gentle with him.
See, Rube's psyche is far more delicate
than his rugged facade would indicate.
- You want me to give him my gentle speech?
- If you would be so kind.
And, Skipper, I want to
thank you for
making yourself accessible
to such an open dialogue.
You bet.
It's strong for your legs.
It'll be good for first base.
Balance yourself, Pops.
Now we're going to do jets.
Leap like a gazelle.
Let the ball get further across the plate,
further in on you.
and then hit the inside half
of it right into right field.
You can't help but hit it that way.
Why do I want to hit it into right field?
I mean, I'm a pull hitter.
I know you are.
and it won't be long
until every pitcher knows it, too.
All right, let's try again.
This time act like you give a shit.
- Hey, Rube
- Hey, Skip.
I've been wondering...
- You got any, uh, hidden skills?
- Hidden skills?
Yeah. Like if my car
wasn't running right,
could you take the
carburetor apart and fix it?
No. I don't know nothing
about carburetors.
How about if I bought you some lumber...
Could you make me a coffee table?
Uh, nope. Don't believe I could.
So your skills then lend themselves
primarily to baseball, we could say that?
Yeah, we could say that.
If another routine throw lands
15 rows in the grandstands,
I'm sending your ass home.
So you better make your throws, or
I suggest you invest in some how-to books
and find a fallback profession.
Yes, sir.
I thought you were going to
give him the gentle speech.
That was it.
if you can hear me,
Please... send me one real
baseball player.
That's all I ask.
And if you can't grant
me that, then, well...
you might as well just
strike me dead.
Right here and now.
- God?
- No.
- Moses?
- No, but you're getting warm.
Hello, Gus.
- Jesus Christ...
- Be careful now.
You scared me to death.
You mean when you realized
God is black?
I thought
she was white.
I must've been out a long time
if it's Halloween already.
What's your point?
Pedro Cerrano, the original Voodoo Man
from Mars, dropped out of baseball
to find whatever the hell
it was he lost. Maybe his mind.
Anyway, he's back with
a new piece of lumber.
Let's see if he remembers
how to swing it.
How about that? Cerrano must have
bumped into the God of all line drives.
He just hit a bullet down
the left field line.
2 runs score, and the Buzz
put one in the win column.
They're on a roll now, baby.
The Lopez brothers pull off a
double play... 4 to 6 to 3.
Hey, and not a punch was thrown,
not a drop of blood spilled.
All right, Pops, nice stretch.
Nothing like a little brotherly love.
So the Buzz win their
third in a row.
Oh, my.
S, Gus, what?
- Is that who I think it is?
- Jess Cristo. Tanaka.
Did your part to beautify America.
I see you've got it made in the shade.
Piece of brain?
"Peace of mind".
Basically, yeah.
What does your inner voice tell you?
Sounds like Taka needs vacation.
I got just the thing. Come on.
Watch your step.
Taka Tanaka, like Cerrano,
left baseball for a while.
Here's the windup and
the pitch to Tanaka.
He swings and lines
a single to right field.
Tanaka hit that one
right on the screw.
Holy Crap-ola, the Buzz just
pulled off a double steal.
Either someone got
their signals crossed,
or this is starting to look
like a baseball team.
What the hell is that?
What's he doing?
I think that's a... a curtsy?
Lance Pere is curtsying
to the crowd.
He's blowing kisses and curtsying.
This must go back to
his days as a balladeer.
- He was a singer?
- Dancer.
Now batting, Carlos Liston!
Baltimore Orioles 8,
Minnesota Twins 0!
Coach, you're doing a fine job,
a real fine job.
Get your heads in the game, ok?
Put the magazines away.
Put the phones away. Bye, mom!
Pick 'em up, Carlos.
Get a hold of one now.
18 million over 3 seasons, and he doesn't
even wave the bat at the ball?!
Thought you'd like to know, the Buzz won
again. That puts them in second place.
Really? Well, maybe I'll take
a trip down there,
watch somebody who's
interested in playing baseball.
The next game is not until Thursday.
They've got 2 days off.
Hey, Gus. Hey, I knew you could
turn that bunch into a ball team.
The first couple of weeks were pretty rough,
but we're starting to come together.
Gus, look, you've got a couple of days off.
Why don't you hop on a plane,
come up here, and let me
wine and dine you Minnesota style?
I can't. I promised Maggie I'd spend the
next couple of days off up there with her.
All expenses paid. First-class trip
to Minneapolis. In fact,
my assistant is calling the hotel as we
speak and booking the presidential suite.
I don't know Rog... by the time we get there
we got to turn around and come back.
I'll send my jet for you. Very sexy.
Nice vacation for you and Maggie.
- Lear jet.
- Ok. Ok, you're on.
So, um... what's
the deal with Carlos?
Well, Carlos is in a love fest...
with Carlos.
What about the rest
of your team?
Well, one of them wants to be
traded to New York,
so he can get a little
more press coverage.
My center fielder is threatening to quit
'cause he wants to become a male model.
And my shortstop and second baseman
aren't speaking
because one of them's got a
bigger shoe contract than the other,
and they haven't turned a
double play in over a month.
So, out of your 25 players, baseball is
a primary concern for how many?
Oh God, I love this team.
What? I like it.
Well, I'll tell you this,
alright, if I had a good short reliever,
I could turn this team around.
In his wildest dreams.
- What's that?
- Nothing.
- No, no. Come on, go ahead.
- Gus...
I'm just saying that a short reliever
is not going to solve your problems.
Why's that?
You got no unity. It's every man for
himself. Nobody's playing for the team.
Well, that's right. We got a few bad eggs
who are spoiling it for everyone else.
Well, you see, when you
have major talent,
you get major personalities.
Maybe you got too much talent
and not enough team.
See, this game is about 9 guys
working as one.
They don't have to be the best
9 guys who ever lived.
They just got to work together.
Oh, that's sweet. That really is.
That's... that's so sweet.
"9 guys working together as one".
Come on, everyone. Ohmm...
Rah, rah, rah. I love it!
I do, I love that, but...'re just going to have to
trust me on this...
- You don't know what you're talking about.
- Is that so?
This might be a good time
to get the check.
Yeah, that most definitely is so.
See, let me explain, ok?
There are 2 kinds of baseball, right?
There's big league...
and then there's little league.
And you, my friend...
you are in the latter.
That smells a little bit
like a challenge.
Well if you're foolhardy enough
to take it as one, yeah, it is.
Any hour, any day, any week, my guys
will be on the field ready to go.
You would actually step onto
the same field as my Twins?
- Is there an echo in this room?
- Let me tell you something.
- Don't poke me.
- If you had the first idea...
I said don't poke me.
In fact, if you had any idea of what...
I told you not to poke me,
you loudmouth moron!
You're breaking my finger!
One minute, you're telling me about
the new, improved, responsible Gus Cantrell
And the next thing I know you're
rolling across a barroom floor
punching, kicking and biting.
I didn't bite him.
Besides, it wasn't my fault.
- It wasn't your fault?
- No. Huff asked me to hit him.
That's funny. I don't remember hearing
him request a punch in the nose.
It's, like, a secret guy language.
When somebody pokes you with
their finger more than once,
they're saying,
"come on and hit me."
"A secret guy language".
I mean, I knew about the handshake
and the decoder ring,
but the "language" thing
is new to me.
Yeah, he's right here.
It's Roger.
Listen, Rog, I'm really sorry...
Right now?
On my way.
Good morning, Sir Guv'ner.
Follow me, please.
No, that sounds great.
I think that'll work out great.
- Behind you all the way, sir.
- Thank you.
I'll tell him you said that.
- Ok, gotta go. Talk to ya. Bye-bye.
- Are you out of your mind?
You know, you are the fifth person
this morning to ask me that question.
We can't play the Twins.
We're a Minor League club.
You said 9 players
playing together...
I know what I said, damn it.
Don't throw it back at me.
- You don't believe it?
- Well, of course I believe it. It's...
- Coffee, sir?
- Yeah.
Um, I just wanted to say that, uh,
on behalf of the entire restaurant staff:
Go Buzz. Kick ass.
By the way, that was Huff
on the phone just now.
He thinks you're
going to back out.
He said that?
Yeah. Blowin' smoke out of your butt.
Those were his words.
"Gutless"? I think he said "gutless".
He... I forgot how he used it.
"Big Twins vs. Little Twins."
Sounds like a good way to put
some butts in the seats, huh?
Do you really think selling tickets
is my sole motivation?
Ok, maybe it is, but nevertheless,
It's great opportunity for your boys
to see The Show up close, personal.
Gus, come on.
It's... it's dicey.
Why don't you ask your team
what they wanna do?
- Huff's finger broken?
- Fractured.
Give me 24 hours.
Let me talk to my team.
You're the man.
Yeah, it's for real.
- It's been a while.
- Well, one thing never changes.
- What's that?
- Butterflies.
What a decade to quit drinking.
Like I said before,
the charges were dropped.
What about your alleged quote:
"Carlos Liston is so big,
he's becoming a religion"?
Yeah, honey, I said it.
You got a problem with it?
What exactly does it mean?
It means that people
think of Carlos Liston.
Carlos is on the
minds of people.
They wish to pay him respect because
they know him to be a superior man.
Does anyone besides Carlos Liston
worship at the shrine of Carlos Liston?
Or is it a one-man congregation?
Thou shall not make fun of Carlos,
or thou will get thou's ass whipped.
Carlos Liston, resident madman
and cleanup hitter.
I have to pitch to him?
Yeah, just remember one thing.
Carlos is a little bit like a mad dog.
Mad dog?
If he smells fear,
he goes into attack mode.
- So no matter what you do...
- ...don't let him know that you are scared.
- I gotta use the bathroom.
- Use the mound. Stake out your territory.
This is not a should-win or
want-to-win situation.
This is every 8-year-old's dream. Playing
a big league game in a big league park.
This is a must-win situation!
Play as well as you can.
I want you
to humiliate, brutalize!
Don't force. Don't push, huh?
Beat them into submission!
Let's stay loose.
Let's have some fun.
Come on, guys.
What do you say?
He struck him out swinging and the
Hawkster is bringing the heat,
throwin' gas, tossin' aspirins,
blowin' smoke, zingin' BBs,
firing missiles, zipping darts,
threading the needle.
Let's see if my colleague in the booth
here has anything to add.
Nope, guess not.
Throw! Make your throw!
Taka slides safely into first base.
"Beautiful and daring"... the
only words to describe that play.
Wouldn't you say
"beautiful and daring"?
Well, my colleague,
a little bashful, concurs.
And this buzz team has come to play ball.
There's no bout-a-doubt it.
Aw, that a baby.
Mine! Mine!
Keep it up! Keep it up!
Nice, nice, nice. Love to your mother.
Hey, hey, Gussy. Whoo!
Who the man now? Who the man?
Adams broke up
the double play.
Could have been called for
unnecessary roughness on that one.
And that brings Carlos
Liston to the plate.
He's been crowding the plate,
forcing you to throw into his power.
You better give him
a little chin music.
You want me to
throw at Carlos Liston?
He'll hate you tonight, but
he'll respect you in the morning.
What do I do if he
comes out here after me?
Climbing the center field wall
wouldn't be a bad idea.
Just calming the kid down. Probably telling
him to keep the ball down and away.
Liston's getting up.
He doesn't appear to be hurt.
And he doesn't appear to be happy.
Oh, right now would be a good time
to get Hog measured for a casket.
What's up?
Now, I know you ain't
throwing at Carlos Liston,
cause anyone dumb enough
to throw at Carlos
wouldn't be smart enough
to find their way to the park.
And you're here,
so you ain't that dumb.
I think there was a little
moisture on the ball,
and it slipped
out of my hand.
- Moisture?
- Dew. A little dew.
Yeah, well, you get that close
to Mr. Liston again,
dew or no dew,
and I'll come back out here and
beat you into the ground with that bat.
You got that?
Yes, sir. Yeah, I got it.
It's no problem.
There's a routine fly ball
hit to left field.
Oh, the wind's got this baby.
Takin' it back toward the wall...
the wind's gonna carry this one
over the fence for a home run.
I might point out that
there is no wind.
We're in a dome.
An enclosed environment.
There's no rain either,
in case you were wondering.
Oh, well, excuse me for
having an opinion, pal.
- Hey, what's that over there?
- Where?
You did that on purpose.
- Oh, my!
- My notes. My scorecard.
- It was a complete accident. I'm... I'm...
- My pants...
Here, here, here's a 20.
Get yourself another suit.
Some people say Downtown
is a big league hitter.
Yeah, he's one of the people
spreading that rumor.
I guess now is the
moment of truth.
Here's the windup and the pitch to Downtown.
He swings and drives one to left.
This ball is really hit
back toward the wall.
Could get out of here...
gone for Downtown!
And the Buzz have tied it at 3 all.
Listen to this crowd!
They love this team!
Well, so much for
"beating them into submission".
Shut up!
Get the trainer.
Better bring a bag of ice.
Come on, guys. Play a
little ball here now. Oh!
Here's the throw by Tanaka. Heading
towards third. He threw a bullet.
There's going to be a play,
and they've got him! He's out!
What a throw by Tanaka!
Wasn't that a beaut?
- You're a beaut.
- You're finally coming around.
Adams swats that one
for a single to left field.
Well, slam or swat, the Twins' hitters
have timed this kid's fastball.
Well, Hog will have to go
to one of his other pitches.
He doesn't have other pitches.
- Does too.
- Does not.
Hey, somebody needs a nap.
He's going to be sitting
on the fastball.
I can't let that happen to Hog.
- Time, ump.
- You ok?
Good job, Hog. There's
nothing to be ashamed of.
We just gotta find you another pitch.
Something to go along with that fastball.
- Doc?
- Yep.
Coach, he's got no smoke.
They've been looking at heat all day.
Give them a little change of pace.
Coming to the mound for
the Buzz will be number 35,
Doc Windgate. Windgate.
Well, we got one out left, Doc,
but, it's a tough one.
You want me to go with
the off-speed stuff?
You got anything else?
- Nope.
- Let's go with the off-speed stuff.
Liston swung just a little early...
By about 4 1/2 minutes.
Damn junk baller. Carlos hasn't seen
anything this slow since high school.
Strike 2 on Liston. He's swinging at pitches
that leave Doc's hand on Tuesday.
The trouble is they don't
arrive till Wednesday.
Tell that son of a bitch
to throw me his fastball.
That was his fastball.
We're one strike away
from extra innings.
If they go up to bat again...
...we could lose this damn thing.
One more time.
One more time.
- I'm gonna kill 'em.
- You can't do that.
Look, numb nuts. This is my
ballpark, all right? I can do...
...anything that I want to.
- You're the manager.
- You're right about that.
You're right about that.
Do it! That's right,
I said kill 'em.
Here's the pitch.
Ow, isn't that a shame?
- "Power outage", my large white buttocks.
- Well, that's what he said.
Did you know that Huff has "born
to lie" tattooed on his forearm?
Is that true?
He's on the Twins...
Carlos Liston.
Gigantic, you wouldn't believe it if
you saw him. And he says to me,
"I'm gonna beat you into
the ground with this bat."
What did you say?
I said, "you better chase it on back
to the plate where you belong."
"Before I rip your face off and
shove it in your a... your
No way.
What did he do?
He walked his self
on back to the plate.
Tell you what, Rube. Played a Major
League team in a Major League stadium.
Made the whole 20 years worthwhile.
- It's a beautiful thing.
- Oh, yeah.
"They're calling it a tie, but
the Twins were outplayed
by a younger, gutsy Buzz team."
"And Leonard Huff was outcoached by
ex-player rookie manager Gus Cantrell."
"However, a generator snafu
allowed the Twins
to limp home with their dignity
just barely intact."
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
A lot of people are very impressed.
In fact, it's made me start wondering
if I didn't have a couple
of people in Triple-A
who were ready
to come up to the bigs
and vice versa.
- It did? It made you wonder?
- Yeah, it did.
And apparently I'm not the
only one who's wondering.
I got a call this morning.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Huff, he... he wants Downtown.
- Roger, Downtown's not ready.
- Well Huff says he is.
Well, Huff doesn't know his butt
from a manhole cover.
- Gus, listen.
- No, you listen.
You take Downtown up too early,
you may have to send him back,
- and that could really hurt the kid.
- Gus.
He's got a big career ahead of him,
but you've got to bring him along.
- He's just starting to listen to me...
- Gus! Gus!
Huff is the Twins' manager.
If he wants to bring a Triple-A
ballplayer to The Show, then I'm sorry.
He's made it very clear.
He wants Downtown.
Take care, man.
Hey, good luck, bud.
Well... going to The Show.
Yeah, I'm going... to The Show.
Could I make sort of an
off-the-wall suggestion?
Tell Huff you want 4 more weeks
with me before you go up.
Convince him you need
a little more time.
- What the hell would I want to do that for?
- Cause you're not ready yet, kid.
- Bullshit. Huff says I am.
- Huff doesn't know, ok?
He's not about turning you
into a baseball player.
He's trying to use a publicity
stunt to cover up a lousy season.
I knew this. I knew
this would happen.
I knew you'd come in and
try to rain on my parade.
- I'm not trying to rain...
- Yes, you are.
You've been on my ass
since the very beginning.
I hit a home run
and you benched me.
You told me not to pull when
I'm a natural pull hitter.
I'm just trying to help you.
Don't tell me you're trying to help me,
cause you're not. You never were.
Want me to tell you why?
Because you're jealous.
You're jealous that I've got
more talent on my worst day
than you've had in your
whole goddamnned career.
What, it's true, isn't it? Isn't it?
Isn't it? You've never had
half the talent that I do.
That's true.
God, I should have known you couldn't
just shake my hand and say good luck.
But you know what? I don't give
a shit 'cause I just passed you up.
I don't need you, Gus Cantrell. I'm
moving on to bigger and better things.
Thanks. Thanks for nothing.
So the Buzz lose another close one.
Some of you guys might want to check
your contracts. You set there, Rube?
- Oh, yeah, sorry.
- A little more mayo there.
Seems you signed on to play an entire
season, but it looks like you quit playing
about 2/3 of the way through,
and I'd like for someone to tell me
what the hell is going on.
Yeah, Hog?
Well, you see, um...
No one thinks that we can
win without Downtown...
I think.
Look, this game is not about
one home run hitter.
Don't get me wrong. I miss
Downtown as much as anyone of you.
But baseball is not
about one player.
It's about a team - an entire
team - playing together.
Oh, that's right. Look at me like I'm
some damn corndog old man
who doesn't know what the hell
I'm talking about.
You know, I don't know
about the rest of you,
but I remember not too long ago
we were the joke of the league.
Now we've won a few games. We even
went dead even with the big team,
This man made the difference.
I think we might want to listen
to what he has to say.
Look, guys, I'm just asking you
to do one thing.
Start thinking about how you can
help the guy sitting next to you.
Maybe you know something
he doesn't know.
Maybe you got some information
you can pass along.
We're traveling tonight.
We got the Crawdads tomorrow.
By the time we hit the field,
I expect everybody's mind
to be on teamwork and
the business of baseball.
It's cool.
Let's pack it up and
get out of here.
It's not that complicated.
You see, a curve ball is simply
the application of basic physics.
Resistance plus velocity equals...
- You ok?
- Yeah.
Uh, motion.
Bingo! Now, by controlling
the resistance,
i.e. the rotation, you can
determine direction of motion.
The greater the velocity,
the less opportunity
for resistance.
Thus, a smaller degree
of motion. Right.
Less velocity.
Create more resistence.
Allow for greater movement.
- Strike 3, you're out!
- He struck him out.
Hog Ellis has just thrown the first
curve ball of his young life.
And the boy now has
not one, but 2 pitches.
All right!
Nice deuce there, Hog.
I just decreased velocity, reversed
the ball's natural rotation.
Whatever you say, Hog.
Just keep throwing 'em.
Here's the pitch. Swing and a miss.
And strike 3.
Anderson goes down swinging,
and is now 3 for 15 since joining the Twins.
Downtown, huh? More like
down and out if you ask me.
Voodoo, Voodoo!
As it's been explained to me,
the hood helps Cerrano focus.
All I know is it looks dumb as hell,
and he has to be led up to home plate.
But I've long since given up
trying to understand this team.
Cerrano lines a bullet to left center.
Romance is rounding third.
Lance The Dance scores
on what appears to be
a Double Salchow and a
Triple Axel thrown in, too.
What a play! The Buzz are back on track.
They've won 7 of their last 10.
- Hi.
- Hey.
- I couldn't cut the mustard.
- Sorry.
Man, you can say
"I told you so" if you want.
No point in that.
Look, about all that shit
I said to you, I'm sorry.
Water over the bridge.
Or under the dam.
Or wherever the hell
the water goes. Sit down.
Any idea what happened?
It was, uh... I mean,
a number of things, really, but...
They just started throwing me outside
like you said they would.
You want to know
the good news?
Yeah. Yeah, I'd like to hear
some good news.
- This is nothing we can't fix.
- How do we do that?
Sweat, sweat, and more sweat.
Straight up with your hands, straight back
with your chests, way back to the sky.
Way beyond your hands
and then back into first position.
Wow. That's cool!
- I told you not to do anything fancy.
- But if I can get around on an outside...
Do you know more
about hitting than I do?
I'm asking you to do 2 things:
keep your mouth shut,
and listen to my instructions.
- Can you do that?
- Yeah.
Don't overswing, all right?
Take a little bit later and
drive it into right field. Here we go.
- Ready?
- Ready.
It's dark in there.
You're not scared?
- Thinking ball and nothing else.
- Thinking ball and nothing else.
Keep your head down.
Go, Downtown. Come on,
buddy. Give it a ride, pal.
Nothing fancy. Just
keep your head down.
Here's the pitch to Anderson.
It's a swing and a base hit to right.
This will send Juan 1 to third.
Downtown's got another base hit, sending
his average up near the .300 mark.
This kid's not just a home
run swinger anymore.
He's turning himself
into a solid hitter.
Coach, you've finished
the season in first place
and let's face it, you do it
without anything
that even resembles a
Major League player.
Now hold it right there. We got
a lot of players of Major League caliber.
- Like who? Downtown Anderson?
- Yeah, for one.
I heard coach Huff say
he thinks Downtown's a mistake.
He even went on to say that he doesn't
have any business in the big leagues.
Yeah, once again Leonard Huff has
his head shoved up a body cavity
that I can't mention on TV.
So you disagree with Huff's
evaluation of Anderson?
Not only do I disagree, but
I'm not even sure that Huff,
or for that matter, some of his own
players, belong in the Major Leagues.
In fact, as far as I'm concerned,
you're looking at the best team
in the entire Twins organization.
Ha! You little Minor League peckerwad.
...beat 'em man-to-man
at every position.
Once again, though,
Huff considers that incomplete.
- I think he even said...
- Said it, I said it was a fluke.
I want to hear what he's saying.
Would you shut up?
- Love this announcer.
- Shut up.
- The light thing was pretty squirrely.
- Pretty squirrely? Meaning?
I'd like to check the fingerprints
on that light switch.
He's accusing me.
This son of a bitch is accusing me.
If we can't beat the Twins, I'll hand
over my entire year's salary to Huff.
And if the Twins lose?
I can't believe he's doing this. salary, the least he could do
would be to put up his job.
- So this is a, uh... challenge.
- A friendly challenge with incentives.
If you win, you get to
manage the Twins.
If Huff wins, then he takes home
your entire year's salary.
That's right. I'm gonna ask
for one condition.
What's that condition gonna be?
This game should be played
at home, at Buzz stadium.
So, Leonard Huff, wherever you
are, the ball's in your court.
Aw, Jesus, Lenny!
You could have just turned it off!
That son of a bitch set me up.
He knew every sports channel
in America would run this thing.
- Nobody ever said he was stupid.
- Yeah, well, I'll say it. He's stupid.
He's stupid, stupid.
He's so stupid.
- Oh, stop.
- He's stupid.
What am I gonna do now?
Well, the way I see it
you got one of 2 choices.
You can either play the Buzz,
or you can have the entire world
of baseball call you a coward.
It's up to you.
By the way... you just
bought yourself a $1,200 TV.
Jopu, what are you doing here?
I told you before. These boys,
they've got to do it on their own.
I would love to use you,
but I cannot.
So please,
get back in the bag.
But stay close.
Jesus Christ, what a dump!
Oh, man, can you imagine
living like this?
Look out!
Sorry to have to do this, but there's
a speech clause in my contract.
I know you've all read in the paper
that this game is a publicity stunt,
Part of my ongoing feud
with Leonard Huff.
But it would be foolish
and self-indulgent
for me to put you all
in such a jam,
in such a tough game for publicity.
No, my... motivation is stronger,
deeper than that. It's...
it's ego.
But unlike some coaches who might ask
you to go out there and play the game
because you love it or because
you're fulfilling a lifelong dream,
I'm asking plain and simple
that you win this one... for me.
Win this one for Gus Cantrell.
Now, stay loose, play hard,
give it your best shot,
and let's go out there and
take a bite out of the big team's ass.
Gentlemen, you know
the ground rules.
So let's shake hands.
Have a good, clean ball game.
I'm going to give you
the beating of your life.
- We'll see about that.
- Yeah, we will.
By the way, some of the guys have been
wondering where you got your toupee.
This is not a toupee, all right?
This is real.
You can level with me, huh, Lenny?
Come on, where'd you get it?
- No, it is. it's real, see? It's mine.
- Come on.
It is. It's real, and it's mine.
See that? Ha ha ha! Ha ha! Dumbass.
I'll go tell the guys
they were wrong.
Well, the first pitch
has yet to be thrown,
and already Leonard Huff
is tearing his hair out.
And what a lovely head of hair it is.
That is, of course, assuming it's real.
And, frankly, I've
always had a question.
What style. What finesse.
Ha ha! What je ne sais quoi.
Which is Italian for
"what a hell of a play."
It's French, and it's
"je ne sais quoi".
Get out of here. It means the same thing
in French? Huh. What about that?
- Mon Dieu!
- God bless you.
Strike 2!
- Kid learned to throw a curveball, huh?
- Gee, I don't know. Was that a curveball?
I mean it's hard for me to tell
from way back here.
Carlos moves in a little closer, trying to
get a good look at Hog's mystery pitch.
- Otherwise known as a curve ball.
- Probably a curve ball.
Carlos is taking the plate
away from Hog.
The kid's afraid to
throw him inside.
All righty, Hog. Come on, buddy.
Hang tough now, let's go.
Ha ha! Let's go. Let's go, guys.
We need some more runs now.
Be a hitter up there! Be a hitter up there!
Hey, hey. Pitcher's got a rubber arm.
Hey, give me some pistachios.
You're outta there!
Well, the entire Lopez family scores,
and the Twins learn the hard way
you can't pitch around Anderson.
He's become a complete hitter.
All right, guys. Come on, come on, come on.
Let's go. I need some more runs. More runs.
You're outta there!
That's poetry. Pure poetry.
Poe, Wordsworth,
Barry Manilow, Maya Angelou,
this Buzz ballclub. What do they
all have in common? Poetry.
And I have to ask my colleague...
Have you ever seen a sunset more
beautiful than that play at the plate?
My colleague is speechless.
He's speechless.
Come on, let's go!
Hey, Twinkle toes,
go ahead and get a lead. Get a
lead, little bigger lead. That's it.
- Pitch Count. What's the pitch count?
- 97.
Jeez, you moron. Come on, you're
killing me! And you are not helping.
Give me an "L".
Give me an "A".
Give me an "N".
Give me an "C".
- Give me an "E". What have you got?
- Lance!
- What have you got?
- Lance!
Top of the ninth. Twins are leading 4-3.
and with 2 outs and a runner on second,
the big man, Carlos Liston,
comes to the plate.
Hey, Cantrell!
Scoreboard! Scoreboard!
Man, you must love
these Minor Leagues.
Come on, now! Come on, now!
Hit a one-ton tomato!
Foul ball!
That ball lands foul for a
very long strike one.
All right, Carlos. Pop one out, and I'll
give you all the tamales you can eat!
Keep it fair.
I better go talk to him.
Another long strike
and here comes Cantrell.
And I imagine he's
going to ask Hog Ellis
to keep some of these
strikes inside the park.
Hey. Got 2 strikes on him.
- They were beauties too, huh?
- He's crowding the plate a little bit.
Hog? You want to walk him
and pitch to the next batter?
I want Carlos.
- I think it's time for a little chin music.
- You sure?
Yeah. When he hits the dirt, you get
the ball back to me quick as you can.
If he comes out,
I'll try to cut him off.
No, Pops, you stay put.
This is my fight.
He's gonna knock him down, boys.
He's gonna knock him down.
- All right, now, just hold on.
- Wait, wait, wait.
Now, this here is a
100-mile-an-hour fastball.
The most powerful fastball
known to man.
From this distance if it were to hit you,
it'd take your head clean off.
Of course, I could miss...
but my control has been pretty good today...
So you gotta ask yourself one question...
Do I feel lucky?
Well, do you, Carlos?
Play ball!
Strike 3, you're out!
This is bad.
Very bad. Not good.
That brings us to the
bottom of the ninth.
By the way, folks, Hog
Ellis is not a fighter.
That's for sure.
So I'm guessing he's appealed
to Liston's more humane side...
Begging for his life.
explaining we're all here
to enjoy the game...
Speak for yourself.
and there's no reason for
anyone to get angry or hurt.
Especially not Hog himself.
And let me say this...
if there is a sportsmanship award,
my vote goes to Hog Ellis.
And, oh, there's the other half of the
voodoo magic brothers, Taka Tanaka.
You're all nuts. You know that?
Every last one of you.
Well, it's an aura thing which
can only be appreciated by
those of an enlightened nature.
Yeah, it doesn't hurt
if you're a little tweaked upstairs.
And don't even try and tell me
you can see with that thing on.
Now Tanaka takes a couple of
practice cuts and steps up to the plate.
Taka drives one through the infield,
and the Buzz have another base hit.
Come on, you guys are killing me!
What are you looking at, huh?
What are you smirkin' at?
Are you smirking at me? What, is
this some kind of conspiracy?
You, I can't even look at you, you waste
of time. Hit the showers, you pig.
Thank you.
- What's up?
- You, uh, you want me to bunt?
...sacrifice Taka over and
get him into scoring position?
- I want you to go Downtown.
- Downtown?
I want you to hit the ball
into another zip code.
Yes, sir.
- Is he gonna sacrifice?
- I told him to swing for the fence.
- You did what?
- You heard me.
You never tell a hitter
to swing for the fence.
I couldn't help myself.
Come on, buddy.
Hang in there.
Good try, buddy. Good try.
You can do this. You can
do this. You can do this.
It's gone.
It's gone!
That is it. That is all she wrote.
The fat lady is on
her way to the field.
What a perfect end
to a fantastic season.
- Hey, let's be friends.
- No.
Come on. Give
me a little hug.
- No! No.
- Come on.
- No! Stay away!
- One little hug.
I'm a married man, you know.
Aw, come on, at least let me
carry you downstairs.
That's it. It's over.
I'm not a Pirate, I'm not a Yankee,
I'm not even a Red Sock.
I am a damn Buzz.
Thank you.
Bumblebee. Yeah,
that's what I am, a Buzz.
As far as I'm concerned,
a deal's a deal.
Besides, I know how long you've
waited to get to the Major Leagues,
and I know... that it
has been a lifelong dream.
Boy, I never thought I'd say this,
but... I'm gonna have to pass.
I'm talkin' about a job with
the Twins here, Gus.
I got a lot of information I'd like to
pass on to young ballplayers.
That's where I belong,
and that's what I want to do.
You want to manage
a Minor League team?
That's right.
I wanna stick with the Buzz,
if it's, uh, ok with you.
Of course, but...
But, uh... thanks.
Attention please. Flight 63 to Miami
is now boarding at gate 28.
Oh, that's us.
Wait a minute. Where
are you guys goin'?
It's called a honeymoon.
Hey, that's great.
Hey, I don't have any plans.
You mind if I come along?
Yeah, we do.