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The Richard Situation

Sometimes a drastic situation calls for drastic measures.

INT. PNC Park, In Neal Huntington’s office. It’s 9 a.m.

Francisco Cervelli and Elias Diaz are seated, talking to Neal Huntington.

Neal Huntington: Well say he pitches again, what do you think he’ll do ? Well, of course, he’ll give up a home run. That’s no answer. How many runs do you think it will cost us ? A lot or a little?

Francisco Cervelli: You’ve got to appreciate what an explosive element this Richard situation is. I mean, if the home crowd sees him come into a game that’s either tied or we’re ahead, there’s no telling what they’re liable to do.

Neal Huntington: Yeah, I’ve grasped that, Francisco. What are my other options, though ? I’m just trying to contemplate the ‘ifs’.

Elias Diaz: I don’t want to hear no ‘ifs’. All I want to hear is ‘You ain’t got no problem. I’m on it. Go back to the clubhouse, chill out, and wait for the cavalry, which will be coming directly.

Neal Huntington: You ain’t got no problem, guys. I’m on it. Go back to the clubhouse, chill out, and wait for The Bat, who should be coming directly.

Francisco Cervelli: Oh, you callin’ The Bat?

Neal Huntington: You feel better now?

Francisco Cervelli: That’s amore!

INT. Somewhere outside of Baltimore, 9:15 a.m.

The Bat, face unseen, is on the phone and he’s dressed in a tux. For some reason, there’s a small casino set up in the living room outside the bedroom where he’s taking the call, with everyone else in tuxedos and cocktail dresses. For the life of me, I have no idea why, even in a parody article of a great movie 25 years later.

The Bat: Is he the hysterical type ? When is he due for warmups ? Mmm hmm. Give me the principals’ names again.

He writes down Elias, Venezuelan. Francisco, also Venezuelan, thinks he’s Italian. Richard, reverted back to pumpkin. He checks his watch.

The Bat: It’s 4 hours and 15 minutes away. I’ll be there in 3 and 30.

EXT. PNC Park — 3 hours and 22 minutes later a speeding Ferrari pulls up in front of the player’s entrance.

The Bat knocks on the rollup garage door. Clint Hurdle answers it.

The Bat: You’re Clint, right ? This is your house?

Clint Hurdle: A.J., you know who I am. This isn’t my house, it’s…

The Bat: I’m The Bat. I solve problems.

He and Clint Hurdle shake hands. Clint looks bemused by the whole situation.

Clint Hurdle: Good. We got one.

The Bat: So I heard. May I come in?

Clint Hurdle: Yeah, please do.

INT. PNC Park, Clubhouse

Francisco Cervelli and Elias Diaz are in the clubhouse, waiting for Clint Hurdle and The Bat.

The Bat: You must be Francisco, which would make you (checks notebook) Elias.

Francisco Cervelli: Hey, A.J.! How have you…

The Bat: I’m not A.J. I’m The Bat.

Elias Diaz: The Batman?

The Bat: No, just The Bat. Let’s get down to brass tacks, gentlemen. If I was informed correctly, the clock is ticking. Is that right, Clint?

Clint Hurdle: One hundred percent.

The Bat: Your reliever Richard comes in at 1:30 in the p.m. for workouts and long toss, is that correct?

Clint Hurdle: Uh huh.

The Bat: That gives us 40 minutes to get out of the Burgh which, if you do what I say when I say it, should be plenty. Now…you’ve got a reliever giving up home runs on meatballs down the middle. Take me to the bullpen.

INT. PNC Park, Bullpen

The Bat, Francisco Cervelli, Elias Diaz, and Clint Hurdle are in the bullpen. The Bat is examining the area where the relievers sit.

The Bat: Clint?

Clint: Uh huh?

The Bat: Do me a favor, will you. I thought I smelled some pierogies back there. Would you get me a half-dozen?

Clint: Yeah, sure. How do you take them?

The Bat: Lots of butter, lots of onions.

Clint Hurdle walks back to the clubhouse. He can’t believe this is what his day entails.

The Bat: All right, about the pitcher, is there anything I need to know ? Does his delivery stall, does he have trouble commanding the zone, does he have injury issues?

Francisco Cervelli: Aside from his homers per nine total, the pitcher is cool.

The Bat: Positive? Don’t get me out on the road and I find out he needs Tommy John surgery.

Francisco Cervelli: As far as I know, the pitcher’s tip top.

The Bat: Good enough. Let’s get back to the clubhouse.

INT. PNC Park, Clubhouse

Clint Hurdle hands The Bat a plate of six pierogies.

Clint: Here you go, Mr. Bat.

The Bat: Thank you, Clint.

He takes a bite of a pierogie, smiles at how good they are.

The Bat: What I need you two fellas to do is take all his uniforms and gear out of his locker. I’m talking fast, fast, fast. Scoop up all those little pieces of jewelry and chewing gum. Wipe down his locker and his seat, including in the bullpen. You don’t need to eat off of it. Just give it a good once over. Now Clint, we need to raid your outfield grass. I need sod. The thicker the better. The greener the better. No burned out parts. Can’t use ’em. Clint, lead the way. Boys, get to work.

Elias Diaz: ‘Please’ would be nice.

The Bat: Come again?

Elias Diaz: I said a ‘please’ would be nice.

The Bat: Get it straight, buster. I’m not here to say ‘please’. I’m here to tell you what to do. And if self-preservation is an instinct you possess, you better do it and do it quick. I’m here to help. If my help is not appreciated, lots of luck, gentlemen.

Francisco Cervelli: No, Mr. Bat. It ain’t like that. Your help is definitely appreciated. My neck is killing me from watching all the homers fly over the wall and we’re just stressed out.

Elias Diaz: Mr. Bat, listen. I don’t mean disrespect, OK ? I respect you, especially after you ethered Hanley Ramirez. I don’t like people barking orders at me, that’s all.

The Bat: If I’m curt with you, it’s because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the locker out.

The Bat and Clint Hurdle leave. Francisco Cervelli looks at Elias Diaz in disgust.

Elias Diaz: Don’t be looking at me like that, all right ? I can feel your look.

INT. PNC Park, Clint Hurdle’s Office

The Bat is on his cell phone.

The Bat: It’s a 1990 model. Dominican. Nothing except for the homers allowed. Mmm hmm. About twenty minutes. Nobody who’ll be missed. You’re a good man, Joe. Thanks a bunch.

The Bat ends his cell call.

The Bat: How are we coming, Clint?

Clint Hurdle: Pretty good. I cut all the sod out of the outfield, but uh…you’ve got to understand something. This is our best sod here and it was a present from our owner Bob Nutting. And we don’t get a lot of presents and…

The Bat: Let me ask you a question, if you don’t mind.

Clint Hurdle: No, please, go ahead.

The Bat: Your owner, Bob Nutting. Is he a millionaire?

Clint Hurdle: Actually, he’s a bil-….

The Bat: Well your uncle Neal Huntington is a millionaire.

The Bat takes out his wallet and gets out a stack of $50 dollar bills and Giant Eagle gift cards. He peels off six bills and five gift cards.

The Bat: I like Kentucky Bluegrass myself. That’s what I have in my yard. How about you, Clint ? Are you a Kentucky Bluegrass man?

Clint Hurdle: Kentucky Bluegrass is nice.

INT. PNC Park, Bullpen

Francisco Cervelli and Elias Diaz each have one foot resting on a rolled up piece of sod. Richard Rodriguez is stuffed inside, with his head sticking out on end. His mouth has a piece of trainer’s tape over it, with a large amount of Clint Hurdle’s freshly chewed bubble gum over top of that.

The Bat and Clint Hurdle are admiring their work.

The Bat: Perfect. Perfect. We couldn’t have planned this better.

Clint Hurdle: Where are you taking him?

The Bat: Monster Joe’s Trucks and Cargo Planes. He’ll be on a cargo plane to Campeche this afternoon, pitching in the Mexican League tomorrow night. No one will know the difference tomorrow.

Francisco Cervelli: Mr. Bat, I just want to say, it was a pleasure watching you work.

Elias Diaz: Yes, Mr. Bat. It was a pleasure meeting you.

The Bat: See that, Clint ? Character. The young people have character.

Clint Hurdle: I have character.

The Bat: Because you’re a character doesn’t mean you have character.

The Bat and Clint Hurdle walk away towards Manny’s BBQ, hoping to find some leftovers from yesterday.

Francisco Cervelli: You want to go to Pamela’s for some lunch?

Elias Diaz: Sure, I could do that.

Francisco Cervelli: That’s amore!


Author’s note — If you’re wondering what you just read….start here (NSFW audio).

Nerd engineer by day, nerd writer at night. Kevin is the co-founder of The Point of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Creating Christ, a sci-fi novel available on Amazon.

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