Dysfunction At The Bat: A Short Play

[Lights up on interior of baseball clubhouse. PLAYERS are seated in front of lockers, ringing the room. WEDGE stands in middle, visibly shaken.]

WEDGE
I really thought that ball that the Garkster hit was foul! I swear it was foul! Did anybody else see it?

[Silence. PLAYERS are each lost in their own worlds. Finally, SIZEMORE speaks.]

SIZEMORE
I couldn't really tell. But it definitely could've been foul. Or fair. I don't know. Does anyone want to talk about my cars?

WEDGE
Oh, c'mon Gradester! It was foul! Did no one else see this?

[PERALTA is offering advice to a younger player, VALBUENA]

PERALTA
So, what I try to do is do the same thing, every day. No matter what.

VALBUENA
So, for a curveball, a real good curve, what do you?

PERALTA
I try to hit it.

VALBUENA
And with a fastball?

PERALTA
Try to hit it. Same swing.

VALBUENA
And a slider?

PERALTA
Also try to hit it. Just swing the bat the same way and put it in play.

VALBUENA
You swing the bat the same way? This works?

PERALTA
Sometimes. One time it worked for a whole year. I am trying to "run into one." That's what the man shouting all the time wants. For me to "run into one."

VALBUENA
What man? Wedge? He's the manager, Jhonny.

PERALTA
He wants me to "run into one." So I am trying to do that. I do not know who he is.

WEDGE
Datz! Didn't you think it was foul?!?

DATZ
Shoot, Eric. I'm so hopped up on Cookies and Cream Muscle Milk I can't tell which one's the baseball and which one's Jamey Carroll!

CARROLL
What can I do to help the team?

DATZ
S*#! TALKING BASEBALL! EVERYBODY RUN!

[DATZ runs out of room.]

WEDGE
Hey, Franciscoster, I thought you made some real nice plays out there today!

PERALTA
Yeah, I liked when you struck out. Also, when you showed poor range.

[Everyone laughs except for FRANCISCO and WEDGE.]

WEDGE
Jhonny Antonio Peralta! You apologize to the Franciscoster right now!

PERALTA
I am sorry that you suck at baseball.

[Everyone laughs. VALBUENA continues his questioning.]

VALBUENA
What if it's raining? What do you do?

PERALTA
I usually try to go and play unless someone tells me I'm not allowed to.

VALBUENA
What about when it's cold out?

PERALTA
I wear a jersey and I play.

VALBUENA
When it's hot?

PERALTA
Same thing. Wear jersey and play.

VALBUENA
In the offseason? In January?

PERALTA
I come here to the ballpark but usually it is pretty empty. So I stand around the infield for three hours and then I go home.

VALBUENA
What position do you play?

PERALTA
[Grins.] Shortstop!

CHOO
Hey, where did Hafner go?

VICTOR
He had to leave for another 3 weeks. He said they'd let him come back in mid July. He doesn't know why but those are the rules for him now.

SIZEMORE
[Tearing up.] He told me he was out of clean jean shorts and had to go get more!

VICTOR
He didn't want you to be upset.

[SIZEMORE cries.]

WEDGE
What about if we started hitting other team's players? Like on purpose?

[CHRIS PEREZ enters as WEDGE speaks.]

CHRIS PEREZ
Seriously? You want me to do that?

PERALTA
I would not listen to that man. We do not know who he is.

CHRIS PEREZ
I mean, I can do that probably.

GARKO
I know you're a noob and all but I'd be careful what you agree to. I'm supposed to get a start in centerfield next week because I kept being a good soldier.

[Enter LEE. Room becomes hushed.]

WEDGE
Cliffster, we're real sorry about all this.

LEE
I'm going to start losing games on purpose.

WEDGE
What? Cliffster. Get a hold of youself.

LEE
I am going to start losing games on purpose because I hate you.

PERALTA
Yay! Someone else hates that man!

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