Sugar Movie Script
SUGAR Written by Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck 1 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - DAY A high angle looking out over a well-manicured baseball field carved out of a tropical jungle. A game is currently in progress. A1 ON THE FIELD Wearing KANSAS CITY KNIGHTS uniforms, mostly Black and dark- skinned Dominicans as well as several lighter-skinned Venezuelans (17-22 years old) are set in their positions, poised for the next pitch. CLOSE ON the pitcher, MIGUEL SANTOS (aka AZ�CAR/SUGAR - 19, lean, Black and handsome). Sweat drips down his face in the oppressive midday heat. He steadies his glove and ball at his chest, peeking over at the RUNNER on first base. Miguel lifts his leg high into the air, rears back his right arm, and FIRES the ball toward the plate. THUD! A cloud of dust pops off the CATCHER'S mitt as the ball slams inside. UMPIRE Strike three! The BATTER lowers his head, helpless in the face of Miguel's overpowering fastball. FROM THE DUGOUT, Miguel's TEAMMATES CHEER him on. HEAD COACH REYES (dark-skinned, 30s) nods approvingly, CLAPS. BEHIND THE HOMEPLATE BACKSTOP, a dozen rookie players also in Kansas City uniforms cheer for their team. Two YOUNG PLAYERS clocking Miguel's pitches look at each others' radar guns, which read 92 and 93 MPH. As the next batter steps up to the plate, Miguel's catcher, JOSE (18), taps his index finger on his thigh, calling for an outside fastball. The next pitch is popped up on the infield between first and home. Miguel locates the ball, points to the sky, but Jose and first baseman, PEDRO BERROA, nearly collide, as the ball lands between them and the runners reach base safely. B1 FROM THE OBSERVATION TOWER, the ACADEMY'S DIRECTOR, LEANDRO B1 ALVAREZ (light-skinned, late 50s) and several other COACHES and SCOUTS jot down notes on their clipboards. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 2. C1 ON THE FIELD, Miguel glares at Pedro, who averts his eyes, and C1 kicks the dirt. Miguel looks in for the sign from Jose, nods, and delivers a tight fastball that sends the batter stumbling backwards to the dirt. Some players LAUGH and heckle the batter. Others point angry fingers at Miguel, who greets the batter back to the plate with a friendly, but authoritative, grin. He sends in the next pitch and the batter swings right through it, getting nothing but air. 2 INT. ACADEMY DINING ROOM - NIGHT 2 The TEAM (about 35 young men) gather around several tables for their standard baked chicken and rice lunch. The mood is friendly and playful as players tease each other across the tables. Miguel, sitting with his friends MARCOS (2nd base) and ALFONSO (3rd Base), works on a second helping of dessert. MARCOS Check out Sugar... Puts on twenty pounds in two months; now he's going for twenty more. MIGUEL (mouth full of food) All muscle, baby. Rock solid. For some NEW PLAYERS, distinguishable in the sea of BLUE uniforms by their BLACK "tryout" jerseys and ragged sneakers, it is their first healthy meal, and they eat as if it were their last. One of them, SALVADOR (Black, scrawny, 17) holds his plate up to his mouth, shovelling food down his throat. PEDRO Slow down, kid, it ain't going nowhere. A few of the guys LAUGH. MIGUEL (to Pedro) If you hustled half as much as him, maybe you'd be hungry too. The other guys "ohhhh" Miguel's insult, as Salvador and Miguel exchange subtle grins. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 3. 3 INT. ACADEMY CLASSROOM - SAME DAY 3 Kids crowd around in a circle, repeating after the animated English instructor, SE�OR SANCHEZ, who goes over some English BASEBALL TERMS in the center. As he repeats the terms, he enthusiastically pantomimes the meanings of each. SANCHEZ Fly ball. CLASS Fly ball. SANCHEZ Line drive. CLASS Line drive. SANCHEZ Ground ball. CLASS Ground ball. SANCHEZ Home run! CLASS Hone rone! CLOSE ON Miguel, repeating the strange words. 4 INT. RECREATION ROOM - SAME NIGHT 4 It's dark, and most of the team sits around an old TV set watching the climactic final scene of Field of Dreams dubbed in Spanish. Kevin Costner asks his father to play catch in a voice that sounds nothing like Kevin Costner. Miguel passes through the room, and we follow him out of the rec room down a hall, and into... 5 THE WEIGHT ROOM 5 ...where he sits down at the bench press, lowers his head in thought. TRACK IN CLOSE as he crosses himself, mouths a prayer, then leans back onto the bench. TRACK OUT as he lifts the bar, and begins a set of presses. FADE OUT. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 4. 6 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - DAY 6 The Kansas City Director of Minor League Operations, RUDY HUBBARD (white, 40s), watches a TRYOUT SESSION, where TWO SKINNY TEENS in worn street clothes pitch to uniformed catchers. Their AGENT talks on a cell phone nearby. Alvarez, the academy director, approaches one of the kids, whispers in his ear. The kid smiles tentatively. Alvarez joins Rudy and they speak in English. RUDY What'd you tell him? ALVAREZ I told him to grip the ball more gently. Like a tit. They both crack up. FROM THE TRYOUT MOUND. The kid looks over to the two men pow- wowing about him. He breathes in, nervous... 7 BATTING CAGE - MINUTES LATER 7 Pedro, sweating hard, takes a few cuts, but only seems to be hitting weak ground balls and foul tips. ALVAREZ Pedro Berroa. Third year. Hasn't developed like we hoped. RUDY How much he sign for? ALVAREZ Forty-five. RUDY Jesus. These kids keep getting more expensive. How much did you sign for back in the day? ALVAREZ 3000. When I was fifteen. Rudy smiles and moves on. Alvarez follows. Pedro watches the men as they walk away. 8 BULL PEN MOUNDS - MINUTES LATER 8 Alvarez and Rudy approach a PITCHING COACH instructing Salvador. Miguel warms up next to him. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 5. ALVAREZ Salvador Torres. Been practicing with the team for almost a week. Still raw, but he's got a lot of potential. RUDY We gonna sign him? ALVAREZ Soon. Soon. We want to play it low- key, see what his agent says. RUDY How much you think? ALVAREZ They've gotten two offers from other clubs. Agent says they were around a hundred. Rudy raises his eyebrows. ALVAREZ (firm) He's good. Rudy looks over to Miguel. RUDY What about him? ALVAREZ Miguel Santos. Great arm. We signed him two years ago for fifteen. Miguel fires in a pitch. Rudy nods, impressed. RUDY Good deal. He throw any junk? ALVAREZ (in Spanish) Sugar! Miguel looks over, sees the American with Alvarez. ALVAREZ Show us your curve. Miguel nods, nervous, focuses. He pitches. The ball curves very subtly over the plate for a strike. RUDY Not bad. Mind if I try something? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 6. Miguel looks back to the men. RUDY Hey, kid, do you mind? May I? Miguel stares blankly at Rudy, not understanding. ALVAREZ (in Spanish) Give him the ball. Miguel hands Rudy the ball, and Rudy demonstrates how to handle a knuckle curve ball, which looks strangely unorthodox, with the index finger tucked against the baseball. RUDY Spike curve. Gives you more rotation, more movement. (hands Miguel the ball) You try. Miguel struggles to emulate Rudy's grip, so Rudy maneuvers his fingers into the correct position. Alvarez laughs. ALVAREZ Vamos! Let's go! Pitch it! Miguel looks over to his catcher, Jose. Winds up the next pitch, and soars it 5 feet wide of the mark. Rudy and Alvarez laugh. Miguel looks back over his shoulder. RUDY It's okay, son, these things take time. You'll figure it out. Rudy pats Miguel on the back and walks off with Alvarez. Miguel stares at them hard as they go. He turns back to his catcher, determined, squeezes the ball in spike curve formation. Delivers. Misses badly again. JUMP CUTS take us through a half-dozen more bad curve attempts, as other players take notice and gather around, some laughing, until... ...finally a perfect curve twists dramatically through the air, landing centered in Jose's mitt. The other players erupt in amazement, while Miguel stares straight ahead. After a beat, he smiles wide. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 7. 9 INT. ACADEMY CLASSROOM - DAY 9 Sr. Sanchez stands in front of a chalkboard, reading off lines of a scripted ENGLISH DIALOGUE for the class to repeat. The class' version of the words are jumbled and incomprehensible. SANCHEZ I want to talk to you. CLASS I want talk to you. SANCHEZ Your performance in the mound is not as good as last year. What is the problem? CLASS Your performance in the mound is not good as last year. What is problem? SANCHEZ I don't know. Maybe my mechanic. CLASS I don't know. Maybe mechanic. SANCHEZ I want to give you a chance. It is up to you... CLOSE ON Miguel focused on the baseball in his hand. He practices his knuckle curve grip, not participating in the lesson. CLASS I want to give you a chance. Is up to you... 10 EXT. BASEBALL ACADEMY - MORNING 10 Miguel walks down a dirt road with his duffel bag. He exits past the gate, waving goodbye to the SECURITY GUARD. A10 Beyond the manicured lawns and landscaped gardens of the A10 Academy, Miguel passes through the overgrown, undeveloped land where neighborhood CHILDREN play among grazing goats. He continues down the dirt road towards a paved highway in the distance, as bachata music fuels the sound track, and carries over the following... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 8. 11 INT. MOVING BUS - DAY 11 Thick stalks of sugarcane race through the frame. CLOSE ON Miguel staring out the bus window. On his way home, he passes... A11 --half-clothed children flying a homemade kite. A11 B11 --a truck of bananas barrelling by with a boy perched on top. B11 C11 --an old man sitting by the street, looking straight at Miguel. C11 D11 --flaming sugarcane alongside the road. D11 E11 --three children wedged between their parents on a motorbike. E11 F11 --the tall, wheezing smokestack of the Cristobal Colon sugar F11 refinery. 12 EXT. STREET - SAN PEDRO DE MACORIS - DAY 12 Miguel hops off the bus with his duffel, climbs the pedestrian walkway passing over dozens of rusty railroad cars used for transporting sugarcane to the refinery. We PAN Miguel across the bridge, revealing burning smokestacks in the distance. 13 EXT. SIDE STREET - MINUTES LATER 13 Modest homes line the neighborhood, fashioned from corrugated tin, painted in bold colors, no two houses alike. A skinny pig roams a barren lot. A group of WOMEN with their hair in curlers sit on crates around a dominoes table. They wave their hellos to Miguel, who smiles back. Local KIDS play stickball in a trash-strewn clearing with makeshift mitts fashioned from old milk cartons or cardboard. They see Miguel and rush toward him as he paces up the block, SHOUTING his name. As Miguel approaches home, he makes eye contact with a girl, ERICA (15), buying water from a delivery truck. She smiles. With the kids still clamoring around Miguel, he stops, unzips his duffel and hands out some used baseballs. The kids grab the balls, then run off to play. Miguel approaches Erica. She puts down her water bucket, gives Miguel a hug. MIGUEL How are you, sis? ERICA Any news about the States? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 9. MIGUEL Is that all you have to say? Miguel helps Erica with the water bucket and walks with her towards their home - a small wooden construction with peeling paint and a rusted aluminum roof. On the lot next to their house, the cinder-block frame of their future home dwarfs the others on the block. 14 INT. MIGUEL'S HOME - NIGHT 14 Miguel and Erica enter the house, where their brother LUIS (7) watches an enormous television, which feels incongruous in the middle of the tiny, dilapidated home. The reception is still crappy, though. Miguel's grandmother, ABUELA, sits upright on her mattress in the corner of the room. MIGUEL Hello, Abuela. You're looking beautiful. She smiles big at her oldest grandson, opens her arms for a hug. Erica sits at the kitchen table, where her schoolbooks lay open. MIGUEL What's up my people? How's the TV? LUIS Erica won't let me watch baseball. ERICA Not during American Idol, anyway. Miguel's mother, CARMEN (late 30s) emerges from behind a hanging bed sheet, which acts as a "wall" separating two rooms. CARMEN Buenas, Miguelito! Do you have any good news for your mother? MIGUEL As a matter of fact, yes. CARMEN You're going to the United States?! MIGUEL Not yet, ma... But I learned how to throw a knuckle curve. CARMEN A knuckle curve? What's that? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 10. A GROUP of KIDS gather at the window. KIDS Sugar, come out and play! 15 EXT. STREET - NIGHT 15 Gathered under the only functioning street lamp, Miguel rears back and throws in a swooping curve, that causes the BATTER to flinch out of the way, as it breaks perfectly over the plate. Carmen, Luis and the rest of the barrio ONLOOKERS, "oooohh", the impressive curve. Miguel notices a group of GIRLS eyeing him from across the street. His eyes stop on one, SOFIA (17). They exchange grins. 16 INT. MIGUEL'S HOME - NIGHT 16 Miguel's family - minus Miguel - watches a soap opera. Carmen and Erica are in dialogue with the TV. The CAMERA PANS away from the family, out the back window, where the new home is being constructed. We ZOOM IN on the structure covered in plastic tarp. 17 INT. CONSTRUCTION LOT 17 Amidst tools, dry cement, a half-finished wooden dining table, and other assorted construction materials, Miguel has sex with Sofia on a work table. 18 INT. CONSTRUCTION LOT - LATER 18 Miguel throws on his t-shirt. Sofia looks at the wooden dining table. It's artfully done, with details etched into the legs. SOFIA When will you finish this? MIGUEL Soon. It's just hard to find the time. SOFIA It's pretty. MIGUEL I'm trying to match the chairs my dad made, but I can't get it right. SOFIA Well, I think it's perfect. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 11. MIGUEL I'll make you another when I'm done. Sofia smiles, kisses Miguel on the cheek. SOFIA And the rest of the house? How long till it's done? Miguel hesitates. MIGUEL Um, another month, maybe two... You know we just did it where Abuela's room is going to be... SOFIA (laughing) Don't tell me that! MIGUEL Why not? We can do it in mom's kitchen next. Right over there. SOFIA (getting serious) I hope you make it to the States this year. MIGUEL You hope? C'mon, there's nobody better, baby. SOFIA (smiling big) Okay, how about: I KNOW you'll make it. MIGUEL Now you're talkin'. And when I do, I'll buy a Cadillac, drive it through the ocean, and bring you back with me. SOFIA You can't drive a Cadillac on water. MIGUEL Yes! In the States they make cars that drive on water. SOFIA You're crazy. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 12. MIGUEL You'll see who's crazy. Just watch. SOFIA I want to see the snow. Does it snow in Kansas City? MIGUEL I don't know. But I'll take you to New York City. Yankee Stadium. It snows there. You wanta see me play in Yankee Stadium? SOFIA It doesn't snow during baseball season, silly. MIGUEL So we'll go for Christmas. SOFIA Promise? MIGUEL Next Christmas, we'll sail into Yankee Stadium in my Cadillac car-boat. Deal? SOFIA You are crazy! They kiss. 19 EXT. MALEC�N - NIGHT 19 Miguel, Sofia, JAVIER (Black, 22) JAMIE (Black, 26) and ALEXANDRA (one of Sofia's friends) hang out by the malec�n (waterside), drinking rum and dancing to merengue that blasts out the open doors of a nearby car. The mood is festive. JAVIER (mid-story) I liked her, but she asked me to cut my hair. I thought about it. She was cute, but... I liked my hair more. SOFIA I liked it too, Javi. MIGUEL Then why'd you cut it last week? JAVIER I thought it was time for a new look. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 13. MIGUEL Or a new girl. Sofia punches Miguel in the arm. MIGUEL Watch it, baby, that's a million-dollar arm you're messing with. JAVIER He's right! All hail the golden arm. Javier and the girls drunkenly salute Miguel's arm, pretend to dust dirt away, but Jaime doesn't play along. He looks on, a little jealous. JAIME You call that flabby rubberband an arm? JAVIER Oooh... MIGUEL This flabby rubberband can throw 95. What can yours do? JAIME I threw 98 in double-A Portland. MIGUEL 98? Then why you washing windshields now? I saw you try and bumrush Javy at the stoplight last week. Everyone cracks up laughing, including Jaime, as Miguel grabs Sofia, and leads her in a dance. His smile fading, Jaime looks out over the water. Miguel notices this. Hold. EXT. SAN PEDRO TOWN - MORNING 20 20 Various Sunday morning images establishing Miguel's hometown: --A dewey mist covers an empty baseball field, surrounded by acres of tall sugarcane. --Women hang laundry on the line to dry. --A rooster walks alone through a graveyard. --People spill out of church into the road. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 14. --MIDDLE-AGED MEN drink beer in the dugout during a softball game. 21 EXT. EMPTY LOT FIELD - DAY 21 A makeshift diamond is overrun with weeds, ditches, stones, and trash for bases. Donkeys graze in the outfield, unphased by the LITTLE KIDS (10-14 years old) playing around them. A YOUNG PITCHER fires in a fastball that BEANS the YOUNG HITTER in the back. IN THE BLEACHERS, TWO MIDDLE-AGED MEN drink beer and occasionally heckle the kids. HECKLER #1 You're supposed to aim for the head! Nearby, Miguel sits beside his old coach, FRANK (early 40s), watching the kids play. One of the local SHOE SHINE BOYS cleans Miguel's shoes with an old toothbrush as Frank cracks open a beer. Frank points out one of the kids on the field. FRANK I like this one. Good bat speed. Only twelve years old, out here four, five hours everyday. His mom tells me he's missing school. I say, yeah, but... have you seen his swing? They laugh. FRANK I'm showing his older brother to the Yankees on Monday. Miguel nods, a hint of disappointment in his eyes. FRANK (seeing this) They don't know what they missed with you. It's cool though. They'll be knocking on your door, offering millions when you turn into a superstar. You'll see... Miguel nods, appreciating the vote of confidence. MIGUEL Have you been to New York? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 15. FRANK (nodding) Nothing like playing for a crowd of New Yorkers. They're even louder than Dominicans. MIGUEL What's the city like? FRANK It's great. But you need to get to Kansas City before you start thinking about New York. Know what I mean? MIGUEL You hear anything about spring training yet? FRANK Yep. Frank sips his beer. MIGUEL And? Frank shrugs, as Miguel's sister calls out from the street-- ERICA Miguel, Luis! Dinner is ready! MIGUEL You'd tell me if you knew. FRANK Maybe. Miguel shakes his head, gets up. MIGUEL Wanna join us for dinner? FRANK Not tonight. But give your mom a kiss for me, okay? Miguel gives a coin to the boy who's been cleaning his shoes before heading off with his little brother. Frank sips his beer, calls out to the field-- FRANK C'mon, Nelson! Fire it in, baby! Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 16. 22 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - EARLY MORNING 22 A mist hovers over the empty field. 23 EXT. ACADEMY ENTRANCE ROAD - SAME TIME 23 A group of Academy EMPLOYEES shuffle down the dirt road on foot. 24 INT. ACADEMY DORMITORY - SAME TIME 24 Miguel, laying awake in the upper bed, hears his bunk-mate, Alfonso, stirring beneath him. Miguel peers over, sees Alfonso discreetly pop several pills from a plastic baggy. They make brief eye contact before Alfonso heads out of the room. 25 INT. ACADEMY KITCHEN - DAY 25 Several middle-aged women sit on buckets near an open door, peeling yucca. A man fries eggs at the grill, preparing breakfast for the players. 26 INT. ACADEMY DINING ROOM - DAY 26 The players eat breakfast. The mood is strangely quiet. 27 INT. ACADEMY CLUBHOUSE - DAY 27 The signed players sit around in uniform, while the unsigned "trial" players wear their black jerseys. Coach Reyes addresses them in mid-speech. REYES A lot of you are thinking about your families right now. Your girlfriends, sisters and brothers, grandparents. You're feeling the pressure. But, I'm going to tell you something very important, gentlemen... forget it. You've got to think about yourselves. Put all your energy into your game, into your development as a player. Forget about everything else in your life... and just play ball. You wanna succeed, you gotta be like a racehorse, focused on your goal. It's up to you. 28 EXT. ACADEMY BUILDING - DAY 28 Several players work out on bars attached to the side of the building. As Miguel lowers himself after a set of pull-ups, he notices a shiny, black, luxury SUV drive into the academy parking lot. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 17. Miguel watches as Alvarez gets out of the driver's seat, doing business on his cell phone. 29 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - LATER 29 Miguel exercises his pitching arm by stretching an elastic tube tied against a chain-link fence. As he stretches, he watches a group of players line up for a sprint drill, sizing up his future competition. Salvador, wearing his black jersey, races for his life, beating all the others. 30 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - LATER 30 The sweat-drenched players line up according to their positions, waiting their turns to participate in a double-play drill, where the pitchers cover first base. Miguel awaits his turn, watching another pitcher, EDDY, run to first to receive a throw from second base, but before Eddy can catch the ball... ...he twists his ankle tripping over the bag. The coaches rush over to Eddy, who is on the ground wincing in pain. Miguel and the rest of the team watch in nervous anticipation as Eddy struggles to his feet, limps off the field with the aid of another player. REYES Next up, Miguel! Here we go! The ball is hit on the ground to first base, where the fielder quickly throws it over to second. Miguel charges over to first, stutter steps as he nears the base, and receives the throw just in time to beat the hitter and step out of the way. He exhales in relief. 31 INT. CLUBHOUSE SHOWERS - DAY 31 The players shower after a gruelling day of workouts. 32 INT. CLUBHOUSE - DAY 32 Miguel lounges with an elaborate ice-wrap around his shoulder and upper arm as other players get dressed into street clothes. Coach Reyes comes in, spots Pedro. REYES Berroa, see Alvarez when you're dressed. Pedro nods. Miguel and Marcos exchange knowing glances. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 18. 33 INT. ACADEMY DINING ROOM - NIGHT 33 The team eats dinner. At Miguel's table, we catch the punchline of a joke... MARCOS So the Dominican's like, `Fuck, what am I gonna do?' He stays there, points up to the sky and says. `Look! There's a plane... Right THERE!' Everyone laughs hysterically, as... ...the young rookie, Salvador, grabs a seat next to Miguel at an adjoining table. SALVADOR Hey, Sugar! They made me an offer. Miguel smiles, but hesitates for a beat as Pedro walks past them and over to an empty table in the corner of the room. Miguel turns back to Salvador, pats him on the head. MIGUEL Good for you. Congratulations. How much they offer you? SALVADOR (with a big smile) 115,000. (sensing the other players surprise) But, you know, my manager's taking, like, forty of it... What'd you sign for? MIGUEL Oh, you know, more or less the same. Did you get any other offers? SALVADOR Yankees and Seattle, but not as much. MIGUEL Just don't get cocky. No one likes a dickhead... Welcome to the team. Salvador smiles. SALVADOR So, why do they call you Sugar? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 19. MIGUEL Well it's like this... it started cause I'm sweet with the ladies. But mostly it's cause I got the sweetest knuckle curve in the whole Republic. ALFONSO (interjecting) Bullshit! You just learned that shit on Friday! It's cause he eats so much junk food! Salvador notices two pieces of cake on Miguel's tray. MIGUEL (playing it cool) He's just jealous. Miguel notices Pedro across the room, staring at his food. 34 INT. ACADEMY RECREATION ROOM - NIGHT 34 A dozen players sit around the television, watching a shlocky American horror film on DVD. 35 IN THE ADJOINING DORMITORY 35 Pedro packs his belongings into a KC Knights' duffel bag, when Miguel, Marcos, and Alfonso approach his bunk. MIGUEL We got you a going away present. Miguel unzips his windbreaker to reveal a bottle of Brugal rum hidden underneath. The other guys smile mischievously. 36 EXT. ACADEMY BUILDING - NIGHT 36 Miguel, Marcos, Alfonso, and Pedro tip-toe across the gravel, whispering at each other to shut up. 37 EXT. OBSERVATION TOWER - LATER 37 The four players toast their rum in little plastic cups. The bottle is nearly finished. MARCOS You should try Los Campos. I heard the Dodgers could use a new first baseman. PEDRO Fuck that. The coaches are even tougher over there. I'm done, man. (MORE) Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 20. PEDRO (cont'd) No more curfews, nobody tellin' me what to do and how to do it. For real, I'm glad this shit's over. I'm a free man. Awkward silence. The players look at Pedro with pity, unsure how to respond. After a beat, Miguel mocks coach Reyes and the others follow suit, mocking Alvarez and the other coaches. MIGUEL (snatching Pedro's cap) No caps indoors, son! ALFONSO Cut the meat with your knife; eat the meat with your fork. NEVER eat the meat with your knife. MARCOS Or you'll chop off your tongue. MIGUEL Ten p.m. lights out! PEDRO (in broken English) "Tay me outta the ball game, tay me outta the crowd..." The other players laugh, join Pedro in a loud whisper... ALFONSO/MIGUEL/MARCOS/PEDRO "...buys me so peanut and crackay- yacks. I doe-care if I never get back. Roo, roo, roo for home teams, we doe- win is a shame..." Pedro breaks off from the song, looks out over the field, on the verge of crying. One by one, the other players take notice and stop singing. Silence. Hold. 38 INT. ACADEMY BATHROOM - DAY 38 Hungover, Miguel vomits in the toilet. Reyes opens the stall. REYES Santos, what the hell's wrong with you? MIGUEL I think I have the flu, coach. I can't pitch today. Reyes glances over to Marcos and Alfonso standing nearby. They lower their heads in embarrassment like two kids busted by dad. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 21. REYES You've got five minutes to get out on that mound, Santos. Reyes marches off. 39 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - DAY 39 Miguel on the mound. Takes a deep breath. He utilizes every ounce of strength to deliver a pitch, and... CRACK! The visiting Detroit Academy HITTER knocks the ball over the left field wall for a homerun, wherein... BLAH! Miguel throws up on the mound. All the players gasp in disgust, but Reyes just laughs. Miguel looks over to Alvarez, sitting under an umbrella with a clipboard, then to Reyes, hoping he'll yank him out of the game, but Reyes just claps. REYES Feel better now? Let's go! Miguel tries to shake off the cobwebs, steps on the rubber, stares down the next hitter. CLOSE on his hand revealing the knuckle curve grip. He tosses in the next pitch, which arcs into Jose's glove for a... UMPIRE Strike! Reyes' smile fades, stunned by the beautiful curve. A SERIES OF JUMPCUTS take us through the next three batters, as Miguel makes quick work of them, mixing up his nasty curve with a blazing fastball. After the third out, Miguel walks back to the dugout. He takes a seat on the bench, smiles smugly. REYES Wipe that smile off your face. And he does. 40 EXT. ACADEMY FIELD - SUNSET 40 Miguel, Alfonso, and Marcos run laps around the field as punishment for the previous night's activities. They look as if they could pass out at any moment. FADE TO BLACK. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 22. 41 INT. WAITING ROOM - DAY 41 Miguel and Marcos sit on a couch in a bare-walled waiting room outside Alvarez's office. They sit quietly, like two kids waiting for the principal. Coach Reyes pokes his head out of Alvarez's office, motions them inside. 42 INT. ALVAREZ'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER 42 Miguel and Marcos stare straight ahead, nervously. Alvarez stares at them, icy cold. After a beat... ALVAREZ I am very disappointed. Just when I was starting to like you guys, you go and do something stupid. What do you have to say for yourselves? MARCOS But Alfonso was there too-- ALVAREZ --No excuses. This is unacceptable behavior. You guys need to learn discipline. Miguel and Marcos lower their heads. REYES You need to remember that you still have a long way to go, a lot of hard work ahead of you before you make it. First, there's getting your shot in the American Minor Leagues: rookie ball, single, double, triple A - all that before you even set foot in a major league ballpark. So, you better pull it together quick... ALVAREZ Because nobody's gonna take this shit from a couple Dominican rookies when you go to the U.S. for Spring Training this season. They glance up, eyes wide. Did he just say... REYES You've been invited to Spring Training. Everyone smiles (even Alvarez). Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 23. 43 INT. TEXTILE FACTORY - DAY 43 CAMERA follows behind the FLOOR MANAGER, as he passes rows of WOMEN of all ages, working on sewing machines for an American underwear company. He stops behind one woman, taps her on the shoulder. The woman removes her earphones, turns around. It is Miguel's mother, Carmen. FLOOR MANAGER Phone call. He said it's important. 44 INT. FACTORY HALLWAY 44 Carmen picks up the phone. CARMEN Hello? Hold on her reaction shifting from that of concern to elation. She struggles to contain her joy. 45 INT. MIGUEL'S HOME - NIGHT 45 Miguel opens a new bottle of rum, pours shots for everyone. The whole family and all of Miguel's neighbors are jammed inside the tiny house and spilling out into the street. Merengue blasts from the new home stereo system. FRIENDS and FAMILY pat Miguel on the back. He smiles, basking in the glory of success. Erica kisses Miguel on the cheek. ERICA Don't forget to call everyday. I want to know everything! MIGUEL Everything? ERICA You know what I mean, dummy. MIGUEL Of course I'll be calling to keep you in check, make sure your grades don't slip. ERICA Look who's talking. Carmen interrupts, drapes her arms around Miguel, kissing him repeatedly. As Erica looks on, we get the sense that she's used to being on the outside of this kind of attention. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 24. CARMEN You are my hero! Carmen pulls Miguel close, takes something from her pocket, puts it in his hand. CARMEN It was your father's. I want you to take it with you... Miguel looks at the cross, kisses his mother on the cheek. As he looks up, he notices Erica slip away. CARMEN You've been given a wonderful gift, Miguelito. And God willing, you will continue to do great things with it. I love you so much. She kisses him on the forehead. A SERIES OF JUMPCUTS present a variety of family and friends introducing themselves to Miguel. UNCLE ANGEL Miguelito! You gonna remember your uncle Angel when you're all big and famous? Don't forget your family, kid. Never forget where you came from. JUMP CUT TO: COUSIN LUPE Lupe! Cousin Lupe! Remember that time we went skinny-dipping at the Malec�n? MIGUEL When? JUMP CUT TO: COUSING FELIPE You were eight years old! Hated the goats so much. You would cry and cry and cry and cry. What a baby you were. Do you remember? JUMP CUT TO: MIGUEL What's your name? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 25. AUNT LOLA Lola! Your aunt Lola! JUMP CUT TO: UNCLE JEFFE Uncle Jeffe! JUMP CUT TO: NEIGHBOR ANA Your neighbor Ana. I grew up around the corner from here. Ana lays a juicy kiss on Miguel. He smiles. JUMP CUT TO: FRANK Don't give me any shit, kid. I taught you everything you know. Miguel gives Frank a big hug. FRANK I'm damn proud of you, kid. Your father would be, too. MIGUEL Thanks. I owe it all to you. FRANK Not all. Just forty percent. Miguel smiles, as Frank leans close. FRANK I spent the best years of my life playing in the States. Life gives you a lot of opportunities, but baseball only gives you one. Enjoy every minute of it. Miguel nods. FRANK How's your new curve? MIGUEL It's pretty sweet. FRANK Good. Here... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 26. Frank hands Miguel a pen. MIGUEL What's this for? FRANK Your autograph. Miguel seems puzzled, but searches for something to write on. FRANK I'm kidding, you arrogant prick. It's so you can write your family... and me, too... if you feel like it. Miguel gives Frank another hug. 46 INT. MIGUEL'S HOME - LATER 46 Miguel dances salsa with Sofia, and then switches partners, dances with Carmen. As he dances close with his mother, he catches a glimpse of Erica standing with some friends off to the side. 47 EXT. CONSTRUCTION LOT - LATER THAT NIGHT 47 Miguel and Erica stand in silhouette, isolated from the party raging outside. Miguel sands one of the legs of the dining table. MIGUEL Where's your boyfriend? ERICA Which one? MIGUEL I don't know; the ugly one. ERICA Hector? MIGUEL Okay, where's Hector? ERICA (shrugs, then) Some other party. MIGUEL So what about the good-looking one? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 27. ERICA Mmm, Fernando... I think he's out there dancing with Sofia. Miguel's eyes get big for a second, until Erica smiles. He's been had. He smiles back. A beat. MIGUEL I'm proud of you, sis. You're going to do great things too. We all know it. ERICA I'm gonna miss you... She kisses Miguel on the cheek. ERICA C'mon, let's dance. MIGUEL Go on, I'll be out in a minute. And tell Fernando to keep his dirty hands off my girl. Through cracks in the tarp, Miguel watches Erica join the dance party in the street. Savoring this rare moment alone, he breathes deep, blows wood dust off the table leg, and continues sanding. Hold. FADE TO BLACK. 48 INT. AIRPLANE - DAY 48 Miguel looks out the window over the dry, Arizona desert. 49 INT. AIRPORT BAGGAGE CLAIM - DAY 49 A duffel bag emerges from the luggage shoot, and slides down to the rotating conveyor belt, where an AMERICAN TOURIST grabs it and exits frame. PAN OVER to Miguel, Marcos and several other DOMINICAN PLAYERS (including ANTONIO and JULIO) excitedly waiting for their bags. Miguel perks up upon seeing his, quickly snatches it off the belt. The others smile and APPLAUD. 50 EXT/INT. AIRPORT SHUTTLE BUS - LATE AFTERNOON 50 The other Dominican players goof off, while Miguel stares out the windows at the rocky suburban Phoenix landscape. He catches wide-eyed glimpses of wacky shaped cacti, strip malls, and, of course, a drive-thru Starbucks. ON THE RADIO, a conservative talk show host warns listeners about the evils of Iran, suggests war as the only solution. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 28. 51 INT. HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT 51 The players enter the southwest-style lobby, examining potted cacti, and framed R.C. Gorman reprints on the walls. 52 INT. HOTEL ROOM 52 Miguel and Marcos enter the room, drop their bags and explore everything like big kids away from home for the first time. Marcos turns on the TV, which has a clear reception. He smiles. IN THE BATHROOM Miguel examines the hair dryer on the wall, turns it on and off. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Miguel opens the adjoining suite door to find Antonio and Julio. They push past him, each holding a beer. ANTONIO Check this out. Antonio opens their mini bar, tosses Miguel and Marcos beers. They all toast... MIGUEL/MARCOS/ANTONIO/JULIO To America! Marcos randomly hits buttons on the remote control and accidentally selects an adult pay-per-view movie. The opening credits plunge right into a graphic sex-scene. Their heads immediately jerk over to the TV, stunned. MARCOS To America! They all smile and toast again. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK Marcos opens the door to find JORGE RAMIREZ (25, an experienced minor leaguer who left the KC Knights Dominican camp three years ago) smiling before him. JORGE What's up fellas!? MARCOS Jorge! They hug. Jorge enters, notices the beers and porn. He shakes his head. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 29. 53 EXT. ALL NIGHT DINER - NIGHT 53 Through the window we see the players sitting in a corner booth. A semi truck BLASTS through the frame. 54 INT. ALL NIGHT DINER 54 Over beers, the players study their menus in confusion, as Jorge does his best to explain how things work. JORGE Never, never, never, drink from the hotel mini bar. That shit is expensive. You want beer, buy it at the store. You wanta see titties? They got magazines for that. Don't pay in the hotel. A WAITRESS approaches. WAITRESS You boys ready? JORGE The greatest thing about the States? You can order breakfast 24/7. French toast is the best. It's nothing like Dominican toast. (in English to waitress) French toast please. The players stare at Jorge, a little intimidated. WAITRESS Who's next? After a beat, the players respond in unison... MIGUEL/MARCOS/ANTONIO/JULIO French toast. The waitress nods and leaves, wherein the players crack up laughing at their first English language dining experience. 55 EXT. SPRING TRAINING FIELD - DAY 55 FROM THE OBSERVATION TOWER, we look down over the multiple-field spring training complex, where the MINOR LEAGUERS work out. The vast facilities are triple the size of what we saw in the Dominican Republic. A55 ON THE FIELD, Miguel, Marcos, and Jorge stretch out on the A55 grass. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 30. Jorge, wearing an elastic knee brace, points out a young, AFRICAN-AMERICAN GUY running wind sprints across the field... JORGE Brad Johnson. He just signed for a million dollars out of college. Miguel and Marcos watch Brad with fascination, searching for some sort of physical representation of his wealth. JORGE There's a lot of guys like that. But you can't let that intimidate you. Everyone knows Dominicans rule the game. Two Venezuelan players, ORLANDO MATO (23, catcher) and ED POVEDA (22, center field) step up. ORLANDO What's this about Dominicans ruling the game? ED No, he must've said Venezuelans. Jorge stands up, exchanges hugs with Orlando and Ed as they continue their debate over which Latin country has the best players. JORGE Sammy, Manny, Pedro... ED Santana, Zambrano, the Guillens! JORGE Are you guys all from the same family? ORLANDO Look who's talking... Are these your brothers? JORGE What, all Dominicans look the same, now? They all smile, stop razzing each other momentarily to meet the new players. JORGE This is Miguel and Marcos. Up from Boca Chica. (to Miguel and Marcos) (MORE) Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 31. JORGE (cont'd) Orlando and Ed. We all played in Bridgetown together before I moved up to Double A and left these fools behind. ORLANDO But you couldn't hang in Wichita. JORGE I injured my knee, asshole. But I'm healthy now. You'll see. ORLANDO Fifty bucks you're back in Iowa next month. JORGE Fifty bucks you're still an asshole next month. They all LAUGH. 56 ON THE FIELD - LATER 56 Pitching coach, STU SUTTON (white, 40s), addresses the minor league pitching staff in mid-speech. STU You've gotta show us your best game here. Remember that, until you reach the top, there's always guys above you, hustling to keep you here. And guys below you pushing to take your job. We have 75 pitchers in this camp competing for less than 50 positions come April 3rd. So you gotta work hard... While all the players respectfully listen to Stu, it is clear that very few of the Latino players can understand him. 57 LATER ON THE PRACTICE MOUNDS 57 Miguel stretches his arm, while observing another group of PITCHERS throwing in the bullpen. He stares at them with intensity, sizing up his new competition. 58 LATER ON THE FIELD 58 Miguel faces off against a HITTER in a simulated game scenario. One, two, three, he strikes him out on three straight pitches. Stu and another COACH exchange impressed looks. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 32. STU Bring over Leonard. The other Coach calls over to the adjoining field. COACH Bring over Leonard! 59 ON THE FIELD - MINUTES LATER 59 ON major league all-star ROB LEONARD in the batter's box, awaiting Miguel's pitch. Miguel takes a deep breath, psyches himself up. He puts everything he has into a hearty fastball, which... ...sails right over the plate for a STRIKE, as Leonard calmly watches and readies himself for the next one. Feeling confident with his stuff, Miguel fires in the next pitch, and... WHACK! Leonard sails it over the right field wall. Stu Sutton smiles at Miguel. STU Welcome to America, kid. 60 INT. ALL NIGHT DINER - NIGHT 60 CLOSE ON a plate of french toast. Miguel, Marcos, Antonio, and Julio all chow down on french toast again. They eat in silence for a few beats, until... ANTONIO I have to admit... I'm getting a little sick of the french toast. The others nod in agreement, but continue eating. 61 INT. HOTEL LOBBY - PAY PHONE - NIGHT 61 Miguel talks on the phone to Sofia. MIGUEL I pitched against Rob Leonard today. A61 We INTERCUT with Sofia, at her home in the Dominican Republic. A61 SOFIA No shit! You strike him out? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 33. MIGUEL Yeah. SOFIA Liar! MIGUEL You don't believe me? SOFIA No. MIGUEL Well, I got one strike at least. Sofia laughs. SOFIA So, do you like it there? MIGUEL Mmmm... It's different. SOFIA Different how? MIGUEL I don't know. Just different. Like the food is really sweet. SOFIA I thought you liked sweet things. Miguel smiles. MIGUEL All the players are really good. SOFIA But not like you. MIGUEL No, not like me. Of course not... But they're pretty good. Another beat. Sofia looks down at her bare feet, scrunches her toes. SOFIA I miss you. MIGUEL I miss you, too. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 34. 62 INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 62 Marcos tries to sleep, while Miguel channel surfs through the late night infomercials and reality TV dating shows. After a few beats of this... MARCOS (annoyed) Turn it off. And he does. 63 EXT. SPRING TRAINING FIELD - SUNRISE 63 Miguel runs laps along the outfield wall in the empty stadium. 64 EXT. SPRING TRAINING FIELD - GAME DAY 64 The Kansas City B-squad is facing off against the Los Angeles B- squad, which is rallying in the top of the 9th. 65 IN THE BULLPEN 65 Miguel warms up, glancing over to the action on the field between pitches. He sees... ...Los Angeles gets another hit, scoring another run, so... ...Stu Sutton walks out to the mound, signals for Miguel. Miguel throws one more warm-up toss and sprints onto the field. 66 ON THE MOUND 66 Miguel arrives, ready for action. Stu hands him the ball, while the catcher, Orlando, translates. STU Just relax. Know your pitches. And take it easy. Ground ball. Okay? ORLANDO (in Spanish) Just relax. Ground ball. Miguel nods. As he tosses a few more warm-up pitches from the mound, Stu goes back to the DUGOUT where Marcos and Julio anxiously await Miguel's spring training game debut. The BATTER steps in and Miguel steps on the rubber, touches his father's cross around his neck, tucks it in his jersey. He looks to Orlando, and nods at his request for a fastball. He throws it in... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 35. UMPIRE Strike! Stu exchanges impressed glances with another COACH. Miguel sends in the next one, and... ...the HITTER checks his swing, but goes too far. UMPIRE Two! IN THE DUGOUT Marcos gets to his feet, clapping for encouragement. Miguel nods to Orlando, delivers again... CRACK! The ball is smoked toward Brad Johnson at second base. He leaps out, body fully extended, and makes a fantastic catch. But he's not done yet... The runner at second is too far off the bag, so Brad hops to his feet, and fires a laser beam to second, finishing off one of the sweetest double-plays you'll ever see. Miguel pumps his fist into the air, and the team runs to... 67 THE DUGOUT 67 Marcos and Julio are the first to greet Miguel with high-fives. Orlando, Ed, and Jorge, coming off the field, follow in suit. Miguel awaits Brad's return to the dugout and high-fives him too, but they soon return to their segregated places on opposite ends of the bench. 68 INT. CLUBHOUSE - DAY 68 Most of the players are gone or heading out when Miguel approaches his catcher, Orlando, a few lockers away. MIGUEL Where did you learn English so good? ORLANDO Back home in Caracas. MIGUEL Like in high school, or something? ORLANDO Yeah, but it's still hard though. People talk fast. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 36. Miguel agrees, as an ASSISTANT COACH finishes handing out checks to the remaining players. Miguel sits on the bench near his locker, opens his envelope to find... INSERT: a check for $502.18. He SMILES. 69 INT. CLASSROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 69 The ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR goes over baseball related vocabulary off- screen, while Miguel glances through his "English for Baseball Players" notebook. He finds a page with pictures of different foods along with their English names. He looks at all the foods, stops at an image of a fried egg. He circles the word "egg." The instructor finishes up class, and the exhausted Latino players get up to leave. Marcos stands, leans over to Miguel. MARCOS C'mon. Let's grab some dinner. MIGUEL Nah, I'm gonna stay and work out a little. I'll catch up later. 70 INT. WEIGHT ROOM - NIGHT 70 Miguel does bicep curls alone in the weight room, when... ...Brad Johnson enters. They exchange hello gestures, and proceed to workout on opposite sides of the room. After finishing his set, Miguel turns to Brad. MIGUEL (struggling in English) Good catch. BRAD Thanks... I got lucky. They continue with their respective routines. 71 INT. WESTERN UNION - NIGHT 71 CLOSE ON Miguel's hands counting out seven fifty-dollar bills. He approaches the CLERK behind thick, bullet-proof glass, and slides the money and routing slip through a retractable tray. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 37. He smiles BIG at the clerk. Proud. 72 INT. ALL NIGHT DINER - NIGHT 72 The usual waitress hovers over Miguel, alone at the usual booth. WAITRESS French toast, right? MIGUEL No... Egg. Egg, please. WAITRESS Eggs. No problem. How would you like'm? Miguel stares at her. MIGUEL Yes. WAITRESS Um, okay, uh... Scrambled? Over easy? Sunny side up? A beat... He didn't count on this part. He thinks hard, pressure mounting. MIGUEL (giving up, embarrassed) French toast. WAITRESS No eggs? You sure? MIGUEL French toast. WAITRESS (disappointed) Alright, honey. French toast it is. As she leaves, Miguel shakes his head, dejected. Stares out the window. A72 MINUTES LATER. The waitress returns with french toast and A72 another plate with samples of different eggs. WAITRESS Okay... This is scrambled. Scrambled. MIGUEL Scrambled. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 38. WAITRESS (pointing on plate) Over easy. MIGUEL Over easy. WAITRESS (and finally) This one's tricky... Sunny-side-up. Sunny... MIGUEL Sunny... WAITRESS Side... MIGUEL Side... WAITRESS Up... MIGUEL Up. WAITRESS Sunny side up... On the house. MIGUEL Thank you. WAITRESS (smiling proud) You're welcome. Miguel gets to work on his food, feeling good. FADE OUT. 73 EXT. CLUBHOUSE ENTRANCE - DAY 73 Miguel leans against the wall, eyes closed. He whispers a prayer to himself, then heads inside the... 74 INT. CLUBHOUSE - DAY 74 ...where he passes a dejected-looking Antonio, on his way out. Antonio avoids eye contact, and Miguel understands what's happened. He sees Marcos, Julio, and a few other players lingering near the bulletin board. He approaches, cautiously. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 39. MARCOS They're sending Antonio back. MIGUEL Shit. What about you guys? JULIO We're staying here. Rookie ball. Miguel nervously glances over to the list. MARCOS Go take a look. Miguel goes to the board scans the names on a roster, finds his. INSERT: We PAN from his name to "(A) Bridgetown, Iowa" MIGUEL I'm not with you guys? MARCOS Straight to Single A, bro. With Jorge. Congratulations. MIGUEL Where is Iowa? 75 EXT/INT. MOVING BUS - IOWA HIGHWAY - DAY 75 Various images of vast Midwest farmlands... corn country. Miguel looks out the window at the passing landscape. 76 EXT. BRIDGETOWN, IOWA BUS DEPOT - DAY 76 Bridgetown's number one baseball fans, EARL HIGGINS (70) and his wife HELEN HIGGINS (also 70) watch as the bus pulls into the depot. They're holding a sign that says: "Miguel Santos #1" About a dozen young players hop off the bus and grab their bags. Some of them jump into waiting taxis, but Miguel sees his name on the Higgins' sign. MIGUEL Can't I stay with you guys? JORGE Don't worry, Sugar. The Higgins are good people. I stayed with them last time I played here. Jorge walks over towards the Higgins with Miguel. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 40. MIGUEL Then why don't you stay with them again? JORGE They have a no girls policy. HELEN Jorge! Good to see you back in Bridgetown! Jorge hugs Helen, shakes hands with Earl. JORGE Thank you. This is Miguel. Orlando whistles to Jorge from a taxi. JORGE I go now. Take care of my friend. Jorge waves goodbye to the Higgins, pats Miguel on the back, and hops in a cab with Orlando and Ed. Awkward beat, as Miguel, Earl, and Helen stand in silence. 77 EXT/INT. HIGGINS CAR - DAY 77 Earl and Helen ramble on in English, while Miguel spaces out the back window at the passing corn stalks, which are strikingly similar to the sugar cane stalks back home. HELEN We've had Dominicans, Venezuelan boys, a Colombian, one from Panama, blacks and some Americans. Mostly Spanish boys, though. Johan Santana, Mendy Lopez and Ramon Martinez all stayed with us. Years ago. EARL Last year we had this boy, Junior Sanchez. Nice boy. Decent with the glove, but couldn't bunt to save his life. HELEN Two-for-twelve in sacrifice situations. EARL Cost the team at least two victories. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 41. HELEN Oh, that's being generous! I'd say four or five. 78 INT. HIGGINS FARMHOUSE - DAY 78 Miguel, Earl, and Helen enter the old, crickety home. HELEN Put your things down. I'll show you around. 79 INT. KITCHEN 79 HELEN This is the kitchen. Help yourself to whatever you'd like. You can make a list of special foods you like to eat and put it here. Helen points to a grocery list tucked under a broccoli magnet. HELEN Oh, and over here, this drawer is a little funny. She pulls open the silverware drawer. HELEN You have to be careful or... She pulls it a little too far and it falls off its rail. Miguel nods. 80 INT. WASHER/DRYER ROOM 80 HELEN This is the washer and the dryer. For your clothes. You put the soap in this one. Sopa. Miguel looks at her, confused. Did she just say "soup"? HELEN (CONT'D) The other one's just hot air. Caliente. A80 INT. STAIRCASE A80 Miguel follows Helen up the stairs. HELEN Your room is up here. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 42. 81 IN THE BATHROOM 81 HELEN (in bad Spanish) El banyo. She laughs. Miguel smiles, appreciating the effort. 82 INT. MIGUEL'S NEW BEDROOM 82 HELEN Your new cuarto. Bedroom. Do with it as you please. Just no girls. Chicas? No chicas. Miguel smiles, understanding. 83 INT. KITCHEN - LATER 83 Earl and Helen break down the rules for Miguel at the table. EARL No drinking. No cervezas in the casa. No chicas in the bedroom. HELEN I already told him that one. EARL Okay. What about quiet time? HELEN Right. There's no real curfew, but you must be quiet after ten. EARL Diez. (holding index finger to mouth) Shhhh... after diez. MIGUEL Ten. Okay. HELEN Si! That's all we ask. It's our job to keep you healthy and focused on baseball. EARL And we take pride in that. Miguel smiles. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 43. 84 EXT. HIGGINS PORCH - DUSK 84 Helen brings a large glass of lemonade to Miguel gently swaying on the porch swing. MIGUEL Thank you. She nods, looks out over the landscape, and for the first time we see... ...an EXTREME WIDE SHOT of the Higgins house, which seems to be situated in the middle of nowhere. The low sun casts a dreamy Days of Heaven glow over the image. A tiny Helen Higgins returns inside the house, while Miguel continues to sway on the porch swing, alone. Hold. FADE TO BLACK. 85 INT. MIGUEL'S HOME (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) - DUSK 85 Carmen talks into the phone. CARMEN Everyone is so proud, Miguelito. It's all we can talk about. A85 We INTERCUT between Carmen and Miguel IN HIS NEW IOWA BEDROOM. A85 MIGUEL Did you get the money? CARMEN Of course. MIGUEL Good. And Victor? Can he start construction on the house again? I'll be sending money every two weeks now. CARMEN We just paid him. He's coming next week. MIGUEL What about you? You get something for yourself like I said? CARMEN Me? What do I need? MIGUEL C'mon, mom... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 44. CARMEN What? MIGUEL You didn't get anything? CARMEN Well, maybe I got some new shoes, but I'm not telling. Erica strolls by, yells into phone... ERICA Three pairs, Miguel! But who's counting? Miguel laughs on his end. MIGUEL Good for you, mom. HELEN (O.S.) Miguel! Time for dinner! MIGUEL I have to go, mom. The lady is calling me. Smells like dinner. CARMEN Dinner? Don't forget who your real mother is, Miguelito. Are you going to prefer her cooking to mine now? MIGUEL Impossible... I love you, mom. CARMEN Everyone loves and misses you. Strike one out for me, okay? 86 INT. HIGGINS DINING ROOM- DUSK 86 The Higgins' son, MICHAEL (40s), and his wife, HILARY (40s), and their daughter, ANNE (17), join Earl and Helen for Miguel's first dinner in Iowa. Helen leads the table in grace... HELEN Dear Lord... Thank you for the meal we are about to eat. And for blessing us with our new guest. And guiding him safely on his journey from the Dominican Republic to Bridgetown... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 45. Miguel glances around the table. Everyone's head is bowed and eyes closed. His eyes stop on Anne, seated across from him. She's an attractive all-American girl, but would never dream of flaunting her good looks. After taking her in, Miguel closes his eyes. HELEN ...And finally, Lord... Please look kindly over the Swing this season. May all the players stay healthy and... well, why not?... if there's anything you can do to help us win another championship, we'll take that too... Amen. The table laughs, followed by a chorus of Amens. Miguel opens his eyes, greeted with smiles. He smiles too, as everyone passes dishes around the table. MICHAEL So, Miguel... Do - you - eat - meatloaf - back home? HELEN I already told you, Michael, he doesn't speak any English. MICHAEL I know but... I'm curious to know what he thinks of the meatloaf. EARL What do you care? You didn't cook it. HILARY (to Michael) I doubt they have meatloaf in the Dominican Republic, dear. ANNE I bet they have something similar. They probably just have another name for it. All eyes are on Miguel as he nervously takes a bite. A suspenseful beat, until... ...he smiles and nods. Everyone sighs, smiles, and nods back. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 46. MICHAEL This is good old-fashioned American home cooking, Miguel. Welcome to America. MIGUEL I like. Thank you. EARL Well, very good, Miguel. De nada to you, mi amigo. De nada to you. Anne smiles at Miguel, a little embarrassed by her grandpa. Miguel smiles back, then gets back to his meatloaf. 87 INT. BRIDGETOWN SWING CLUBHOUSE - DAY 87 The team's CLUBHOUSE MANAGER (19, redheaded freckle face), hands out schedules to a handful of returning players. CLUBBY If you guys ever need tickets for family or friends, just let me know two days ahead of time. Thursday's opener is already sold out, but I saved one row, so you need to speak up now... Miguel enters the room, looking for his locker. The Clubby takes notice. CLUBBY Santos - you're over there. Clubby points Miguel in the right direction, where he finds his locker and several pressed jerseys waiting for him. Miguel takes his practice jersey, sits down in front of the locker, as... BRAD (O.S.) (in bad Spanish) Que pasa, hermano? Brad pats Miguel on the back. Miguel is excited to see a familiar face. MIGUEL (in bad English) What up, Flaco? BRAD Dude, I was totally psyched when I saw your name on the squad. Good times. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 47. MIGUEL Yeah, okay. Brad finds his locker, and they both suit up. 88 INT/EXT. UNDERGROUND CORRIDOR - MINUTES LATER 88 We follow Miguel through the tunnel, which leads out to the... 89 BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK FIELD 89 A stunning little park that sits at the Mississippi River's edge, underneath the Crescent Bridge. A dozen scattered players warm up on the lush green grass. A wide-eyed Miguel steps onto the field for the first time and takes it all in. Hold. FADE TO BLACK. 90 INT. WESTLAND MALL - DAY 90 Miguel and Jorge stroll through the mall. Miguel notes the steady barrage of discount signs, plastic jewelry kiosks, and product samples. 91 INT. DEPARTMENT STORE - MINUTES LATER 91 Miguel follows Jorge through the men's section when a rack of Hanes underwear catches his eye. He turns a package over. INSERT: in a little corner of the package Miguel reads, "MADE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC". He checks the price tag. JORGE C'mon, bro, let's find you a suit. MIGUEL I can't afford a suit. JORGE I didn't say buy a suit. I said find a suit. So when you make it big, you'll already know what looks good. 92 INT. DEPARTMENT STORE SUIT SECTION - NOT MUCH LATER 92 Miguel emerges from the dressing room in a white suit and electric blue collared shirt. JORGE Hot damn! That's what's up! Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 48. MIGUEL You like it? JORGE I love it! You look like an all-star, bro. Miguel admires himself in the mirror. JORGE (in a fake announcer voice, in English) "Starting pitcher for American League... from Kansas City... Miguel... 'Sugar'... Santos." Jorge fakes massive crowd applause. Miguel laughs. MIGUEL What about you, man? You try one. Jorge shrugs, smiles. JORGE Me? Nah... I'm all washed up. MIGUEL C'mon... Jorge gets distracted by a pack of TEENAGE GIRLS cruising by. They smile at the players, who smile back. MIGUEL Very nice. JORGE Dude. You have no idea. Just wait till we go to Big Muddy's. MIGUEL Big Muddy's? Jorge reaches into his wallet, removes his ID, hands it to Miguel. JORGE You gotta be 21 to drink there. This is my old license. They won't know the difference. Miguel looks at Jorge's ID photo, cracks up. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 49. MIGUEL Are you kidding me? Nobody's gonna believe I'm this ugly fool. JORGE Believe me; they won't know the difference. 93 EXT. WESTLAND MALL PARKING LOT - DAY 93 Miguel and Jorge each carry a shopping bag for Helen. Miguel also carries a plastic bag of his own. All three of them are licking ice cream cones. 94 INT. MIGUEL'S ROOM - DAY 94 Miguel takes a new calendar out of a plastic shopping bag. It features iconic images of New York City. He peels off the plastic and pins it to the month of April on his wall. CLOSE ON Miguel's hands tearing open a small package from his family back home: we linger on a crudely drawn sketch of a baseball player with a Kansas City jersey from Luis, along with a photo of Carmen, Erica, and Luis posing in front of the frame of the new house. Miguel smiles, reads the enclosed letter. 95 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - LATE AFTERNOON 95 Opening Night. There's an air of excitement in the stands and on the field. The small park's seats are packed with fans. 96 INT. RADIO ANNOUNCERS' BOOTH 96 JACK JEFFERIES (White, 50s) overlooks the field, speaks into the microphone. JACK JEFFERIES Hey there, Swing fans, welcome to another exciting season of Swing baseball. As always we've got some new faces who we'll get to know this year-- like Brad Johnson, the highly touted 2nd baseman out of Stanford. He'll make his professional debut tonight. Great night for Swing baseball... And also a great night to grab a bite and a brew at Harlow's after the game - your local pub and proud sponsor... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 50. 97 EXT. ON THE FIELD 97 As a YOUNG LADY begins singing the Star-Spangled Banner, Miguel takes off his hat, looks out to the American Flag. Hold on his solemn expression. 98 EXT. IN THE DUGOUT 98 We STAY ON Miguel for the game's highlights, JUMP CUTTING his reactions to the best plays of the game. PLAY 1: he casually spits sunflower seed shells, then CLAPS the final out of the inning, high-fiving players returning to the dugout. PLAY 2: chats to Jorge, when they react to the CRACK of the bat, leap to their feet, eagerly anticipate an umpire's call, and CHEER when the call goes their team's way. PLAY 3: grimaces at the sight of a hit-by-pitch. PLAY 4: leaps to his feet, CLAPS. PLAY 5: leaps to his feet, doesn't clap. Sits back down. PLAY 6: Miguel and Jorge sway to the seventh inning stretch classic "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." PLAY 7: sitting with Brad, they both point to something on the field and crack up laughing. Of course, we don't see what they're laughing at. PLAY 8: standing with Jorge and the rest of the players, the mood is tense. The players react to a hit ball, as their heads jerk toward the outfield, waiting, waiting, waiting, and... A98 CELEBRATION! Whatever happened, the game is over and we follow A98 the players out onto the field to mob Brad, who just scored the winning run. 99 EXT. BIG MUDDY'S FRONT ENTRANCE - NIGHT 99 The BOUNCER examines Miguel's photo ID, which is actually Jorge's. He shoots Miguel a suspicious look, but hands it back and lets him through. 100 INT. BIG MUDDY'S - NIGHT 100 Some of the Swing players celebrate their first victory with beers at the local bar/dance club. A few of the guys dance with LOCAL GIRLS, but Jorge and Miguel stand against the wall, beers in hand, as they watch the MTV-inspired GRINDING and FREAKING unfolding before them. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 51. MIGUEL You think they know how to salsa? JORGE (smiling) Go for it, bro. But remember, just cause they dance with you, doesn't mean they want anything else. Orlando and Ed approach with a couple brews. ORLANDO Not from you, anyway. Miguel notices Brad stroll by, calls him over. MIGUEL Yo flaco! BRAD What's up fellas? Good game. They all toast beers. BRAD What's with the flaco? I mean... (flexing his arm) You call this flaco? Everyone laughs, as Jorge eyes TWO WOMEN on the dance floor. JORGE You ready? MIGUEL Let's do it. 101 INT. BIG MUDDY'S DANCE FLOOR 101 Jorge whispers in one of the girls' ears and the two of them begin dancing with him and Miguel. At first cautious, Miguel and his partner ease closer, until Miguel's hands are on her hips, leading her in rhythm to the hip-hop jam, while mixing in some Latin moves as well. As Miguel and Jorge carve and twist with their partners, several local bar PATRONS begin to take notice of their fancy footwork. But Miguel might be dancing too well for one DRUNK JACKASS in particular, who... ...wanders over, gets in Miguel's face. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 52. JACKASS (barely audible) Careful, Paco. This ain't the jungle. Miguel stares him down. A few clubbers in the immediate vicinity stop dancing, observe. Jorge steps between them, and... ...apparently, drunken egos speak the same language everywhere because Jorge and the Jackass start jawing back and forth in their native tongues. Both seem to be understanding the other, though the MUSIC is too loud to hear anything specific. Brad and the Venezuelans run over to break it up before anything serious starts. They all hustle out to... 102 EXT. BIG MUDDY'S PARKING LOT - NIGHT 102 The Latin players spill out into the brisk night air with Brad and the Swing's designated hitter, JEFF ELKS. They all pile into Brad's car, as a few locals stand near the club's entrance, watching them go. 103 EXT. HIGGINS FARMHOUSE - NIGHT 103 The car pulls up near the house and Miguel stumbles out, as the wild bunch inside HOOT and HOLLER. The car backs down the road and the players' voices fade out with the hum of the engine. An upstairs light goes on. Miguel looks up to the Higgins' bedroom where Helen's silhouetted figure lingers in the window. He tiptoes inside. The sound of a CHURCH CHOIR fades in, and carries over to... 104 INT. CHURCH - DAY 104 With the exception of Miguel, the all-white congregation sings hymns about Jesus and the Lord. He tries to suppress a yawn when he sees Anne Higgins singing in the choir. She notices him as she sings. A smile. Miguel perks up. 105 EXT. CHURCH PARKING LOT - DAY 105 CHURCHGOERS flood out of the church after the service. Anne walks alongside Miguel. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 53. ANNE How'd you like the service? (off his blank stare) Our church? Hope it wasn't too boring for you. Did you go to church in the Dominican Republic? He shakes his head. MIGUEL I am sorry. I do not understand. ANNE S'okay. You understand more than a lot of folks around here I bet. He nods, still unsure. ANNE So listen, me and some friends are hanging out later. You should stop by my house after the game. It's gonna be super chill. Grandma can take you there, but here... She stops a random CHURCHGOER... ANNE Can I borrow a pen real quick? The churchgoer hands over a pen, and Anne writes her address on Miguel's forearm. ANNE After the game. My house... Good luck, tonight. Anne runs off. Miguel looks after her, mystified. 106 INT. SWING CLUBHOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON 106 Half-uniformed players hang out, eating sandwiches, passing around a PLAYBOY magazine, signing souvenir baseballs, and talking at full volume. Hip-hop BLASTS from a stereo, competing with an old DUKES OF HAZARD rerun on the TV. HARDY, the Bridgetown Swing mascot, passes through with his enormous monkey head under one arm. Miguel sits at his locker, psyching himself up for his first start. He touches Luis' drawing, which is taped to the inside of his locker. Closes his eyes, takes a deep breath. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 54. 107 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - LATE AFTERNOON 107 ON THE MOUND. Miguel opens his eyes, as the LEAD-OFF HITTER steps into the batter's box. He takes a moment, crosses himself. Play ball. Miguel nods to his catcher, Orlando, then fires in the first pitch high for a ball. When he gets the ball back, he looks to the stands, where... ...Earl, Helen, Michael, and Hilary sit uncomfortably close to the field in choice box seats. He takes a nervous breath, fires in the second pitch. Ball two. Same for the third. And forth. The batter jogs to first, and the crowd GRUMBLES. 108 INT. RADIO ANNOUNCERS' BOOTH 108 Jack Jefferies does his thing on the mic. JACK JEFFERIES Santos, apparently feeling the butterflies on his first professional outing. Hailing all the way from the Dominican Republic, Santos wowed the club with his power during Spring Training. But he's off to a rocky start tonight. 109 ON THE MOUND 109 Jorge comes over from third base as the batter walks to first. JORGE Relax, Sugar. It's the same game we played back home. That's all it is. Just a game, man. So relax. Let's have some fun. Okay? Miguel nods. Jorge points out the next batter. Another Dominican. JORGE See? Just like home. Jorge runs back to his position at third. Miguel tucks his index finger into his knuckle curve grip. Delivers... UMPIRE Strike! Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 55. JORGE That's it! There it is! And the next pitch... ...is hit sharply to Jorge at third, who fires it over to second for one, and on to first for a double play. The crowd goes WILD and Miguel finally exhales. One, two, three... he mows down the next BATTER on three consecutive strikes. More APPLAUSE. 110 IN THE DUGOUT 110 Orlando hands him his first strikeout ball. Miguel takes a seat, wipes the sweat from his head, then looks down at Anne's address scribbled on his forearm. 111 SCOREBOARD - LATER THAT NIGHT 111 We PAN RIGHT across six innings of zeroes. The Swing are leading 4 to nothing in the top of the 7th. 112 ON THE FIELD 112 THWACK! The HITTER smokes a double off the left-center wall. 113 INT. RADIO ANNOUNCERS' BOOTH 113 JACK JEFFERIES Nearly unhittable for the first 6 innings, that was only the second hit allowed by Santos tonight. 114 BACK ON THE FIELD. 114 The next BATTER dribbles a spinning groundball at Jorge, but it squirts through his legs into left field, allowing the runner to score an unearned run from second. Stu walks toward the mound, signals for the bullpen. He and Orlando greet Miguel on the mound. STU Good game, kid. Enjoy this... ORLANDO (in Spanish) Nice work, Sugar. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 56. MIGUEL (in Spanish, to Orlando) But that wasn't my fault. I can go longer. ORLANDO (in Spanish) Take it easy; it's your first game. Though he doesn't speak Spanish, Stu knows exactly what's happening. He takes the ball from Miguel with a smile, but Miguel doesn't move, still reluctant to leave the mound. As the FANS begin to cheer his stellar debut... STU You hear that? It's for you, kid. Orlando smiles, pats Miguel on the butt, and Miguel finally starts his slow walk off the field. As we follow him off, the FANS rise to their feet and Miguel approaches the dugout to a standing ovation. On his way in, he's greeted by his teammates with congratulatory high-fives. AT THIRD Jorge stares at the dirt, frustrated by his misplay. 115 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALLPARK - AFTER THE GAME 115 FIREWORKS EXPLODE in the sky as the kids in the crowd watch excitedly. 116 IN THE DUGOUT 116 Miguel and a few other players hang over the railing, enjoying the awesome display. 117 EXT. ANNE'S HOUSE - NIGHT 117 Miguel rings the doorbell, waits. He's holding a baseball. Anne opens the door. ANNE Hey Miguel. C'mon inside. He hands her the ball like it's a rose. MIGUEL (in rehearsed English) My first... strike-out. ANNE Oh, Miguel... you're so sweet. Congratulations, I heard you pitched awesome. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 57. 118 INT. ANNE'S HOUSE - MINUTES LATER 118 Some kind of casual teenage party is in effect. Pizza boxes are spread around the living room and everyone (12-15 WHITE KIDS) are drinking soda from plastic cups. No booze. ANNE Hey everybody, this is Miguel. He's from the Dominican Republic, and now he pitches for the Swing. Everyone manages to say "Hi Miguel" at the same time. 119 GAME ROOM - A LITTLE LATER 119 Two guys, RANDY and TRAVIS, play a spirited game of foozeball, while Miguel looks on, fascinated. RANDY What's up, man? TRAVIS Wanna play? MIGUEL No. Thank you. TRAVIS It's like soccer. You play soccer? MIGUEL Soccer? No. Baseball. TRAVIS Well this is called fooze-ball. Fooze- ball. MIGUEL Foos-ball? TRAVIS Yeah, you got it. Miguel looks for Anne, sees her going over some papers with another kid. She sees Miguel, waves, then gets back to her conversation. RANDY I used to be a pitcher. In little league. I wasn't very good though. Miguel nods, and another girl, WENDY, chimes in. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 58. WENDY I heard that the beaches in the Dominican Republic are really beautiful. Miguel nods again. They stand in silence for an awkward beat, sipping from their red, plastic cups, until... ANNE Hey guys, let's get started. Everyone grab a seat. The teens crowd into the living room, squeezing together on sofas, recliners, and desk chairs. Miguel sits behind the majority of the group, not sure what's going on. Anne stands before them... ANNE I'm so glad you all came. Last year, we didn't have half as many people in our group. So, I think this just goes to show the great work we've been doing in spreading the word. But this year, I want us to work harder. Now, I know a lot of you are studying for SATs or working on college applications. And all of that is important, but we need to remember that our spiritual accomplishments are more important. What we do in school or for a job... that's just a small part of who we are. We're only here by the grace of God, so let's get out there and share that grace. Miguel watches, still unsure what's going on. 120 LIVING ROOM - A LITTLE LATER 120 Anne leads the group in song, while Randy plays the piano. Miguel watches; he's the only person not singing. THE GROUP (singing) One there is above all others, Oh, how He loves! His is love beyond a brother's, Oh, how He loves! Earthly friends may fail or leave us, One day soothe, the next day grieve us; But this Friend will ne'er deceive us: Oh, how He loves! Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 59. Miguel observes, a little disappointed, as this is not quite the date he was hoping for. 121 EXT/INT. MOVING BUS - DAY 121 Miguel and Brad are side by side in neighboring aisle seats, while Jorge and Jeff catch some Zs against the window. Miguel's "English for Baseball Players" workbook is on his lap, but he and Brad discuss language that won't likely be found there... MIGUEL Mama�ema. Very bad. Very bad word. BRAD Mama-�ema? What's it mean? MIGUEL Mmm... Like-- Miguel mimes fellatio. BRAD Cocksucker? MIGUEL Cock-sucker? BRAD Yeah, we say cocksucker. MIGUEL Okay, cocksucker. BRAD Mama�ema. They laugh. BRAD (in bad Spanish) Who is your favorite player? MIGUEL (in bad English) Robinson Cano for the Yankees. I know him brother. And you? BRAD Roberto Clemente. MIGUEL Who is that? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 60. BRAD What? You don't know about Clemente? MIGUEL Is Dominican? BRAD Puerto Rican. I can't believe it. This is tragic. Do you know who Babe Ruth is? MIGUEL Baby Ruth? El chocolate? Brad stares at Miguel for a beat, and they both crack up. BRAD Hey, how'd it go with that girl the other night? MIGUEL Girl? BRAD Yeah, didn't you have a date, or something? MIGUEL Oh, she no es my girl. Brad senses Miguel's disappointment in the matter. BRAD No sweat, bro. We'll find you a little honey on the road. Miguel smiles. Brad picks up his mp3 player, searches the menu for something. BRAD You like The White Stripes? MIGUEL I don't know. BRAD Check it out. Miguel grabs his portable CD player, hands it to Brad, trading music with him. As Miguel places Brad's Bose headphones over his ears, The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" infuses the soundtrack and leads us through the following... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 61. 122 EARLY SEASON SWING BASEBALL SEQUENCE: 122 --The Swing players sprint out of the dugout to their positions at BRIDGETOWN BALLPARK, while Miguel struts to the mound with supreme confidence. A122 --AT A VISITING TEAM'S STADIUM, Miguel throws a series of A122 strikes and batters WHIFF. B122 --Miguel ices down his arm after a game. B122 C122 --Ed sneaks up behind Miguel while he's talking to Brad and C122 drops a handful of ice down his shirt. H122 --AT A VISITING BALL PARK Brad makes a diving stop. H122 D122 --AT THEIR HOME PARK, Stu works with Miguel in the early D122 afternoon, before the other players have arrived. J122 --Brad slides in safely at second base. J122 F122 --Miguel runs videotape during one of his off days. F122 G122 --Jorge strikes out. G122 J122 --Miguel and Jorge eat eggs at a local diner. J122 123 --AT THE WESTERN UNION, Miguel hands $300 through the glass to 123 the teller. 124 --ON THE BUS, Brad hands Miguel a local paper, featuring a photo124 of Miguel on the mound. BRAD "Santos stings Owls with 8 Ks." What kind of shoddy journalism is this? There's nothing' about me in here. Miguel smiles, takes the paper, examines it. 125 --IN A MOTEL ROOM, Miguel enthusiastically talks on the phone 125 with his mom back home. A125 --AT A VISITING TEAM BALLPARK, Miguel picks off a runner at A125 first. 126 --Jorge does physical therapy for his knee while Miguel 126 stretches out his pitching arm. 127 --Miguel watches videotape of his pitching with Stu in the 127 coach's office. A127 --Miguel, Jorge, Orlando and Ed sit in the dugout, respectfullyA127 listen as a chaplain gives a sermon in Spanish. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 62. At the other end of the dugout, some of the American players listen to a Sunday morning sermon in English. B127 --TRACK IN on Miguel as he fires in another strike. B127 128 --A KID hands Miguel a baseball card and pen for his autograph. 128 Miguel coolly obliges like he's been doing this for years. 129 --IN THE RADIO BOOTH, after a game, Jack Jefferies, interviews 129 Miguel with Orlando acting as translator. JACK JEFFERIES At what point in the game did you realize you had your best stuff? ORLANDO (doing his best) When did you know you were going to be a good pitcher in this game? MIGUEL I knew from the time I was very young I would be a good pitcher. Ten, eleven years old. Thanks to God, I have had the opportunity to develop my talents. ORLANDO (translating in English) He knew very early that he was going to pitch good. Eleven years. Jack Jefferies nods, confused. Miguel and Orlando look at each other, unsure. END EARLY SEASON SEQUENCE. 130 INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 130 Miguel checks his appearance in the bathroom mirror, while Jorge talks on the telephone with somebody back home. Jorge appears anguished, as he struggles to speak. JORGE It's not good. Because I haven't been playing good... No. I'm working hard, but, I don't know... I think they might... (Jorge glances back toward Miguel) Listen, I can't talk now. Miguel gets the hint, steps out of his room into the... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 63. 131 MOTEL HALLWAY 131 ...and we follow Miguel through the lobby, which opens up into an enormous arcade with blinking neon lights, and whistling machines everywhere. His senses on the verge of overload, he continues through the arcade, which then opens up into a... 132 FUN CITY BOWLING ALLEY 132 Miguel notices Brad bowling with some GIRLS and other players. Miguel watches for a beat as they laugh at one of the girl's gutter balls. He thinks about going over to say hello, but decides against it, heads back toward the arcade. 133 INT. MOTEL ROOM - LATER 133 While Jorge sleeps, Miguel carves a small piece of wood with a swiss army knife. Stops when he hears a burst of MALE AND FEMALE VOICES coming from down the hall. He, goes to the door, listens... The drunken giggling VOICES get louder as they approach. Miguel looks through the peephole, sees... ...Brad and Jeff with TWO LOCAL GIRLS disappear into their room across the hall. Miguel puts his ear to the door again, but can't hear anything, so he returns to the desk, begins carving again. 134 EXT/INT. MOVING BUS - DAY 134 Orlando and Ed play a spirited game of Casino on a Gatorade jug in the aisle while Miguel, Jorge and Brad chat about movies. BRAD Did you ever see "Y Tu Mama Tambien"? MIGUEL Y tu mama what? BRAD Y Tu Mama Tambien... It's Mexican. Jorge laughs, shakes his head. MIGUEL No, I don't know this. BRAD What are your favorite movies? JORGE Terminator. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 64. MIGUEL I like Matrisse. JORGE Oh, Matrisse. Very strong. BRAD Matrisse? What's that? MIGUEL He doesn't know Matrisse? JORGE You don't know The Matrisse? BRAD The Mattress? I don't know. (turns to Jeff, beside him) Dude, do you know a movie called The Mattress? JEFF The Mattress? JORGE With Keanu...? JEFF Keanu Reeves? BRAD Oh, shit! The MATRIX!! MIGUEL Matrisse! BRAD Yeah, yeah, the Matrix is badass. I was like, Mattress? What? 135 INT. MIGUEL'S BEDROOM - DUSK 135 He finishes up a birthday card to his sister Erica, encloses it in a padded envelope along with the wooden etching he carved earlier - a pendant with a cornstalk design. The NYC calendar on the wall in the background indicates we are now in JUNE. When he's done, he goes to his duffel, pulls out his English language workbook. Miguel sits on his bed, opens the book. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 65. 136 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - DAY 136 A batter swings and misses for strike three. The catcher throws the ball around the horn. Miguel steps off the mound, grabs the rosin bag for traction, gets the ball back. His next pitch is hit on the ground toward the first base line, where the first baseman makes a nice back-handed play... Miguel sprints over to cover the bag, receives the toss, but... OUCH! ...the RUNNER storms into Miguel before he has time to pull his foot off the bag, knocking them both hard to the ground. The runner is called out, but Miguel is slow getting to his feet. Stu and the TRAINER run out to check on him. Jorge rushes over from third, and Orlando also comes to help translate. STU Nice play, kid. How's your foot? JORGE You okay? Miguel nods, but he's limping back to the mound. STU Take it easy. Don't force it. How's it feel? ORLANDO (translating) Don't push it. Does it hurt? MIGUEL I'm okay. STU Let him toss a few warm-ups. The umpire grants Miguel a few "test" pitches. Visibly shaken, Miguel sets up for a warm-up pitch, breathes deeply, and delivers. He lands gingerly on his right ankle, makes a face. Stu and the trainer exchange glances. Miguel notices this, as he sets up for another pitch. The trainer shakes his head, no. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 66. STU All right, kid. Give it a rest. As Stu reaches for the ball, Miguel pulls it away. MIGUEL I am okay. Please. Stu and the trainer sense Miguel's anxiety. Stu puts his arm on Miguel's shoulder for comfort. STU You're okay, I know, but let's just be sure... Give me the ball, son. Miguel sizes them up, reluctantly hands the ball over, and limps off the field with Stu and the other players looking after. 137 INT. ANNE'S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT 137 The whole family, with a couple new additions, sit around the table in mid-meal: Earl, Helen, Anne, Michael, Hilary, Jorge, Brad and Miguel. Miguel wears a big blue boot on his injured foot, and a crutch leans against the wall behind him. HELEN You've been pitching so well... it's a real shame. EARL Don't worry, Miguel, you'll bounce right back. Miguel pokes at his food, avoids eye contact. HILARY Where'd you say you were from, Brad? BRAD Berkeley. MICHAEL Oh, different world out there, huh? You like to surf? Brad smiles. BRAD Uh, no, I've never tried it. But maybe someday. JORGE Your parents visit here? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 67. BRAD Yeah, I hope so. Maybe when they get some time off this summer. ANNE How about you, Miguel? What's your family like? MIGUEL My family? ANNE Yeah. Like, who do you live with back home? MIGUEL I live with my mother, sister, brother... and Abuela? Miguel looks to Jorge for help. JORGE Grandmother. MIGUEL And grandmother. MICHAEL How about your father, Miguel? MIGUEL My father, uh... (searching for the word) He die. Anne nudges her dad under the table. HELEN Oh, Miguel, honey. I'm so sorry. Miguel nods, takes a bite of potatoes. There is an awkward beat as everybody chews. Miguel musters all his language skills to break the awkward silence. MIGUEL (to Michael and Hilary) You have other child...? HILARY Yes, we have a son. Anne's older brother. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 68. ANNE He's in Iraq. Brad pauses from chewing, looks around, and nods. More awkward silence. Hold. 138 EXT. ANNE'S PORCH - NIGHT 138 Miguel and Anne sit alone on the porch. We can hear CHATTER from inside, where the others are clearing the table. ANNE You like it here in Iowa? MIGUEL Yes. I like... Many new things. (thinks for a beat) Very different. ANNE I bet. You've traveled a long way, huh? God must have something special in mind for you... Anne points out a small scar on Miguel's scalp. ANNE What happened there? MIGUEL (struggling) Uh... When I boy... Um... I don't know-- ANNE Tell me in Spanish. MIGUEL (in Spanish, no subtitles) Okay... When I was little, I wanted to eat some cherries from a tree. It wasn't our tree, and there was a fence to keep us kids away. Anne hangs on his every word as if she understood perfectly. MIGUEL So I climbed up the fence to knock down some cherries with a stick, but I when I took my first swing-- whoosh. I fell. There was a lot of blood. Anne reaches out, lightly touches his scar. Her hand lingers for a beat, until... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 69. ...Miguel leans in and kisses her. She kisses him back for a beat, but when he puts his hand around her waist, pulling her closer, she resists. They separate. Anne looks down at her feet, uncomfortable. ANNE Sorry, I just... Sorry. Miguel looks on, confused, as she stands. They lock eyes for an awkward beat. ANNE I should help clean up... On her way back inside... ANNE We have another meeting Thursday... If you can come. Miguel nods. Anne leaves him on the porch alone. He looks out over the corn fields. 139 INT. SWING CLUBHOUSE - DAY 139 Miguel enters the near-empty room limping on his blue boot, finds Jorge wearing street clothes and packing up personal things from his locker. Miguel knows immediately what's happened. They make eye contact from across the locker room. Nobody moves. After a beat... JORGE I had a good run. MIGUEL What happened? JORGE It's over. MIGUEL Why? JORGE You know the drill. I'm not playing well, so they'll bring up somebody who is. MIGUEL What about your knee? You just need some more time... You're recovering. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 70. JORGE Sugar... Miguel relents. MIGUEL When do you leave? JORGE They want me to fly back tonight. MIGUEL Tonight?! JORGE But I'm not going back... A beat as Miguel lets this sink in. JORGE I gotta cousin in New York. MIGUEL You're going to New York? JORGE Where else? There's no work back home. My bonus won't last forever... Miguel looks off. Jorge senses his anxiety. JORGE Relax Sugar, I'll see you at Yankee Stadium someday... when the Knights come to town. I'll be in the front row, getting drunk, and cheering the loudest. Miguel smiles. JORGE Not for you though. Yankee fans are crazy. I can't take the risk... I'll call you. A beat as Miguel looks at Jorge with concern. Jorge shakes it off. JORGE You worry too much, Sugar. I'll be okay. I mean, it's just a game, right? Miguel nods. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 71. 140 INT. SOFIA'S HOUSE (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC) - NIGHT 140 A140 Sofia on the phone. We INTERCUT between her and Miguel IN HIS A140 BEDROOM, his injured ankle elevated on a pillow. SOFIA How'd you play tonight? MIGUEL (hesitant) Good, good. SOFIA I bet you have lots of groupies waiting for you after your games. MIGUEL I have a few. SOFIA A few? MIGUEL Just kidding. I mean I would, but none of these white girls speak Spanish. Marcos plays in Arizona. Lots of Mexicans; everyone speaks Spanish. He has like fifteen girlfriends. SOFIA Shut up! MIGUEL He's probably lying though. SOFIA I bet he's lying. A beat, as Miguel shifts gears... MIGUEL Jorge went to New York. SOFIA To the Yankees? MIGUEL No. Our team cut him loose. He's got a cousin there... I don't know what he's going to do... SOFIA Shit... What about his family? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 72. MIGUEL (his mind somewhere else) It's not right. He got injured playing for them. They owe him another chance. He's worked too hard for too long... I mean he's not a horse. Miguel drifts off, and they sit in silence for a beat. SOFIA But you can't let it get to you. You've got nothing to worry about. Just keep playing well, and things will be okay. MIGUEL Yeah... I know. Things will be okay. Miguel looks off, not so sure. 141 INT. SWING CLUBHOUSE - DAY 141 Players lounge in uniform, relaxing before tonight's game. Brad reads on the sofa across from Miguel, who is in his street clothes, his crutch by his side. MIGUEL What is your book? BRAD Welcome to the Terrordome. It's about sports and politics. MIGUEL You study at, um, university? BRAD Yeah, I went to Stanford. Studied history and baseball. Did you go to school back in the DR? MIGUEL Yes. Little. Secondaria? BRAD High school? MIGUEL Yes. A little of... high school. But I sign when I have sixteen years. BRAD You signed at sixteen? Wow. So you didn't finish school? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 73. Miguel shakes his head, no. After a beat... MIGUEL If you no play baseball... what you do? BRAD Um... it's hard to say for sure, but I like history, so I'd probably go to grad school... maybe teach someday. VOICE (O.S.) Brad! We're up for B.P. Let's go. Brad gets up, taps Miguel on the shoulder on his way out. Miguel sits alone on the couch in the empty room, when he looks off, sees... IN THE BATHROOM doorway-- Jeff Elks discreetly hands ANOTHER PLAYER a prescription pill bottle, exits. Miguel takes note of the transaction, leans back, looks at the ceiling fan. 142 INT. HIGGINS FARMHOUSE - DAY 142 Miguel watches "When the Levees Broke" playing on HBO-Latino. ON THE TV, one image of the hurricane's devastation gives way to another. An AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN stranded on the roof of her house. A YOUNG BOY who's lost his mother. Miguel looks on, moved by the tragedy. 143 INT. WASHER/DRYER ROOM - DAY 143 Miguel takes the initiative and attempts to do his own laundry while on the disabled list. He stuffs his clothes into the washer, scrutinizes the instructions, turns the knobs, and presses the buttons. 144 INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY 144 Miguel studies his English Language workbook on the couch. He glances at the wall clock. 145 INT. KITCHEN - DAY 145 As Miguel opens the faulty utensils drawer, the folded paper towel holding it in place pops out. Miguel catches the drawer from slipping too far, takes out a fork. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 74. 146 INT. KITCHEN - DUSK 146 Miguel sits at the kitchen table with the broken drawer and several small tools in front of him. He readjusts the wooden rails on the faulty side of the drawer by sanding them down and re-gluing them into place. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. FRONT DOOR. Miguel hobbles over, opens it to find Anne, carrying a casserole dish and a couple empty platters. ANNE These are grandma's from the other night. Miguel lets her pass into the kitchen, put the dishes on the table. They stand awkwardly for a beat, looking at each other. ANNE We missed you at our meeting, Thursday. MIGUEL Sorry. I forget. ANNE It's okay, maybe next time. MIGUEL You want sit? ANNE I gotta go actually, so-- MIGUEL Okay, go. Miguel sits, gets back to work on the drawer. Anne looks at him for a second, then exits. Miguel glances out the window, watches Anne climb into a pickup truck idling in the driveway. Anne and Miguel make brief eye contact before the truck speeds away, a trail of dust following it into the distance. A146 EXT. CORN FIELDS - DUSK A146 Miguel walks down a path in the middle of the Higgins' corn field. He finds a cob of corn, removes the leaves, and examines the kernels up close. ZOOM IN to ECU of a single kernel. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 75. Miguel stares at the raw corn with strange fascination. FADE OUT. 147 INT. SWING CLUBHOUSE - DAY 147 Miguel walks in without crutches, looking healthy. He pounds a few players hello, then freezes upon seeing Brad's empty locker. Stu approaches Miguel... STU There was an injury to the Wichita right-fielder. They called up Brad this morning... He left you this... Stu hands Miguel an old paperback book. INSERT: a Spanish-language version of Roberto Clemente's biography. Miguel opens to the first page, where Brad has inscribed a note, "See you in Kansas City, Mama�ema!" Miguel smiles, bittersweet, when a familiar VOICE calls out... SALVADOR Yo! Sugar! Miguel turns around to find Salvador Torres (the once scrawny kid from the Academy) running at him. They hug. MIGUEL Holy shit! How'd you get here? SALVADOR On a airplane, motherfucker. Miguel playfully flips Salvador's cap bill down over his face for being a smartass. STU Great, you guys know each other. Sal's our new middle-relief man. Throws a nasty cutter. You could learn a thing or two from him, Santos... MIGUEL Okay. Stu walks back towards the coaches' office. SALVADOR What he say? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 76. MIGUEL (not sure himself) Don't worry about it... Good to see you. SALVADOR Good to see you, too, Sugar. (a beat) I'm a little nervous. MIGUEL Look, just remember... it's the same game we played back home. Same rules, different place. Just have fun. It's only a game. 148 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - NIGHT 148 CLOSE ON Miguel swearing at himself, clearly not following his own advice. A RUNNER circles the bases after hitting a homerun. JACK JEFFERIES (V.O.) Santos allows his second homerun of the game. First night off the DL, and not looking so sharp. The SCOREBOARD indicates the Swing losing 5-2 in the 4th. Miguel glances out of the corner of his eye to... THE DUGOUT ...Stu is scribbling on his scorecard. MIGUEL quickly sets up for his next pitch, but Stu is on his way out to the mound. Miguel glances back to the bullpen, where Salvador is warming up. Stu signals for Salvador to come in, and we follow Miguel off the field to scattered applause. A148 IN THE RADIO BOOTH Jack Jefferies continues his play-by-play ofA148 the game. JACK JEFFERIES Sutton makes the call to pull Santos here in the 4th, bringing in rookie reliever, Salvador Torres for his Bridgetown debut. B148 IN THE DUGOUT. Miguel sits on the bench, throws a towel over B148 his head. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 77. ON THE MOUND. Salvador warms up, looking a little freaked. Players and fans marvel over Sal's unorthodox, side-armed delivery. His form is reminiscent of A's legend, Dennis Eckersly, but without the grace. MIGUEL peaks through his towel at the action... ON THE FIELD. Salvador takes a deep breath, delivers his first pitch... UMPIRE Strike! Salvador seems to relax. Winds up his next pitch, and... ...the ball appears to zig-zag across the plate, freezing the hitter in confusion. UMPIRE Strike two! MIGUEL can't watch, hides behind the towel again. SLOW ZOOM IN on Miguel's head, hidden. UMPIRE (O.S.) Strike THREE! Miguel removes the towel, sees... ...SALVADOR smiling big as he comes off the field. Orlando pats him on the back, hands him his first professional strikeout ball. C148 IN THE RADIO BOOTH C148 JACK JEFFERIES A stellar debut for Torres, who records the final out, baffling Josh Lansford with a nasty side-armed cutter. D148 FROM THE DUGOUT, Salvador arrives to a congratulatory standing D148 ovation from the fans and his teammates. STU Welcome to America, kid. Salvador sits next to Miguel on the bench, admiring the ball. MIGUEL Just do me a favor... don't give it away to the first white girl you meet. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 78. Salvador laughs, but Miguel is serious. He gets up and heads for the showers. 149 INT. HIGGINS CAR - NIGHT 149 Helen and Earl drive Miguel home after the game. ON THE CAR RADIO, we can hear a news report of a suicide bombing in Iraq. Helen turns it down. HELEN You started dropping your arm in the third. I think that was your problem. EARL He lost control of his breaking pitches and they just zeroed in on the fastball, which isn't as fast as it used to be. HELEN Earl... EARL Don't matter, he can't understand anyway. Miguel stares out the window in the backseat. 150 EXT/INT. MOVING BUS - DUSK 150 CLOSE ON corn stalks passing through frame. Miguel stares out the bus window. Salvador jokes around with Orlando and Ed about whether Dominican or Venezuelan girls are better. 151 INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 151 Miguel tries to sleep, while Salvador watches "Sponge Bob" on the Spanish channel. 152 EXT. VISITING BALL PARK - AFTERNOON 152 Miguel walks out onto the field, notices Stu working with Salvador in the bullpen. Out of nowhere, Stu mimes the chicken walk to Sal, and they both laugh. 153 EXT. VISITING BALL PARK - DUSK 153 Miguel runs videotape behind homeplate as Salvador strikes a batter out. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 79. 154 EXT. VISITING BALL PARK - NIGHT 154 Miguel throws in a pitch, which is lined directly over his head for a base hit. He swears to himself as he sprints over to back up home plate where the runner scores easily. 155 INT. VISITORS' CLUBHOUSE - NIGHT 155 Miguel storms into the empty clubhouse, grabs a bat from the wall rack, and smashes a water dispenser unit to the ground, spilling water everywhere. As he observes the mess, his breathing steadies, and... He glances over to the entrance, where the clubhouse manager stares at him, disapproving. 156 INT. VISITING COACHES' OFFICE - DAY 156 Miguel sits across from Stu, staring off, embarrassed. STU I know it's hard when you don't perform up to your own expectations for yourself. But you need to learn self- control. Can you understand what I'm saying? You need to learn that your actions have consequences. So we're gonna take the cost of the water unit you broke out of your next check... That's not something your family back home's gonna be too proud of... Is it? Miguel turns his gaze to Stu. Though he doesn't fully understand what he's saying, Stu's intention is clear. STU So you should think real hard next time. Think about channeling that frustration you're feeling onto the field. Into practice. Channel it into working harder-- MIGUEL --I am work hard! Everyday I work hard. STU So work harder, goddamnit! You think you're the only one on this team works hard? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 80. MIGUEL (in Spanish) I don't understand you. You speak too fast. I just don't understand! STU Look, you may think I don't know what you're going through, but I do. I've been on the mound; I've played through pain. I've been in your exact situation before. I've struggled too... I've... As Miguel glances away in frustration, Stu stops himself. They sit in silence. Hold. 157 EXT. PEORIA CHIEFS' PARK - EVENING 157 Pouring rain. The few remaining FANS head for the exits. The players pack up their gear in their respective dugouts. SLOW ZOOM IN on MIGUEL, staring at the falling rain. 158 INT. MOTEL LAUNDRY ROOM - NIGHT 158 CLOSE ON about ten pills in Miguel's palm. Jeff Elks instructs Miguel, alone, in the small room with a flickering fluorescent light. JEFF Listen, your first time, take a half. Okay? No more. You gotta ease into it. Half. Miguel nods. JEFF And anyone finds these, you didn't get them from me, okay? Before Miguel can respond, Salvador enters with his dirty laundry. Miguel hides the pills. SALVADOR What's up? JEFF What's up, Sal? Jeff heads out. Miguel resumes folding his clothes. SALVADOR Did you hear I made player of the week? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 81. MIGUEL You told me last night. Salvador examines his detergent options from the dispenser machine. SALVADOR Which one do you use? Miguel eyes the bleach. Can't help himself. MIGUEL That one. SALVADOR Thanks. Salvador inserts coins into the machine, pulls the bleach lever. 159 INT. SWING CLUBHOUSE BATHROOM STALL - THE NEXT EVENING 159 Miguel pops two pills. Exits out into the... 160 SWING CLUBHOUSE - CONTINUOUS 160 ...where Salvador undresses out of his bleach-stained street clothes. Miguel walks past without acknowledging him. 161 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - LATE AFTERNOON 161 THE CAMERA eerily floats toward and around Miguel on the mound. He stares down the HITTER, totally focused. He touches his cross, whispers a prayer to himself. Winds up, throws, and... THUD! ...a cloud of dust pops off the catcher's mitt, just like the old days. Miguel's "stuff" is back. And he knows it. A161 IN THE STANDS. Earl and Helen settle into their box seats A161 eating caramel corn and cola. B161 RADIO ANNOUNCERS BOOTH. Jack Jefferies at the mic... B161 JACK JEFFERIES Miguel Santos appears to be in top form tonight, striking out two of three in the first. I don't want to jinx it, but this sure looks like the Santos we knew earlier this season. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 82. C161 IN THE DUGOUT. There's an intensity we haven't seen before in C161 Miguel. We get the sense he's treating this game like it could be his last. 162 ON THE MOUND - 2ND INNING 162 CLOSE ON MIGUEL. Sweating more than he should at this point in the game, but... ...who cares? He continues to dominate opposing hitters, striking out two more in the 2nd. A162 IN THE STANDS. Earl and Helen CHEER for their Miguel. A162 163 IN THE DUGOUT - LATER THAT NIGHT 163 Still sweating, Miguel is now shifting his jaw back-and-forth. The SOUND FADES LOW, as he stares onto the field, sees... ...the teams changing sides between innings, everyone moving in subtle SLOW-MOTION (36 fps). Stu approaches Miguel, puts his hand on his shoulder. We see him mouth the words, "You okay?", but NO SOUND comes out. Miguel nods, yes. 164 BACK ON THE FIELD - 5TH INNING 164 And back in real time (24 fps). Miguel fires his first pitch over the head of his catcher and all the way to the backstop. Orlando motions for him to calm down. The next pitch is closer, but still high. And the next pitch BEANS the hitter in the thigh. Miguel swears at himself, tries hard to calm down, but his heart is racing. A164 IN THE RADIO BOOTH A164 JACK JEFFERIES Top of the fifth and Santos is showing some control issues. Not sure what's going on down there, but he seems to be talking to himself. B164 ON THE MOUND, Orlando runs out to Miguel. B164 ORLANDO Don't worry about it. You're all good. Just relax. Throw strikes. They can't touch you. Just throw strikes. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 83. Miguel nods. Orlando goes back behind the plate. Miguel glances to the runner at first, then delivers... UMPIRE Strike! Orlando nods, encouraging. Throws the ball back. Miguel takes another deep breath. He whispers a prayer to himself, grabs the ball in his spike curve grip, and... ...his next pitch is ROCKED to deep left field. Miguel immediately lowers his head, unable to watch. We HOLD on his anguished reaction, as the hitter circles the bases. STU shakes his head in disappointment. C164 FROM THE BULLPEN, Salvador watches, concerned. C164 D164 FROM THE STANDS, Earl and Helen clap for encouragement. D164 E164 MIGUEL does his best to shake it off, but he keeps muttering toE164 himself, which makes him look crazy. Another deep breath. Another pitch... UH-OH. This one almost finds the batter's head, as he falls to the dirt to avoid contact. It's on. UMPIRE (ejecting Miguel) You're outta here! The batter leaps to his feet, walks out toward the mound, pointing his finger at Miguel, PISSED. Miguel opens his arms, inviting a fight. Orlando steps between them. BATTER Fucking Puerto Rican piece of shit! MIGUEL (in English) Fuck you, cocksucker! Both benches clear, as players rush out onto the field to restore order. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 84. Miguel and the batter continue jawing at each other, while the other players swirl around them, creating little sub-conflicts of their own. It's a mess. The sound FADES TO SILENCE and the image blends to SLO-MO again. There's something poetic about a bunch of men in child-like baseball uniforms, screaming at each other in silence. Miguel looks around, perhaps recognizing this for himself... Hold, until... ...he calmly walks off the field, leaving the chaos behind. 165 INT. SWING CLUBHOUSE SHOWERS - A LITTLE LATER 165 Miguel showers alone. 166 INT. HIGGINS KITCHEN - NIGHT 166 Miguel eats a late dinner at the table. Earl sits at the other end, sipping some tea, while Helen does dishes at the sink. The mood is uncomfortably tense. Nobody says a word, until Miguel musters up the courage. MIGUEL I'm sorry. Helen turns off the faucet, turns around. Earl methodically sets down his mug, stands up, and crosses to Miguel. Puts his arm around his shoulder, wherein... ...Miguel breaks down, hugs Earl around the waist, his face pressed against his stomach. He's crying. Hold. 167 INT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - COACHES' OFFICE - EVENING 167 Stu addresses Miguel before the game. Though his words are encouraging, his tone is detached, cold. Miguel senses this, listens, dejected. STU You played with your emotions, and your emotions got the best of you. Happens to everyone. It's just a nasty part of the game. Nobody likes to admit it, but it is. The true test of our character as athletes... is how we come back. It's up to you. Stu notices Hardy, the Swing mascot, pass by his office door. STU Hardy! Don't wander off; I gotta talk to you about that accountant... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 85. 168 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALLPARK - NIGHT 168 Miguel sits out in the bullpen with the other relievers, while Stu continues in V.O. STU (V.O.) So, um, anyway, I'm bumping Sal into your slot in the rotation. I'd like to see how you handle a relief spot. A168 ON THE MOUND, Salvador fires in the opening pitch. A168 B168 IN THE RADIO BOOTH, Jack Jefferies does his play by play. B168 JACK JEFFERIES Moving up from relief, Torres makes his third start for the Swing. I tell ya, this lanky kid from the Dominican Republic has surprised us all with his unique delivery and precision. Reminds me of a young Pedro Martinez... Hey there Bees fans, don't forget, closing night is approaching fast and tickets are selling out. So pick yours up at the box office today... 169 IN THE BULLPEN 169 Similar to an earlier sequence of JUMPCUTS on Miguel reacting to the game from the dugout, we now HOLD on Miguel, solemn and detached, from the bullpen. NOTE: the frame for the following images contains the first 3-4 rows of FANS seated behind the bullpen, so we can also use them to gauge what might be happening on the field. PLAY 1: Miguel, the FOUR RELIEVERS, and the fans clap for a nice play. PLAY 2: The fans jump to their feet as a ground ball passes through frame, followed by an outfielder in hot pursuit. PLAY 3: A reliever warms up in the foreground. Miguel stares ahead, deadpan, while the others chat and spit chewing tobacco. PLAY 4: A new reliever warms up, then runs out onto the field, leaving only two others with Miguel. PLAY 5: Miguel stares ahead, while the crowd does the "Chicken Dance" behind him. PLAY 6: The fans leap to their feet in applause. The two relievers high-five. Miguel CLAPS, going through the motions. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 86. PLAY 7: Miguel chews and spits sunflower seed shells as the fans sing along to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." PLAY 8: Another reliever runs out onto the field, leaving only Miguel and one other guy. PLAY 9: Miguel is finally warming up, ready to enter the game, but... ...the fans leap to their feet, CHEERING victoriously. Game over. The only other reliever grabs his jacket, and heads out onto the field. As the players and fans head for the exits, Miguel remains on the bullpen mound for a beat. He nods to himself, oddly at peace with the moment. Miguel steps off the mound and we PAN with him, as he crosses frame, and makes the long walk to the dugout. Hold. 170 INT. MIGUEL'S BEDROOM - LATE AFTERNOON 170 Miguel grabs a slip of paper from his nightstand. His large duffel bag is packed full in front of him. On the wall, his NYC calendar is turned to AUGUST. He goes to the phone. Dials... After a long beat he hangs up. 171 INT. HIGGINS FARMHOUSE - KITCHEN - EVENING 171 Helen walks in to find Miguel washing the dishes in the sink. HELEN Oh, honey, you don't have to do that. MIGUEL (his English better than ever) No problem. I want to help. HELEN Well, thank you, Miguel. Helen grabs a dish towel. They do the dishes together in silence. After a beat... MIGUEL Thank you, Helen. Helen smiles, pats Miguel on the back. HOLD. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 87. 172 EXT. BRIDGETOWN SWING BALL PARK - EARLY MORNING 172 Earl drops off Miguel near the team bus, as players and coaches load their gear in, and get on. Miguel cautiously approaches the bus, sees Salvador, hesitates... MIGUEL I forgot something in the clubhouse. I'll be right back. As Miguel turns, Salvador grabs his bag, which is still on his shoulder. SALVADOR Here, I'll load your bag. Miguel grips his bag tighter and the two of them lock eyes. Salvador senses his intensity, releases the bag. Miguel backs away with Salvador looking on. ED Where's he going? SALVADOR Bathroom. AT THE CLUBHOUSE ENTRANCE Miguel turns back to the bus, sees... ...Salvador eyeing him from the open bus window. Sal raises his hand, very subtly waves goodbye. Miguel continues on his way. 173 EXT. BURLINGTON BUS DEPOT - MINUTES LATER 173 A local taxi pulls up, and Miguel hops out with his duffel bag. 174 INT. BUS - DAY 174 Miguel steps on, moves past the other PASSENGERS, finds an empty seat towards the back. He sits down, catches his breath, and whispers a prayer to himself. When he's done, he looks across the aisle, where an OLD LADY is staring at him. He shoots her a cautious smile. 175 INT. MOVING BUS - DAY/EVENING 175 Miguel stares, wide-eyed, out the window at the shifting landscapes, daytime into evening... --cornstalks. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 88. --bridges and rivers. --city lights. He sleeps against the window, his Clemente book open on his lap. 176 INT. MOVING BUS- LATER 176 From the New Jersey turnpike, Miguel sees the approaching Manhattan skyline in the early morning light. He sits up straight, looks attentively at the city emerging in the distance. 177 INT. TIMES SQUARE SUBWAY STATION 177 Morning COMMUTERS push past Miguel, as he looks around, lost in the cacophony of the swirling rush hour environment. He locates a giant subway map on the wall, the various subway lines reaching into the outer boroughs like colorful tentacles. His eyes scan the map, and we follow his finger up the green line's numbered stations, stopping on 161ST/YANKEE STADIUM. Miguel smiles. AT THE TURNSTILES. Miguel inches forward, observes people passing through after swiping cards. He notices a line behind a Metrocard vending machine nearby. 178 AT THE MACHINE - SECONDS LATER 178 Fortunately, there is a Spanish option, so after a few touches and BEEPS, he's got his card. 179 AT THE TURNSTILE 179 He swipes the card, tries to pass through, but the turnstile won't budge. He studies the message: "SWIPE AGAIN AT THIS TURNSTILE", but can't make sense of it. Miguel tries again, this time very slowly, but still can't get through. An IMPATIENT COMMUTER behind him SIGHS loudly. Miguel steps out of the way, let's the commuter pass. After the commuter goes through, Miguel tries again. 180 INT. SUBWAY PEDESTRIAN TUNNEL 180 As Miguel strolls through the underground hallway that connects the various Times Square subway lines, he sees... --a TEAM OF BREAKDANCERS performing for tips. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 89. --billboard ads for movies, music, dermatologists, Mets baseball, etc. --a HOMELESS MAN passed out on the ground. --a WOMAN selling a random collection of objects: VHS tapes, batteries, a used blender... 181 INT. SUBWAY TRAIN - MOVING 181 Miguel observes other passengers, when the train emerges above ground. He stands, looks out the window as the train passes Yankee Stadium. 182 EXT. 167TH ST. - THE BRONX - DAY 182 Miguel descends from the elevated subway station, glances around. The atmosphere is immediately more familiar, as PEOPLE walk by speaking Spanish; MERENGUE blasts out of an open apartment window; Dominican flags hang from others. Miguel paces up the block, looking for something. He smiles when he finds... ...El Restaurante Caribe. A HELP WANTED sign (in English and Spanish) hangs in the window. 183 INT. EL RESTAURANTE CARIBE - DAY 183 Miguel takes a seat at the counter, smiles to the waitress, REYNA (cute, 20-something, Dominican). REYNA (in Spanish, of course) Talk to me. MIGUEL Is Jorge working today? REYNA Jorge? MIGUEL Jorge Ramirez. A bus boy, RAFAEL, overhears as he passes by. RAFAEL Jorge, the ball player! MIGUEL Yeah! Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 90. REYNA Oh. The ballpayer... He left about two weeks ago. RAFAEL I think he drives a car now. MIGUEL Do you have a phone number for him? His old one isn't working. Reyna shrugs, looks to Rafael. RAFAEL (shaking his head) Sorry... But I think he was staying down at concourse village on 156th. REYNA He still comes in to eat sometimes. Miguel nods, looks off, a little anxious. 184 EXT. 156TH STREET - DAY 184 Miguel glances up at the dozens of high-rise apartment buildings in every direction. He walks away, discouraged. 185 OMITTED 185 186 EXT. (ANOTHER) STREET - DAY 186 Miguel continues to follow the elevated subway tracks, which lead him straight to... ...YANKEE STADIUM. He looks up at the park's grand exterior with wonder. Approaches to get a closer look. The Stadium is closed today, so Miguel struggles to catch a glimpse of the field through an iron fence. He grabs hold of the bars, attempts to climb just enough to get a better view, but... SECURITY GUARD (in English) You wanta see the inside, you gotta buy a ticket, pal. MIGUEL (jumping down) Sorry. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 91. 187 EXT. SOUND VIEW PARK - LATE AFTERNOON 187 With his duffel on his lap, Miguel sits on a bench overlooking a a community baseball field, where local KIDS play for fun. He stares off blankly, preoccupied with other things. A188 EXT. PARADISE HOTEL - DUSK A188 Miguel stands before the old transient hotel. 188 INT. PARADISE HOTEL LOBBY 188 Miguel sidesteps a nodding JUNKY on his way to the front desk, approaches the toothless Russian clerk, NIKOLAI (late 50s). MIGUEL One room. NIKOLAI For how long? MIGUEL I don't know. NIKOLAI Two hundred a week. First week in advance. As Miguel tries to piece together what was just said, he notices a rack of condoms beside a set of long distance calling cards on the front desk. The name of the calling card is AL� MAM�! NIKOLAI Two hundred now. Miguel reaches for the calling card. MIGUEL This also please. 189 INT. PARADISE HOTEL HALLWAY - MINUTES LATER 189 As Miguel looks for his room, he passes another room's doorway, where a middle-aged JOHN gives a woman a kiss goodbye. Miguel makes brief eye contact with the woman, RAQUEL. She smiles. 190 INT. PARADISE HOTEL ROOM 190 Miguel turns on the light to find a small bed in the corner of the room. There's also a desk with a phone. Miguel puts down his duffel and sits at the desk. He examines the calling card for a beat, then goes to the window, looks out. Hold. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 92. 191 EXT. 163RD STREET - NEXT DAY 191 Miguel strolls by various stores and restaurants. He passes outside a WOODEN CABINET STORE, where 5-6 Dominican men, ranging in age from 20 to 50 years old, make furniture in the shop. He stops for a beat, watching the men work. 192 INT. CABINET STORE DISPLAY ROOM 192 Miguel approaches a man, OSVALDO (late 50s), who works at his desk on the computer. MIGUEL You speak Spanish? OSVALDO Of course. MIGUEL Is this your place? OSVALDO Yeah. Can I help you? Miguel glances around at the various wooden furniture items for sale. MIGUEL I like your work. OSVALDO Thanks. What are you looking for? MIGUEL Oh, no, I mean... I don't know. I was passing by and thought maybe you might need some help. I know how to make furniture, and-- OSVALDO --I don't have any work right now. Sorry. MIGUEL Right. Okay, thanks for your time. Osvaldo gets back to his computer, but Miguel lingers... MIGUEL Do you know any other places like this where I might find work? OSVALDO Have you checked the classifieds? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 93. 193 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - LATE AFTERNOON 193 Miguel sips soda from a straw as he leafs through the classifieds in a Spanish-language daily. INSERT: Various employment ads, requiring experience, fluency in English, working papers, etc. Miguel glances up, stares out the window. Rafael, the busboy from the other day, wipes down the table next to Miguel. RAFAEL If you leave a number, I'll give it to him next time he comes through. 194 INT. PARADISE HOTEL BEDROOM - EVENING 194 Miguel braces himself, dials on the phone, waits... His NYC calendar (turned to the Statue of Liberty month) hangs on the wall in the background. MIGUEL (into phone) Erica? A194 We INTERCUT between Miguel and his home in the Dominican A194 Republic. ERICA Miguel! My God, where are you? Carmen snatches the phone from Erica, who stays close, trying to listen in. CARMEN Miguelito, what is going on? Frank called last night. Where are you? MIGUEL New York. CARMEN Oh, my God! What are you doing in New York? I don't understand. Your team is looking for you. MIGUEL I can't play anymore. CARMEN Are you hurt? What does that mean, you can't play? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 94. MIGUEL No. I'm fine. It just-- CARMEN We've been working for this your whole life, Miguelito. Oh, my God! You're so close. I don't understand... MIGUEL Don't worry, mom. I have some money. We're going to be okay. CARMEN You have to go back. Listen, Miguel, my sweet sugar, call Frank. They'll take you back. MIGUEL I can't go back-- CARMEN Did I raise you like this? Did I raise you to give up? MIGUEL I didn't give up. I'm starting something new here. CARMEN What? What are you starting? MIGUEL I have to go mom. The card's almost out of minutes. CARMEN Where are you even staying? Miguel-- MIGUEL Don't worry. I'm staying with a friend. I have a new job. It's all good. I'm sending money tomorrow. CARMEN Miguel-- MIGUEL I love you. I'm sorry. Miguel hangs up, stares off. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 95. 195 INT. WESTERN UNION - MORNING 195 CAMERA TRACKS past a long line of IMMIGRANTS in all shapes and sizes, preparing to wire money back home, wherever that is. MINUTES LATER. Miguel looks at the few bills in his wallet, hands two fifties to the TELLER. 196 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - DAY 196 Miguel leans over the counter, talks to Reyna, the waitress. MIGUEL Hey, um, I was in here the other day. REYNA Yeah, sure, did you find your guy? MIGUEL No. I'm actually looking for a job today. She smiles, calls over to... REYNA Fernando! (leans close to Miguel) Tell him you like his shirt. Reyna moves away, and Miguel glances over to the approaching MANAGER. He's wearing an outrageously colorful tropical shirt. 197 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - KITCHEN 197 CLOSE ON Miguel's hand scraping uneaten food into the trash. His new co-worker, RAFAEL (the same bus boy from Miguel's first visit), shows Miguel how to use the dishwasher. RAFAEL And then put it in here with the others. Miguel puts the plate in the large dish washer. RAFAEL When it's full, set to scrub, and there it is. Miguel stares at the machine as it HUMS and WHIRS. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 96. 198 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - NIGHT 198 Miguel and Rafael sit next to each other in the back, eating dinner. MIGUEL Do you know anybody with a room for rent? Rafael shakes his head, no. RAFAEL But I'll ask around, let you know if I hear of anything. Miguel nods, gets back to his food. RAFAEL You and Jorge used to play baseball together? MIGUEL Yeah, you like baseball? RAFAEL It's okay. I'd rather watch soccer though... Have you found him yet? MIGUEL Not yet. RAFAEL He'll be through sooner or later. MIGUEL How long have you worked here? RAFAEL Two years. MIGUEL Do you have family here? RAFAEL No. My wife and kids are still in Mexico. MIGUEL My family's in the Dominican. Rafael nods, and they continue eating. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 97. 199 INT. PARADISE HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 199 Loud, overexaggerated SEX SOUNDS filter in from another room, while Miguel reads the last page of the Clemente biography. After a beat, he closes the book, listens. 200 INT. WOODEN CABINET SHOP - EARLY EVENING 200 Two EMPLOYEES say goodbye to Osvaldo as Miguel enters the shop. Miguel approaches Osvaldo, who is sanding a table. MIGUEL Hi, um, do you remember me? OSVALDO Yeah, but, sorry, I still don't have a job for you. MIGUEL That's okay. I already found one. I'm actually just trying to make a coffee table, and I'd like to buy some wood and supplies. OSVALDO I don't really sell raw materials... Miguel hesitates. MIGUEL I just moved here, you know, and I don't have a space to work. Do you think I could do some work for you, help you clean up or whatever you need, in exchange for using your shop? You don't have to pay me. Osvaldo sizes up Miguel's unusual request. OSVALDO Somebody paying you for the table? MIGUEL No. It's a gift for my mom. Something I like to do. OSVALDO How old are you? MIGUEL Twenty. OSVALDO Who taught you to make tables? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 98. MIGUEL My dad. He was a carpenter in San Pedro. OSVALDO Is that where you're from? MIGUEL Yeah. OSVALDO I grew up in Santiago. What are you doing in New York? MIGUEL I came to work. I used to play baseball. Osvaldo nods, understanding. OSVALDO The whole world plays baseball. My son's sixteen. Won't touch a piece of wood that's not a bat. I never cared for the game, myself. Too slow. Miguel laughs. OSVALDO Your mom still in San Pedro? MIGUEL Yeah. With my sister and brother. OSVALDO So, you're telling me that you want to make a table for your mom, then mail it back to her in the Dominican? Miguel nods. Osvaldo smiles, finally warming up. OSVALDO What's your name? MIGUEL Miguel. They shake hands. OSVALDO Osvaldo. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 99. 201 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - DAY 201 Miguel performs his new work routine: mopping floors, washing dishes, accepting deliveries. He seems to be getting the hang of things. 202 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - LATER 202 As Miguel eats from a heaping plate of beef and mashed yucca, he watches Reyna chatting up a customer from behind the counter. 203 EXT. STREET - NIGHT 203 Miguel passes a Western Union, looks inside, but keeps going. 204 INT. CABINET STORE - NIGHT 204 Miguel finishes work on his table for the night, covers it with a blanket, and proceeds to sweep up. Osvaldo works at his desktop computer from across the room. They don't speak. 205 INT. PARADISE HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT 205 Miguel sits at the desk, talks into the phone. MIGUEL Hello... Is Sofia at home?... Yeah, it's Miguel again... Can you tell her... Just tell her I called... Miguel hangs up. 206 INT. LAUNDROMAT - NIGHT 206 Miguel leans against the counter, staring at his clothes twirling in the dryer, when... ...he notices Raquel unloading her clothes a few dryers away. She pushes her laundry cart to the opposite side of his counter, begins folding. Miguel stares at her out of the corner of his eye, taking special notice of her diverse underwear collection ranging from lacy thongs to the standard cotton variety. She catches him peeking. RAQUEL (with a mysterious Eastern- European accent) You just going to watch or you going to help me out? Caught off guard, Miguel smiles awkwardly, turns away. After a few beats, a flying sock lands on his shoulder. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 100. He turns back to find several random items of her clothing on the counter in front of him. She smiles, keeps folding. Miguel sorts through the items: socks, underwear, t-shirts. He looks back to her, then begins folding, as the laundromat's machinery reverberates around them. They exchange brief grins. MIGUEL Where you from? RAQUEL Ukraine. Miguel nods, and they continue folding in silence. Hold. 207 INT. CABINET STORE - NIGHT 207 Miguel carves wood, while Osvaldo looks on from his desk. They exchange glances, until Miguel breaks the silence. MIGUEL So you never liked baseball? Not even as a kid? OSVALDO It's okay. Sometimes during the playoffs I'll watch a game or two. MIGUEL Who's your favorite player? OSVALDO I don't know enough to have a favorite. MIGUEL C'mon, everybody has a favorite player: Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez? OSVALDO Fine. Jose Canseco. MIGUEL Jose Canseco!? That's the best you can do? OSVALDO Okay, what about you? MIGUEL Roberto Clemente. OSVALDO (pushing his buttons) Never heard of him. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 101. MIGUEL Shut up. OSVALDO What's so special about Clemente? MIGUEL I read this book where he said something like, "If you have the opportunity to help someone and don't, then you're wasting your life." And he was a carpenter too. OSVALDO Get out of here. MIGUEL For real. He used to make furniture during the off season. OSVALDO Are you fucking with me? Cause you know I can google this fool right now. MIGUEL Google? OSVALDO The internet. Don't worry, I'll teach you someday. A beat. Miguel continues his work. OSVALDO When did you get released? MIGUEL They didn't release me. I left a few days before the season ended. OSVALDO You left? When was this? MIGUEL About two weeks ago. OSVALDO Holy shit. Where are you staying? MIGUEL Oh, you know, with a friend. But if you know somebody who needs a roommate... Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 102. Osvaldo nods and they continue working. OSVALDO (after a beat) Why'd you leave? Miguel hesitates, unsure where to begin. Osvaldo senses his discomfort with the question. OSVALDO Do you have any family here? MIGUEL (shaking his head) But I'm okay... I have some money saved, a couple friends. I'll go home to visit soon. Osvaldo doesn't quite buy it, but nods anyway. MIGUEL Do you know a place called Ukraine? 208 INT. PARADISE HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT 208 Miguel attempts to slip past Nikolai, who is currently checking in another GUEST, but... NIKOLAI Hey! You owe money. Full week! MIGUEL I know. I have tomorrow. No problem. NIKOLAI Yes, problem. You pay tomorrow or you have big problem. Miguel continues up the stairs. 209 INT. MIGUEL'S BEDROOM - LATER 209 Unable to sleep, Miguel lies in bed, staring at the ceiling, when he overhears a commotion from across the hall. After a beat, he hears a door open and SLAM SHUT. He goes to the door, listens close. It's quiet, until... KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK Miguel flinches. Then slowly cracks open the door to find... ...Raquel standing before him with a small leather duffel bag. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 103. RAQUEL (handing him the bag) Love, keep this in your room for me. Just a few hours. Til morning. I'll be back. She forces the bag into his hands, kisses him on the cheek, and retreats into her own room. Miguel closes the door, still holding the bag. He sets it on his bed, stares at it. After a few beats, he grabs it, stuffs it under the bed, out of sight. He sits down at the desk, stares at the bed, when he hears SHOUTING from the hall. Again, he goes to the door, listens. Another MAN POUNDS on Raquel's door, SCREAMING in Ukrainian, while Nikolai YELLS at the man in English, though Miguel can't make out exactly what's going on. The shouting intensifies until a SCUFFLE breaks out. A woman SCREAMS. Miguel reaches for the door handle, but stops himself. He steps into his BATHROOM, shuts the door, sits on the toilet. The muffled SHOUTING continues. Miguel waits. FADE OUT. 210 INT. MIGUEL'S ROOM - LATER 210 Now quiet, Miguel stares at the mysterious bag on his bed, then heads for the door with his packed duffel over his shoulder. He puts his ear to the door, then exits, leaving the other bag behind. 211 INT. PARADISE HOTEL HALLWAY 211 Miguel tip-toes down the hall. He stops in front of Raquel's room, leans down, and slides his room key under her door. Continues down the hall. 212 EXT. STREET - PHONE BOOTH - EARLY MORNING 212 Miguel dials his calling card number into the phone, listens... MIGUEL Frank... It's Miguel. We hold on Miguel, though we can hear Frank's muffled voice through the receiver. FRANK (O.S.) Jesus, Miguel, what the hell happened? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 104. MIGUEL Sorry for calling late. I'm in New York. FRANK (O.S.) I heard. You're making me look bad. What are you doing there? MIGUEL I got a job, but I don't know if I'm going to stay... FRANK (O.S.) Where you gonna go? The season's over... Your visa's expired. MIGUEL I know, but I thought maybe I could... A beat, as Miguel drifts off. FRANK I can talk to Alvarez... But I don't know. Nobody's happy about this. Miguel bites his lip. A police SIREN flies by. MIGUEL I know. Sorry. FRANK (O.S.) Look, Miguel-- Miguel hangs up the phone. 213 EXT. ALL NIGHT CAFE - NIGHT 213 Through the window, we see Miguel seated at a corner table. He stares out at the early morning traffic. 214 EXT. ALL NIGHT CAFE - SAME ANGLE - EARLY MORNING - DAY 214 Miguel is asleep at the same table. A WAITRESS comes by with a fresh pot of coffee, wakes him up. He declines another cup. 215 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - DAY 215 Exhausted, Miguel goes through his usual work routine: bussing tables, washing dishes, stocking the kitchen... 216 INT. CABINET STORE - NIGHT 216 Miguel approaches Osvaldo with his duffel bag. He looks a mess. Osvaldo glances up from his work. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 105. OSVALDO Hey, Miguel. Miguel doesn't respond. Osvaldo notices his packed bag and worn expression. Both men stare at each other for a long beat. MIGUEL I don't know where to go. Osvaldo approaches, takes the duffel from Miguel's shoulder. FADE OUT. 217 EXT. STREET - OUTSIDE EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - DAY 217 Now wearing a Fall coat, Miguel crosses the street on his way to work, when... BEEEEEEP! ...he's startled by a loud car horn coming from a black livery cab parked at the curb. MIGUEL (giving the finger) Fuck you, man! Miguel keeps walking, but stops upon hearing... JORGE Fuck you too, bro! Miguel turns to find Jorge, leaping out of his car, and running at him. They hug. MIGUEL What happened to you? JORGE Me? What happened to you? MIGUEL I been looking for you for weeks. JORGE I know. Rafi said you took my old job. Welcome to New York! 218 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - DAY 218 Jorge eats at the counter, while Miguel stands on the opposite side, in his apron. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 106. JORGE I called the Higgins to give my new number, but they said you split. I couldn't believe it, man, I had no idea. MIGUEL Things got a little ugly after you left. JORGE We all go through slumps you know. MIGUEL It wasn't a slump. JORGE What was it then? MIGUEL I don't know, but I wasn't gonna wait around for them to throw me out. Jorge looks at Miguel for a tense beat. MIGUEL I'm just saying... JORGE Whatever, man, you wouldn't be saying that shit if you made it. Miguel smiles, shrugs. REYNA (from across the room) Sugar! Rafi needs you in the kitchen! JORGE They call you Sugar? On his way to the kitchen... MIGUEL What can I say? The name sticks. As Miguel slips past Reyna on his way to the kitchen, they exchange flirtatious smiles. 219 INT. UPTOWN CLUB - NIGHT 219 Merengue fuels the packed club tonight, as the mostly Latino crowd gets down on the dance floor. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 107. AT THE BAR. Miguel, Reyna, Jorge, and his girlfriend, MONICA, drink beers, enjoying the party. JORGE They got all kinds in this league, bro. Like fat cats in their forties, kids like you and me, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, even some white boys. I got this fifty year old catcher on my team, used to play for the Dodgers. Can't run for shit, but he's out there every week. Belly out to here. My man can still go deep though... You ever hear from that kid, Brad? Reyna leans close to Miguel, says something in his ear, and he smiles, as she leads him out onto... 220 THE DANCEFLOOR 220 ...where they carve up some fast and fierce moves. Miguel grins wide, having a great time. At this point the sound FADES LOW and the image blends to SLOW-MOTION, their bodies gliding through the frame, soothing and peaceful. Hold, as Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" FADES UP and carries over... 221 EXT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - MORNING 221 A DELIVERY MAN puts boxes on a ramp, which go from his truck down into... 222 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT BASEMENT 222 Miguel takes the boxes off the ramp. 223 INT. EL CARIBE RESTAURANT - DAY 223 Miguel and Reyna eat together, smiling. 224 INT. WESTERN UNION - NIGHT 224 Miguel hands the teller two fifty dollar bills. 225 EXT. STREET - NIGHT 225 Miguel floats down the street among a packed block of Bronx pedestrians. He blends in now, just another face in the crowd. 226 INT. WOODEN CABINET SHOP - NIGHT 226 Osvaldo helps Miguel work on his coffee table. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 108. 227 INT. WOODEN CABINET SHOP - LATER THAT NIGHT 227 Osvaldo teaches Miguel how to use the internet. 228 INT. OSVALDO'S APARTMENT - DINING ROOM 228 Miguel, Osvaldo, and his wife, ESTELLA, eat dinner at the table. The music continues under the following scene... OSVALDO I did some research and I got a new favorite player now. MIGUEL Okay, good. OSVALDO Vic Power. You know him? Miguel shakes his head, no. OSVALDO You ought to. Greatest Puerto Rican first baseman ever. But that's not why he's my favorite player... Back when he first arrived, 1951, 52, he was playing in the minors. Little Rock, Arkansas. So the story goes, one day before a game, Vic stops into this diner for lunch. Hadn't been here long, so he knew very little English. Didn't even notice the "whites only" sign hanging in the window. And Vic was Black. I looked him up on Google. I mean Black like you. So he sits down at the counter and the little waitress comes up to big Vic and says, "I'm sorry, we don't serve colored people." Osvaldo pauses for dramatic effect, as Miguel and Estella eagerly await what comes next. OSVALDO So he leans close to the waitress, tells her in his best English, "That's okay, I don't eat colored people." After a beat, Estella laughs, but Miguel is unsure. Osvaldo does his best to explain the joke in Spanish. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 109. 229 INT. OSVALDO'S APARTMENT - SPARE ROOM - NIGHT 229 A229 We INTERCUT between Miguel and Carmen in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.229 A She sits at her table in the same old house. (We can see through the window that the new one is still unfinished). CARMEN I got the photos you sent, but you'll have to send more. MIGUEL Okay, mom, but you know it would be a lot easier if you opened an email account. CARMEN Email? I don't even know how to use the TV! Miguel smiles. MIGUEL I'm making a new table for you. It's going to be real nice. CARMEN I'm sure I'll love it. Thank you. MIGUEL How's Erica? CARMEN She's good. Got a job at the factory. Just part-time, though, so she can keep up with school. Miguel removes the phone from his ear for a beat. MIGUEL And Luis? CARMEN He's pitching now. You should see him, Miguel, got an arm like his brother. MIGUEL Yeah, but can he throw a knuckle curve? Carmen laughs. After a beat... MIGUEL I miss you, mom. But, I'm working hard. I'll be home soon. Give everyone a hug for me. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 110. CARMEN I will, Sugar. I love you. MIGUEL I love you, too. She nods, hangs up, and looks over to... ...LITTLE LUIS, watching her from across the room. 230 EXT. ROBERTO CLEMENTE FIELD - BRONX - DAY 230 CLOSE ON a Dominican flag being waved by a TODDLER. A WIDER ANGLE reveals him in the packed bleachers with a diverse CROWD of FANS and FRIENDS: Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Anglos... The mood is festive. A VENDOR sells mangos on sticks. Merengue MUSIC blasts from a portable stereo in the stands. FANS drink Presidente beer out of bottles. 231 ON THE FIELD 231 Uniformed PLAYERS of all ages, races, shapes, and sizes warm up before the game (though the majority are Dominican). Jorge introduces Miguel (also in uniform) to the other players. JORGE Caballo! This is Miguel from San Pedro. CABALLO The new guy. You ready to pitch? MIGUEL I think so. CABALLO It's been a while, no? JORGE Don't worry; he's ready. JUMP CUT TO: Jorge introduces Miguel to... JORGE Felipe! Meet Miguel. They call him Sugar. FELIPE What's up, Sugar? Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 111. JORGE Felipe played for the Dodgers Triple-A team. Hit a dinger off Pedro once. FELIPE Twice. JORGE Twice. JUMP CUT TO: More intros... DIEGO I played for the Yankees. JUMP CUT TO: JOSE Cubs. JUMP CUT TO: ADRIAN Padres. JUMP CUT TO: GERONIMO Kansas City. MIGUEL Me too! Bridgetown. GERONIMO I was there in 96. I lived on a farm. MIGUEL With the Higgins! GERONIMO Yeah! Miguel smiles big, just as the UMPIRE calls out... UMPIRE Vamos! Let's play ball! 232 ON THE MOUND - MINUTES LATER 232 We TILT UP from his cleats to reveal Miguel looking in for the sign from his catcher. He nods. And delivers. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 112. The ball is SMACKED toward third, where Jorge makes an awkward lunge for the ball, manages to stop it with his foot. By the time he gets his hand on it, the RUNNER has made it to first. The fans and some of the players laugh at Jorge's ugly mistake. OLD MAN HECKLER (from the stands) This ain't soccer! You can use your hands! MIGUEL (smiling) Just like old times. But Jorge shrugs and laughs it off. No pressure here. It's only a game. Miguel buckles down, delivers a monster fastball. UMPIRE Strike! He gets the ball back, looks to the stands, and sees... ...Monica waving to Jorge at third. Miguel's new friend, Osvaldo, is also there with Estella. Miguel smiles to them. Miguel fires in the next pitch, even faster, and the batter swings straight through it. UMPIRE Strike two! He gets the ball back, lowers his head and whispers a prayer to himself. Looks back to the runner on second. Comes to the set position, and... ...floats in a vicious, swooping, knuckle curve, that causes the batter to flinch out of the way, before breaking back over the plate for... UMPIRE Strike three! All the fans and players in attendance go NUTS over the awesome pitch, as we follow Miguel off the field to a mini-standing ovation. He tips his hat to the crowd. Just like old times. Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07 113. 233 IN THE DUGOUT 233 Miguel takes a seat as TEAMMATES pass through the frame and pat him on the back. The SOUND FADES LOW as we start a SLOW ZOOM IN on Miguel. He takes in the moment as we get closer, and his smile gives way to a beat of quiet introspection. Hold. He looks out across the field. CLAPS for encouragement. FADE OUT.