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                              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

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 AZÚCAR/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.

               Strike three!

     The BATTER lowers his head, helpless in the face of Miguel's
     overpowering fastball.

     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

     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.

     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

     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.

              Check out Sugar... Puts on twenty
              pounds in two months; now he's going
              for twenty more.

                   (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.

              Slow down, kid, it ain't going nowhere.

     A few of the guys LAUGH.

                   (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, SEÑOR SANCHEZ, who goes over some English
    BASEBALL TERMS in the center. As he repeats the terms, he
    enthusiastically pantomimes the meanings of each.

             Fly ball.

             Fly ball.

             Line drive.

             Line drive.

             Ground ball.

             Ground ball.

             Home run!

             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.

             What'd you tell him?

             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.

             Pedro Berroa. Third year.     Hasn't
             developed like we hoped.

             How much he sign for?


             Jesus. These kids keep getting more
             expensive. How much did you sign for
             back in the day?

             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.

        Salvador Torres. Been practicing with
        the team for almost a week. Still raw,
        but he's got a lot of potential.

        We gonna sign him?

        Soon. Soon. We want to play it low-
        key, see what his agent says.

        How much you think?

        They've gotten two offers from other
        clubs. Agent says they were around a

Rudy raises his eyebrows.

        He's good.

Rudy looks over to Miguel.

        What about him?

        Miguel Santos. Great arm. We signed
        him two years ago for fifteen.

Miguel fires in a pitch.    Rudy nods, impressed.

        Good deal.    He throw any junk?

             (in Spanish)

Miguel looks over, sees the American with Alvarez.

        Show us your curve.

Miguel nods, nervous, focuses. He pitches.    The ball curves
very subtly over the plate for a strike.

        Not bad.   Mind if I try something?

                 Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    6.

Miguel looks back to the men.

        Hey, kid, do you mind?   May I?

Miguel stares blankly at Rudy, not understanding.

             (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.

        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.

        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.

        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.

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.

               I want to talk to you.

               I want talk to you.

               Your performance in the mound is not as
               good as last year. What is the

               Your performance in the mound is not
               good as last year. What is problem?

               I don't know. Maybe my mechanic.

               I don't know. Maybe mechanic.

               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

               I want to give you a chance.   Is up to

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

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

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.

               How are you, sis?

               Any news about the States?

                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   9.

              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.

              Hello, Abuela. You're looking

     She smiles big at her oldest grandson, opens her arms for a hug.
     Erica sits at the kitchen table, where her schoolbooks lay open.

              What's up my people?   How's the TV?

              Erica won't let me watch baseball.

              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.

              Buenas, Miguelito! Do you have any
              good news for your mother?

              As a matter of fact, yes.

              You're going to the United States?!

              Not yet, ma... But I learned how to
              throw a knuckle curve.

              A knuckle curve? What's that?

                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07     10.

     A GROUP of KIDS gather at the window.

              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.

              When will you finish this?

              Soon.   It's just hard to find the time.

              It's pretty.

              I'm trying to match the chairs my dad
              made, but I can't get it right.

              Well, I think it's perfect.

               Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   11.

        I'll make you another when I'm done.

Sofia smiles, kisses Miguel on the cheek.

        And the rest of the house?   How long
        till it's done?

Miguel hesitates.

        Um, another month, maybe two... You
        know we just did it where Abuela's room
        is going to be...

        Don't tell me that!

        Why not? We can do it in mom's kitchen
        next. Right over there.

              (getting serious)
        I hope you make it to the States this

        You hope? C'mon, there's nobody
        better, baby.

             (smiling big)
        Okay, how about: I KNOW you'll make

        Now you're talkin'. And when I do,
        I'll buy a Cadillac, drive it through
        the ocean, and bring you back with me.

        You can't drive a Cadillac on water.

        Yes! In the States they make cars that
        drive on water.

        You're crazy.

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   12.

              You'll see who's crazy.   Just watch.

              I want to see the snow.   Does it snow
              in Kansas City?

              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

              It doesn't snow during baseball season,

              So we'll go for Christmas.


              Next Christmas, we'll sail into Yankee
              Stadium in my Cadillac car-boat. Deal?

              You are crazy!

     They kiss.

19   EXT. MALECÓN - NIGHT                                            19

     Miguel, Sofia, JAVIER (Black, 22) JAMIE (Black, 26) and
     ALEXANDRA (one of Sofia's friends) hang out by the malecón
     (waterside), drinking rum and dancing to merengue that blasts
     out the open doors of a nearby car. The mood is festive.

              I liked her, but she asked me to cut my
              hair. I thought about it. She was
              cute, but... I liked my hair more.

              I liked it too, Javi.

              Then why'd you cut it last week?

              I thought it was time for a new look.

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07      13.

              Or a new girl.

     Sofia punches Miguel in the arm.

              Watch it, baby, that's a million-dollar
              arm you're messing with.

              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.

              You call that flabby rubberband an arm?


              This flabby rubberband can throw 95.
              What can yours do?

              I threw 98 in double-A Portland.

              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.

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

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.

     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.

              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.

              I'm showing his older brother to the
              Yankees on Monday.

     Miguel nods, a hint of disappointment in his eyes.

                   (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.

              Have you been to New York?

                 Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   15.

        Nothing like playing for a crowd of New
        Yorkers. They're even louder than

        What's the city like?

        It's great. But you need to get to
        Kansas City before you start thinking
        about New York. Know what I mean?

        You hear anything about spring training


Frank sips his beer.


Frank shrugs, as Miguel's sister calls out from the street--

        Miguel, Luis! Dinner is ready!

        You'd tell me if you knew.


Miguel shakes his head, gets up.

        Wanna join us for dinner?

        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--

        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.

              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

     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.

              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.

              Berroa, see Alvarez when you're

     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...

              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.

              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.

              Good for you. Congratulations.     How
              much they offer you?

                   (with a big smile)
                   (sensing the other players
              But, you know, my manager's taking,
              like, forty of it... What'd you sign

              Oh, you know, more or less the same.
              Did you get any other offers?

              Yankees and Seattle, but not as much.

              Just don't get cocky. No one likes a
              dickhead... Welcome to the team.

     Salvador smiles.

              So, why do they call you Sugar?

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07      19.

              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.

              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.

                   (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.

              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.

              You should try Los Campos. I heard the
              Dodgers could use a new first baseman.

              Fuck that. The coaches are even
              tougher over there. I'm done, man.

                     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.

                   (snatching Pedro's cap)
              No caps indoors, son!

              Cut the meat with your knife; eat the
              meat with your fork. NEVER eat the
              meat with your knife.

              Or you'll chop off your tongue.

              Ten p.m. lights out!

                   (in broken English)
              "Tay me outta the ball game, tay me
              outta the crowd..."

     The other players laugh, join Pedro in a loud whisper...

              "...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.

              Santos, what the hell's wrong with you?

              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.

              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.

              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...


     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.

              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

42   INT. ALVAREZ'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER                              42

     Miguel and Marcos stare straight ahead, nervously.   Alvarez
     stares at them, icy cold. After a beat...

              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?

              But Alfonso was there too--

              --No excuses. This is unacceptable
              behavior. You guys need to learn

     Miguel and Marcos lower their heads.

              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...

              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...

              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.


     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.

              Don't forget to call everyday.    I want
              to know everything!


              You know what I mean, dummy.

              Of course I'll be calling to keep you
              in check, make sure your grades don't

              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.

        You are my hero!

Carmen pulls Miguel close, takes something from her pocket, puts
it in his hand.

        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.

        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 Malecón?


                                                   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:

        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:

        Don't give me any shit, kid.      I taught
        you everything you know.

Miguel gives Frank a big hug.

        I'm damn proud of you, kid.    Your
        father would be, too.

        Thanks.    I owe it all to you.

        Not all.   Just forty percent.

Miguel smiles, as Frank leans close.

        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.

        How's your new curve?

        It's pretty sweet.

        Good.   Here...

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   26.

     Frank hands Miguel a pen.

              What's this for?

              Your autograph.

     Miguel seems puzzled, but searches for something to write on.

              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

              Where's your boyfriend?

              Which one?

              I don't know; the ugly one.


              Okay, where's Hector?

                   (shrugs, then)
              Some other party.

              So what about the good-looking one?

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07      27.

              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.

              I'm proud of you, sis. You're going to
              do great things too. We all know it.

              I'm gonna miss you...

     She kisses Miguel on the cheek.

              C'mon, let's dance.

              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

              Check this out.

     Antonio opens their mini bar, tosses Miguel and Marcos beers.
     They all toast...

              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.

              To America!

     They all smile and toast again.


     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.

              What's up fellas!?


     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.

               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.

               You boys ready?

               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.

               Who's next?

      After a beat, the players respond in unison...

               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

               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...

        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.

        There's a lot of guys like that. But
        you can't let that intimidate you.
        Everyone knows Dominicans rule the

Two Venezuelan players, ORLANDO MATO (23, catcher) and ED POVEDA
(22, center field) step up.

        What's this about Dominicans ruling the

        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

        Sammy, Manny, Pedro...

        Santana, Zambrano, the Guillens!

        Are you guys all from the same family?

        Look who's talking... Are these your

        What, all Dominicans look the same,

They all smile, stop razzing each other momentarily to meet the
new players.

        This is Miguel and Marcos. Up from
        Boca Chica.
             (to Miguel and Marcos)

                       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

              But you couldn't hang in Wichita.

              I injured my knee, asshole.    But I'm
              healthy now. You'll see.

              Fifty bucks you're back in Iowa next

              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.

              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.

               Bring over Leonard.

      The other Coach calls over to the adjoining field.

               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.

               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...

               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.

               I pitched against Rob Leonard today.

A61   We INTERCUT with Sofia, at her home in the Dominican Republic.     A61

               No shit!   You strike him out?

                 Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    33.



        You don't believe me?


        Well, I got one strike at least.

Sofia laughs.

        So, do you like it there?

        Mmmm...    It's different.

        Different how?

        I don't know. Just different.     Like
        the food is really sweet.

        I thought you liked sweet things.

Miguel smiles.

        All the players are really good.

        But not like you.

        No, not like me. Of course not... But
        they're pretty good.

Another beat.    Sofia looks down at her bare feet, scrunches her

        I miss you.

        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...

              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.

              Just relax. Know your pitches. And
              take it easy. Ground ball. Okay?

                   (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.


     Stu exchanges impressed glances with another COACH.

     Miguel sends in the next one, and...

     ...the HITTER checks his swing, but goes too far.


     IN THE DUGOUT Marcos gets to his feet, clapping for

     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.

              Where did you learn English so good?

              Back home in Caracas.

              Like in high school, or something?

              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

     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.

               C'mon.    Let's grab some dinner.

               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.

                    (struggling in English)
               Good catch.

               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.

               French toast, right?

               No...   Egg.    Egg, please.

               Eggs. No problem. How would you

      Miguel stares at her.


               Um, okay, uh... Scrambled?       Over easy?
               Sunny side up?

      A beat... He didn't count on this part.      He thinks hard,
      pressure mounting.

                    (giving up, embarrassed)
               French toast.

               No eggs?   You sure?

               French toast.

               Alright, honey. French toast it is.

      As she leaves, Miguel shakes his head, dejected.       Stares out the

A72   MINUTES LATER. The waitress returns with french toast and            A72
      another plate with samples of different eggs.

               Okay... This is scrambled.       Scrambled.


                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07       38.

                   (pointing on plate)
              Over easy.

              Over easy.

                   (and finally)
              This one's tricky... Sunny-side-up.






              Sunny side up... On the house.

              Thank you.

                   (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

     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.

               They're sending Antonio back.

               Shit.   What about you guys?

               We're staying here.   Rookie ball.

     Miguel nervously glances over to the list.

               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"

               I'm not with you guys?

               Straight to Single A, bro.     With Jorge.

               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.

               Can't I stay with you guys?

               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.

              Then why don't you stay with them

              They have a no girls policy.

              Jorge! Good to see you back in

     Jorge hugs Helen, shakes hands with Earl.

              Thank you.   This is Miguel.

     Orlando whistles to Jorge from a taxi.

              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.

              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.

              Last year we had this boy, Junior
              Sanchez. Nice boy. Decent with the
              glove, but couldn't bunt to save his

              Two-for-twelve in sacrifice situations.

              Cost the team at least two victories.

                       Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    41.

               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.

               Put your things down.   I'll show you

79    INT. KITCHEN                                                         79

               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.

               Oh, and over here, this drawer is a
               little funny.

      She pulls open the silverware drawer.

               You have to be careful or...

      She pulls it a little too far and it falls off its rail.    Miguel

80    INT. WASHER/DRYER ROOM                                               80

               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.

A80   INT. STAIRCASE                                                    A80

      Miguel follows Helen up the stairs.

               Your room is up here.

                       Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   42.

81   IN THE BATHROOM                                                   81

                   (in bad Spanish)
              El banyo.

     She laughs.   Miguel smiles, appreciating the effort.

82   INT. MIGUEL'S NEW BEDROOM                                         82

              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.

              No drinking. No cervezas in the casa.
              No chicas in the bedroom.

              I already told him that one.

              Okay.     What about quiet time?

              Right. There's no real curfew, but you
              must be quiet after ten.

                   (holding index finger to
              Shhhh... after diez.

              Ten.     Okay.

              Si! That's all we ask. It's our job
              to keep you healthy and focused on

              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.

               Thank you.

      She nods, looks out over the landscape, and for the first time
      we see... 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.

               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

               Did you get the money?

               Of course.

               Good. And Victor? Can he start
               construction on the house again? I'll
               be sending money every two weeks now.

               We just paid him. He's coming next

               What about you? You get something for
               yourself like I said?

               Me?   What do I need?

               C'mon, mom...

                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   44.


              You didn't get anything?

              Well, maybe I got some new shoes, but
              I'm not telling.

     Erica strolls by, yells into phone...

              Three pairs, Miguel!    But who's

     Miguel laughs on his end.

              Good for you, mom.

                           HELEN (O.S.)
              Miguel!   Time for dinner!

              I have to go, mom. The lady is calling
              me. Smells like dinner.

              Dinner? Don't forget who your real
              mother is, Miguelito. Are you going to
              prefer her cooking to mine now?

              Impossible... I love you, mom.

              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...

              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.

        ...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...

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.

        So, Miguel... Do - you - eat - meatloaf
        - back home?

        I already told you, Michael, he doesn't
        speak any English.

        I know but... I'm curious to know what
        he thinks of the meatloaf.

        What do you care?   You didn't cook it.

             (to Michael)
        I doubt they have meatloaf in the
        Dominican Republic, dear.

        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.

              This is good old-fashioned American
              home cooking, Miguel. Welcome to

              I like.   Thank you.

              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.

              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.

              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,

                          BRAD (O.S.)
                   (in bad Spanish)
              Que pasa, hermano?

     Brad pats Miguel on the back.    Miguel is excited to see a
     familiar face.

                   (in bad English)
              What up, Flaco?

              Dude, I was totally psyched when I saw
              your name on the squad. Good times.

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07     47.

              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

     He checks the price tag.

              C'mon, bro, let's find you a suit.

              I can't afford a suit.

              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.


     Miguel emerges from the dressing room in a white suit and
     electric blue collared shirt.

              Hot damn!   That's what's up!

               Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07       48.

        You like it?

        I love it!   You look like an all-star,

Miguel admires himself in the mirror.

             (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.

        What about you, man?   You try one.

Jorge shrugs, smiles.

        Me?   Nah... I'm all washed up.


Jorge gets distracted by a pack of TEENAGE GIRLS cruising by.
They smile at the players, who smile back.

        Very nice.

        Dude. You have no idea. Just wait
        till we go to Big Muddy's.

        Big Muddy's?

Jorge reaches into his wallet, removes his ID, hands it to

        You gotta be 21 to drink there. This
        is my old license. They won't know the

Miguel looks at Jorge's ID photo, cracks up.

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07      49.

              Are you kidding me? Nobody's gonna
              believe I'm this ugly fool.

              Believe me; they won't know the

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.


     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

                          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

      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.

               You think they know how to salsa?

               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.

               Not from you, anyway.

      Miguel notices Brad stroll by, calls him over.

               Yo flaco!

               What's up fellas?     Good game.

      They all toast beers.

               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.

               You ready?

               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.

                    (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,

      ...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.

               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.

               I am sorry.    I do not understand.

               S'okay. You understand more than a lot
               of folks around here I bet.

      He nods, still unsure.

               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...

               Can I borrow a pen real quick?

      The churchgoer hands over a pen, and Anne writes her address on
      Miguel's forearm.

               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.


      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.

               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

               See?   Just like home.

      Jorge runs back to his position at third.   Miguel tucks his
      index finger into his knuckle curve grip.   Delivers...


                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    55.

                That's it!   There it is!

      And the next pitch... 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.

                Good game, kid.   Enjoy this...

                     (in Spanish)
                Nice work, Sugar.

                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    56.

                    (in Spanish, to Orlando)
               But that wasn't my fault. I can go

                    (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...

               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.


      FIREWORKS EXPLODE in the sky as the kids in the crowd watch

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.

               Hey Miguel.    C'mon inside.

      He hands her the ball like it's a rose.

                    (in rehearsed English)
               My first... strike-out.

               Oh, Miguel... you're so sweet.
               Congratulations, I heard you pitched

                      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.

               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.

               What's up, man?

               Wanna play?

               No.   Thank you.

               It's like soccer. You play soccer?

               Soccer?   No. Baseball.

               Well this is called fooze-ball.   Fooze-


               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

               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.

               I heard that the beaches in the
               Dominican Republic are really

      Miguel nods again. They stand in silence for an awkward beat,
      sipping from their red, plastic cups, until...

               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...

               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

      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
               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...

               Mamañema.    Very bad.   Very bad word.

               Mama-ñema?    What's it mean?

               Mmm... Like--

      Miguel mimes fellatio.



               Yeah, we say cocksucker.

               Okay, cocksucker.


      They laugh.

                    (in bad Spanish)
               Who is your favorite player?

                    (in bad English)
               Robinson Cano for the Yankees.    I know
               him brother. And you?

               Roberto Clemente.

               Who is that?

                 Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    60.

        What?    You don't know about Clemente?

        Is Dominican?

        Puerto Rican. I can't believe it. This
        is tragic. Do you know who Babe Ruth

        Baby Ruth?   El chocolate?

Brad stares at Miguel for a beat, and they both crack up.

        Hey, how'd it go with that girl the
        other night?


        Yeah, didn't you have a date, or

        Oh, she no es my girl.

Brad senses Miguel's disappointment in the matter.

        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.

        You like The White Stripes?

        I don't know.

        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.

                "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

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?

                     (doing his best)
                When did you know you were going to be
                a good pitcher in this game?

                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.

                     (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.


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.

                It's not good. Because I haven't been
                playing good... No. I'm working hard,
                but, I don't know... I think they
                     (Jorge glances back toward
                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,

      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.

               Did you ever see "Y Tu Mama Tambien"?

               Y tu mama what?

               Y Tu Mama Tambien... It's Mexican.

      Jorge laughs, shakes his head.

               No, I don't know this.

               What are your favorite movies?


                       Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    64.

               I like Matrisse.

               Oh, Matrisse. Very strong.

               Matrisse?   What's that?

               He doesn't know Matrisse?

               You don't know The Matrisse?

               The Mattress? I don't know.
                    (turns to Jeff, beside
               Dude, do you know a movie called The

               The Mattress?

               With Keanu...?

               Keanu Reeves?

               Oh, shit!   The MATRIX!!


               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...


      ...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.

               Nice play, kid.     How's your foot?

               You okay?

      Miguel nods, but he's limping back to the mound.

               Take it easy. Don't force it.     How's
               it feel?

               Don't push it. Does it hurt?

               I'm okay.

               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.

               All right, kid.     Give it a rest.

      As Stu reaches for the ball, Miguel pulls it away.

               I am okay.   Please.

      Stu and the trainer sense Miguel's anxiety.     Stu puts his arm on
      Miguel's shoulder for comfort.

               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.

               You've been pitching so well... it's a
               real shame.

               Don't worry, Miguel, you'll bounce
               right back.

      Miguel pokes at his food, avoids eye contact.

               Where'd you say you were from, Brad?


               Oh, different world out there, huh?
               You like to surf?

      Brad smiles.

               Uh, no, I've never tried it.     But maybe

               Your parents visit here?

                Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    67.

        Yeah, I hope so. Maybe when they get
        some time off this summer.

        How about you, Miguel?    What's your
        family like?

        My family?

        Yeah.   Like, who do you live with back

        I live with my mother, sister,
        brother... and Abuela?

Miguel looks to Jorge for help.


        And grandmother.

        How about your father, Miguel?

        My father, uh...
             (searching for the word)
        He die.

Anne nudges her dad under the table.

        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

             (to Michael and Hilary)
        You have other child...?

        Yes, we have a son.   Anne's older

                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    68.

               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.

               You like it here in Iowa?

               Yes.  I like... Many new things.
                    (thinks for a beat)
               Very different.

               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.

               What happened there?

               Uh... When I boy... Um... I don't know--

               Tell me in Spanish.

                    (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.

               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.

               Sorry, I just...      Sorry.

      Miguel looks on, confused, as she stands.   They lock eyes for an
      awkward beat.

               I should help clean up...

      On her way back inside...

               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

      They make eye contact from across the locker room.   Nobody
      moves. After a beat...

               I had a good run.

               What happened?

               It's over.


               You know the drill. I'm not playing
               well, so they'll bring up somebody who

               What about your knee? You just need
               some more time... You're recovering.

                  Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   70.


Miguel relents.

        When do you leave?

        They want me to fly back tonight.


        But I'm not going back...

A beat as Miguel lets this sink in.

        I gotta cousin in New York.

        You're going to New York?

        Where else? There's no work back home.
        My bonus won't last forever...

Miguel looks off.    Jorge senses his anxiety.

        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

Miguel smiles.

        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

        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.

                How'd you play tonight?

                Good, good.

                I bet you have lots of groupies waiting
                for you after your games.

                I have a few.

                A few?

                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.

                Shut up!

                He's probably lying though.

                I bet he's lying.

       A beat, as Miguel shifts gears...

                Jorge went to New York.

                To the Yankees?

                No. Our team cut him loose. He's got
                a cousin there... I don't know what
                he's going to do...

                Shit...    What about his family?

                     Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07       72.

                   (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.

              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.

              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.

              What is your book?

              Welcome to the Terrordome.   It's about
              sports and politics.

              You study at, um, university?

              Yeah, I went to Stanford. Studied
              history and baseball. Did you go to
              school back in the DR?

              Yes.   Little. Secondaria?

              High school?

              Yes.   A little of... high school.   But
              I sign when I have sixteen years.

              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...

               If you no play baseball... what you do?

               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.


       FRONT DOOR. Miguel hobbles over, opens it to find Anne,
       carrying a casserole dish and a couple empty platters.

                These are grandma's from the other

       Miguel lets her pass into the kitchen, put the dishes on the
       table. They stand awkwardly for a beat, looking at each other.

                We missed you at our meeting, Thursday.

                Sorry.    I forget.

                It's okay, maybe next time.

                You want sit?

                I gotta go actually, so--

                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...

               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, Mamañema!"

      Miguel smiles, bittersweet, when a familiar VOICE calls out...

               Yo!   Sugar!

      Miguel turns around to find Salvador Torres (the once scrawny
      kid from the Academy) running at him. They hug.

               Holy shit!     How'd you get here?

               On a airplane, motherfucker.

      Miguel playfully flips Salvador's cap bill down over his face
      for being a smartass.

               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...


      Stu walks back towards the coaches' office.

               What he say?

                        Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07    76.

                     (not sure himself)
                Don't worry about it... Good to see

                Good to see you, too, Sugar.
                     (a beat)
                I'm a little nervous.

                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...


       ...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


       Salvador seems to relax.    Winds up his next pitch, and...

       ...the ball appears to zig-zag across the plate, freezing the
       hitter in confusion.

                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

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.

                Welcome to America, kid.

       Salvador sits next to Miguel on the bench, admiring the ball.

                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.

               You started dropping your arm in the
               third. I think that was your problem.

               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.


               Don't matter, he can't understand

      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.

               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.

               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--

               --I am work hard! Everyday I work

               So work harder, goddamnit! You think
               you're the only one on this team works

                        Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   80.

                    (in Spanish)
               I don't understand you. You speak too
               fast. I just don't understand!

               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.

               Listen, your first time, take a half.
               Okay? No more. You gotta ease into
               it. Half.

      Miguel nods.

               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.

               What's up?

               What's up, Sal?

      Jeff heads out.    Miguel resumes folding his clothes.

               Did you hear I made player of the week?

                       Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07      81.

                You told me last night.

       Salvador examines his detergent options from the dispenser

                Which one do you use?

       Miguel eyes the bleach.    Can't help himself.

                That one.


       Salvador inserts coins into the machine, pulls the bleach lever.


       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.


       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...


       ...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

                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...


       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...


       This one almost finds the batter's head, as he falls to the dirt
       to avoid contact. It's on.

                     (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

                Fucking Puerto Rican piece of shit!

                     (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.

               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.


      Stu addresses Miguel before the game. Though his words are
      encouraging, his tone is detached, cold. Miguel senses this,
      listens, dejected.

               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.

               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,

      ...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.

                Oh, honey, you don't have to do that.

                     (his English better than
                No problem. I want to help.

                Well, thank you, Miguel.

      Helen grabs a dish towel.      They do the dishes together in
      silence. After a beat...

                Thank you, Helen.

      Helen smiles, pats Miguel on the back.     HOLD.

                       Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   87.


      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,

               I forgot something in the clubhouse.
               I'll be right back.

      As Miguel turns, Salvador grabs his bag, which is still on his

               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.

               Where's he going?


      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...


                       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

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).

                    (in Spanish, of course)
               Talk to me.

               Is Jorge working today?


               Jorge Ramirez.

      A bus boy, RAFAEL, overhears as he passes by.

               Jorge, the ball player!


                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   90.

                Oh. The ballpayer... He left about two
                weeks ago.

                I think he drives a car now.

                Do you have a phone number for him?
                His old one isn't working.

      Reyna shrugs, looks to Rafael.

                     (shaking his head)
                Sorry... But I think he was staying
                down at concourse village on 156th.

                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,

                            SECURITY GUARD
                     (in English)
                You wanta see the inside, you gotta buy
                a ticket, pal.

                     (jumping down)

                       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).

                One room.

                For how long?

                I don't know.

                Two hundred a week.   First week in

       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 ALÓ MAMÁ!

                Two hundred now.

       Miguel reaches for the calling card.

                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.

               You speak Spanish?

               Of course.

               Is this your place?

               Yeah.    Can I help you?

      Miguel glances around at the various wooden furniture items for

               I like your work.

               Thanks.    What are you looking for?

               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--

               --I don't have any work right now.

               Right.    Okay, thanks for your time.

      Osvaldo gets back to his computer, but Miguel lingers...

               Do you know any other places like this
               where I might find work?

               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.

                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.

                     (into phone)

A194   We INTERCUT between Miguel and his home in the Dominican         A194

                Miguel!   My God, where are you?

       Carmen snatches the phone from Erica, who stays close, trying to
       listen in.

                Miguelito, what is going on? Frank
                called last night. Where are you?

                New York.

                Oh, my God! What are you doing in New
                York? I don't understand. Your team
                is looking for you.

                I can't play anymore.

                Are you hurt? What does that mean, you
                can't play?

                Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   94.

        No.   I'm fine. It just--

        We've been working for this your whole
        life, Miguelito. Oh, my God! You're
        so close. I don't understand...

        Don't worry, mom. I have some money.
        We're going to be okay.

        You have to go back. Listen, Miguel,
        my sweet sugar, call Frank. They'll
        take you back.

        I can't go back--

        Did I raise you like this?    Did I raise
        you to give up?

        I didn't give up. I'm starting
        something new here.

        What?   What are you starting?

        I have to go mom. The card's almost
        out of minutes.

        Where are you even staying?   Miguel--

        Don't worry. I'm staying with a
        friend. I have a new job. It's all
        good. I'm sending money tomorrow.


        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.

               Hey, um, I was in here the other day.

               Yeah, sure, did you find your guy?

               No. I'm actually looking for a job

      She smiles, calls over to...

                    (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.

               And then put it in here with the

      Miguel puts the plate in the large dish washer.

               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

               Do you know anybody with a room for

      Rafael shakes his head, no.

               But I'll ask around, let you know if I
               hear of anything.

      Miguel nods, gets back to his food.

               You and Jorge used to play baseball

               Yeah, you like baseball?

               It's okay. I'd rather watch soccer
               though... Have you found him yet?

               Not yet.

               He'll be through sooner or later.

               How long have you worked here?

               Two years.

               Do you have family here?

               No. My wife and kids are still in

               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.

               Hi, um, do you remember me?

               Yeah, but, sorry, I still don't have a
               job for you.

               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.

               I don't really sell raw materials...

      Miguel hesitates.

               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.

               Somebody paying you for the table?

               No. It's a gift for my mom.   Something
               I like to do.

               How old are you?


               Who taught you to make tables?

                 Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   98.

        My dad.     He was a carpenter in San

        Is that where you're from?


        I grew up in Santiago.    What are you
        doing in New York?

        I came to work. I used to play

Osvaldo nods, understanding.

        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.

        Your mom still in San Pedro?

        Yeah.    With my sister and brother.

        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.

        What's your name?


They shake hands.


                      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.

               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

                    (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.

               Where you from?


      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.

               So you never liked baseball?    Not even
               as a kid?

               It's okay. Sometimes during the
               playoffs I'll watch a game or two.

               Who's your favorite player?

               I don't know enough to have a favorite.

               C'mon, everybody has a favorite player:
               Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez?

               Fine.    Jose Canseco.

               Jose Canseco!? That's the best you can

               Okay, what about you?

               Roberto Clemente.

                    (pushing his buttons)
               Never heard of him.

               Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   101.

          Shut up.

          What's so special about Clemente?

          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.

          Get out of here.

          For real. He used to make furniture
          during the off season.

          Are you fucking with me? Cause you
          know I can google this fool right now.


          The internet. Don't worry, I'll teach
          you someday.

A beat.   Miguel continues his work.

          When did you get released?

          They didn't release me. I left a few
          days before the season ended.

          You left?    When was this?

          About two weeks ago.

          Holy shit.   Where are you staying?

          Oh, you know, with a friend. But if
          you know somebody who needs a

                      Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07        102.

      Osvaldo nods and they continue working.

                    (after a beat)
               Why'd you leave?

      Miguel hesitates, unsure where to begin.      Osvaldo senses his
      discomfort with the question.

               Do you have any family here?

                    (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.

               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...

               Hey!   You owe money.   Full week!

               I know.    I have tomorrow.   No problem.

               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...


      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.

                    (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

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...

               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.

               Sorry for calling late.    I'm in New

                           FRANK (O.S.)
               I heard. You're making me look bad.
               What are you doing there?

               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.

               I know, but I thought maybe I could...

      A beat, as Miguel drifts off.

               I can talk to Alvarez... But I don't
               know. Nobody's happy about this.

      Miguel bites his lip.   A police SIREN flies by.

               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.


      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.

               Hey, Miguel.

      Miguel doesn't respond. Osvaldo notices his packed bag and worn
      expression. Both men stare at each other for a long beat.

               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...


      ...he's startled by a loud car horn coming from a black livery
      cab parked at the curb.

                    (giving the finger)
               Fuck you, man!

      Miguel keeps walking, but stops upon hearing...

               Fuck you too, bro!

      Miguel turns to find Jorge, leaping out of his car, and running
      at him. They hug.

               What happened to you?

               Me?   What happened to you?

               I been looking for you for weeks.

               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.

               I called the Higgins to give my new
               number, but they said you split. I
               couldn't believe it, man, I had no

               Things got a little ugly after you

               We all go through slumps you know.

               It wasn't a slump.

               What was it then?

               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.

               I'm just saying...

               Whatever, man, you wouldn't be saying
               that shit if you made it.

      Miguel smiles, shrugs.

                    (from across the room)
               Sugar! Rafi needs you in the kitchen!

               They call you Sugar?

      On his way to the kitchen...

               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.

               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...

               I did some research and I got a new
               favorite player now.

               Okay, good.

               Vic Power.    You know him?

      Miguel shakes his head, no.

               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.

               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
       She sits at her table in the same old house. (We can see
       through the window that the new one is still unfinished).

                I got the photos you sent, but you'll
                have to send more.

                Okay, mom, but you know it would be a
                lot easier if you opened an email

                Email? I don't even know how to use
                the TV!

       Miguel smiles.

                I'm making a new table for you.    It's
                going to be real nice.

                I'm sure I'll love it.     Thank you.

                How's Erica?

                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.

                And Luis?

                He's pitching now. You should see him,
                Miguel, got an arm like his brother.

                Yeah, but can he throw a knuckle curve?

       Carmen laughs.    After a beat...

                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.

               I will, Sugar. I love you.

               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.

               Caballo!   This is Miguel from San

               The new guy. You ready to pitch?

               I think so.

               It's been a while, no?

               Don't worry; he's ready.

                                                         JUMP CUT TO:

      Jorge introduces Miguel to...

               Felipe!    Meet Miguel.   They call him

               What's up, Sugar?

                       Official Shooting Script as of 10/22/07   111.

               Felipe played for the Dodgers Triple-A
               team. Hit a dinger off Pedro once.



                                                        JUMP CUT TO:

      More intros...

               I played for the Yankees.

                                                        JUMP CUT TO:


                                                        JUMP CUT TO:


                                                        JUMP CUT TO:

               Kansas City.

               Me too!    Bridgetown.

               I was there in 96. I lived on a farm.

               With the Higgins!


      Miguel smiles big, just as the UMPIRE calls out...

               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

        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.


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.

        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...

        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.


Writers :   Anna Boden  Ryan Fleck
Genres :   Drama

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