Sugar (2008) Script

Strike.

One out.

-Strike three. -No way.

-l got it. -l got it.

Get your heads in the game!

You're gonna let him kill the kid?


Check out Sugar.

He put on 20 pounds, and now he's going for 20 more.

All muscle, dude. Rock solid.

Right... solid bones!

Eat slowly, kid. lt's not going anywhere!

lf you hustled as hard as him, you'd be hungry too.

-l got it. l got it. -l got it.

-Fly ball. -Fly ball.

-Line drive. -Line drive.

-Ground ball. -Ground ball.

-Home run. -Home run.

Home run.


What about this kid?

Salvador Torres? He's been with us for about a week.

Good potential. Raw talent.

We gonna sign him?

Soon, l hope. l'm talking to his agent. They got two other offers.

From two other teams for about a hundred.

He's good.

What about him?

Miguel Santos?

Great arm. We signed him two year ago for 1 5.

Good deal. He throw any junk?

Sugar, show him your curve.

Not bad. Mind if l try something?

Please, go ahead.

Do you mind? May l?

Give him the ball.

lt's a spike curve.

Gives you more rotation, more movement.

You try.

This way.

Yeah. Just like that. Come on, let's go.

Throw it!

lt's okay, son. These things take time. You'll figure it out.

He'll be all right.

-Your performance... -Your performance...

-ln the mound... -ln the mound...

-ls not... -ls not...

-As good... -As good...

-As last year. -As last year.

-What is the problem? -What is the problem?

-l don't know. -l don't know.

-Maybe my mechanic. -Maybe my mechanic.

-l want to give you a chance. -l want to give you a chance.

-lt's up to you. -lt's up to you.

-Thank you. -Thank you.

-l'll do my best. -l'll do my best.

-Have a good weekend. -You too.


Sugar! Give me a ball!

Hey, what's up?

-l got one! -l got one!

-Hi, Sis. -Hello.

-Any news about the States? -ls that all you want to hear about?

Hi, Grandma. Looking beautiful today.

What's up? How's the TV?

Erica won't let me watch baseball.

Not during American ldol.

Hello, Miguel. Do you have any good news for your mother?

Yes...

You're going to the States?

Not yet, Mom.

But l learned how to throw a spike curve.

A spike curve...

What's that?

l'm still working out the mechanics!

When are you going to finish this?

Soon. lt's just hard to find the time. lt's pretty. l'm trying to match the chairs my dad made, but l can't get it right. l think it's perfect.

When l'm done, l'll make you one just like it.

And the rest of the house? When will it be done?

A month, maybe two...

Do you know we just did it where my mom's kitchen is gonna be?

Don't tell me that!

Why not? Next time we can do it in Grandma's bedroom.

Or we could do it on the roof?

l hope you make it to the States.

You hope? Baby, there's nobody better than me.

Okay, then... how about... l know you'll make it.

Now we're talking.

And the first thing l'm going to do when l get there... l'm going to buy a Cadillac.

And l'll drive it through the ocean and bring you back with me.

You can't drive a Cadillac on water.

Sure you can. ln the U.S. they build all kinds of cars.

Ones that drive on water.

You're crazy. l can take you to New York.

There's snow there in Yankee Stadium.

Want to see me play in Yankee Stadium? lt doesn't snow during the baseball season, silly.

So we'll go for Christmas.

Promise?

Sure. Next Christmas... we'll cross the sea in my Cadillac car-boat. Done.

You really are crazy.

She was hot. But l liked my hair too much. l liked it too, Javi.

lf you liked your hair so much, why did you cut it? l wanted a different look.

Or a different girl.

Hey, stop playing...

This arm is worth a million dollars.

He's right! That arm's worth money.

May God bless the golden arm!

You call that flabby rubber band an arm?

Oh, Miguel!

Dude, this arm throws a 95. What does yours throw?

Well, l threw 98 in Double-A in Portland.

-98? -That's right.

Then why are you at the streetlights... selling cell phone chargers?

And the one you sold me doesn't even work.


Many of you are thinking about your families.

Your girlfriends.

Your siblings.

Your grandparents. l know a lot of you are feeling the pressure.

But l'm going to tell you something very important.

Forget about it all.

The only thing you've got to think about is yourselves.

Put all your energy into your game... into your development as a ballplayer.

Forget about everything else.

And just play.

You want to succeed?

You've got to be like a racehorse, focused on your final goal.

Because everything... absolutely everything depends on you.


Berroa. When you finish, go to Alvarez's office.


Hey, Sugar, they made me an offer.

Congratulations. What did they offer you?

A hundred fifteen.

But my agent takes like forty of it.

How much did you sign for?

Oh, you know. About the same.

Did you get any other offers?

The Yankees and Seattle, but not as much.

Well, just don't get cocky. Nobody likes a dickhead on the team.

Welcome to the team.

So, why do they call you Sugar?

Well, l'm sweet with the ladies.

But mostly l've got the sweetest knuckle curve there is.

Bullshit! You just learned that the other day.

They call him Sugar because he eats so much dessert!

He's just jealous.

Dude, we got you a little going away present.

You should go to the Dodgers. l heard they're looking for first basemen.

To hell with that shit.

The coaches are even tougher over there.

No more curfews.

No more trainers telling me what to do and how to do it. l feel good like this, man.

Forget about it.

"No hats inside the building, son!"

"Cut your meat with the knife, but eat it with the fork!"

"Never put the meat in your mouth with the knife!"

"Or you'll chop off your tongue!"

"Ten o'clock! Lights out!"

Line drive.

-Line drive. -Line drive.

Fly ball.

-Fly ball. -Fly ball.

Home run.

-Home run. -Home run. l got it. l got it.

-l got it. l got it. -l got it. l got it.

Take me out to the ball game Take me out to the crowd Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack l don't care if l never get back Let me root, root, root for the home team lf they don't win it's a shame For it's one, two...


Have fun last night?

Feel better now?

Let's go.

Okay, okay.

Here we go, here we go!

Okay, Sugar, let's do this!

Strike one.

Strike two.

Three. Strike three.

Strike three.

Hey, wipe that smile off your face.

Salvador, warm up. You're pitching the next inning.

Let's go.

Just when l was starting to like you.

You go and do something stupid.

What have you got to say for yourselves?

Alfonso was with us too.

Don't give me excuses.

Your behavior is unacceptable.

You need to understand. You've still got a long way to go.

First, you've got to make it to the minor leagues.

Rookie ball. Single-A, Double-A...

Triple-A.

All that before you even set foot in the majors.

So you had better watch what you do.

Because nobody's going to take this shit... from a pair of Dominican rookies... when you get to the U.S.

You've been invited to spring training.

Congratulations.

You've got a call. He says it's important.


This was your father's. l want you to take it with you.

God has given you a marvelous gift.

And God willing, you'll do great things with it.

Miguelito! Don't ever forget your Uncle Angel.

Lupe! Your cousin Lupe! l'm Omayra.

Your cousin. Lupe.

Lola! Your Aunt Lola!

Remember we went skinny-dipping at the Malecón...

When?

You were like eight and terrified of goats.

My nephew.

Your neighbor Ana.

You cried and cried... You were such a baby, man.

What's your name again? l'm Omayra. Your cousin.

Your Uncle Jefe!

Uncle Angel. l grew up around here.

Don't give me any shit. l taught you everything you know, hear?

Hey, Frank, what's up? l'm proud of you, kid. Your father would be, too.

Thanks. l owe it all to you.

Not all of it.

Just forty percent. l spent the best years of my life playing in the U.S.

Remember... Life gives you lots of opportunities.

Baseball only gives you one.

When it comes, take advantage of it as much as you can. Enjoy it.

How's the new curve? lt's sweet.

Here.

What's this for?

For your autograph. l'm kidding, you arrogant prick.

That's so you'll write to your family.

And to me, too, if you feel like it.


So where's that boyfriend of yours?

Which one?

That ugly kid you've got.

Fernando!

He's out there dancing with Sofia.

With who?

With Sofia.

You know, Sis... l'm very proud of you. l know you're going to do great things, too.

We all know it. l'm going to miss you.

Come on. Let's go dance.

No, you go. l'll come later.

And tell Fernando to watch it with my girl... unless he wants problems with me, okay?


Ladies and gentlemen, from the flight deck.

Still apparently about 1 10 miles from the Phoenix airport.

Estimating an on-time arrival at the gate.


Check this out.

Did you look in the fridge?

To the States.

To the States. We've arrived!

To the States!

What's up, Jorge!

Never, never, never drink from the hotel minibar.

That stuff is really expensive.

You want beer? Buy it at the store.

You want to see titties?

There are magazines for that.

Don't use the pay-per-view in the hotel.

Okay, you boys ready?

-French toast, please? -Okay. Who's next?

-French toast. -French toast.

All right, let's go.

Go. Go, go, go.

Brad Johnson.

Just out of college. They signed him for a million dollars.

There's a lot of guys like that. Don't let it intimidate you.

Everyone knows Dominicans rule the game.

What's this about Dominicans ruling the game? l think he was talking about the Venezuelans.

Are these your brothers?

Are you telling me all Dominicans look the same?

Exactly.

Miguel and Marcos. Up from Boca Chica.

Ed and Orlando. l left these fools behind when l moved up to Double-A.

-But you couldn't hang in Wichita. -l hurt my knee, asshole.

But l'm healthy now. You'll see.

Fifty bucks you're back in lowa next month.

Fifty bucks that next month... you're still an asshole.

Now you just remember that until you reach the top, there's always guys above you hustling to keep you down here and guys below you pushing to take yourjobs.

Now we got 75 pitchers in this camp for less than 50 positions come April 3rd.

You do the math.

You're all gonna work hard.


Bring over Leonard.


Welcome to America, son.

Today l pitched to Gus Leonard.

You strike him out?

Yes...

Liar.

-You don't believe me? -No.

OK, but... l got one strike at least.

So, do you like it there? lt's different.

The food here is really sweet.

But l thought you liked sweet things.

All the players are really good.

But not like you.

No, of course not.

But they're pretty good.

l miss you. l miss you, too.

Time, Ump.


Come on, let's see what you got.

Come on.

Let's go.

Strike.

That's it right there!

Let's go! One more!

Yeah, man.


Good catch.

Thanks, man.

l just got lucky.

French toast, right?

No. Egg.

-Egg, please. -Eggs?

No problem. How'd you like 'em?

Yes.

Okay...

Scrambled, over easy, sunny side up?

French toast.

No eggs?

You sure?

French toast, please.

All right, honey. French toast it is.

This is scrambled.

Scrambled.

This is over easy.

Over easy.

Okay, this one's a little trickier, okay?

-Sunny... -Sunny...

-Side... -Side...

-Up. -Up.

Sunny side up. On the house.

Thank you.

You're welcome.


They're sending Antonio back.

And you guys?

We're staying here. Rookie ball.

Go take a look at the list.

We're not together?

Straight to Single-A with Jorge.

Congratulations.

Where's l-A?


A lot of the ball players have stayed at our house.

We've had Dominicans and Venezuelan boys.

A Colombian and even one from Panama.

Last year we had a boy, Junior Sanchez. Nice boy.

Decent glove, but he couldn't bunt to save his life.

Two out of twelve in sacrifice situations.

Yeah. He cost us at least two victories.

Oh, Earl, that's generous. l'd say four or five.

Okay, Miguel. You put your things down and l'll show you around.

This is the kitchen.

You can help yourself to anything you'd like. lf there are special foods you'd like to eat, just write them down on the grocery list right here.

Oh, and this drawer here is a little funny.

You have to be careful or it'll...

This is the washer and the dryer.

For your clothes.

You put the soap in here.

"Soup."

And this one is just hot air.

The bathroom.

This is your new cuarto. Bedroom.

You do with it as you please. Except no girls.

Chicas. No chicas.

No drinking. No cervezas in the casa.

-No chicas in the bedroom. -l already told him that one.

Okay. What about a quiet time?

Oh, right.

There's no real curfew, but you must be quiet after 1 0:00.

Diez. After diez.

-1 0:00. -Yeah.

Okay.

That's all we ask. lt's ourjob to keep you healthy and focused on baseball.

And we take pride in that.

Everyone is so proud, Miguelito. lt's all we talk about.

Did you get the money?

Of course.

And Victor, can he start construction of the house again? l'll be sending money every two weeks now.

We just paid him. He's coming next week.

Did you get something for yourself like l said?

Me? What do l need?

-Don't say that, Mom... -Why?

You didn't get anything?

Well, maybe a pair of shoes, but l am not telling.

Good for you, Mom.

Miguel. Time for dinner. l have to go, Mom. The lady's calling me.

Smells like dinner.

Don't forget who your real mother is.

Are you going to prefer her cooking to mine now? lmpossible, Mom.

We love you. We miss you. Strike one out for me, okay? l love you. Bye.

Dear God.

Thank you for this meal we're about to eat and for blessing us with our new guest.

Thank you for guiding him safely on his journey from the Dominican Republic to Bridgetown.

And finally, Lord, please look kindly on our Swing this season.

May all of the players stay healthy and...

Well, why not? lf there's anything you can do to help us win another championship, we'll take that, too.

-Amen. -Amen.

So, Miguel, do you eat meatloaf back home? l already told you, Michael, he doesn't speak any English. l know, but l'm just curious to know what he thinks of the meatloaf.

Well, what do you care, you didn't cook it. l doubt they have meatloaf in the Dominican Republic, dear.

Well, l'll bet they have something similar. They probably just have another name for it.

l like. Thank you.

Very good, Miguel.

De nada to you, mi amigo. De nada to you.


C'mon, let's find you a suit. l can't afford a suit. l didn't say buy a suit. l said find a suit.

So when you make it to the big leagues, you'll know what looks good.

Like it?

Hot damn! That's what's up, bro! lt's cool?

Man, you look like an all-star.

Starting pitcher for American League from Kansas City, Miguel Sugar Santos.

What about you? You try one.

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

C'mon, man. Don't say that.

Hey.

Very nice.

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

Big Muddy's?

You have to be 21 to drink there.

This is my old license. They won't know the difference.

Are you crazy?

Who's going to believe l'm this ugly fool?

You wish you were this good-looking.

Believe me. They won't know the difference.


Hey, Santos. You're right over there.

What up, flaco?

Dude, l was totally psyched when l saw your name on the squad.

Yeah, okay.

Hey, good times.


Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.

You're listening to "Swing Time" on WKBl.

Welcome to another exciting season of Swing baseball.

As always, we've got some new faces that we'll get to see tonight, including Brad Johnson, the highly touted second baseman out of Stanford.

He'll make his pro debut. lt's a great night for Swing baseball and a great night for a bite and a brew after the game at Harlow's, your local pub and proud sponsor.

Oh, say, can you see By the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed...

Leading off for Wisconsin, the second baseman, Tim Lewis.


Relax, take it easy!

Come on.

That's outside for ball four.

Santos is apparently feeling some butterflies for his first professional outing.

Hailing all the way from the Dominican Republic, this young man wowed the organization with his power in spring training.

But tonight, he's off to a rocky start.

Relax, Sugar. lt's the same game we played back home.

That's all it is. So relax. Let's have some fun, okay?

See? Just like home.

Now batting, right fielder, Luis Encarnación.

Strike.


Line drive, hit in the air to left center field.

That's gonna get down into the gap and go for a double.

Santos has been nearly unhittable through the first six innings tonight.

That's just the second hit he's given up.

Ground ball towards third.

This is gonna eat up Ramirez and go out into left.

You suck, Ramirez.

One man's gonna score and Santos has given up his first run.

Time.

Fans, join us for our next home game, next Friday night...

Nice game, son. Enjoy this.

Good game, Sugar.

But that wasn't my fault. l can go longer.

Take it easy. lt's your first game.

You hear that, son? That's for you.


You think they know how to salsa?

Go for it.

But remember... just because they dance with you doesn't mean they want anything else.

Not from you, anyway.

What's up?!

Hey, Slim!

What's up, fellows? Hey, good game, good game.

Flaco, man, what's up with this flaco, huh?

You all call this flaco?

You thought you could lead us...

C'mon, let's go for it.

Let's do it.


Dude, give me my keys. You are not driving my car.

Leaning, leaning Safe and secure from all alarms Leaning, leaning Leaning on the everlasting arms What have l to dread, what have l to fear Leaning on the everlasting arms

How'd you like the service?

Our church? l hope it wasn't too boring for you.

Did you go to church in the Dominican Republic? l'm sorry. l don't think...

Well, that's okay.

You understand more than a lot of the folks around here, l bet.

Hey, good luck tonight.

Very bad. Very bad words.

Well, what does it mean? lt's like...

Cocksucker.

-Cocksucker? -Yeah, we say "cocksucker."

Okay. Cocksucker.

Who is your...favorite player?

Robinson Cano from the Yankees. And you?

-Roberto Clemente. -Who is that?

What?

Man, come on, you don't know about Clemente?

-Dominican? -No, he's Puerto Rican.

Man, this is tragic.

Do you know who Babe Ruth is?

Baby Ruth. The chocolate.

Hey, you like TV on the Radio?

TV what?

Here. Check it out.


"Santos stings Owls with 8 Ks."

What kind of shoddy journalism is that? They don't even mention me.


At what point in the game did you know you had your best stuff tonight?

When did you realize you were going to be a good pitcher? l knew since l was very young l would be a good pitcher.

Ten, eleven years old, around then.

Thanks to God, l've had the opportunity to develop my talents.

He knew very early that he was going to pitch good. Eleven years.


That forever, as we pray proper, that you will never forsake us or never leave us.

We ask this in Jesus' name, amen. l have in my hands a rulebook.

Hey, Miguel. Come on inside.

My first strikeout.

Oh, Miguel, you're so sweet.

Congratulations. l heard you pitched awesome tonight.

Hey, everyone. This is Miguel.

He's from the Dominican Republic and now he pitches for the Swing.

Hi, Miguel.

What's up, man?

-You want to play? -No, no. Thank you.

No, come on. lt's like soccer. Do you play soccer?

No. Baseball.

Well, this is foosball. Foosball.

-Foosball. -Yeah, you got it.

You know, l used to be a pitcher. ln the Little Leagues. l wasn't very good, though. l heard that the beaches in the Dominican Republic are really beautiful.

All right, guys. Let's get started. Everybody grab a seat.

All right, well, l'm glad you guys could all come.

Last year we didn't have half as many people in our group.

So l think this just goes to show the great job that we've been doing in spreading the word.

Yeah, this year l want us to work harder. l know a lot of you guys are studying for the SATs or preparing for college applications. All of that's very important.

But, we need to remember that our spiritual accomplishments are more important.

What we do in school or for a job, that's just a small part of who we are.

We're only here by the grace of God, so let's get out there and share that grace.

No, it's not good.

Because l haven't been playing well.

Well, l'm working hard, but... l don't know. They might.

Listen, let's talk about this later.

Yeah, so... Tell me about...


He's out.

You all right?

That was a nice play, kid. But how's your foot?

Come on, take it easy, now, don't force it. All right, how's it feel? l'm okay.

-All right, can he throw a couple? -Go ahead.

All right, come on.

-All right, kid, let's give it a rest. -l'm okay. Please.

Well, l know you're okay, but let's just be sure.

Come on, give me the ball, son.

That's it.

You were pitching so well, Miguel. lt's a real shame.

Don't worry about it.

You're gonna bounce right back.

Where'd you say you were from, Brad?

Berkeley.

Oh, different world out there, huh? Do you like to surf?

No. You know, l never tried it.

But maybe l will someday.

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

My family?

Yeah, like, who do you live with back home? l live with my mother, sister, brother, and...

-Grandmother. -And grandmother.

How about your father, Miguel?

My father, he died.

Miguel, honey, l'm so sorry.

You have other child?

We have a son. Anne's older brother.

He's in lraq.

Do you like it here in lowa? l like. Very different.

Yeah, l bet. You've traveled a long way, huh?

God must have something very special in mind for you.

What happened here?

Oh. When l...

When l boy, l... l try to...

-l don't know. l'm sorry. -Tell me in Spanish.

-Spanish? -Yeah.


Sorry. l just...

Sorry.

l should probably help clean up inside.

We have another meeting Thursday, if you can come.


What happened? lt's over.

Why?

You know the drill. l'm not playing well, so they'll bring up someone who is.

But your knee... You're recovering. You just need more time.

Sugar...

When do you leave?

They want me to fly back tonight.

Tonight?

But l'm not going back. l've got a cousin in New York.

You're going to New York?

Where else?

There's no work back home.

And my bonus won't last forever.

Relax, Sugar. l'll see you there at Yankee Stadium some day.

When the Knights come to town. l'll be in the front row, getting drunk.

Cheering like a maniac.

Not for you, though.

Yankee fans are crazy.

You worry too much, Sugar. l'll be okay.

lt's just a game, right?

How'd you play today?

Good, good. l bet you have lots of groupies waiting for you after your games. l have a few.

-A few? -Just kidding. l mean, l 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. l bet he's lying.

Jorge went to New York.

To the Yankees?

No. Our team cut him loose.

He's got a cousin there. l don't know what he's going to do.

He got injured playing for them.

They owe him something. Another chance.

He's worked too hard. l mean...

He's not a horse.

But don't let it get to you.

Just keep playing well and things will be okay.

lf you... lf you not play baseball, what you do? l like history, so maybe l'd go to grad school.

Maybe teach someday.

You study university? l went to Stanford. l studied history and baseball.

What about you, man? Did you go to school back in the DR?

Yes, little.

Secondary?

High school.

Little high school.

But l sign when l... When l have second year.

Hey, Brad, we're up for B.P. Let's go.


We walked around the Superdome and we started to sing...

"This Little Light of Mine."

And it was powerful, because it was a sad time.

You didn't know what was going to happen.

But you had faith in God.

And we marched around the Dome... and people were coming from inside.


These are Grandma's from the other night.

We missed you at our meeting Thursday.

Sorry. l forget.

That's okay. Maybe next time.

You want to sit? l have to go, actually. So...

Okay, go.


-Feeling better, huh? -Welcome back, dude.

Thank you.

Yeah, there was an injury to the Wichita second baseman so they called up Brad this morning. He left you this.

Yo, Sugar!

Holy shit! How'd you get here?

On an airplane, dummy.

That's great, you guys know each other.

This is Sal. He's our new middle relief man.

He's got a nasty cutter.

Hey, you could learn a thing or two from him, Santos.

Okay.

What did he say?

Don't worry about it. Man, it's good to see you.

Good to see you, too. But l'm a little nervous. lt's the same game we played back home.

Same rules, different place.

Just have fun, it's only a game.

Time.

Sutton's gonna make the call to pull Santos here in the fourth inning.

He's gonna bring in new reliever Salvador Torres for his Bridgetown debut.

We'll take a time out for the pitching change.

Swing trail, five to two.

Now pitching for your Swing, number 22, Salvador Torres.

Strike.

Strike three.

A stellar debut for Torres, as he baffles Jake Lee Esford with a nasty sidearm cutter in the final out of the inning.

Welcome to America, kid.

Just do me a favor.

Don't give it away to the first white girl you meet.


You suck, Santos!

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

He lost control of his breaking pitches.

And they just zeroed in on his fastball.

Which isn't as fast as it used to be.


But you need to learn self-control.

Can you understand what l'm saying?

You need to know that your actions have consequences.

So we're gonna take the cost of that water unit that you busted up and take it out of your check.

That's not anything that your family back home's gonna be too proud of, is it?

So you need to think about channeling that frustration you're feeling onto the field. lnto practice.

Channel it into working harder so that you... l am work hard. Every day l work hard.

Yes, work harder, God damn it.

You think you're the only one on this team works hard? l don't understand. You speak too fast. l don't understand you.

Look, l know you think l don't know what you're going through but l do. l've been on the mound before, l've played through pain. l've been in your exact situation before.

And l've struggled, too. Boy, l've...


These are really gonna empty you out.

So your first time, take a half. Okay? No more.

You gotta ease into it.

Half.

Anyone finds these, you didn't get 'em from me, okay?

-What's up, man? -What's up, Sal?

Did you hear l made player of the week?

You told me last night.


Strike three.

Through the first inning, Santos has struck out two out of three. l don't wanna jinx this, but this sure looks like the Santos we saw earlier this season.

Strike.

Swing and a miss, strike three.

Santos has struck out five through the first two innings.

He is dominating the Loons using all of his pitches.

And after two, we've got no score.

You okay?


lt's the top of the fifth inning and Santos seems to be struggling with his control.

Not sure what's happening down there, he seems to be talking to himself.

Slow it down.

Just throw me strikes.

These guys can't touch you, okay?

Let's go. Throw strikes.

Strike.


You're out of here.

Puerto Rican piece of shit.

-Fuck you, cocksucker. -Dude, you don't even belong here.

-Hey. -Dude, get off of me.


l'm sorry.


lt's all right.

Well, you played with your emotions and your emotions got the best of you.

The true test of our character as athletes is how we come back.

So it's up to you. Hey, Hardy, don't you wander off. l want to talk to you about that accountant.

So...

Well, anyway, l'm putting Sal in your slot in the rotation. l'm gonna... Well, l'd like to see how you handle a relief spot.

Game time is 7:05.

The first 3,000 people in attendance that night will receive a free beer mug, courtesy of our friends at Harlow's.

l'm sorry. The number you have reached is no longer in service.

Check the number and try your call again.

Honey, you don't have to do that.

No problem. l want to help.

Thank you, Miguel.

Thank you, Helen.

You know, your English is very good now, Miguel.

You, too.

Thank you.


What's up, Sugar?

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

Here, l'll load your bag.

Where's he going?

The bathroom.


This is 161st Street, Yankee Stadium.


Talk to me. ls Jorge working today?

Jorge?

Jorge Ramirez.

Jorge, the baseball player.

Oh, the baseball player. He left about two weeks ago. l think he drives a car now.

Do you have his number? His old number isn't working.

No, sorry.

But l think he was staying with some people... up in Concourse Village. Around 1 56th Street.

Sometimes he still comes by to eat.


One room.

For how long? l don't know.

$300 a week, one week in advance.

$300. Now.

This also, please.


Are you the owner here?

Yes. How can l help you? l like your work.

Thanks.

What are you looking for?

Oh, no. l mean... l don't know. l was passing by...

And l thought you might need help. l know how to make furniture and...

No, l don't need anyone. l'm not looking now.

Okay.

-Thanks for your time. -No problem.

Carpenter and assistant.

3 years experience and driver's license necessary.

What's going on?

Frank called last night. Where are you? l'm in New York.

Oh, my God. What are you doing in New York? l don't understand. Your team's looking for you. l can't play anymore.

Are you hurt? What do you mean you can't play?

No, l'm fine. lt's just...

We've been working for this your whole life, Miguelito.

My God! When you're so close.

Don't worry, Mom. l have some money. Everything will be all right.

You have to go back. Listen to me, my sweet Sugar.

Call Frank. They'll take you back. l can't go back.

Did l raise you like this?

Did l raise you to give up? l didn't give up. l... l'm starting something new here.

Miguel, where are you staying?

Miguel!

Listen, Mom, l have to go. The card's almost out of minutes.

Miguel, listen to me, please.

Don't worry. l'm staying with a friend. l have a job. Everything's all right. l'll send money tomorrow.

Listen to me. You have to go back. l love you. l'm sorry.

l was here the other day.

Did you find your friend?

No... Actually, l'm looking for a job.

Fernando!

Tell him you like his shirt.

When you have them here... you just have to make sure you get all the scraps off.

Because the machine won't wash that off.

A little splash of water...

You raise this up here... put them inside.

And that's it.

How long have you been working here?

Two years.

Do you have family here?

No. My wife and kids are in Mexico.

My family is in the Dominican.

-Remember me? -Yes.

But sorry, l still don't have a job for you.

That's okay. l already found one.

Actually, l'm trying to make a table...

And l'd like to buy some wood and supplies. l don't really sell raw materials.

l just moved here... and l don't have a space to work. So l was wondering if... lf l could use your workshop. l could work for you in exchange. Help you clean up...

Whatever you need.

You don't have to pay me.

Somebody paying you for the table?

No. lt's a gift for my mom.

Something l like to do.

How old are you?

Twenty.

Who taught you to make tables?

My dad. He was a carpenter in San Pedro. l've got a few guys from there working here. l'm Puerto Rican.

What are you doing in New York? l came to work. l used to play baseball.

The whole world plays baseball.

My son's sixteen.

Won't touch a piece of wood that's not a baseball bat. l never cared for the game, myself. Too slow.

Your mom still in San Pedro?

Yeah. With my sister and brother.

So, let's see...

You're telling me that you want to make a table for your mom... then mail it back to her in the Dominican Republic?

Yes.

What's your name?

Miguel.

Osvaldo.


ls Sofia there?

Yes, it's Miguel again.

Could you tell her...

Just tell her l called.


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

Sometimes during the play-offs l'll watch a game or two.

Who's your favorite player? l don't know enough to have a favorite.

C'mon, everybody has a favorite player.

Fine.

José Canseco.

That's the best you can do? lt's all the same to me. What about you?

Roberto Clemente.

What do you know about Clemente? l read something where he said...

"lf you have the opportunity...

"to help someone, and you don't, then you're wasting your life."

Besides...

He was a carpenter, too.

Get out of here.

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

Are you messing with me?

Because you know l can google this fool right now.

-Google? -Yeah, the lnternet.

Don't worry. l'll teach you someday.

When did you get released?

l didn't get released.

l left a few weeks before the season ended.

You left?

When was that?

About two weeks ago.

Who are you staying with?

Oh, you know, with a friend.

But if you know somebody who needs a roommate...

Why'd you leave?

Do you have any family here?

But l'm okay. l have some money saved, a couple friends. l'll go home to visit soon.

Pay for one night, $75. Hey, amigo. You owe money.

-A whole week? -l know, l have tomorrow.

-No problem. -Yes, problem.

You don't have it by tomorrow, you have a big problem.


Frank... it's Miguel.

My God, Miguel. What the hell happened?

Sorry for calling late. l'm in New York. l heard. You're making me look bad.

What the hell are you doing there? l got a job, but... l don't know if l'm going to stay.

Where you gonna go?

The season's over. Your visa's expired. l know, but... l thought maybe l could... l can talk to Alvarez.

But l don't know what to tell you.

They're not happy about this.

l know. l'm sorry.


Hey, look who's here.

Well, down to work.

l've got nowhere to go.

So, Miguel... l did some research, and now l've got a favorite player.

Who is it, then?

Vic Power. You know him?

You ought to.

One of the best first basemen ever.

He was Puerto Rican. But that's not why he's my favorite.

When he first arrived in the States, around '51 , '52... he was playing in the minors. Little Rock, Arkansas.

And he stopped into this diner for lunch.

Now, Vic knew very little English.

Didn't even notice the sign hanging in the window that said...

"Whites only."

And Vic was black. l mean black like you.

So what happens?

He comes in and sits down at the counter.

And this little waitress comes up to him and says... l'm sorry, we don't serve colored people.

So Vic leans close to the waitress and he says...

That's okay. l don't eat colored people.

Understand?

She says, "We don't serve blacks."

And he says, "That's okay, l don't eat black people."

He's my favorite!

Fuck you, man.

Hey, you, too, bro.

l called the Higgins to give you my new number.

But they said you split. l couldn't believe it, man. l had no idea.

Things got ugly after you left.

We all go through slumps. You know how it is.

Yeah, but it wasn't just a slump.

What was it, then?

l don't know, but l wasn't gonna wait for them to throw me out.

-l'm just saying... -Whatever, man.

You wouldn't be saying that stuff if you made it.

Maybe.

Sugar! Rafi needs you in the kitchen.

They call you Sugar?

What can l say? The name sticks.

They got all kinds in this league...

Fat cats in their 40s, kids like you and me...

Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, even some white boys. l got this 50-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.

But he can still go deep.

You ever hear from that kid Brad?


l got the photo you sent, but you have to send me more.

Okay, Mom, but... it would be easier if you got an e-mail account.

An e-mail account? l can barely use the TV!

l'm making you a new table. lt's going to be real nice. l'm sure l'll love it. Thank you.

How's Erica?

She's good. She got a job at the factory.

But just part-time, so she can keep up with school.

And Luis?

He's pitching now. You should see him.

He's got his brother's arm.

Sure, but can he throw a knuckle curve?

l miss you, Mom. l'm working hard. l'll be home soon.

Give everyone a hug for me. l love you, Sugar. l love you, too.


Caballo!

How you doing?

This is Miguel, from San Pedro.

The new guy. You ready to pitch? l think so. lt's been a while, no?

Don't worry. He's ready.

That's what l like!

José, meet Miguel. They call him Sugar.

What's up, Sugar?

José played for the Padres Triple-A team.

Hit a dinger off Pedro once.

-Twice. -Twice. l played for the Yankees.

Milwaukee Brewers.

Kansas City.

Me too. l played in Bridgetown.

Bridgetown. l was there in 2001 . l lived on a big farm.

-With the Higgins! -Yeah, with the Higgins!

Alfredo Ruiz, Seattle.

Wilton González, Dodgers.

Arturo Corazón, los Astros.

Orlando Encarnación, los Mets. Rafael Espinal, Minnesota Twins.

Miguel Azúcar Santos, Kansas City.

Play ball!

This isn't soccer, you can use your hands!

Strike one.


Strike two.

Strike three.