No Joy in Mudville



Isaac is sitting quietly at his desk and doing some paperwork.

Jeremy walks into his office unannounced.

Jeremy: Isaac, got a minute?

Isaac: I've got plenty of minutes, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Good.

Jeremy takes a seat.

Isaac: Now the question should be if I should spend any of them on you.

Jeremy: Please.

Isaac: Why do I have a door? It never stops people from barging in. The only thing it does is keep me from leaving.

Jeremy: I'm sorry, Isaac. But this is important.

Isaac: Is this about the show?

Jeremy: No.

Isaac: You?

Jeremy: Yes.

Isaac: And Natalie?

Jeremy: No.

Isaac: Is this about the softball game?

Jeremy: Yes.

Isaac: You're playing, Jeremy.

Jeremy: But I can't play, Isaac.

Isaac: You're playing, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Isaac.

Isaac gives Jeremy a "don't mess with me" look.

Jeremy: Okay. (pause) But why aren't you playing?

Isaac: I have a medical condition. It's called a stroke. (laughs)

Jeremy: I have a medical condition also. I have two left feet.

Isaac: You're playing, Jeremy.

Jeremy: We get embarrassed every year.

Isaac: It's supposed to be fun. And, keep in mind, it is for charity.

Jeremy: The crushed us two years ago. ESPN beat us so bad last year, they had to bring in a relief scoreboard operator because his arm got tired of changing their numbers.

Isaac: Have fun with it, Jeremy. This helps build team work. This helps charities.

Jeremy: That's the point. We work together every day. We don't need to wear matching t-shirts and baseball caps and make fools of ourselves to build teamwork. We could come up with the $5000 ourselves for the charities.

Isaac: That's not the point.

Jeremy: What is the point?

Isaac: To see everyone wearing matching t-shirts and baseball caps and making fools of themselves.

Jeremy: I thought you said this was for charity.

Isaac: It is, but the whole process is very entertaining. (smiles)

Jeremy: I see. You're an evil, old man.

Isaac: I do my best.


Dana and Natalie are in Dana's office.

Dana: And Scott is playing again this year.

Natalie: Awesome! (pause) Wait, Scott from graphics, right?

Dana: Do you know of another Scott?

Natalie: No.

Dana: Well, then.

Natalie: Awesome!

The mail courier comes in and drops off two large boxes, both of them which are for Dana.

Dana: Oh! They're here! (to courier) Thank you, thank you very much.

The courier leaves, and Dana starts ripping into the boxes. Natalie stares on in curiosity.

Natalie: What's that?

Dana: I have a feeling this year is our year.

Natalie: Me, too.

Dana rips off the top flap of the box.

Dana: I'm making sure we look like winners this year.

Dana whips out a sleeveless white baseball jersey with hunter green sleeves sewn on. The jersey has the Sports Night logo on it. Natalie squeals in delight as Dana tosses her a jersey. Natalie holds it up and admires it.

Natalie: Wow, Dana. White jerseys with hunter green pinstripes and lettering. This is really cool.

Dana: Look what is says on the sleeve.

Natalie looks at the words printed on the sleeve.

Natalie: 'Good Show Everyone.' This is awesome!

Sports Night jersey
Photos of Sports Night jersey courtesy of Sarah

Dana tears into the second box.

Dana: And we have caps, too.

Dana tosses Natalie a black baseball cap with a green and white 'CSC' logo on the front.

Natalie: Dana! We're going to win! We're gonna' win!

Natalie starts putting on the jersey overtop of her shirt. She puts the cap on last and turns to Dana for a critique.

Natalie: How do I look?

Dana: Like a winner.

Natalie: Play ball!


The charity softball game is being played at a park and the softball field is surrounded by sets of metal bleachers. It looks like a few thousand people have turned out to watch the game. The ESPN Sportscenter team is spotted around the field and dugout. Some members are warming up on the field, either stretching or tossing the softball. Other members are socializing with the crowd, which consists of fans and the players' families. We see the Sports Night team walking toward the field together, wearing their jerseys and carrying their gloves.

Dana is leading the group toward the field, and her hair is coming out the back of her cap tied in a ponytail. Dan is beside her, wearing his baseball cap backwards and his jersey unbuttoned and exposing his black t-shirt. Dan is carrying over his shoulder a bag which contains the bats and balls. Next to Dan is Casey, looking crisp and clean. Next to Casey follows Chris, Will, and Dave. On the other side of Dana is Natalie, who is walking with confidence and a skip in her stride. On Natalie's right-hand side is Jeremy, who walks while holding his cap in his hand. Right behind Jeremy follows Elliott and Kim.

Dana: They see us.

Natalie: We're ready.

Dan: We're overdue.

Kim: We look so much better than Sportscenter.

Dan: No dinky t-shirts this year. It's button-down jerseys for us.

Dana: We look like winners.

The Sports Night team dissolves into the crowd, most of whom head toward relatives in the stands. We follow Dan as he catches up with Rebecca.

Dan: Hey.

Rebecca: Hey, good looking.

Dan sets his bag down and the two share a quick kiss. Dan wraps his arms around Rebecca's waist.

Dan: Well, have you made a decision?

Rebecca: It's pretty tough.

Dan: I can understand your loyalties to Sportscenter since ESPN is owned by Disney, which kinda' makes you guys second cousins.

Rebecca: Just because I work for ABC doesn't mean I have to pull for ESPN.

Dan: So you are rooting for us?

Rebecca: I don't know. It depends.

Dan: Depends on what?

Rebecca: If the good-looking shortstop on the Sports Night team teaches me how to hit a ball.

A devilish grin comes across Dan's face.

Dan: Let's get this lesson underway.

Dan lets go of Rebecca and picks up his bag. They walk toward the side of the field, where they would be out of the way of everyone. Dan sets down his bag, pulls out a bat, and hands it to Rebecca.

Dan: Okay, take your stance.

Rebecca takes a typical batting stance and Dan comes up from her behind and begins to guide her.

Dan: Hold the bat gently. There. You're not trying to choke the bat. You just want to hold it gently. Good. Now, you are going to watch the ball.

Rebecca: Who's pitching?

Dan: Good question.

Dan stretches his neck out and scans the stands.

Dan: Jeremy!

Jeremy turns around and makes eye-contact with Dan.

Dan: Could you toss us a few?!

Jeremy jogs over to Dan and Rebecca.

Jeremy: Sure.

Jeremy takes about a half dozen softballs from Dan's bag and jogs back to pitch to Rebecca and Dan.

Dan: (to Rebecca) Grip the bat gently. Now you want to watch the ball all the way. Then you want to shift your weight forward...

Dan guides Rebecca on how to take a swing.

Dan: (to Rebecca) ...and then you bring your hips before your hands. There. Perfect. Extend your arms out as you hit the ball, and then follow through. Good. (to Jeremy) Whenever you're ready, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Here it comes.

Jeremy tosses the ball gently and Rebecca swings the bat with Dan's assistance. They hit a short ground ball toward Jeremy. Dan has a big smile and Rebecca laughs, as both are having a good time. Jeremy continues to toss pitches, and Rebecca and Dan hit every pitch.


Natalie walks through the crowd and catches up with Isaac and his wife, Esther.

Natalie: Hey, Isaac, Esther.

Isaac: Natalie. Looking good today.

Natalie: Thank you. (to Esther) And how are things with you?

Esther: Going really well. Are you ready for the game?

Natalie: Ready to win, ma'am.

Esther: That's the spirit.

Isaac: How's Jeremy doing?

Natalie: He's seems resolved to the fact.

Isaac: Of what?

Natalie: The fact he can't play very well.

Esther: Oh, that's a shame.

Natalie: How so?

Esther: I'm sure he would get better with time, patience, and practice.

Natalie: Not my Jeremy.

Esther: Hey, don't you think Isaac here was perfect when I first met him.

Isaac: How did this turn to a conversation about me?

Natalie: Good advice.

Esther: Give him some time, have some patience, and practice. It will be all right- at least he's trying.

Natalie: Thanks.

Isaac: How's everyone else?

Natalie: Doing good. Scott is running late.

Isaac: Scott? Superstar Scott?

Natalie: That's the one.

Isaac: Hopefully, he can make it.

Natalie: Yeah, we need our cleanup hitter.

Isaac: At least, my plans haven't changed.

Natalie: What's that?

Isaac: I'm going to sit down, enjoy the sun, eat two hot dogs--

Esther: One.

Isaac: --one hot dog, and enjoy watching a good game between amateurs while sitting next to a beautiful woman.

Isaac puts his arm around Esther.

Esther: Oh, Isaac.


We see Casey in the stands with Charlie. Charlie is attempting to play a joke on the willing Casey.

Charlie: What is the color of the clouds?

Casey: White.

Charlie: What is the color of the softball?

Casey: White.

Charlie: What is the color of my shoes?

Casey: (looks down) White.

Charlie: What do cows drink?

Casey: Milk.

Charlie bursts out laughing and Casey realizes he has fallen for Charlie's trick, even though he tried to mentally prepare himself.

Casey: You think you're pretty smart, don't you?

Charlie: I'm getting A's and B's in my classes.

Casey: I guess that classifies you as pretty smart, then.

Charlie: Yup.

Father and son share another laugh.

Casey: So, where's your mother?

Charlie: (points) Over there.

Casey has a look of shock as he spots Lisa about ten yards away and talking with... Dana.

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