"All in the game yo, All in the game." – Omar Little
Teleplay by David Simon
EXT. INFIELD/WEST BALTIMORE – NIGHT
Ghetto baseball infield. Boarded-up rowhomes, yellow police tape, emergency vehicles, UNIFORMED COPS, TRAINING STAFF signifying from the periphery. CLOSE ON BODY of a middle aged white male, clutching his groin and head, supine at 2nd base. POV is ground level, tracking from 1st base to a rivulet of blood, to second base, to the face of the victim, eyes locked in sudden comprehension. Then onward to hot dog wrappers, empty beer cups, and, near the victim’s feet, a crumpled $40 million contract. And all the while we are listening to a DETECTIVE (McNulty) questioning a THIRD BASEMAN (MACHADO).
MCNULTY (o.c)So your boy’s name is what?
MCNULTY (o.c.)You called this guy B-Rob?
CAMERA finally finishes its low-angle scan of the terrain to reveal HOMICIDE DET. JIMMY MCNULTY, white, mid-thirties, Irish, notepad in hand, questioning MANNY MACHADO, black, early twenties. They are sitting, MCNULTY casually and MACHADO nervously, on the steps of the dugout.
MCNULTY (cont.)He like the name?
MCNULTY (cont.)This kid, whose mama went to the trouble to christen him… (checks notepad) … Brian Michael Roberts, he comes out on the field one day, maybe 23, 24 years old, and some asshole sportscaster calls him B-Rob. So he’s B-Rob forever. Doesn’t seem fair.
MACHADOLife be that way, I guess
MCNULTYSo, who hurt B-Rob?
MACHADOI’m saying every Spring we in Sarasota. We play ball, you know? All the boys from ‘round the way. We play ‘til late.
MCNULTYBaseball team, right. I heard you are one of the best young infielders in the American League.
MACHADOAnd like every time, B-Rob, he would get a big contract, you know. Play a few games when the season started. Then he would hit his fool head on a base or strain hisself stealin’ second, you see what I’m saying?
MCNULTYLemme understand this. Every year, you and your boys play baseball. And every year, your pal B-Rob gets paid millions and gets hurt in April. I got to ask you. If every time, B-Rob would grab the money and run away – why did you give him the second base job? Why trade Andino to Seattle?
WITNESS looks at MCNULTY like he’s an idiot.
EXT. OUTFIELD/WEST BALTIMORE
Two unmarked police cars pull up alongside one another in opposite directions. The drivers, DET MCNULTY and DET WILLIAM "BUNK" MORELAND, strike up a conversation. DET LESTER FREAMON sits in the passenger seat of DET MORELAND’s vehicle
So who is this motherfucker in rightfield this year? Marky Mark?
MCNULTYMarkakis. Greek, I think.
BUNKThem Greeks sure have some weird ass names.
MCNULTYHey, don’t knock the Greeks. They have a career 118 OPS+. They also invented civilization.
BUNKYeah, and ass-fucking too.
MCNULTYBut what the fuck is Pac-Man Jones doing in center?
BUNKNot Pac-Man. Adam. Ain’t nothing like Pac-Man.
MCNULTYSo who is he?
BUNKJust a humble motherfucker with a big-ass dick, who hit 32 HR and led the team in OPS last year.
FREAMONYou give him too much credit.
BUNKOkay then. He ain’t that humble. And he’s overrated defensively.
MCNULTYI just don't understand why they re-signed McLouth. He's an empty suit. Why do they give a fuck about helping his career? He'll probably hit .190
EXT. PARKING LOT OUTSIDE CAMDEN YARDS – DAY
DETECTIVES HERC and CARVER sit in their unmarked cruiser, staking out the location of a suspected drug dealer in the Camden Yards parking lot. They pass the hours in idle conversation.
HERCAnybody I want?
HERCI want more than one. I want the Olsen Twins.
CARVERYou got ‘em. Slaves. All they live for is to get you off. But so now who are you gonna do for ‘em. One guy, one act, one time.
HERCRight, and the minute I name a guy, you’re gonna be like, "I knew you were a cocksucker from the first time I laid eyes on you. Jim Johnson? Huh, that’s your fantasy? You closet case motherfucker."
HERCFuck you. It’s a setup. And I would never go for a relief pitcher, 51 saves or not. Not enough WAR.
CARVERBoth Olsen Twins. Ashley, Kate…..
HERCMary-Kate. And yeah, I admire her body of work.
CARVERThey’re yours. All you gotta do is name a guy.
HERCI’m not catching. I’m pitching.
HERCHow ‘bout I just give Chris Davis a handjob? He’s a designated hitter, so it’s not like he’s a real man, even with 33 HR.
CARVERMan, you don’t even get Weezy Jefferson for a hand job.
HERCOkay. I’ve thought this through. I’ve decided. Matt Wieters.
CARVERMatt Wieters? Lemme guess. It’s not about sex. It’s about giving a guy a break. You feel bad for him because he has to catch shitty starters like Jake Arrieta and Tommy Hunter. He looks sad on his baseball card.
HERCActually, no. I just think he’s really cute. And he is the best catcher in baseball, if you get what I’m sayin.
INT. COURTROOM/CIRCUIT COURTHOUSE - DAY
OMAR LITTLE sits at the witness stand in Courtroom of JUDGE DANIEL PHELAN, being questioned by ATTORNEY MAURICE LEVY about the Orioles bullpen.
LEVYAnd what is your occupation?
OMARI rip and run.
OMARI robs drug dealers! [Jury laughs]. Kinda like how the Orioles bullpen robs American League hitters.
LEVYMr. Little, how does a man rob drug dealers for eight or nine years and live to tell about it? And how the hell did the Orioles top five relievers all finish with an ERA+ of 160 or better?
OMAROne day at a time, I s’pose.
LEVYThey are amoral, are they not? Relievers feed off the violence and despair of bad starting pitching. They steal from those who themselves are stealing the lifeblood from our fans. They are parasites who leach off….
OMARJust like you, man.
LEVYExcuse me? What?
OMARI got the shotgun, you got the briefcase, and they got the baseball. It’s all in the game though, right? It’s all in the game.
INT. HOTEL CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT
STRINGER BELL leads a meeting of fellow GANGSTERS, including WEE BAY and SHAMROCK, in a nondescript conference room of a Best Western Hotel on the outskirts of Baltimore. They discuss the Orioles hopes for the coming season.
WEE BAYShit, man, them muthafuckas got the same roster as last year. Dey won 93, but dey scored the same muthafuckin number of runs they allowed.
That's good. That's like a forty degree day. Ain't nobody got nuttin to say about a forty degree day. Fifty? Bring a smile to your face. Sixty? Shit, folks are damn near barbecuing that mothafucka. Go down to twenty? Folks get they bitch on. Get they blood complainin... but forty? Nobody give a FUCK about forty. Nobody remember forty, and the Orioles is giving us a forty degree day. What the fuck?! [to SHAMROCK] What you doin'?
SHAMROCKRobert's Rules says we got to have minutes of the meeting. These the minutes.
STRINGERFool, is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspiracy?
SHAMROCKSorry, String. [pause] String?
STRINGERWhat you need, fool?
FADE TO BLACK