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Cinematic Interlude: There Will Be Trades

Wolffisher Inducements, Diversions, Games, Entertainments & Trickeries, Inc., in association with MONKEYMAX Pictures, presents ...

There Will Be Trades

Written for the Screen and Directed by Bill Lamar Beanerson

Adapted from the novel BALL! by Sinclair Lewis

Starring William A-Beanis—acclaimed star of My Left Bat, Last of the Sabermetricians, The A’s of Innocence, and In the Name of Branch Rickey (and as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting in Harang's Trade to Pork-opolis)—as Damnhell Tradeyou

Nick Swisher as O.F.1.B. Tradeyou

And featuring Monkeyball (best known for his supporting role in Little Miss Monkeyshine) in a dual role as Paul Monkey and Eli Monkey

Score by Johnny Ramone

[Trailer after the jump]

*There Will Be Trades* Theatrical Trailer

Over BLACK—and under a whining, atonal score that punctuates the beats throughout—we hear a THROAT CLEARING COUGH, and then the flat, declarative voice of a Native Son of Southern California:

Damnhell Tradeyou (OS): Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve traded over half our A’s to be here tonight.

EXT., DAY: Somewhere in the Bay Area. The front of a BART train hurtles toward the camera, with a fearsome, keening DWEEOOT–DWUT–DWOOT!

CUT TO: The grimy, but flamboyantly moustachioed, visage of DAMNHELL TRADEYOU—the best-looking prospector in baseball. He has a good face, and a winning smile.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I couldn’t get away sooner because my new prospect was coming to bat at Phoenix Muni—

MEDIUM SHOT: A raw-boned youth in a white polyester Oakland A’s jersey (the name on the back: "GONZALEZ") splintering an ash bat against a horsehide pill.

DUTCH ANGLE: A rain of baseballs falling over an outfield fence. Plastered on the fence is an advertisement for "Doc Stomper’s Old-Tyme Pruno Elixir and Snake-Oil Liniment."

Damnhell Tradeyou (OS): —and I had to see if he could hit.

INT.: A cavernous, dingy public men’s room. Burly subcontractors in Carhartts and hardhats rip a long trough urinal out of its concrete wall moorings with a fractured shriek of metal against stone.

Damnhell Tradeyou (OS): Ladies and gentlemen, if I say I’m a baseball man, you will agree—I’m a franchise man.

LONG SHOT: Anonymous workmen unfurl a great green tarpaulin across an expanse of empty stadium seats.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I run a franchise business.

INT.: Damnhell Tradeyou standing at the end of a long, sleekly varnished executive conference table. Around the table sit cigar-smoking fatcats in expensive three-piece suits. At Damnhell’s side, standing slackjawed, is a genuine young Appalachian hayseed, complete with Oshkosh overalls and a piece of straw protruding from his drooling mouth. He wears his hair in a greasy mullet. A brace of squirrel pelts hang from his belt.

Damnhell Tradeyou: This is my "son" and my protege, O.F.1.B. Tradeyou.

TIGHT C/U: BUD SELIG, a bony, disheveled old man with a preposterous, greasy combover, and a preposterous, greasy grimace.

Bud Selig: You boys are a regular franchise business.

EXT., NIGHT: A haggard old prospector, with a long, white goatee, sits in front of a dying campfire. This is OLD MAN BLESZINSKI. At his side is a dirty, disheveled chimp—ELI MONKEY.

Old Man Bleszinski: My monkey is a poet and a voice for the spirit of the fans. We have a blog.

INT., DAY: Eli Monkey, jumping up and down, hooting, with a handful of what looks to be his own feces. A motley crowd of Okies gapes at him.

Eli Monkey: And you will be cast out and thrust out of contention!

Eli flings a handful of crap—it SLAPS wetly against the wall, spattering the spectators.

C/U: Damnhell Tradeyou, smirking confidently.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I’m fixed like no other minor-league system on the field. I have a string of batsmen ready to put to work.

TRACKING SHOT: Starting from behind and pushing in, a line of a dozen burly young men in the searing Arizona sunshine, hefting bats over their shoulder in Busby Berkeley–esque sequence. All 12 wear white polyester Oakland A’s jerseys. All 12 have the same name on the back: "GONZALEZ."

Damnhell Tradeyou (OS): That’s why I can guarantee to start drafting and to develop the prospects to back my word.

EXT., DAY: Damnhell Tradeyou, with a manic gleam in his eye, sits working the controls of a massive wrecking ball.

Damnhell Tradeyou (OS): I assure you, ladies and gentlemen—

MEDIUM SHOT: The wrecking ball swings across space—and then CRASHES into a nearly-vertical wall of centerfield seats. An explosion of gray concrete and green plastic.

Damnhell Tradeyou: —no matter what the others promise to do, when it comes to the new stadium, they won’t be there.

LONG SHOT: The Oakland Coliseum. After holding for a beat, there is a RUMBLE and a ROAR—and the stadium starts to collapse in on itself in a controlled implosion.

Damnhell Tradeyou (OS): There’s a whole ocean of undervalued players under our noses—

EXT., DAY: A squad of strikingly large and muscular American Legion ballplayers warm up on a jewel-like green diamond.

Damnhell Tradeyou: —no one can get at them except for me!

PULL BACK: We rush dramatically back to show that the ballfield is perched precariously atop a massive garbage dump. The periphery of the dump is ringed in barbed wire, punctuated by various TOXIC WASTE and DANGER–RADIOACTIVE signs.

CUT TO: Eli Monkey and Damnhell Tradeyou, standing along the third-base line.

Eli Monkey: When do we get our winning team, Damnhell?

Damnhell Tradeyou decks Eli Monkey with one punch.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I look at baseball fans and I see nothing worth liking.

EXT. DAY: O.F.1.B. Tradeyou, on his knees at a construction site in Fremont. He kneels before Damnhell Tradeyou, pleading.

O.F.1.B. Tradeyou: Don’t trade me, Damnhell! Please!

C/U: Damnhell Tradeyou, once again in front of the boardroom table.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I see the worst in people.

EXT., DAY: Section 317 of the Oakland Coliseum. Eli Monkey stalks up and down the steep aisles, gesticulating broadly at the crowd of Okies cramming hot dogs down their yawning maws.

Eli Monkey: We have a SABR among us ...

Damnhell Tradeyou follows behind Eli, carrying a tray of overpriced microbrew beers. Each cup is only half full. Eli Monkey stops, senses Tradeyou behind him, and wheels around, pointing his simian finger at Tradeyou.

Eli Monkey: Get out of here, devil!

C/U: Damnhell Tradeyou, once again in front of the boardroom table.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed.

EXT., DAY: On a brilliant September day at Wrigley Field, Jason Kendall grounds into a doubleplay for the Cubs.

Damnhell Tradeyou: I can’t keep doing this on my own. With these ... people. [laughs]

CUT TO BLACK over a jarring, atonal minor-chord stinger.

Spoiler alert: Count me among the many who found the ending of the movie implausible and over-the-top when Tradeyou blows up the roster, trades DJ, Crosby, and Chavez for Pujols, Wright, and Santana, and then wades through a torrent of champagne seeping across the floorboards.


What should be the next Cinematic Interlude?

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211 votes total Vote Now