(Detroit Tigers Headquarters, Detroit, MI)
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: (on phone) Yes. We’re quite pleased with the team’s performance as of late. Uh huh. No, I haven’t heard anything concrete about becoming the commissioner when Selig retires. But yes, I am hopeful. Fingers crossed, haha. Right now, I’m just concentrating on making the Tigers the best they can be. Mr. Ilitch? Well, he can be interesting to deal with, but no, I’m sure he’s just as happy as we all are.
/loud knocking on door
DOMBROWSKI: Hey, I have to go. Someone’s banging on my door. Yeah, it never ends. Take care. Bye now. (hangs up) Come in!
MIKE ILITCH: Hot diggity, Dennis! You won’t believe what I just heard!
DOMBROWSKI: (Sigh.) I can only imagine, sir. And it’s Dave, by the way. Not that you…
ILITCH: Stop interrupting me, Douglas, this is important. You see, I came home this afternoon to find my dear Marian with her head buried in the lap of the pool boy. It seems he dropped his keys and she was trying to help him find them.
DOMBROWSKI: Of course.
ILITCH: Anyway, after the boy was kind enough to put his shorts back on, he informed me that my Baseball Red Wings have won an amazing eleven in a row! Can you believe that?
DOMBROWSKI: Yes, we’re all quite proud, sir. We’ve all worked very hard…
ILITCH: And it was my BRILLIANT signing of the Bonderman boy that made the difference in last night’s contest! And you had the gall to doubt me.
DOMBROWSKI: I’m the one that had the idea of putting him in the bullpen. You wanted him to replace Sanchez in the rotation because you were convinced Anibal was the gardener you accused of stealing your wallet. That you later found in your pants. That you had taken off and left in your office for some reason.
ILITCH: It was hot that day. Besides, pants are silly. I’ve told you that a dozen times. Anyway, I tell you, Donald, this is the happiest I’ve been in the eight years I’ve owned this team.
DOMBROWSKI: This is actually your twenty-second year owning the ballclub, sir.
ILITCH: Well, I was not made aware of it until eight years ago. I’m a very busy man. Anyway, I got to thinking. There’s nothing people love more than a returning hero. The Bonderman boy may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but he shone bright on the field last night. And who could forget my bringing that Cecil fellow back to the team last year!
DOMBROWSKI: That’s Prince, sir.
ILITCH: Indeed. A prince of a man. And he puts the pizzas away like a killer whale eating tuna. It keeps the cash flowing. What I’m trying to say is that we need more of these reclamation projects on the team, Daniel. We’re winning baseball matches and the fans love it. That’s why I’ve invited some men down to talk to us this evening.
DOMBROWSKI: Oh no. Please, sir, the team is playing its best baseball in years. I think we’ve got more than enough…
ILITCH: Silence! You are here to learn the game of baseball from a master, my boy. Let me show you how to run a club. Maybe someday you’ll get hired to run a team of your own.
/knock on door
ILITCH: Perfect timing! I assume that’s our first returning player! Come in! Come in!
FU-TE NI: Herro! (removes shoes at door)
DOMBROWSKI: You can’t be serious.
ILITCH: Of course I am! I’m told the newspapers say we need help in the bullpen. It’s amazing what I learn from that pool boy, I tell you. I hope he never finds those keys. So here you go! A fine arm to finish out a game, if I do say so myself. Plus, it’ll make us look good to embrace Japan with the war still so fresh in everyone’s minds.
DOMBROWSKI: Sir, first off, he’s from Taiwan, not Japan. Second, World War Two ended nearly seventy years ago. Third, the bullpen issue has already been addressed. I’d dare say our pen is a strength for the team now. And fourth, no offense, Fu…
NI: No need to be solly. Go light ahead, Domblowski. (bows)
DOMBROWSKI: I don’t even think Fu-Te has even pitched in a while.
NI: This tlue. Fu not thlow basebarr since Toredo lerease me rast yeal.
ILITCH: You’ll make it work. I know what I’m doing here. I don’t make mistakes. Bo Schembechler taught me that mantra.
/knock on door
ILITCH: Perfect timing! I assume this is our next returning star!
CRAIG MONROE: Hey! I…I…I just wanna spray that it’s a pressure to be back in, um, in, a Tigers unitard. I’ve been, um, uh, waiting for this momentum for a whale, now.
DOMBROWSKI: For crissakes, Craig, we’re over here. You’re speaking to a potted plant.
MONROE: Oh. (faces opposite direction) This team needs a gay like me to do all the little things for the glad of the team. I’m so, er, um, ex…ex…extinguished to be here.
NI: Why Claig keep not rooking at us whire speak?
DOMBROWSKI: It’s his thing. Look, sir, I know you mean well, but this is all completely unnecessary. The Tigers have won eleven straight. Why pull Craig from his studio gig with Fox Sports Detroit?
ILICH: He’s brilliant, that’s why. I’ve never seen an analyst speak in a way that I, the common man, could understand the game. He doesn’t care about silly statistics. This is a man that understands character! He has, dare I say it, the WILL to WIN!
MONROE: (staring at ceiling) It’s an otter to be part of th…th…um, the, uh, yeah. (opens eyes wide and smiles at aquarium in corner)
DOMBROWSKI: Sir, I apologize, but I’m going to have to put my foot down and…
/door explodes open
BRANDON INGE: Guess who’s back, fellas!
ILITCH: There he is! C’mere, you rascal!
(Inge runs to Ilitch, unbuttons his shirt, and begins suckling on his nipple.)
ILITCH: Whoa, someone’s hungry! Haha! Good to have you home, son! You see, Dwayne, I’m told our shortstop was suspended for the drugs. I assume he was eating the marijuana, as the kids like to do.
DOMBROWSKI: It was PEDs, sir. Not marijuana.
ILITCH: Whatever. I don’t use the twitter box so I have no clue what a P.O.D. is. And it’s not important. What IS important, is that we have a quality shortstop. And there’s no more quality of a defender or a human being that my boy Brandon here. Isn’t that right, buddy?
INGE: Yuppers! (returns to suckling) Nom, nom, nom…
DOMBROWSKI: Sir, I acquired possibly the finest defensive shortstop in the game in Jose Iglesias to replace Peralta. We have no need…
ILITCH: You know, sometimes I think you just don’t get it. Your answer to everything is to hire a Mexican to do the work.
DOMBROWSKI: Sir, he’s not…
ILITCH: Now while that may work to tend the garden, clean the pool, or help my Marian with her daily “exercises”, as she calls them, it is NOT the answer to everything on the baseball rink. And while this Iglesias may sing a heck of a “Feliz Navidad” tune…
DOMBROWSKI: That’s Jose Feliciano, sir…
ILITCH: Look. My point is, Derek, that the people of Detroit want to see Americans getting back to work. Or possibly Russians, if they skate well. And no one is more blue-collar and a representative of the American Dream than young Brandon here. I tell you, I am a certifiable genius.
DOMBROWSKI: Certifiable…yes. Have fun. I’m out of here.
ILITCH: And where do you think you’re going?
DOMBROWSKI: Well, I’m gonna go get drunk. Then I’m calling Bud Selig to see when the big job’s opening up for sure. And depending on his answer, I might jump off a bridge.
ILITCH: Splendid. While you’re out, do you mind getting the guys here and myself some dinner? We have much to discuss. I know! Who wants a Hot ‘n’ Ready?
NI: I want Hot ‘n’ Leady!
MONROE: I want a Hot ‘n’ um, er, Randy!
ILITCH: Don’t talk with your mouth full, Brandon. That’s rude. Yes, Little Caesars for everyone! You have a half hour, Danny. Don’t keep us waiting.
DOMBROWSKI: Um…yes, sir.
DOMBROWSKI: I hate this team.
(pushes elevator button)
DOMBROWSKI: Of course. (sigh) Down the hall and to your left. What do you want on your pizza, Gary?
SHEFFIELD: Fuck you.
DOMBROWSKI: I thought so.