Category Archives: Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue

Studio 60 Concludes, In a New Format!

I want to take you on a journey toward what is perhaps the dumbest creative endeavor I’ve ever undertaken.

You may recall a few weeks ago, episode 12 of Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue ended in a bit of a cliffhanger, with the classic two-parter stinger “To Be Continued.” For those who have been on the edge of their seats wondering how everything could possibly be wrapped up in a neat little package, wonder no more. The exciting conclusion, the one that will leave no question unanswered, is now contained in an ebook collection cleverly entitled Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: The Complete Scripts. It is the first ever Scratchbomb ebook and it is now available from Amazon for the insultingly low price of 99 cents.

This ebook not only includes all 13 episodes of the only series to combine a funhouse mirror image of the Mets’ season with the golden pen of Aaron Sorkin. It also contains a foreword by the greatest and most intense televisual dramaturge of our age, a preface by the often-shackled Yo-Yo Ma, and sketches of story arcs for future, unrealized seasons. And you can read it all on your Kindle or Kindle-type app on the device of your choice this very moment for less than a dollar.

Why am I charging anything for this ebook? A great deal of time and effort went into this endeavor, both in the writing and the technical flimflammery necessary for ebook conversion. I feel this has value and that a nominal fee is reflective of that value. I know this is the internet age and we’re all supposed to get all our entertainment for free, but I don’t feel all that bad for asking money for something that took considerable hours and brain-wracking to make. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, there’s a lot of my writing in a lot of different places on the interwebs for free and you may still feast on that.

But if this quixotic publication appeals to you and you think that 99 cents is a small price to pay for it, please download! If you dig it, RT, Facebook it, give it a good review on Amazon, shout out your window at random strangers, and so on. Every little bit helps. If you don’t like it, please scream at me on the social networking platform of your choice.

If you’d like to read this ridiculous thing but don’t have a Kindle device or app, I am currently looking into what it will take to get it out there for other such devices. This will depend largely on the cost and hours in the day at my disposal, but I’m one of those weirdos who likes to figure out how to do things technically, so if there is any way at all I can make this ebook for other formats, I will. Stay alive! No matter what occurs I will find you (and accommodate your technical needs)!

For those who will purchase it, I thank you, and personally guarantee this will be the most pointless thing you will ever read. And just for the record, this Studio 60 compendium is not the massive tome I’m working on that I often allude to on Twitter. That is still a good ways away from being completed, but completed it shall be.

Onward and upward!

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 12

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 11
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 |
EPISODE 5
| EPISODE 6 | EPISODE 7 | EPISODE 8
EPISODE 9 | EPISODE 10 | EPISODE 11

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise in the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

The office. PAUL DEPODESTA and J.P. RICCIARDI are standing near a Xerox machine as it whirs away, crumpling up pieces of copy paper and shooting them, basketball style, into a large, overflowing recycling bin.

DEPODESTA
If you could be any tyrant in history, who would you be?

RICCIARDI
Define “tyrant.”

DEPODESTA
Autocratic giant ruling his land with an iron fist.

RICCIARDI
Why would I want to be that?

DEPODESTA
Imagine you had no choice. Which one would you pick that would be the least distasteful to you?

RICCIARDI
I guess…Louis XIV. Seems like you’d be pretty far removed from most of the horror, and you could wear powdered wigs. How about you?

DEPODESTA
Abraham Lincoln.

RICCIARDI
What?! Abraham Lincoln wasn’t a tyrant!

DEPODESTA
The South thought he was. That’s why Booth yelled “sic semper tyrannus!” just before he shot him.

RICCIARDI
That’s a loophole. I didn’t know I could pick Lincoln.

DEPODESTA
Shoulda come with me on that trip to Gettysburg.

MACKENZIE CARLIN walks in, looking annoyed.

CARLIN
What are you two doing? You’re supposed to be copying all the 40-man-roster salary info for today’s meeting.

DEPODESTA
We are. And while we do, we are having a very important discussion abut tyranny, while also playing recycling bin basketball.

RICCIARDI
And I’m winning, mostly because I didn’t call Abe Lincoln a tyrant.

CARLIN
[grabbing the overflowing recycling bin] Is somebody gonna clean this thing out?

RICCIARDI
Yes, I assume somebody will. Could you put it down? I’m trying to line up a three pointer.

CARLIN
[rooting through the trash] What is this?

RICCIARDI
It’s you looking through garbage, for some reason.

CARLIN
No, this.

CARLIN pulls out something from the trash. It looks like a card. She shows it to RICCIARDI and DEPODESTA, who immediately look intrigued.

Cut to DAVID EINHORN’s office. He’s sitting on the edge of his desk with a large square of grass-covered sod in each hand, weighing them carefully. He hears a knock at his door.

EINHORN
Come in, but this better be important. I’m trying to choose grass for my dog’s new putting green.

CARLIN, RICCIARDI, and DEPODESTA enter.

CARLIN
I thought you’d want to see this.

CARLIN hands EINHORN the card. He too is immediately intrigued.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 12

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 11

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 11
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 |
EPISODE 5
| EPISODE 6 | EPISODE 7 | EPISODE 8
EPISODE 9 | EPISODE 10

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise in the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

SANDY ALDERSON enters the front office through a large set of glass doors and is immediately flanked by J.P. RICCIARDI, PAUL DEPODESTA, and MACKENZIE CARLIN, who trail him as he walks through the office

ALDERSON
So what’s the bad news, chums?

RICCIARDI
A Native American civil rights group believes our stadium was built on a Seminole burial ground.

ALDERSON
Inform them there were never Seminole tribes in this area but we have the utmost respect for their ancient and sacred beliefs nonetheless. Next?

DEPODESTA
Our new third baseman wants a patch on his uniform to commemorate Jerry Garcia.

ALDERSON
If he can sew it on himself, he’s welcome to. Next?

CARLIN
The city’s board of health has traced an outbreak of swine flu back to one of our concession stands.

ALDERSON
Then I guess we’re sending out for pizza today. Is that all? Sounds like an easy day, by my standards.

CARLIN
No, there is also a huge guy in a muscle tee in your office, demanding to speak with you.

ALDERSON
We didn’t lead with that, huh?

CARLIN
Always put your best stuff last.

ALDERSON enters his office and sees JOSE CANSECO sitting at his desk, feet up, frantically mashing a cable remote and flipping through channels on a large wall-mounted flat screen. An enormous, messy meatball sub sits on the desk. CANSECO is wearing very faded zubaz and a muscle tee that stops just above a protruding gut.

CANSECO
Do you guys get the pay porn channels here? I think this girl I knew in rehab is gonna be on one of ‘em in like five minutes.

ALDERSON
By all means, make yourself at home.

CANSECO
I already have.

ALDERSON
Yes, clearly. I was being…never mind. What do you want?

CANSECO
Don’t you wish they could make, like, a buffalo meatball? You got buffalo wings and buffalo chicken sandwiches but no buffalo meatballs? How come nobody’s done that yet? I would eat the hell out of a buffalo meatball sub. I’d eat the hell out of two of ‘em. Not even blink, man. I don’t care what I do.

ALDERSON
What do you want from me, Jose?

CANSECO
Remember when we talked in the parking lot the other day, Sandy?

ALDERSON
Yes, I recall you scaring me half to death, then ending our meeting with a vague threat.

CANSECO
C’mon, that’s all water over the bridge. I’m here because I can help you, Sandy.

ALDERSON
Yes, my office was dangerously low on marinara stains. I appreciate you helping out in that department.

CANSECO
No, in the playoff hunt! If you guys wanna make a run at the championship cup, you’re gonna need a bat like mine in your lineup.

ALDERSON
You do realize that at this point in the season, we can’t add any more players, because if we did, we’d have to expose someone on our 40-man roster to waivers, which…what am I saying, of course you don’t realize that.

CANSECO
Just gimme a tryout, Sandy. Let me prove there’s still some sugar left in this gas tank!

ALDERSON
Why do you even want to play baseball again? You look like you’ve been exercising to a John Belushi workout routine.

CANSECO
Because I miss it, Sandy. The crowds, the cheers, and yeah, even the boos. I miss the way I felt when I would walk out on a baseball field—alive, truly alive. I haven’t felt that way in years, and I want to feel it again, even if it’s just once before I die. And I also have at least three exes on my ass for child support payments. They repossessed my PS3, man!

ALDERSON
Fine. I’ll call up the coaches and scouts and get them to…

CANSECO
No, Sandy, I want you to give me a tryout. Throw me some BP. It’ll be just like old times!

ALDERSON
I never threw batting practice in Oakland.

CANSECO
I mean the old times the way they oughta be!

ALDERSON
[sighs] Fine, just give me a minute.

ALDERSON skirts around the desk and grabs the doorknob for his private bathroom.

CANSECO
I wouldn’t go in there. Someone clogged it up real good.

ALDERSON
Was that someone you?

CANSECO
I’m not sayin’ nothing. I ain’t no snitch!

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 11

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 10

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 10
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 |
EPISODE 5
| EPISODE 6 | EPISODE 7 | EPISODE 8
EPISODE 9

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise in the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

The office. J.P. RICCIARDI, PAUL DEPODESTA, and MACKENZIE CARLIN sit in a bank of cubes, typing away on their computers with their backs to one another.

DEPODESTA
Do you ever feel completely meaningless?

RICCIARDI
No, that’s just you.

DEPODESTA
I’m serious. Sometimes I feel like I’m just here to serve others.

RICCIARDI
Yes, your boss. It’s called “having a job.”

DEPODESTA
No, I mean it just feels like I’m here to advance a plot. You know, so someone else can have a person to bounce dialogue off of.

CARLIN
Not me. I am fully in charge of my own universe.

DEPODESTA
How do you know that? How do you know you’re not some bit player in a drama that’s not even about you? Like, the camera just lingers on you only when you’re talking to the “star,” and the rest of your existence is completely without meaning or purpose?

CARLIN
I have never thought that in my entire life. I went to Harvard!

A large man covered in head to toe in umpire’s gear, including mask, quickly zips past their cube bank. Only DEPODESTA seems to notice him.

DEPODESTA
Did you guys see that?

CARLIN
See what?

DEPODESTA
An umpire just ran by.

RICCIARDI
Umpires aren’t allowed inside front offices. You know that.

DEPODESTA
So maybe we should report him.

CARLIN
If it’s a problem, I’m sure someone will take care of it.

DEPODESTA
Don’t you understand? This is our chance to be part of the drama, to act before the camera cuts away!

Cut to: SANDY ALDERSON’s office. He sits at his desk, talking on the phone. Bright sunlight trails in from his windows, and we see a beautiful green ballfield cascading off into the distance behind him.

ALDERSON
Yes, you can quote me on that…Yes, I do believe that before the decade is out, there will be a cyborg in the major leagues, and I have no issue with that…Should cyborgs be allowed to take performance enhancing drugs? Well, that’s a separate issue. Let’s wait until cyborgs actually exist before we tackle that conundrum.

The UMPIRE kicks down ALDERSON’s office door.

ALDERSON
Excuse me, I’m having a private and extremely hypothetical discussion here.

The UMPIRE pulls a gun from his pocket, walks over to ALDERSON’s desk, grabs the phone with his free hand, and hangs it up.

ALDERSON
Mike Lupica is going to be very upset if he thinks I hung up on him.

UMPIRE
You’d do better to concern yourself with the gun I have pointed at you, Mr. Alderson.

ALDERSON
I’ve spent some time in the Marines, sir, so I try not to worry about guns until they go off. Didn’t catch your name, by the way.

UMPIRE
My name is not important. I am foot soldier in the Arbiters Liberation Army, and I’m here to take you hostage.

ALDERSON
Would Ted be okay? I’ve always liked the name Ted.

UMPIRE
Your glibness will not save you, Mr. Alderson. This is a very serious matter, and I suggest you take it as such, because I have no qualms about ventilating your smug little body.

ALDERSON
Forgive me. I was in 17 hostage situations last season alone, so I forget it’s not a complete bore to everyone. Please, sit on my couch, put your feet up. I imagine we’re going to be here for a while as you make your demands and lecture me on something or other.

UMPIRE
SILENCE! I am in charge of this situation! I will not be condescended to by my hostage and I WILL be heard! But I am a little tired after skulking all the way here, so if you don’t mind…

ALDERSON
By all means.

The UMPIRE sits down on ALDERSON’s couch and takes off his shoes.

UMPIRE
Oof. My dogs are barkin’ today.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 10

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue Marathon!

Hi folks, this is Sandy Alderson, TV’s Sandy Alderson on Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue. I’m sorry to say there won’t be a new episode this week, as NBS is airing a special two-hour edition of So You Think You Can Catch a Predator?

However, if you want to relive the exciting first season of the most compelling program of this or any era, you can have a marathon in the privacy of your own home! Just click on any of the links below to view your favorite episode(s) and fall in love with our little cowtown show about high-powered baseball executives all over again. Enjoy!

PILOT: The Origin Begins. The front office is thrown into chaos when Fred Wilpon trashes the team and a brash new owner, David Einhorn, comes aboard. How will Alderson handle it? No doubt with dignity and grace.

EPISODE 2: The Priest, They Called Him. Jose Reyes leaves the team to rejoin the priesthood. Oh, the scrutiny this brings on our beloved GM, you would not imagine! Plus, a new addition comes to the front office. Can Sandy trust her?

EPISODE 3: According to Our New Arrival. Einhorn goes over Sandy’s head and trades for controversial superstar Grant Linwood. Meanwhile, we get hints that perhaps Sandy is not the impenetrable rock he makes himself out to be.

EPISODE 4: The Pupil Dilates. Sandy’s former protege, Billy Beane, has gone Hollywood and is eager to show his old boss his new movie. Einhorn is eager woo Beane into the front office fold. And Alderson reveals a tad more about his troubled past!

EPISODE 5: Why Do You Think They Call It Dodo’s Blood? When Linwood suffers a catastrophic injury, Einhorn tries to keep his star player on the field by any means necessary. Namely, tons of dangerous drugs.

EPISODE 6: Numbers Will Lie. Brian Cashman throws his considerable financial weight around, while a persistent reporter threatens to expose Sandy’s obsession with statistics, the love that dare not speak its name.

EPISODE 7: The Secrets that Men Keep. A team-building trip turns out to be an elaborate ruse for contract negotiations with Linwood. Both Einhorn and Wilpon want credit for bringing back their superstar. Hilarious hijinks ensue, and only Sandy can untangle them.

EPISODE 8: To Vest an Option. When Einhorn tries everything he can to keep his closer’s pricey option from vesting, the closer takes the law into his own hands. Once again, it falls on Sandy to sort things out.

EPISODE 9: Drawing a Bead. Einhorn tries to get back into Wilpon’s good graces, but Sandy can not bail him out this time. He is wrestling with his own fearsome yet comfortable demons.

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 9

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 9
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 |
EPISODE 5
| EPISODE 6 | EPISODE 7 | EPISODE 8

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise in the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

FRED WILPON’s office. He’s sitting across the desk from RAY BARTOSZEK, a rotund, bald man of Eastern European extraction in a garish suit. They are laughing together when DAVID EINHORN walks past the open office door. He stops in his tracks and looks inside. The two men shoot each other strained glances. EINHORN stalks off, looking angry and almost tearful.

Cut to: SANDY ALDERSON’s office. He stands at his window, looking out on the field contemplatively as groundskeepers water it. EINHORN bursts in.

EINHORN
I’m being pushed out!

ALDERSON
Nice to see you, too.

EINHORN
Do you know that Wilpon’s in his office right now, talking to Ray Bartoszek?

ALDERSON
No, I didn’t know that, for despite all evidence to the contrary, I have not yet been granted omniscience.

EINHORN
Bartoszek was the guy Wilpon talked to about investing in the team before he chose me. Now he’s got him in his office and they’re laughing it up like a bunch of…laughing guys! Do you know what this means?

ALDERSON
Someone told a humorous anecdote?

EINHORN
It means I’m being pushed out! Wilpon wants another investor in this team!

ALDERSON
So? He’s not going to have majority control like you do.

EINHORN
I don’t have majority control! I don’t have any control! I just have exclusive negotiating rights with Wilpon. Except, I kinda forgot to negotiate anything. Officially, I don’t own anything yet, and Wilpon’s gonna sell it out right from underneath me!

ALDERSON
So you’ve been calling the shots for this team, making trades, taking us on team-building conferences, and you don’t even own the team yet?!

EINHORN
I was gonna take care of it, but my brother was in town for a few weeks, and then there was that day I had to pick up a chair I bought on Craigslist…I got a lot on my plate, okay! I need you to fix this, pronto!

ALDERSON
Why? You just told me you’re not officially in charge of anything. Why do I need to do what you say when I have so many other things to take care of? Just this morning I found out my second baseman will be featured on an upcoming episode of Hoarders.

EINHORN
Well…all the fun times we’ve had, for one thing.

ALDERSON
Like when you traded for the most expensive player in baseball behind my back, then filled him with enough drugs to kill Keith Richards.

EINHORN
Only some of those words are true! C’mon, I thought you loved solving crises!

ALDERSON
I don’t love it, I’m just incredibly good at it.

EINHORN
Sandy, please, I need your help. You’re the closest thing I have to a friend right now. Everyone else I know is either indicted or in mutual funds.

ALDERSON
That’s rough, mutual funds. [begins to walk EINHORN out the door] All I can tell you, David, is that a business partnership is like a relationship.

EINHORN
Because you pay for it with cash and hate each other?

ALDERSON
No, because every now and then you have to rekindle the spark. Why did you and Wilpon do business in the first place? Remember that, and you’ll find the way to get back in his good graces.

EINHORN
What if I can’t think of it?

ALDERSON
You can ask J.P., or Paul, or Carlin. They’re all top-notch assistants who can help you with your problem when they’re not managing the incredibly difficult job of keeping a ball club together.

EINHORN
And what if they can’t help me?

ALDERSON
Then maybe you and Wilpon shouldn’t have been together in the first place. David, I’m sorry, but I need to be alone right now.

ALDERSON gently pushes EINHORN out of his office and shuts the door. EINHORN looks worried as J.P. RICCIARDI and PAUL DEPODESTA walk by.

EINHORN
What’s with Sandy? He normally loves to solve problems like this.

RICCIARDI
He’s been a bit on edge lately. He gets like that every now and then.

DEPODESTA
Best to just wait it out. A genius mind like that needs a break from time to time.

Cut to inside ALDERSON’s office. He’s staring out the window again. From a nearby corner, an apparition of ALDERSON’S FATHER emerges, dressed in army fatigues and a GI helmet.

ALDERSON
I thought I told you to leave me alone.

FATHER
You never listened when I told you to get a haircut, ya damn hippie, so now I’m returning the favor. You know why I’m here, son–to berate you into relapse

ALDERSON
I’m not doing that.

FATHER
It’s right in your desk drawer. Why do you have it if you don’t plan on using it? You want to use it, you weakling!

ALDERSON clenches his eyes, grasps his temples and tries to massage the pain away. FATHER chuckles.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 9

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 8

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 8
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 |
EPISODE 5
| EPISODE 6 | EPISODE 7

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise in the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

The front office, late at night, a manic scene. Assistants scurrying left and right from one end of the office to the other, clutching papers, yelling on cell phones, scribbling on dry erase boards. Caption: 48 HOURS TO DEADLINE. The camera pans through this chaotic scene, circling around random figures, for at least five minutes before proceeding into SANDY ALDERSON’s office. His assistants J.P. RICCIARDI and PAUL DEPODESTA are sitting on a large couch, each huddled over laptops with cell phones clenched in their shoulders. MACKENZIE CARLIN stalks the room, moving index cards around on a cork board and reviewing printouts. ALDERSON stands in the middle of them all, fielding every query calmly but firmly. The only person who looks nervous is DAVID EINHORN, who sits in an office chair and grabs on to a glass of scotch for dear life.

CARLIN
[handing over some papers] These trade proposals just came in.

ALDERSON
[scans each page and hands them back one by one] Pull the trigger, pull the trigger, hold your fire, keep the safety on, squeeze the trigger halfway and see if they flinch.

DEPODESTA
The Dodgers are on the phone. They want to know if they can have a second baseman on credit.

ALDERSON
Tell McCourt he needs someone with a decent credit score to cosign the loan. And make sure it’s not a psychic.

RICCIARDI
The office is getting antsy because we’re running out of food.

ALDERSON
Call up the kitchen and order up another 72 pizzas, 15 pounds of lo mein, and a small vat of Red Bull. And just a green salad for me. No radishes.

EINHORN
Jeez, Sandy. This trade deadline stuff is insane. I used to work on Wall Street, but this makes the stock market floor look like Girl Scout jamboree.

ALDERSON
Of course it does. You traders were just creating the financial future of our nation; we’re building a ball club here. Also, Girl Scouts don’t go on jamborees.

CARLIN
Yes they do.

ALDERSON
J.P., find out if Girl Scouts go on jamborees.

RICCIARDI
I’m on it.

EINHORN
Any of this balancing act going toward getting rid of our closer? Your predecessor gave him a contract option with an irrevocable 12-year extension and double-super no-trade clause that vests if he reaches 75 innings pitched. If that’s activated, we can say goodbye to resigning Grant Linwood, or anyone else for the next decade.

ALDERSON
No, David I was not aware of that because I’ve been living under a rock since I took this job, and I’m also blind, and I can’t read any of the newspapers who’ve been talking about it every day since spring training, and also I was born yesterday on the back of a turnip truck.

EINHORN
Alright, you’ve got the snark covered. How about some leads for a trade?

ALDERSON
We’re doing everything we can. The only thing that won’t help is worrying about it. My experience tells me these kinds of things tend to work themselves out. My mother always said, “For every old sock, there’s a shoe.”

EINHORN
That’s great. We’re on the brink of financial collapse and your solution is downhome folksy wisdom from your mother.

ALDERSON
Not a solution, David. Just a coping mechanism.

EINHORN
Until you can come up with more than that, I’m gonna have to tell our manager to keep the closer out of games.

ALDERSON
That would be a great way to sic the players’ union on us. We can’t keep him on the bench if we ever want to sign another free agent again. We have to just keep calm and carry on.

CARLIN
[handing over paper] The Yankees want our top prospect in exchange for an autographed picture of Kevin Maas.

ALDERSON
[handing it back] Hold out for half off the truffle fries at NYY Steak.

EINHORN
Ugh, too much talking and thinking in here. I need some air.

EINHORN abandons his chair and his drink and leaves the office, entering the even more chaotic venue outside. He narrowly dodges assistants zipping all over the place and yelling at each other, until he bumps into a confused looking GRANT LINWOOD.

EINHORN
Grant? What are you doing up here?

LINWOOD
It started as a quest for more sunflower seeds, and somehow I found my way into this office. I just picked up a random phone and I think I may have accidentally traded for a few Houston Astros prospects.

EINHORN
Impossible; the Astros have no prospects. But I’m glad I ran into you, Grant. I think I’ve thought of a way we can help each other out.

LINWOOD
I’m all ears, as long as it don’t involve getting naked or moving furniture.

EINHORN
I wouldn’t dream of making my number one star move furniture!

EINHORN puts his arm around LINWOOD and they walk off.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 8

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 7

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 7
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 |
EPISODE 4
| EPISODE 5 | EPISODE 6

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise is the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

The interior of a bus. In the back, players act rowdy, tossing paper airplanes and switching seats like little kids. Toward the front sit SANDY ALDERSON and DAVID EINHORN.

ALDERSON: I still don’t like this corporate retreat idea. Especially since we have to forfeit three home games to take it.

EINHORN: Gotta spend money to make money, Sandy. Sure, it’s three losses on our ledger, but you can’t put a price on an invaluable team building experience like this.

ALDERSON: But we already are a team. That I built.

EINHORN: I, I, I–too much of that word, Sandy. There’s no “I” in team. You have to be more of an organization guy, like me. Everything I do I do for this team. I am the consummate team player. Ask anyone about me and they’ll tell you that! C’mon, get into it! Look, even Old Man Wilpon’s jazzed for this trip.

Quick shot of FRED WILPON completely passed out in a bus seat, snoring.

Cut to: Hotel conference room. Entire team sits cross-legged on the floor in pairs, trying to build pyramids made out of clothespins and hardboiled eggs on top of a skateboard while one partner is blindfolded. The ACTIVITY DIRECTOR, a loud, blond, tanned type, shouts encouragement through a bullhorn.

ACTIVITY DIRECTOR: That’s it people, you can do it! Remember, the blindfolded person must trust his partner to give correct direction, and the non-blindfolded partner must trust his partner to listen! And to not crack any of those hardboiled eggs if you can, because they’ve been sitting around a while!

Pan over to ALDERSON, who is blindfolded, and EINHORN, attempting the activity. ALDERSON gingerly tries to place a clothespin onto his construction.

EINHORN: Easy, easy…[whispering] Listen, this whole thing is just a front.

ALDERSON: The clothespin?

EINHORN: The whole trip. I organized it as cover so we could initiate some secret talks with Grant Linwood for a contract extension.

ALDERSON: I thought Linwood said he wouldn’t negotiate in season.

EINHORN: Publicly, yes. Privately, his people have reached out to me. They’re willing to talk, but only if we can keep a lid on this thing. Problem is, there’s no way we can keep quiet about talks like this back home. Our offices are crawling with reporters and spies. I found Bill Madden in my washroom last week. That’s why we had to skip town.

ALDERSON: Don’t you still need Wilpon’s signoff on any big contracts like that?

EINHORN: We’re not going to actually sign a contract with him. We’re just going to hammer out the finer details, like how much money he wants and for how long.

ALDERSON: Oh, so just the little things.

EINHORN: Exactly! Then, we’ll leak word to the press that the negotiations are going on and whip the fanbase into a frenzy. By that point, Wilpon will have to approve the whole thing.

ALDERSON: Why not just conference with Wilpon to see if he’s on board with this?

EINHORN: You might have a lot of book-smarts, Sandy, but you don’t know jack about business. You don’t talk to your partners directly. You have meetings behind their back, strategize how to work around them, close all channels of communication. Then, right at the end, you loop them in and make it seem like what you decided is not only a good idea, but their idea.

ALDERSON: Sounds like the epitome of teamwork.

EINHORN: Of course it is! You know how many people you need to help you execute a proper back channel screwing? [pulls out a map, points to a spot] This is the golf course at this resort. There’s a bench right here, next to the 15th hole. You’re gonna meet Linwood there at 4pm today. You ask him, “Has the weather cleared up yet?” If he says, “Cloudy with a chance of meatballs,” negotiations are off. If he says, “Why yes, the forklifting is superior today,” that means he’s ready to talk.

ALDERSON: I don’t think all of this John LeCarre stuff is necessary. Can’t I just knock on his room door, or have dinner with him…

EINHORN: Not unless you want the press all over this and the word leaking out before we want it to. This has to be done in complete secrecy. Not a word of this to anyone. Not your assistants, not Wilpon, not your wife, not even me.

ALDERSON: But you came up with the plan.

EINHORN: [covering ears] I know nothing, la la la, not listening…

The ACTIVITY DIRECTOR suddenly stands over the two of them.

ACTIVITY DIRECTOR: [through bullhorn] Chop chop, gentlemen. Less talking, more communication!

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 7

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 6

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 6
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4 | EPISODE 5

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise is the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

Press conference. SANDY ALDERSON stands at a podium, fielding questions from a clamoring throng of reporters as flashbulbs go off in his face.

ALDERSON: My answer to that question would be no, I have no philosophical opposition to a dog playing for a major league baseball team. As to the question of whether or not a dog has a soul, I think that’s more of a query for the church. Yes, you over there?

WORMWOOD: Tommy Wormwood, New York Herald-Gazette. What do you say to the charge that the team has struggled lately because it relies far too much on statistics, to the point of fetishizing them and relying on them above all else, eliminating Americans’ childlike love of the game in favor of a cold, calculating, robotic approach?

ALDERSON: Has someone actually charged us with that?

WORMWOOD: I will, in my scathing column to be published tomorrow!

ALDERSON: This is old news, gentlemen. I’ve been called a “stat-head” and a “numbers-freak” and a “brain-lover” ever since I became the first GM to calculate batting average in the late 1970s. If wanting data to build a better team makes me a “computer-humper,” then call me a computer-humper.

WORMWOOD: But the thing is you haven’t built a better team. This team is barely batting over .200, has no frontline starting pitching, and their bullpen is a cruel, twisted joke devised by a blind idiot god. Maybe your computer-humping has blinded you to the intangibles that make a winning team.

ALDERSON: First of all, I’m sorry I ever used the phrase “computer-humping.” Secondly, how could I possibly target intangibles when I’m building a team? An intangible is, by definition, indefinable. If something is indefinable, it can’t be truly identified or located. How can I be blind to something no one can see?

WORMWOOD: [long pause] Because stats…the problem with them, you see…Derek Jeter’s spin move…

ALDERSON leaves the podium as the reporter continues talking.

Cut to: Stadium tunnel. ALDERSON stalks toward his office trailed by J.P. RICCIARDI and PAUL DEPODESTA.

RICCIARDI: Are they giving out press credentials in Cracker Jack boxes these days? What was wrong with that guy?

ALDERSON: I’ve had much worse. You remember the press conference where someone accused me of being a Satan worshiper because I signed Jeremy Giambi?

DEPODESTA: Speaking of Satan, our most hated rivals are coming into town for the Mass Transit Series…

ALDERSON: Come now, Paul. That’s no way to talk about another team. It’s alright for fans to get fired up and angry and hit each other with rock-filled whiskey bottles, but as executives we need to be a bit more dispassionate.

DEPODESTA: You didn’t let me finish. I was going to say, “and Cashman’s already here.” He called from his limo to let us know he expected an appropriate reception.

ALDERSON: Christ, already? Alright, we better go see what Ol’ Scratch wants.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 6

Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 5

STUDIO 60 ON ROOSEVELT AVENUE
EPISODE 5
WRITTEN COMPLETELY BY AARON SORKIN TOTALLY ALONE AND UNDER GREAT DURESS
RELIVE THE EXCITING INAUGURAL SEASON!
PILOT | EPISODE 2 | EPISODE 3 | EPISODE 4

LOGLINE: Once the nation’s best and most respected baseball GM, Sandy Alderson has been reduced to trying to revive a moribund franchise is the depths of deepest, darkest Queens. Along with his sharp-witted and adoring protégés, he fights off the seemingly endless series of controversies and crises that beset him while trying to run a sports team in the country’s most bustling metropolis, and still look fantastic while doing it. Can the pressures of such an important job crush this singularly talented and gifted individual genius?

ACT I

Trainer’s room. GRANT LINWOOD is laying on an examination table, holding his knee and grimacing in pain while receiving treatment from a TRAINER. SANDY ALDERSON and DAVID EINHORN look on in the background.

LINWOOD: So how’s it look, doc? Will I ever play the piano again?

TRAINER: Grave 7 strain of your MCL, a Langerhans pull in your ACL, and partial tear of your interior QCL. You would’ve done less damage to your knee with a shotgun.

EINHORN: But he can play tomorrow, right?

TRAINER: Are you kidding? He’ll be lucky to walk tomorrow. I’m gonna stabilize this knee. He’ll have to stay off of it for a month.

EINHORN: A month?! This is my biggest star you’re talking about, my number one box office attraction! If he’s out a month, ticket sales will plummet! This man can not go on the disabled list.

TRAINER: Why don’t you take it up with his knee? Oh wait, you can’t because it’s a joint and it probably has terrible hearing because it’s shot to hell.

EINHORN: Goddammit! You just had to be a showoff and bat on one leg, didn’t you?! You were just daring that pitcher to drill you!

LINWOOD: I had to do it! I promised a sick kid at the hospital I would! Or some broad I met at the bar last night. It’s kinda hazy to me now.

Cut to: Einhorn’s office. He paces the room while ALDERSON stands quietly in a corner, hands thrust in pockets.

EINHORN: This is worse than the time our shortstop got leprosy. What the hell do we do now?

ALDERSON: Not much else to do but put Linwood on the DL and make a call up from the minors.

EINHORN: Oh no, I can’t have Linwood’s place taken by some 20 year old nobody. New Yorkers will not accept a team that doesn’t have superstars at every position. Linwood is not going on the DL and that is final.

ALDERSON: So you want to see if we can make the playoffs with a 24-man roster?

EINHORN: No, I’m going to make a few calls. I know some guys who can get us a few remedies, if you know what I mean. HGH, andro, horse tranquilizer, fish aphrodisiacs, dodo’s blood, you name it.

ALDERSON: How do you know people like that?

EINHORN: I work in hedge funds. How do you think we make money, by figuring out market trends and exploiting overvalued commodities? No, we blow our minds on every controlled substance there is and see where the trails take us, man!

ALDERSON: I think I could go to jail simply for hearing you talk about this.

EINHORN: Don’t play high and mighty with me, Sandy. Everyone knows what your boys used to do in Oakland. Was that outfielder of yours just eating Wheaties when he hit 16 home runs in one game?

ALDERSON: I’m not thinking about morality as much as I am about Linwood’s health. We shouldn’t rush back the man who is not only our best player, but who also makes $95 million a year. Instead of a month on the DL, he could be looking at a year of rehab, possibly the end of his career.

EINHORN: That’s why we should rush him back! I need to get my money’s worth! Is there any harm in waiting until tomorrow, seeing how Grant feels in the morning?

ALDERSON: But the trainer said the CAT scan of his knee looked like downtown Detroit.

EINHORN: One night, that’s all I want. If he’s still a mess tomorrow, we’ll put him on the DL. Deal?

ALDERSON: You’re the boss. Technically.

ALDERSON leaves. EINHORN eyes his office door carefully, then picks up his desk phone and dials.

Continue reading Studio 60 on Roosevelt Avenue: Episode 5