A Call to the Bullpen



Isaac stands and looks through his window. Sam walks into the room wearing his jacket and carrying his soft-sided briefcase.

Isaac: (staring out the window) How was your day, Sam?

Sam: Good.

Isaac: I´m glad.

Sam: I was pulling together some numbers from the Midwest. We´re improving in Minneapolis, Madison, and Indianapolis. The expanded coverage of college hockey has certainly helped-

Isaac: Don´t lie to me. (turning toward Sam) You sat on your butt all day.

Sam: All right.

Isaac: But it has been an honor and a pleasure.

Sam: Likewise.

Isaac laughs.Isaac: This must have been the longest time you´ve held a single job.

Sam: Yeah. Except for the time when we-

Isaac: Yeah.

Isaac walks toward Sam.

Sam: Our paths will meet again someday.

Isaac: Always the optimist.

Sam: You know me.

Isaac: I knew you were the right man for the job.

Sam: I had an excellent mentor.

Isaac: Thank you. I had an excellent pupil.

Sam reaches out, and the two shake hands.

Sam: Someday.

Isaac: Someday, Sam.

Isaac watches Sam turn and walk away. Sam stops in the doorway. With a guilty conscience, Sam can speak, but he cannot turn toward Isaac.

Sam: You know... I can no longer help you.

Isaac: I know.

Sam: The network-

Isaac: Yeah.

Sam nods his head, accepting a fact only he and Isaac know. He finally walks away.


Dan and Lorie are seated at an elegant table. The menus they are given are relatively simple, especially for an expensive restaurant.

Lorie: This place is so hot.

Dan: I knew you´d like it.

Lorie´s breath is taken away when she catches a glimpse of the prices on the menu.

Dan: The fish is flown in daily from Japan.

Lorie: I don´t know what to order.

Dan: Don´t order anything. Ask for chef´s omakase.

Lorie: Really?

Dan: Yeah.

Lorie sets down her menu.

Lorie: Dan, I don´t know what to say. I feel a real connection.

Dan: Me, too.

Lorie: Would you mind coming over to my place for a glass of wine?

Dan: They have wine here. In fact, I´ve seen the vineyards-

Lorie: I don´t mean wine.

Dan: What do you mean?

Lorie blushes.

Lorie: I´m not trying to be too forward or anything.

Dan: But?

Lorie: After dinner, let´s plan on getting breakfast tomorrow.

Dan: They don´t serve breakfast here.

Lorie: Somewhere else.

Dan: What time?

Lorie: Whatever time we get up.

Dan smiles.

Dan: Okay.

Their server quietly awaits their order. Dan takes Lorie´s menu, and hands their menus to the server.

Dan: Omakase.

The server nods, extremely pleased with the selection, and walks away. A small prep station is quickly wheeled next to their table. An assistant lights a small flame on the station and places an cast iron pan over it. Lorie is immediately impressed with the presentation.

Lorie: This is omakase?

Dan: Prepare to be dazzled.

The chef walks over and pulls out his utensils.

Dan is momentarily distracted and reaches into his pocket. He pulls out a cell phone and checks to see who is calling him.

Dan: I´m sorry. I need to take this.

Lorie: Is something wrong?

The chef stops.

Dan: I´ll just be a minute.

Dan gets up from the table.

Dan: (to the chef) I´m sorry. Please, carry on.

As Dan walks away, the chef starts the preparation of their meal, making it a part of the amazing experience.


Dana checks her clipboard as she walks through the newsroom. She shakes her head in disbelief when she sees Casey sitting inside his former office. Dana feels she needs some explanations.

Dana enters the office.

Dana: You know Danny is off tonight.

Casey: I know.

Dana: What is up with him?

Casey: I don´t know.

Dana: Is he so afraid of commitment, he´s willing to jeopardize everything?

Casey: For everybody´s sake, I hope not.

Dana: Also for everybody´s sake, I hope you-

Casey: My agent is in a meeting with Donna Kendrick right now.

Dana: I´m aware of that. I´m curious to know as to why you are here.

Casey: As opposed to there.

Dana: Yes.

Casey: They felt the meeting would be more productive.

Dana: They felt you would have been a distraction.

Casey: Yeah.

Dana: Instead, you´re distracting us by hanging out here.

Casey: It´s not like I´m a Cameron Crazy taunting opponents at the free throw line.

Dana: There needs to be a resolution.

Casey: I know.

Natalie races into the room.

Natalie: Dana? Jennifer is on line two.

Dana: The trade?

Natalie: Denver´s upped their offer to a first- and third-rounder.

Dana: It´s going to happen?

Natalie: Hopefully before we go to air.

Dana: Great.

Dana writes on her clipboard and begins mentally maneuvering the stories to fit in the late-breaking top story. Before she leaves the office, she decides to leave one final thought.

Dana: Get it done, Casey.

Casey nods as Natalie sprints into the newsroom. Dana turns to follow her.

Casey: Dana?

Dana: (stopping) Casey.

Casey: I was determined not to take their very first offer.

Dana: So you´re admitting you´re being stubborn.

Casey: No, that wasn´t my intentions. I never wanted it to look like I came crawling back to the network.

Dana softens her stance.

Casey: It´s difficult to separate the business side from the personal side. We have so many personal connections here; I didn´t want the connections to cloud my judgment. I didn´t want to look like I was desperate and willing to take anything offered.

Dana walks over to Casey, leans down to him, and grabs hold of his hand.

Dana: It´s okay if you admit you were hurt.

Casey: Okay.

Dana: You can admit you were hurt when the network chose not to renew your contract the first time around.

Casey: Well... okay.

Dana: Casey.

Casey: Well... I was hurt... I was hurt when... when they said they could continue without me.

Dana: And look. The time you and the network were separate, everybody became stronger. You became more successful, and the network... we´re now in second place.

Casey: Yeah.

Dana: And remember, you and the network can continue going separate ways. But working together would allow us to build something greater.

Dana kisses Casey´s hand.

Casey: I swear to god, if my eyes were closed and your voice was a little deeper, I would have heard Isaac.

Dana: Would Isaac have kissed your hand?

Casey: No.

Dana: Well then.

Casey grabs a hold of Dana´s hand.

Casey: You´ve got a trade to cover.

Dana: Yeah.

Casey is filled with warmth as Dana leaves the room.


Casey is standing in the corridor between the newsroom and control room. People run around with the latest scores and late-breaking news. Amid Casey´s observations, he´s surprised to see Dan walking into the newsroom. Casey quickly walks over to cross paths with Dan.

Casey: I thought you were going out tonight.

Dan: For once, you thought correctly.

Casey: You were called in for the trade.

Dan: Trade?

Casey: Yeah. Denver is now offering... wait. You weren´t called in regarding the trade?

Dan: I came back because I left my coat here.

Casey: It´s early. In fact, it´s very early for you to be-

Dan: Casey, Casey, Casey. You have to be able to see the bigger picture.

Casey: (confused) Where´s Lorie?

Dan: Tonight, she´s paying the bill in full.

A smug Dan walks into his office, leaving behind a flabbergasted Casey.

As Casey attempts to solve the mystery, he is jolted when he hears an intimidating voice.

"Walk with me."

Casey turns to find Sam standing next to him. Sam is still wearing his coat and carrying his soft-sided briefcase.

Casey: Excuse me?

Sam: Come on. Walk with me.

Casey and Sam begin a long walk, which starts now in the newsroom.

Casey: I hear today is your last day.

Sam: Yeah.

Casey: You´ve got the rest of your belongings.

Sam is momentarily distracted by a ringing telephone, but he and Casey continue their walk.

Sam: Do you know who invented the telephone?

Casey: Yeah.

Sam: Who?

Casey: Alexander Graham Bell.

Sam: Correct. Do you know who else invented the telephone?

Casey: Mrs. Alexander Graham Bell?

Sam: No.

The two exit the newsroom and walk up the corridor outside of the control room.

Casey: I don´t know.

Sam: Elisha Gray.

Casey: Okay.

Sam: Now you probably wonder why credit is only given to Bell and not to Gray.

Casey: I´m certain you are going to explain why.

The two round the corner.

Sam: You have to understand, both were working on the invention simultaneously.

Casey: I assume Bell finished his invention earlier.

Sam: They both finished it at the same time.

Casey: Okay.

The two walk through the newsroom.

Sam: The difference is the filing of the patents. Alexander Bell filed his patent for his invention two hours before Gray filed his.

Casey: Technically, Alexander Graham Bell won the race.

Sam: Technically.

Casey: I´m sure they issue the patents in numerical order.

Sam: They do.

Casey: So Bell should get full credit for filing his application first.

Sam: And so he has.

The two exit the newsroom and begin walking down the hallway toward the elevator.

Sam: The biggest difference is that Bell´s "harmonic telegraph" relied on different tones to control the strength of electric currents, while Gray´s "musical telegraph" relied on steels reeds, whose oscillations were controlled by electromagnets.

Casey: But they both did the same thing.

Sam: But here´s the thing: Gray´s invention worked better.

Casey: But Bell is given credit.

Sam: Because he filed a patent first. Even through litigation, it didn´t matter which invention was better. All that mattered was who filed the paperwork first.

The two stop outside the closed elevator door. Sam pushes the button.

Sam: Casey, I understand you want to come back to this network. You were offered a generous contract to return, and now you are being offered an even more generous contract.

Casey: Okay.

Sam: It doesn´t matter if you are the most qualified candidate. Now, all that matters is who signs the contract first.

The elevator doors open and Sam steps inside the empty car.

Sam: And if you don´t sign the contract, I´ll make sure you won´t even be able to be a traffic reporter in Tupelo.

Casey: What about negotiating?

Sam pushes the button to take him to the lobby.

Sam: What more do you want? You´re getting what you deserve. The network is getting what they deserve.

Casey watches the elevator doors close and Sam disappear forever.


The following morning, a casually-dressed Dan is inside the editing room. As he plays a tape from a polo match, he takes copious notes while trying to learn the intricacies of the sport.

The door swings open.


Dan calmly turns around to face an emotional Lorie.

Dan: Hi.

Lorie: Last night cost me over three-hundred freakin´ dollars!

Dan: How was the omakase?

Lorie: It was over three-hundred freakin´ dollars!

Dan: I assume it was good.


Dan: It´s that bad boy image which drive the ladies crazy.

Lorie: You owe me three-hundred bucks.

Dan: Sure. I´ll just whip out my wallet. Wait. I´m a little short on cash. I haven´t been too good with the games lately.

Lorie: I am so glad I never slept with you!

Dan: At least you were able to draw something positive from this.

Lorie: I want my money.

Dan: And I want to be a major-league centerfielder.

Lorie: Dan.

Dan: You just don´t understand.

Lorie: Oh I understand. I understand you completely, Mr. Dan Rydell.

Dan: Yeah. I´m a low-life who draws the opposite sex into my web. I suck the life out of my victims, discard of the bodies, and move on to the next one.

Lorie: Yeah-

Dan: Not much unlike you, Miss Lorie.

Lorie: You´re blaming me for this?!

Dan: It´s like a pendulum. Only your time has come. You´ve been played, sister.

Lorie: I want my money.

Dan: And I want to be a major-league centerfielder.

Lorie: You just said that.

Dan: And that´s what you´ll hear every time you ask me for money.

Lorie: Just you wait. This isn´t the end of this.

Dan: It´s over. Move on. In fact, you can get started by walking out of the room.

Lorie leaves Dan a disgusted look and stomps out of the room. Dan feels a sense of accomplishment realizing his plan has worked to perfection.

Once the coast is clear, Natalie carries her clipboard into the room.

Natalie: You did that?

Dan: You were eavesdropping.

Natalie: I wasn´t.

Dan: I believe you were.

Natalie: Anybody could hear it from the studio.

Dan: Okay.

Natalie smacks Dan in the arm with the clipboard.

Dan: Hey! I can only take one woman pissed at me at a time.

Natalie: You should have included me in this plan. Or, at least, informed me.

Dan: There are some quests, which are required to be completed by one.

Natalie: Does Jeremy know?

Dan: No.

Natalie: Okay.

Natalie turns to leave.

Dan: Wait. Where are you going?

Natalie: I´m on a quest.


Inside the newsroom, a stunned Jeremy stands in front of Natalie and Dan.

Jeremy: You did what?

Dan: What had to be done, Jeremy. What had to be done.

Jeremy: For my sake?

Dan: Well... yeah. And for everybody before you.

Jeremy: I didn´t ask for anything.

Natalie: That was the beauty of the plan.

Jeremy: I never asked you to bring me the head of Medusa.

Dan: Uh... what?

Jeremy: The myth of Perseus. Perseus was asked to bring the head of Medusa-

Natalie: But Lorie is a bit of a serpent.

Jeremy: (defensive) Hey, I dated her.

Dan: So you know what she´s really like.

Jeremy: (defensive) Dan.

Natalie and Dan stare at Jeremy, confounded by his reaction.

Natalie: Do you still like her?

Jeremy: No.

Dan: Then why-

Jeremy: Could I receive some credit for trying to make a relationship work? It didn´t, but failure of a relationship isn´t a time to gloat or plot revenge. It´s time to heal and move forward.

Natalie: So you´re saying you´re all right?

Jeremy: And I´ve already moved forward.

"What did I specifically tell you people?!"

Everyone´s attention is quickly drawn toward Dana.

Dana: What did I tell you people?

Everybody simultaneously gives a different answer.

Dana: About the cake!

Dan: There´s cake?

Dana: Not to eat the cake until the official announcement is made! It´s supposed to be sitting inside the conference room, and I see people have already helped themselves to it.

Natalie: It´s good cake. At least, I heard it is.

Dana glares at Natalie, but her disgust is directed at everybody.

Dana: Thank you. Thank you very much. I try my best to do something special, and this is how you thank me.

Isaac walks into the newsroom.

Isaac: What´s going on?

Dan: Apparently a feeding frenzy.

Isaac: Excuse me?

Dana: Nothing, Isaac. What did you want to say? Or what brings you in here today?

Isaac gives Dana a suspicious look.

Isaac: I have an announcement to make.

Natalie sharply whistles.

Natalie: Everybody! Isaac´s got the floor!

Isaac: Thank you, Natalie.

Isaac decides to add a little suspense by attempting to draw out his announcement.

Isaac: After much thoughtful consideration and much negotiating... we are proud to announce the newest member of the "Sports Night" family...

As Isaac pauses, Elliott and Kim emerge from the conference room, each unaware of Isaac´s announcement.

Elliott: There´s still some cake inside the conference room.

Kim: If you want a piece of Casey´s cake, you´d better take advantage-

Isaac: (sternly) Casey´s cake?

Elliott: Yeah. His "Welcome back"... uh, I think I´ll be quiet now.

With his secret revealed, Isaac decides to continue with his announcement.

Isaac: There was much consideration in making a final decision... oh, what the hell. Casey, get your butt in here.

Isaac waves, and Casey walks from the control room into the newsroom. The group showers him with applause, handshakes, and hugs.

Isaac casually walks over to Dana. His look already asks his question.

Dana: What? You´ve got to have cake with a celebration.

Casey is surrounded by his familiar friends: Dan, Natalie, Jeremy, Chris, Dave, Will, Kim, and Elliott.

Casey: (taking a deep breath) My home. It´s great to be back.

Elliott: There´s still some cake inside the conference room.

Chris: It´s good cake.

Will: It´s excellent cake.

Casey: What kind of cake?

Dan: Supposedly, you´re getting a whole quarter of a cake.

Casey: A quarter of a cake?

Elliott: Unless, you preferred pie.

Kim: You don´t celebrate with pie.

Elliott: It could have been an option.

Will: People sometimes celebrate with ice cream.

Chris: I thought it was ice cream and cake.

Dave: Maybe we should have celebrated with an ice cream cake.

Jeremy: An ice cream cake would have melted too quickly.

Natalie: Did you see how quickly we ate the regular cake?

Dan quietly pulls Casey aside.

Dan: Case?

Casey: Yeah?

Dan: It´s chocolate cake.

Casey: Great. That´s all I needed to know.

It´s great to be back.

Sports Night