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Cocavan

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Member Since: Jul, 2007

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Two for the Show
by  Cocavan  Bob Cairns 

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Category: 

Drama

Type: 
Pages: 

112

Copyright:  07 June 2007
Fiction


Warren Snapper Grimm, is the unexpected fraternal twin of Earl Grimm. They are like chalk and cheese except for baseball, where their natural sibling rivalry bubbles over into near hatred. They are both great pitchers, except that Earl is determined to pitch in the Bigs, while Snapper is not nearly as driven. Then Snapper, who is ambidextrous, but primarily a southpaw, loses two left fingers in a Snapper lawnmower accident easily attributable to Earl. (Hence, the nickname, Snapper.) Snapper vanquishes Earl and comes back to win the World Series for Baltimore when he pulls a rather surprising rabbit out of his . . . hat; a professional triumph for Baltimore and a personal triumph for Snapper.

Our hero, Warren “Snapper” Grimm, is the unexpected fraternal twin of Earl Grimm. They’re like chalk and cheese except for baseball, where their natural sibling rivalry bubbles over into near hatred. They’re both great pitchers from childhood on, except that Earl is determined to pitch in the bigs, while Snapper, who’s more talented, but mercurial, isn’t nearly as driven. Then it happens: Snapper, who’s ambidextrous, but primarily a southpaw, loses two of his left fingers in a Snapper™ lawnmower accident easily attributable to Earl. (Hence, the self-mocking nickname, “Snapper.”)
Earl is drafted fifth right out of high school by Kansas City and Snapper is passed over by once interested major-league teams. Snapper heads to the University of South Carolina, where he finagles his way onto their championship baseball team with what’s left of his throwing ability—his right-handedness: less movement and velocity than with his left, but with great command. He becomes a guy who can paint the black with his control. At the end of his junior year, with Earl rocketing toward an early berth in Cooperstown (where the original interview tapes from Bob’s Pen Men are archived), Snapper wangles his way onto the Baltimore Orioles as a relief pitcher early in the season by bringing the team’s attention to the marketing value of these twin “Brothers Grimm” pitching against each other. The twins’ rivalry and their talented bloodline both appeal to the Orioles.
The fans love Snapper, but he’s overwhelmed by celebrity and all that that entails. The Orioles assign a psychologist to deal with his volatile temper, sometimes manic behavior, and his persistent and inexplicably inconsistent performances on the mound. The psychologist, Millie, is a stunningly beautiful single mom with a 10-year-old daughter (born when Millie was only 15 herself). Snapper is more and more affected by both Millie and by her cute-as-a-button daughter, Katy, but, it’s still a tough row to hoe for him because it’s Earl’s success that fuels Snapper’s temper tantrums, his drinking, and his erratic performances—and Earl is on a tear with a stellar personal record while tied to a still mediocre team himself.
Nonetheless, Snapper perseveres and his talents contribute significantly to Baltimore’s rising from mediocre standings to being a possible contender for the American League pennant, precursor to the World Series. Snapper’s shenanigans and his out-of-his-ass successes excite Baltimoreans and they excite the Oriole management even more. So much so that Snapper’s problems come to a head when Baltimore buys Earl from Kansas City before the end of July. Now Snapper will be closing for Earl, his hated twin.
From the moment Earl dons the Orange and Black, the brothers’ rivalry and hatred drive events, with Snapper, because of his self-destructive on- and off-field behavior, going down the tubes. The Orioles unconditionally release Snapper, but then restore him (but not too soon) due to the exposure of some of Earl’s shenanigans-in-a-closet.
Mix in some steroid use and some folks’ doing what’s right when the pressure’s on, and Snapper comes back to win the World Series for Baltimore when he pulls a rather surprising rabbit out of his . . . hat—a professional triumph for Baltimore and a personal triumph for Snapper. 
Excerpt
CU: Snapper's stubs are positioned for a knuckleball.
The hitter's steely-eyed glint brightens as he digs in.
Snapper stares once more at the ball, then pumps, kicks, and throws all in gut-wrenching slow motion.
The ball floats toward home plate. It dances in the air.
The batter misjudges the pitch. He swings mightily, tops it, and it rolls slowly down the third-base line in fair territory.
Snapper throws his glove into the air. He races toward the ball, sliding on his knees to intercept it.
The Padres' runner on third comes down the line toward the ball and Snapper. Snapper pounces on the ball with his left hand like a mongoose on a cobra.
For a nanosecond and on his knees, Snapper weighs his chance to tag the runner out, but dismisses that as the runner passes out of reach.
In a fluid motion, Snapper rises to his feet, spins, transfers the ball to his right hand, and fires a perfect strike to first.
The FIRST BASEMAN's prepared. His left foot is on the bag. He stretches toward Snapper. His right knee is bent as if to genuflect. He's a classically perfect target for Snapper.
The batter's foot is over the bag at first. Snapper's throw SLAPS into the first baseman's glove with the unmistakable resounding thud of leather on leather.
EXT. FIRST BASE, CAMDEN YARDS - DAY
Umpire's POV. Snapper looks on, visibly shaking.
The FIRST-BASE UMPIRE makes the call and gives the signal.
FIRST-BASE UMPIRE
Out!
BACK TO SCENE
The game is over. Camden Yards goes totally Snapper. Snapper, still on his knees, pulls the mower cord with his left hand. The pandemonium becomes even more deafening.
The Gay Blades pull the cord. Millie and Katy pull the cord. Mal pulls the cord.


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