Hardball Theatre: Sox of Future Past
Sox of Future Past
A play in One Act by Keith Good
(Lights up on a desolate landscape. Fog enshrouds the stage. The year is 2035. We are in the south side of Chicago. Feral wolves roam the outfield of US Cellular field, slinking low to the ground, desperate for the scent of blood, of prey.
(DRAKE LaRoche stalks to center field, bandolier loaded with knives atop a tattered White Sox uniform.)
Drake: What… How did we let this happen? I know pops (looks longingly to sky) said I should save this for when I have a positive WAR, but… (he pulls a small device from the bandolier, firmly presses it’s glowing button) Someone has got to tell them!
(Light engulfs the stage. A great wind rises from below, pushing and tossing Drake. He cries out, as if being torn in half.)
(Lights down. Drake kneels at centerfield, green grass under him. The wolves are gone. It is March of 2016. He sits in stillness)
(ADAM LaRoche and CHRIS Sale enter, walking the outfield one last time before Adam leaves for good.)
Adam: Listen, really, it’s not that big of a deal, dude…
Chris: But Drake is this team’s heart and f*cking soul, man. We’re losing a leader!
Adam: A leader? Really? A 14-year old kid is your leader, Chris? Yeesh. Trust me, you’ll be fine. You won’t have to break the bank for a negative-WAR pine-rider now. You know I’m set to make more than Jose Abreu, right? (Shakes Chris’s hand) It’s been real, brosef…
(Drake pops up from his crouch)
Drake: Stop! No!
Adam: (Can’t believe his eyes.) D-Drake? Is that…
Drake: It’s me, Dad. From the future, the year 2035.
Adam: Oh god, you play for the White Sox? What the hell, Drake? I thought I told you to hit the coast where all the babes are.
Drake: You can’t leave, dad! You have to stay.
Chris: What? What happens to the ChiSox if ‘Roche leaves, future Drake?
Drake: It’s horrible.
Drake: The club was lost without your bat.
Adam: Whoa whoa. You realize I barely got above the Mendoza Line last year, right?
Drake: The Sox fell to the AL Central basement.
Chris: Even behind Cleveland?
Drake: Cleveland has won every World Series since 2018. All of America is now the United States of Cleveland.
Chris: (Falls to his knees.) Oh god!? What have we done?!
Drake: Without the Sox, the South Side fell to Chaos.
Drake: The economy went to hell. Gangs rule the streets.
Adam: Drake. You saw Chi-raq. I took you, remember?
Drake: Dad. I’ve gone over the time line. It all goes back to your leaving, to Kenny Williams kicking us out.
Chris: ‘Roche, you have to stay.
Adam: I dunno, guys…
(Lights begin to flicker. Drake reels backwards.)
Drake: Hurry, dad! Say you’ll stay! My space distorter is running out of energy! This is our only shot to save the future of Chicago!
Chris: Stay with us, ‘Roche! Without your 14-year-old son taking on-field BP, how will we ever beat Cleveland! It’s not weird at all that you bring your kid to work every day! Doctors and lawyers do it all the time, probably!
Drake: (staggers back) Dad! Stay! I’m almost gone…
Adam: (shrugs) uh, sure. Yeah what the hell, right? I’ll stay.
(Light and wind engulfs the stage. Drake cries out. Lights return to normal. Drake kneels to verdant outfield grass. The wolves are gone. The sun is shining again in 2035. Drake slowly stands, looks up, feels the sun again on his face, his arms.)
Drake: (quietly) I’ve… (He looks up to the heavens) Dad, we did it. We did it dad, we saved the future from Cleveland.
A-Rod, Jr.: (from off stage) Drake? Drake is that you out there?
Drake: RJ? RJ? Yeah it’s me! It’s me!
(A-Rod, Jr. walks to where Drake stands in Centerfield of US Cellular field. He wears a white uniform with blue pinstripes and a blue cap.)
A-Rod, Jr.: Drake, what the hell are you doing? A White Sox uniform?
Drake: Wh-why are you wearing a Cubs uniform…
A-Rod, Jr.: (Puts his arm around Drake, leads him toward the dugout.) Drake freaking LaRoche, always the kidder. You should know better than any of us, we’ve been the Southside Cubs, Triple-A affiliate of the REAL Chicago baseball team, ever since your dad came back from that brief retirement and saved the team. You’d better get into your Cubs uniform quick, or our new manager, Anthony Rizzo, is going to be pissed.
Drake. (Arms to the cruel sky.) Nooooooo!