Hardball Theatre: Home Run Derby
Home Run Derby
A play in one act by Keith Good
(Lights up on a broadcasting booth. Chris BERMAN and John KRUK sit at microphones, headphones on. A placard behind them displays the all-star home run derby logo.)
Berman: Welcome to ESPN’s coverage of All-Star Weekend 2016. Tonight we bring you the 2016 Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan from beautiful PetCo Park in downtown San Diego! I’m human soundboard Chris Berman, and I’m joined tonight by anthropomorphic sack of potatoes, John Kruk. Welcome, Kruckie.
Kruck: We’re sponsored by crotch razors and condoms?
Berman: You know the saying, Kruk: money talks and a smooth bikini line brings all the boys to the yard.
Kruk: I don’t think that’s the saying.
Berman: After the excitement of last year’s Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan, Major League Baseball has decided to tweak the rules yet again for tonight’s dong fest.
Kruk: Can we say “dong fest” on air?
Berman: We’re contractually obliged to! Just like our good friends at Bic Bikini Razors say: “Bic Bikini Razors, we make big dongs seem bigger.”
Kruk: Are we still talking about home runs?
Berman: This year, because of Bartolo Colon’s historic home run and Madison Bumgarner’s puppy yapping that he should be included in the Home Run Derby, MLB has decided to make tonight’s event pitchers-only.
Kruk: That’s literally the worst idea I’ve ever heard, Chris, and I once bet Curt Schilling I could pound two cases of Zima before wheels down on a Thursday redeye.
Berman: So tonight’s 2016 Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan will be a match-up between Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon and the MadBum himself, Madison Bumgarner.
Kruk: That’s it? Just Colon and Bumgarner?
Berman: Jake Arrieta and Noah Syndergaard wouldn’t take our calls. We did get a hold of Micah Owings, but it turns out he hasn’t played big league ball in five years.
Kruk: I wonder if anyone has Rick Ankiel’s number…?
Berman: Just like last year, each player gets four minutes to hit as many home runs as he can. He can earn extra time for each home run over 425 feet.
Kruk: Don’t think we’ll need to worry about those bonus time rules, Chris.
Berman: Whichever pitcher hits the most #TrojanDongs will…
Kruk: Did you just say, “hashtag Trojan Dongs?”
Berman: You know how Papa John’s backs up a Brinks truck every time we say “Papa Slam?” Well, I’ve cut a similar deal with the fine prophalactiers at Trojan. Tonight, all home runs are #TrojanDongs.
Kruk: It’s a wonder anyone can ever argue against the free market, Chris.
Berman: The winner of the 2016 Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan receives a lifetime supply of razors and condoms. First up, Bartolo Colon!
(Bartolo COLON waddles on stage, holding a baseball like it’s some sort of weird alien technology. He mimes the action as Berman and Kruk announce.)
Berman: Colon steps to the plate, gets set.
Kruk: He’s looking a bit pale, isn’t he Chris?
Berman: He swings and back back back back back back… so close, Krukie.
Kruk: Only about 300 feet short. Maybe he’ll get the next one into the outfield.
Berman: Colon sets for the next pitch and… oh my.
Kruk: Did Colon just whiff on a batting practice pitch?
Berman: Yes he did, John.
Kruk: Last time I saw a professional ballplayer miss a batting practice pitch, it was because Lenny Dykstra had spent the previous night partying with the Phillie Phanatic.
Berman: Malt liquor or not, Colon steps back up to the plate, wait… no, no, he’s stepping out now…
Kruk: Looks like Big Sexy is winded.
Berman: He’s motioning for an oxygen mask.
Kruk: Yeah this sea-level altitude can be a killer. I think he’s swung himself silly after only two pitches! It’s a timed event, Bartolo! Step back to the plate!
Berman: He is allowed to use a 45-second time out… but no, Kruk, he’s dropped his bat.
Kruk: And here comes the bullpen cart.
Berman: I’m being told Bartolo is asking to be taken directly the Applebees across the street. That’s the book on Bartolo Colon in the 2016 Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan. Two great swings, but he didn’t quite make it.
Kruk: Too bad, I hear he really could have used those condoms.
(Colon exits. Madison BUMGARNER walks stiffly on stage. It looks as if he’s flexing all his muscles at once. He scowls. He also mimes the action as it’s called.)
Berman: Well after that breathtaking start to tonight’s festivities, let’s see what Madison Bumgarner can bring to the plate. He’s looking pretty serious out there, huh, Krukie?
Kruk: Looks like he’s already jawing with his BP pitcher, telling him to “do it the right way.” That’s weird.
Berman: All in good fun, John.
Krupke: Then why is that vein in his neck throbbing?
Berman: It’s the smell of #TrojanDongs.
Kruk: I hate my job so much right now.
Berman: MadBum digs in, looking focused, looking loose. Here’s the windup. And a drive! Back back back back back back back–
Kruk: are you saying “back back” or are those just chicken sounds?
Berman: I’m not sure anymore! Oh and it falls just short, onto the warning track. That was so close, he practically had the taste of #TrojanDongs on his lips.
Kruk: I highly doubt you cleared that with Standards and Practices.
Berman: And now Bumgarner is jawing with his BP pitcher.
Kruk: Looks like he he’s complaining that his BP pitcher is showboating.
Berman: I don’t know, looked like a perfectly cromulent pitch to me.
Kruk: I think Madison might need to loosen his jock a few notches.
Berman: At any rate, he’s in the box, squared for the next pitch.
Kruk: Looks like he’s still saying something.
Berman: The pitch and…! Oh.
Kruk: Not often you see a comeback dribbler in the Home Run Derby. It’s impressive in its own “three-legged puppy dog” kind of way.
Berman: And MadBum is still jawing his BP pitcher… I hope our field mics aren’t picking that up.
Kruk: Oh, and there he goes, Chris.
Berman: He’s charged the mound!
Kruk: Did… Did the on-field ump just eject Madison Bumgarner from the Home Run Derby? How the hell do you get ejected from the Home Run Derby!
Berman: And now it’s taking a whole group of umps to drag MadBum away from the mound! He’s shouting about not showboating to his own BP pitcher between punches! History made tonight at the 2016 Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan; two batters and not a single #TrojanDong!
Kruk: Fine in my book. The less you say, “Trojan Dong” the better.
(Bumgarner exits. A long beat.)
Berman: Well… that was… fun.
Kruk: No dumber than the All-Star game deciding World Series home field. No dumber than the NBA’s Slam Dunk competition.
Berman: Good points on both counts, Krukie. I think that about does it for us. I think we’ll throw it back to Bristol for–I don’t know–probably two straight hours of Steph Curry highlights?
Kruk: That sounds right.
Berman: So for John Kruk, I’ve been Chris “#TrojanDong #TrojanDong #TrojanDong” Berman from Petco Park in San Diego. This has been the 2016 Bic Bikini Razor Home Run Derby presented by Trojan. Keep your bikini lines smooth, your man-scaped, and have a good night!
Kruk: Wonder if Big Sexy has a table over at that Applebees…