Overview and Cast  —  Act 1  —  Interview  —  Act 2  —  Act 3  —  Act 4



Overview: Professional baseball manager (and ex-player himself) A.J. Benson has been seeing his pitching coach. Press catches wind of this and blind items start appearing in online tabloid blogs. A.J. decides to come out publicly in a live television interview, conducted by his former teammate who is now a pro sportscaster. Another player (star pitcher) and the team physical therapist watch the live interview; the player is surprised by the news but the physical therapist has known for a long time. Elsewhere, a young player on the team's minor league affiliate is watching interview, manager walks in, player comes out to him. When interview wraps, sportscaster admits he’s had feelings for A.J. for twenty years; the two make love, then ponder the future.
 

Cast:

  • Jesse Jackman as "A.J. Benson": Manager of the SF Titans professional baseball team. Former star catcher and member of the United States baseball team at the '96 Games in Atlanta.
  • Dallas Steele as "Jim Weaver": Pro sportscaster, former professional baseball player and also a member of the '96 United States baseball team.
  • Nick Prescott as "Dave Decker": Pitching coach of the SF Titans, having affair with manager.
  • Eric Nero as "Jake Strickland": Star pitcher on the SF Titans.
  • Diesel Washington as "Tony Snow": SF Titans physical therapist.
  • Dirk Caber as "Coach Hayes": Manager of the SF Titans Japanese minor league affiliate, the Osaka Kyojin (大阪巨人)
  • Luke Adams as "Josh Conroy": Osaka Kyojin's newly-drafted starting catcher

 
ACT 1 [top]

Synopsis: A.J. (Jesse) and Dave (Nick): A.J. and Dave after practice. A.J. gets email from his agent with link to TMZ-style blind item. A.J. and Dave talk, A.J. makes decision to come out publicly. Huge relief off his shoulders. Texts Jim Weaver at GSPN to set up a television interview.

Location: Master bedroom. House set up as manager’s spring training home in the desert.

Props: Baseball pants, cleats, socks, jersey, hats. Bats, gloves, bucket of balls, etc.


     

    INTERVIEW (B-roll) [top]

    Synopsis: Sit-down live interview with pro sportscaster Jim Weaver.

    Location: Lounge/living room set-up.

    Open with A.J. and Jim in sit-down interview, ready to begin.

    Jim:

    “Okay, this is it... you ready?”

    A.J. nods.

    A.J.:

    “Let’s do this.”

    Off-screen voice:

    “We go live in 5, 4, 3, 2...”

    Jim:

    “You’re watching GSPN. Good evening, and welcome to The Hot Corner. I’m your host, Jim Weaver. Joining me tonight is A.J. Benson, hall-of-fame catcher, Olympian, and manager of the three-time world champion San Francisco Titans. A.J., thank you for taking time away from spring training to be here tonight.”

    A.J.:

    “Great to see you again, Jim.”

    Jim:

    “A lot’s happened in your life since we played together in the ’96 Games.”

    A.J. laughs, looks nervous but determined.

    A.J.:

    “Yeah.”

    Jim:

    “Thirteen years in the majors, a first-ballot hall-of-famer, three championships... you’re a model of success in the baseball world. But you’re not here to talk about your career, are you?”

    A.J. takes a deep breath, glances momentarily at camera, looks uncomfortable. Jim puts his hand on A.J.’s knee.

    Jim:

    “You okay?”

    A.J. looks at Jim’s hand, then smiles at Jim.

    A.J.:

    “Yeah.”

    Jim smiles back and removes his hand.

    A.J.:

    “I want to put the rumors to rest once and for all, so I guess the best way to do this is to come right out and say it. I’m gay.”

    [PAUSE]

    Jim:

    “How are you feeling right now?”

    A.J.:

    “A little weird. I mean, I just came out to a few million people on live TV.” [Laughs]

    Jim:

    “And now you’re the first openly gay man in professional baseball.”

    A.J.:

    “Yeah.”

    Jim:

    “How long have you known you were gay?”

    From here on, the interview is largely ad-libbed. A.J. talks about how he always knew he was different somehow but didn’t identify his same-sex attraction until well into his teens. He always felt like he didn’t fit in, and was afraid he never would. Rather than deal with that head-on, he immersed himself in athletics, lettering in several sports before getting a full baseball scholarship to Golden State University. He happened to be good at sports, but it was a distraction from the feeling that something was missing from his life. He sometimes got turned on by the other players on the team, and even acted on it sometimes... the baseball world isn’t as “straight” as it seems. But he always did it in secret, because he didn’t want it to be a distraction from the game. Now, with the tabloids hounding him every day, he’s getting tired of keeping it a secret. So with the encouragement of his very close friend Dave Prescott -- who also happens to be his pitching coach -- he’s finally found the courage to come out.

    Sample interview questions:

    • “What was it like growing up?”
    • “Does anyone in Titans organization know that you’re gay?”
    • “Why do you feel it’s important for you to come out? Why now?” [This question is important to include... A.J. mentions his friend Dave Decker’s encouragement in coming out, but doesn’t mention that they’re having an affair... this will come up again in Scene 3.]
    • “How do you feel about being forced to come out?”
    • “Would you consider yourself an activist now?”
    • “Is there anyone special in your life?” [Important to include, because this comes up again in Scene 3 as well.]

    Closing:

    Jim:

    “A.J. Benson, you’ve just become a role model for thousands of gay athletes all over the world. In closing, do you have a message to send to them?”

    A.J.:

    “Just be true to yourself... and, y’know, to what, and who, you love.”

    Jim smiles.

    Jim:

    “It took a lot of courage for you to be here tonight. Thank you for sharing your story.”

    A.J.:

    “My pleasure, Jim. Feels good.”

    Jim: [into camera]

    “This is Jim Weaver, and from all of us here at The Hot Corner, thank you for watching. Good night.”


       

      ACT 2 [top]

      Tony (Dallas) and Jake (Eric): Jake is a star pitcher receiving physical therapy treatment from Tony. They are watching the live interview while Tony is working on Jake. Jake is surprised by his manager's revelation, although Tony has known for some time.

      Location: Gym/locker-room set-up.

      Props: Massage/therapy type table. TV playing and visible.

      Scene opens with Jake lying face down on therapy table. A TV on the wall is playing and we hear a voiceover intro...

      TV voiceover:

      “Next on GSPN, the long-awaited live interview with Titans manager A.J. Benson.”

      Jake:

      “Hey, it's Coach’s interview. Can you turn it up?”

      Jake props himself up on his elbows to watch.

      Tony:

      “Damn, is he finally gonna do it?!”

      Jake:

      “Do what?”

      Tony:

      “Just watch, you’ll see...”

      Interview gets to the part where A.J. says he’s gay.

      Jake:

      “Holy crap, is that what you were talking about!?”

      Tony (Laughs):

      “Let’s just say that Coach and I have been buddies for years.”

      Jake:

      “Wow, I never would have guessed.”

      Tony (Laughs):

      “Does it bother you?”

      Jake:

      “Nah, its all good. Just surprising, don’t you think...?”

      Tony:

      “Okay, time to flip over.”

      ...

      At end of scene, camera pans to TV showing the ending of the interview, and dissolves back into live interview wrapping up.


         

        ACT 3 [top]

        Coach (Dirk) and Josh (Luke): After practice, Luke is watching the A.J. Benson interview (the part where A.J. talks about being a role model for younger players).

        Location: Luke’s hotel room.

        Scene opens with Luke in uniform, laying back on the bed and watching the interview. Knock on door and Coach walks into the room, sees Luke watching the interview.

        Coach:

        “A.J.’s big interview?”

        Josh:

        “Yep.”

        Coach:

        “what’s the big news?”

        Josh: (Blurts out nervously)

        “He just said he’s gay.”

        Coach: (chuckles)

        “I know.”

        Josh: (like he’s forcing this out)

        “So am I.”

        Coach: (chuckles)

        “I know.”

        Luke swings himself over so he sitting on the edge of the bed, looking up at the coach.

        Josh: (puppy eyes)

        “You knew I was gay?”

        Coach: (smirks)

        “What’s the old saying... takes one to know one?”

        Josh: (looks up sheepishly)

        “Wait... Are you gay too?”

        Coach: (smirks)

        “Only one way to find out....”

        Coaches reaches down and pulls Josh to his feet, looks him straight in the eye and kisses him. Josh pulls back a little, is kind of taken aback...

        Coach: (gently)

        “You okay?”

        Josh: (shyly)

        “It’s just... I’ve never kissed a man before.”

        Coach smiles, cups Josh’s face in his hands and kisses him again.

        ...

        Pan across to TV with the interview wrapping up and transition into scene 4 with Jesse and Dallas.


           

          ACT 4 [top]

          A.J. (Jesse) and Jim (Dallas): Live interview wraps up. Jim tells crew to leave the equipment, and they leave. A.J. and Jim talk, Jim confesses long term crush on A.J. A.J. kisses Jim, leads to sex.

          Location: Dining/lounge area from interview scene.

          Scene opens with ending/wrapping up of interview. A.J. looks more comfortable, in contrast to seriousness of earlier. Though he downplays it, a huge weight has been lifted from his shoulders.

          Producer’s voice:

          “And... we’re out. Great job everyone. This is a day we’re all gonna remember for the rest of our lives.”

          Crew starts breaking down equipment...

          Jim:

          “Don’t worry about that... it’s been a long day. You guys can take care of it in the morning. Go ahead and get out of here.”

          Everyone departs, leaving A.J. and Jim alone.

          A.J.: (laughs)

          “I don’t know about you, but I need a drink!”

          A.J. gets up and goes to Kitchen Island, grabs bottle of whisky and opens it. Pours two glasses while the two talk. Jim gets up and follows him to the counter.

          Jim: (laughs)

          “You do realize that what you just did is a huge deal?!”

          A.J.:

          “Hey man, like I said, I gotta be true to myself. But yeah, it feels good to be free of that. And if it helps somebody, all the better.”

          Hands glass to Jim. Jim holds up his glass for a toast.

          Jim: (smiles)

          “To freedom!”

          The two clink glasses and take a sip.

          Jim:

          “So, just between you and me... you seeing anybody, for real?”

          A.J.:

          “Actually yeah... Dave Decker.”

          Jim:

          “No fucking way! Your pitching coach? No wonder you kept it quiet!”

          A.J.:

          “Hey, what can I say. Dave’s a good guy.”

          Jim:

          “Is it serious?”

          A.J.:

          “Nah, we’re just foolin’ around.”

          Jim:

          “I was hoping you’d say that... cause I’ve got a confession to make.”

          Jim downs his drink in one gulp. A.J. leans in close to Jim. Intently looks into his eyes, very sincere and caring.

          A.J.:

          “What is it, buddy? You know you can tell me anything.”

          Jim:

          “Well... since the very first day I meet you in ’96, I’ve had a huge crush on you.”

          A.J. (smiling shyly):

          “Are you serious? I had no idea!”

          Jim:

          “Do you know how many times I lay there in dark thinking about you?”

          A.J.:

          “Shit, I wish I’d known! Do you know how many times I wanted to climb into your bed when we were roommates in Atlanta!?”

          A.J. leans in and kisses Jim. Tender and loving at first. The two embrace and start kissing. Very passionate, not frantic or aggressive, but strong and masculine. Sex ensues -- not hardcore, but passionate. These guys have waited almost 20 years for this, so they are going to savor and enjoy it.

          Afterwards, the two men lie next to each other...

          Jim:

          “I wish we’d done this 20 years ago!”

          A.J.:

          “You and me both! Y’know, up until now, baseball’s been my entire life. Maybe it’s time I lived a little more.”

          Jim:

          “Yeah, me too. Hey, just imagine what the next 20 years are gonna be like.”

          A.J.:

          “If it’s anything like this, I can’t wait!”

          Leans over and kisses Jim... fade out.

           

          — THE END —