The Exiled Couple
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

What do you do when you've been nationally vilified for making a mistake in a baseball game? You move away. You move on. And in the case of Grady Little and Steve Bartman, you turn your story into a sitcom.

THE EXILED COUPLE: GRADY AND BARTMAN

VOICE-OVER: On Oct. 18, Grady Little was asked to remove himself from the manager's office at Fenway Park. That request came from Boston fans bearing torches. Deep down, Little knew the fans were right. But he also knew that someday he would return to the majors. With nowhere to go, Little fled to Pennsylvania's Amish Country, where he appeared at the new home of Cubs fan, Steve Bartman. A day earlier, Chicago's fans had chased Bartman out of town, demanding that he never return.

Can two postseason pariahs share a home in Amish country without having the house egged?

Steve Bartman
What choice does Steve Bartman have but to go into exile?
SCENE 1

[The episode opens with GRADY cooking at the stove. A sleepy BARTMAN walks in.]

BARTMAN: Morning, Grady. What's for breakfast?

GRADY: French toast with cinnamon and fresh-squeezed orange juice. It will be just a couple minutes. I'm still getting the hang of these wood-burning stoves.

BARTMAN: Are you sure it's not done yet? I think the toast looks just about ready.

GRADY: No, I think it can cook a little longer.

BARTMAN: Well, you're the chef. But it looks like it's burning to me. It's all black and there's smoke pouring out of the pan.

GRADY: Yeah, I know, but I think it could take just a little longer on the stove.

BARTMAN: All right, if you say so. Can I help with anything?

GRADY: No, I think I have it under control. I just need to get the table set.

BARTMAN: Well, then let me help you with the plates.

GRADY: No, don't worry, I've got them.

BARTMAN: Are you sure? I'm not doing anything. Let me give you a hand.

GRADY: No, really. I've got them. See, they're right above me in the cupboard next to the fine china.

BARTMAN: That's crazy. You've got your hands full. I'll just reach up and get them.

[BARTMAN reaches into the cupboard and knocks an entire stack of plates to the ground, shattering them.]

GRADY: Now look what you did!

BARTMAN: Ummmm, sorry about that.

GRADY: Well, just clean it up and sit down. This French toast should be done in a half-hour or so.

SCENE 2

[GRADY and BARTMAN are sitting at the dinner table as the guests of a typical Amish family -- the TOWN ELDER, his gorgeous granddaughter, actress KELLY MCGILLIS, her son, SAMUEL, and her suitor, former Bolshoi ballet dancer ALEXANDER GODUNOV.]

GRADY: Anyway, sir, I apologize again for the incident in the barn this morning. I just thought that since that particular cow had produced such rich milk, I should continue milking her.

ELDER: Very well. But do not let it happen again.

GRADY: And speaking of giving milk, sir, your granddaughter appears capable, if I do say so myself.

[McGILLIS blushes, THE ELDER glares at GRADY, and BARTMAN knocks over the pitcher, spilling lemonade over McGILLIS' bodice.]

BARTMAN: Ummmm, sorry about that.

GRADY: Here, let me wipe that off for you.

[McGILLIS giggles. The ELDER glares. BARTMAN drops the gravy bowl. GODUNOV, sensing that GRADY is flirting with McGILLIS, feels the need to sabotage him.]

GODUNOV: So, tell me. Did you not think Pedro was tiring after he allowed six hits to the eight batters just before Jorge Posada? Surely, you should have gone to the bullpen for a lefty to face Matsui?

THE ELDER: You let Pedro face Matsui?

SAMUEL: After he had already doubled twice off Pedro?

GRADY: Well, ahhhh, it's always easy for fans at home to second-guess a manager after something goes wrong. Isn't that right, Kelly?

McGILLIS: Buzz off, moron.

BARTMAN: I think I dropped my fork.

Grady Little
SCENE 3

[The scene opens at a traditional Amish barn-raising. All the men in the village are on hand to help out, including GRADY and BARTMAN.]

THE ELDER: We must begin raising the walls. We are losing valuable daylight and I can smell rain.

GRADY: No, I think if we wait just a little longer, it will be cooler and we'll have better working conditions.

GUDONOV: What do you know of these things, Englisher man? It is about to storm. Come, let us finish the work.

GRADY: No, I think we should wait a little longer.

THE ELDER: Quit arguing. We must finish now before it rains and while there is still light!

GRADY: Hold on, old man. You don't want to rush these things. I think it's going to clear up. Let's just give it a little longer.

[There is a sudden and loud thunderclap and torrential rains begin falling. The Amish people glare at GRADY, then scurry desperately to finish the barn in terrible working conditions. Half of them grab ropes to raise the barn's wall and half climb ladders to nail the wall to the beams. BARTMAN climbs a ladder behind GRADY, who is reaching for a bucket of nails.]

BARTMAN: Here, let me help you with that.

[BARTMAN reaches for the nail bucket and drops it onto GRADY's head, knocking him unconscious. Rushing down to help his housemate, BARTMAN kicks over the ladder, sending GODUNOV to the ground. In a scramble to avoid the falling ballet star, several Amish workers let go of the support ropes and the entire barn crashes to the ground.]

BARTMAN: Ummmm, sorry about that.

ELDER: Truly, the devil has sent morons into our midst. Get thee from our land!

SCENE 4

[GRADY and BARTMAN, dressed in typical Amish garb, are buying grain from the local merchant.]

GRADY: You know, life is a little slow here, but it isn't too bad.

BARTMAN: Yeah. There isn't much to do and you can't watch TV and there aren't any phones. But it's peaceful. People leave you alone and there are no harassing calls.

GRADY: I think I could learn to like it here.

[Three AMISH TEENAGERS stare quizzically at GRADY and BARTMAN as they pass by. After giving it some thought, the FIRST TEENAGER stops as he suddenly realizes who they are.]

FIRST AMISH TEENAGER: It's Grady Little and Steve Bartman!

SECOND AMISH TEENAGER: You mean the guy who left Pedro in and the fan who screwed up the foul ball? It can't be.

THIRD AMISH TEENAGER: No, he is right. It is them.

FIRST AMISH TEENAGER: You're the dumbest manager I've ever seen, Grady!

SECOND AMISH TEENAGER [grabbing his crotch]: You didn't yank Pedro but maybe you can yank this, you moron!

THIRD AMISH TEENAGER: You suck, Grady!!!

FIRST AMISH TEEN: And the same goes for you, too, Bartman!

SECOND AMISH TEEN [grabbing his crotch]: Catch this, you moron!

THIRD AMISH TEEN: You suck, Bartman!!!

ALL THREE CHANT: A-holes, A-holes! A-holes, A-holes!

[GRADY and BARTMAN load their buggy and begin the slow ride home.]

GRADY: I hear the Australian outback is nice.

BARTMAN: The sunrises from the temple of Lhasa are supposed to be stunning.

[Roll end credits]

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.





THE EXILED COUPLE

ALSO SEE:


Jim Caple Archive

Caple: Another World's Series

Caple: A damn shame

Caple: Little blew it

Sportoon: Curses!

Caple: Public enemy

Minkoff: Curses, foiled again





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