Transcript for From Fisher Cat to Yard Goat

From Fisher Cat to Yard Goat

[A baseball is struck by a bat. A buzz of cheerful crowds, more baseball sounds.]

Valiance Johnson — Jordan Cobb [to themself]

Fast, foul, fast, strike, fork, strike, out. Walker, easy, strike, easy, strike, easy, strike, out.

Bruce Bosley — Kenny Fuentes 

Umm, excuse me.

Valiance 

[Small snort.] Too easy. Nine, Martinez, fast, ball, fast, first… hrmm… Smith, fast, strike, cutter, bunt, catch, second, out, out. Nice one, Val. Irons, fast…

Bruce 

Valiance? Valiance Johnson? 

Valiance [a little annoyed] 

Yes? 

Bruce 

My name is Bruce Bosley. I’m the—

Valiance

—manager for the Red Line Yard Goats. I know. Look, I’m almost done; can you give me just a minute? 

Bruce 

Oh, sorry, sure. Take your time, take your time.

Valiance 

Thank you. [Catching back up in the 9th] Nine. Martinez. First. Smith. Double out. Play of the game there. [Back at normal tempo] Irons, fast, strike, fork, strike, screw, ball, you’re better than that, fork, ball, seriously, fast, strike, out. Victory for the Fisher Cats. 9-0. [Breath.] Sorry, Mr. Bosley—a little post-game routine I go through. 

Bruce 

Committing the game to memory? Or…

Valiance 

Not memory—just a replay. If you want to get better at something, you do it over and over. 

Bruce 

Well, I guess practice makes perfect.

Valiance 

No, practice makes practice. Practice is good for throwing a more consistent pitch, practice is good for being able to run faster and jump farther. But practice isn’t playing baseball. If I want to get better at baseball, I have to play more baseball. Most people only ever play a game once. But me—I play them all twice. Gives me a chance to think through every decision, every distraction, every pitch as a choice among a thousand other choices. 

Bruce 

It shows. You pitched a hell of a game out there. 

Valiance 

Yeah. I’m good at what I do. Look, can I help you with something?

Bruce 

Well, you already know I’m the manager for the Yard Goats. I’m out here recruiting and hopefully talking to my next star pitcher. 

Valiance 

Don’t teams usually have… scouts for this sort of thing? 

Bruce 

Yeah… when we moved from Hartford to Red Line… well, the boys were excited to move closer to the Sox. And, ya know, bigger city, I s’pose. But, uh… most of the management weren’t too interested in “life on the rails,” as it were. And a part of our contract with Mayor Bespin to move the team to Red Line was that all of the players and staff live in the city. She said it wouldn’t look too good if we all lived in Boston but only played in Red Line.

Valiance [annoyed, sarcastic] 

Oh! Well, then I have some exciting news for you—not only will I not come play for the Yard Goats, I actually legally can’t!

Bruce 

Oh?

Valiance 

I stood with Isabelle Powell and boycotted. I was evicted from my home, kicked out of Red Line. I can only assume that I’m probably not allowed back in. 

Bruce 

Oh… I see. Well, look! Mayor Bespin is pretty invested in this baseball team. 

Valiance 

Is that supposed to convince me?

Bruce 

No, I mean I might be able to pull some strings! Get you your old place back, clear your name!

Valiance 

Mr. Bosley, does the word “pride” mean nothing to you? 

Bruce 

Please, call me Bruce. And look. I get it. You ain’t exactly been treated fairly. And between youse and me, I’m not really lock-step with Bespin’s worldview, if you catch my pitch. But Valiance—you’ve got a gift. An arm like I ain’t ever seen and an even sharper sense! You’re playing baseball like it’s 4D chess while most of these galoompas are still pitching tic-tac-toe, three in a row and you’re out.

Valiance 

I know I’m the best. And that’s precisely why I won’t come play the role of “Local MVP” for Empress Bespin’s bread and circuses.

Bruce 

And so you’ll what? Do you see any other managers coming to CCSCCFC games? Do you see the majors knocking anytime soon? You gonna move to the midwest and play fastpitch? 

Valiance [interrupting, upset] 

I’m a baseball player, goddammit.  

Bruce 

So come play baseball! Valiance—they’re funneling money into this thing. Bespin needs a win, and she’ll pay through the teeth to get it. I can get you a good contract, your home back, and what’s more—PR. Like I said, I ain’t too keen on Bespin, so I retained total control over all Yard Goat PR efforts. And I know the Yard Goats weren’t shit when we were in Hartford. Lord do I know it—I was their coach, for chrissake. But when a team moves, it’s a chance to rebrand. A chance to change. And I’ve got the money, the backing, lord knows Red Line has the attention. But it isn’t enough. I need a catalyst. I need the best goddamn ball player this side of the Mississippi. I need you, Valiance. 

Valiance 

Hrmm. Mr. Bosley—what’s your favorite baseball movie? 

Bruce 

Bruce is fine. And… my what?

Valiance 

You heard me, your favorite baseball movie. 

Bruce 

I mean… I guess Field of Dreams?

Valiance

[Snorts.] Really? Such a boomer choice.

Bruce 

Alright, for one, I’m Gen X, and for two… gauh… [embarrassed] it’s, uhh… it’s not really my favorite. It’s just the one I say ‘cause, well, everyone says it’s the best, you know. 

Valiance

Look, we won’t get anywhere with this putting on of your boomer airs. Give it to me straight. What’s your favorite baseball movie? No cap. 

Bruce 

Well, uh… [saying it in the most uncool way possible] no cap… my favorite baseball movie is… [sighs] Angels in the Outfield.

Valiance 

The 1994 Disney movie with Danny Glover and Christopher Lloyd? 

Bruce 

And a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt! And Matthew McConaughey, Adrien Brody, Tony Danza. The cast is absolutely stacked and… look, we’re on the level. You won’t rat on me to the team?

Valiance 

That depends.

Bruce 

[Sighs.] Fine. [ushing through it] I cry every time. When they all stand up and make the angel wings to give Tony Danza the confidence to win his last game. Oh, Jesus, I’m gettin’  watery just thinkin’ about it. 

Valiance 

Alright, that’s a pretty good choice. If you’d said For the Love of the Game or The Rookie or some other old white dude movie I would have walked then and there. 

Bruce 

But… you’re not walking?

Valiance 

Do you wanna know what my favorite baseball movie is, Mr. Bosley?

Bruce 

I mean, it only seems fair. 

Valiance 

You remember that one with the Black woman in the majors? The rookie pitcher, the up and comer who’s taking the league by storm? 112 minutes of pure joy as we watch this woman prove that she’s the best pitcher there’s ever been, likely the best pitcher there ever will be. And you know my favorite part about that movie, Mr. Bosley? It isn’t about how hard her life in baseball is because of who she is. It’s just about how much she loves the game and how good she is at it. Have you seen that one, Mr. Bosley?

Bruce 

No… no, I can’t say I have.

Valiance 

Right—cause that movie hasn’t been made yet. No, when I was growing up and I wanted to see someone like me playing baseball, I just had to imagine that movie in my head. Mr. Bosley, if I come and play with the Yard Goats, I’m not playing for you, I’m not playing for the team’s new direction, and I sure as sugar ain’t playing for Bespin’s victory. I’m playing for all the little Black girls out there; I’m playing for the movie I want made of my life. And what’s more, if you sign me, you don’t get me on your team—I get you on mine. You stand up for me, you do what’s in my interests, and you keep Bespin and her political games out of my baseball. Oh, and I am absolutely not one of “the boys.” Are we understood? 

Bruce 

Absolutely. 

Valiance 

And don’t think for a second we’re done with negotiations. If you’re signing me, and Red Line is flipping, I don’t come cheap. 

Bruce 

Valiance, we’re gonna make this worth your while.  

Valiance 

Bruce, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful season.  


Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason, with additional support from Jordan Higgs, TH Ponders, Bob Raymonda, and Jordan Stillman. Recording and technical assistance from Marck Harmon.

This mini-episode was written by T.H. Ponders.

Content warnings at end of show notes.

CAST

This episode featured:

  • Jordan Cobb as Valiance Johnson (she/her)
  • and Kenny Fuentes as Bruce Bosley (he/him)

MUSIC

“Charlie on the MTA” performed by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede.

CONTACT

Find us online at GreaterBostonShow.com.

Follow us on Twitter @InGreater Boston.

A production of ThirdSight Media LLC.

Content warnings:

  • Reference to eviction
  • Allusions to institutional racism/misogyny
  • Just a bit of crying in baseball (our sincerest regrets to Tom Hanks)
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