Camera moves in on Bryce Harper amidst canned applause. Harper, wearing a dirtied Washington Nationals baseball uniform, nods grimly.
BRYCE: Hello, everyone, and welcome to this talk show I do now. We’ll be talking about cool things like baseball, phenoms, clowns, and becoming a caricature of yourself based on several buzzwords and stories by the national media.
BRYCE: Today on the show we’ve scheduled Nationals head trainer Lee Kuntz.
Lee enters from stage right, waving to the crowd, but receives minimal applause.
BRYCE: Hello Lee.
LEE: Hey, Bryce. You all right?
LEE: Are you sure?
LEE: Okay, sorry, I’m just… well, you know I’m contractually obligated to ask you that every 15 minutes.
BRYCE: I know.
LEE: If you think that’s annoying, it’s better than what I’ve got to do with Strasburg. Kid is in a stasis tank strapped to the top of my minivan right now.
Some laughter from audience. Kuntz looks at them sharply.
LEE: That’s not funny. How is that funny. This is a player’s health we’re talking about. Do you know what could happen to that kid if he was exposed to the air with this high of a pollen count? At this altitude? Until you’ve stayed up through the night after your van broke down on the side of the highway, defending the unconscious future of a franchise from curious raccoons with a sharpened stick, YOU DON’T GET TO LAUGH.
BRYCE: As an athletic trainer what is your job.
LEE: Ha ha, that’s a good question, Bryce. You always have such good questions.
Lee takes a sip of water. Bryce watches him drink. His eye balls begin to quiver with intensity.
LEE: You see, the road to Stephen Strasburg’s health is paved with raccoon carcasses, and–
Horrendous slurping sound is heard. Looks up and sees Bryce chugging the other glass of water, making a huge mess all over his clothes.
LEE: Bryce… Bryce, stop. This isn’t a competition—Bryce! You’re gonna drown!
Bryce begins coughing, then sputtering, then spewing water all over the place, clutching his throat. Klaxons begin going off and red lights start flashing.
A full surgical staff, several search and rescue workers, and policeman with a squad of bloodhounds, and a team of fully dressed divers appear on stage.
LEE: WE ARE ON RED ALERT PEOPLE.
The team starts prepping for surgery. The bloodhounds start howling. Some of the search and rescue workers take the glass out of Bryce’s hand, smash it on the ground, and stomp on the shards.
BRYCE: I’m fine. I’m all right.
LEE: Are you sure? You could be hemorrhaging, internally.
BRYCE: I’m okay.
LEE: WE’RE CLEAR PEOPLE.
The stage is somehow immediately clear instantly.
BRYCE: As an athletic trainer what is your job.
LEE: Well, Bryce, I’d have to say my job is to keep elite, handsome, national treasures like yourself safe from all harm.
BRYCE: Awesome. Now it’s time for the “Clown Question, Bro” dancers.
A crew of clowns wearing Nationals gear come on stage, dancing to circus music. One of them has a t-shirt cannon. Lee, suddenly alarmed, stands up and points.
LEE: HE’S GOT A GUN.
One of the divers reappears on the other end of the stage and fires a spear gun into the clown’s throat. He falls to the ground, gagging and dying, as the rest of the clowns cut the routine short and shuffle off stage wordlessly.
When we come back, several Nationals staffers are mopping the stage floor. The dead clown is gone. Lee is having a hushed conversation with another worker as Bryce sits in his chair, staring unblinkingly out at the audience.
LEE: (Whispering) …and you let me know the second that clown’s blood tests come back.
WORKER: (Also whispering) You got it.
Lee grabs the worker’s arm as he goes to leave.
LEE: The second.
WORKER: You’re hurting me!
BRYCE: Now it’s time for our next guest, my fellow outfielder, Jayson Werth.
Jayson Werth enter, waves to the crowd. He sits down and looks at Bryce oddly.
JAYSON: What happened to your clothes, Bryce?
BRYCE: Youthful passion happened.
BRYCE: As an outfielder what if your job.
JAYSON: (Confused) I, uh…
He looks at a producer off stage. The producer clutches one side of his headphones and makes the “keep it going” gesture.
JAYSON: Uh, well, as you know, Bryce, I catch or field the ball if it gets past the infield.
BRYCE: I’ll bet I get to more balls than you this season.
JAYSON: Ha ha, we’ll have to see about that.
Bryce stares at him for 60 seconds of complete silence.
We come back. Jayson is still sitting in his chair, watching nonchalantly as Bryce, having flipped over the small table between them, tries to rip off one of the legs with his bare hands.
JAYSON: You’re gonna hurt yourself.
BRYCE: **furious grunting**
When we return, the table leg is ripped off and the table is still upside down. Bryce has returned to his seat, now with a lot of bandaging wrapped around his hands. The Table leg is embedded in the wall behind him.
BRYCE: This is Bryce Harper, reminding all you kids out there that whatever you love to do, you’re only doing it right if it hurts you.
Jayson gets up to leave. As he exits the stage, Bryce gets a fire in his eyes, vaults over his chair, and runs for the exit off stage, shoving past Jayson and concussing himself on a brick wall.
Lee runs by, screaming into a walkee-talkee.
LEE: CODE RED CODE RED
Emergency workers, diving team, bloodhounds, clowns now wearing outlandish doctor outfits, and horse-mounted policemen all rush across the stage.
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