Original Name: Doctor Longball
Czech Name: Doktor Longball
Written By: Paul Quarrington
Directed By: Larry McLean
Original Air Date: September 23, 1998 (Canada); January 26-February 1, 1998 (USA); September 28, 1998 (Australia); May 20, 1998 (South Africa); May 3, 1998 (Switzerland)
Credits .. Photos .. Audio .. Video .. Music ..
Transcript .. DivX Subtitles
Welsh has a dilemma. He's needs to get out to Willison, a small idyllic town, where his brother (Wilson Welsh) is sheriff and is having problems with vandalism and crime. However, none of Welsh's men wish to go the country, but it doesn't take much to entice Fraser to see a 'slice of Americana.'
The local baseball team, the Hawkeyes, is busily playing ball when three armed and masked robbers hit the office, making off with the team's payroll. This doesn't sit well with the manager of the team, Huck Bogart, who is more concerned with winning than with the fact that the accountant, Mr. Proulx, got bonked on the head.
On the way into town, Welsh and Fraser must stop in the countryside as Dief needs to attend to 'business,' which takes an awful long time, long enough for Fraser to spy several men in the ravine below transferring money and weapons. Within minutes, Fraser, Welsh and Dief disarm the men, but two of them escape.
Welsh arrives in time to find Wilson sending a deputy (who looks suspiciously like Francesca, just the first of many 'clones' the Chicago cops come across). When Fraser drags in their prisoner, the man just starts bawling. Wilson is inclined to take the small town approach to dealing with crime; he knows virtually everyone there. Welsh, however, is more direct, but while the two brothers disagree, Fraser finds out everything from the prisoner.
At the baseball game, the manager, Huck Bogart, is truly peeved that someone is trying to stop him from making a record of 3,000. When the cops show up, he shows them a threatening note someone left for him.
Word of the payroll theft has leaked out and the team is walking, and no matter what team owner Olivia Murtaugh says, until Wilson lets her know the payroll's been recovered. But the problems aren't over. Bogart benches Olsen, who doesn't take it well.
The Welsh brothers and Fraser end up at Wilson's mobile home, located along a roadside. Welsh doesn't seem overly impressed with it, and soon the brothers are disagreeing over how to handle cop business, as well as hashing over their feelings about their alcoholic father. After Wilson goes out for a breath of fresh air, Fraser comes in, suggesting that since their presence is probably known in town (100% probability, considering Fraser's red serge), and that they should bring in a third party to infiltrate the team.
Kowalski is elected. He'd been on vacation down in Mexico but his plans went sour when his date dumped him for a poncho salesman (well, he had busted her a few weeks before). At least he got a poncho out of it. Fraser persuades him to literally play ball, but the cop isn't sure he's up to it, but instantly decides he can do it when Fraser casually suggests that the coach could always bench him.
Stan manages to insinuate himself into the team as Ace Leary, a hotshot from the 'Great White North.' And just as he is the process of changing, Action News Reporter Toni Lake decides to interview him (never mind his state of undress).
Fraser overhears a conversation between Olivia and Winston Cahoon, the town's mayor, who would like to buy the stadium from Olivia. This gives Fraser new information to ponder.
When Cosentino is injured in the batting cage when the ball machine goes berserk, and Olsen is back in the game. He's also a prime suspect -- as he had motive and knew when Cosentino would be practicing. Stan finds evidence in Olsen's locker, and Wilson is forced to pick up the baseball player, who unfortunately has an alibi for the time the machine was tinkered with: he was with Olivia in 'contract negotiations.' But Welsh wants the man to stay in jail, and Wilson concurs.
Huey and Dewey pick up the robbers in Chicago, and one had the phone number for the payphone outside Olivia's office in his possession. So it looks like Olivia is guilty. However, she's not around, she's at the Chiltingham Hotel in Chicago (the phone number was written on a coaster from that hotel).
Stan is panicking a little: he's going to be put into a game. Despite his boasting about once playing with the Cubs, it was at a Fantasy Game, where you don't need any skills. He's being stuck at third base - the hot corner -- and doesn't like it one bit.
The Harding brothers hang out in the bleachers, of course discussing their father again and how their old man treated them. Wilson has forgiven his ailing, elderly father, but Welsh is not so quick to forgive. When they spy Olivia, Wilson goes off to bust her, but gets nowhere fast. Their theory is shot full of holes when the cops discover Olivia actually owns the stadium, so she stands to lose a lot if the team loses.
Welsh finds out from his men that Bobby Letourneau, one of the bad guys, is an alias. His name is Donny Proulx, nephew to Mr. Proulx, the bookkeeper for the team! They confront the man, who claims he's being framed. Fraser believes this, as they seem to have an ample supplies of suspects, as well as lots of convenient evidence. They narrow their search down to Woody, the team mascot, who eventually cracks under pressure. He committed the vandalism to get even with Huck, who treats him badly, and also stole Olivia from him. Wilson is horrified: Olivia's been with everybody!
The ballgame begins, and Fraser gives Stan some quick tips on playing ball. Alas, the team is not doing well, and neither is the Mayor, who suddenly finds himself surrounded by the Welsh brothers and Fraser. Woody confessed to who hired him and they figured out the rest. The Mayor stands to gain a lot from purchasing all the land around the stadium, as well as the stadium. The Mayor stalks off, and the cops pursue. As they hunt him down, Stan ends up in the game, and up to bat. Just as Fraser and the others capture the Mayor, Stan actually hits an honest-to-gosh homerun, saving the day. The win is accented by a major display of fireworks, set off by the Mayor's carelessly disposed-of cigar.
The case is solved and everybody is back at the station, but Stan is making life unbearable for many but his constant replays on video of his home run. Meanwhile, Wilson and Harding are off to see their father, but Harding doesn't think Wilson's choice of gift -- a weed whacker -- makes any sense. Fraser imparts some sensibility to the two men, but when he offers advice to Welsh on how to deal with fathers, Welsh doesn't take kindly to it.
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