Before “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” Bob Odenkirk wrote about breaking bats and better call the bullpen. Odenkirk, the actor who plays sly lawyer Saul Goodman, assembled a script a few years ago for a TV show about a minor league baseball team.
“I had a friend who was very much into baseball and minor league baseball,” Odenkirk said before a recent Triple-A game in Albuquerque, N.M. “I read some books and we wrote a TV pilot for FX that we wanted to shoot with a real team.
“When I did (the script), there was some guy starting up a new minor league, I’m sure it folded. It was a private minor league out in Utah, an independent league. We were working with him. He was going to help us but the network just decided it was too hard.”
FX executives liked the script but passed because they weren’t airing comedies at that time and didn’t know how the show would fit in their lineup.
Odenkirk envisioned a cast combining actors with real players. He is intrigued by the emotions surrounding a minor league team.
“It’s such a unique world. It’s a world full of desire, anxiety, struggle. I still think it’s a great idea,” Odenkirk said.
Imagine if Odenkirk’s baseball show got picked up a few years ago and he wasn’t available to become Saul Goodman. It’s hard to picture America’s favorite slippery lawyer played by anyone else.
Odenkirk still has the baseball script. Will it ever reach our TV screens?
“Maybe someday. It’s a good idea. It would be cool, wouldn’t it?” Odenkirk wondered.
Tim Hagerty is the broadcaster for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, and is on Twitter at @MinorsTeamNames. He is also the author of “Root for the Home Team: Minor League Baseball’s Most Off-the-Wall Team Names.”