Submitted by Tornado Dragon
Following the conclusion of Maz’s (Ralph Macchio) bachelor party at Ed’s Bar & Swill (who sponsors the softball team that he and Artie [Artie Lange] play for), Artie finds out from Mangenelli (Anthony DeSando) himself that Linda (Cara Buono) used to go to his gym and even slept with him. When Artie meets up with Linda at a diner the next day, he asks her if she really did sleep with Mangenelli, and she replies that she did, although it happened over two years ago. Artie demands to know why she couldn’t tell him this herself, and she replies that she couldn’t do it because he was completely consumed with hatred for Mangenelli and he is finally just starting to get over it. She tells him that she doesn’t think about Mangenelli, and she doesn’t want him to think about him, either; all she wants is for them to be happy like they are. He responds to this by breaking up with her, claiming that he just can’t handle this new information about her, so she loudly berates him for this decision and then storms out of the diner.
Now dateless for Maz’s wedding and unable to stomach the thought of letting Mangenelli see him there without a date, Artie telephones several old flings hoping to take one of them to the ceremony, but they all turn him down. However, he does take the time to call Linda, and though he only gets her answering machine (though we see that she is sitting right next to it), he tells her that he is sorry for how he acted towards her and that he misses her. The next day, Artie and the rest of the Ed’s Bar & Swill team win their softball tournament semi-final match, which pits them against Mangenelli and his Mangenelli’s Fitness team in the championship finals, scheduled to take place in three days at Tamblyn Field. The following day, Artie manages to get the “Pitching Machine” (Keisha) from Maz’s bachelor party to agree to be his date to Maz’s wedding, but she gets high on cocaine while she is driving them to the church, causing her to go through a stop sign and almost crash into another car. This gets the attention of a nearby police officer, and Artie winds up spending the night in a jail cell and misses the wedding, leaving Johnny (Jimmy Palumbo) to take over his duties as best man and deliver a disastrous toast at the reception.
During their team’s final practice session at Tamblyn Field before tomorrow’s championship game, Artie profusely apologizes to Maz for screwing up like he did, but Maz refuses to accept any of his apologies and reams him out for being selfish and irresponsible again. Moments later, just after Artie tells Maz that he is going to quit the team in light of this blunder of his, the team’s elderly player Dirt (Seymour Cassel) suddenly dies. After his funeral the following morning, the team gathers at Ed’s to toast to him before they play for the softball title in two hours, and Maz takes a moment to have a private chat with Artie. Artie explains that he didn’t want to be around Mangenelli at the wedding without a date because it would have been too humiliating for him after what he had learned about Mangenelli and Linda, and Maz replies that he can’t let Mangenelli get to him, because when he does, that’s when he turns into a jerk and screws everything up. Maz explains that he wants to beat Mangenelli at softball as well, but his issues with him end there, and he tells Artie that he needs to let go of his problems with Mangenelli or else that guy will just ruin his whole life. Artie agrees to stop worrying about Mangenelli, and then they return to their teammates to continue toasting to Dirt. However, they all get carried away with doing that over most of the next two hours and end up getting hammered, and when they eventually realize that the game is about to start soon, they all decide to play in their suits since they don’t have enough time to go home and get their uniforms without risking forfeiting the game for being late.
Because of their intoxicated state, the Ed’s Bar & Swill team play abysmally the entire game, and by the time they are last at bat in the final inning, they are trailing 10-0. After the team gets two outs on them, Artie goes up to bat, but as he is taking his first swing, Linda shows up. She tells Artie that he is a jerk, but she really misses him, and Artie agrees to have a chat with her after the game. He then proceeds to hit the first home run at Tamblyn Field since 1989, and after being congratulated for it by his teammates, Alfonse (Michael Deeg) remarks that he was able to get some revenge on Mangenelli even if they aren’t going to win. These words get Artie all stirred up, and he tells Alfonse and the rest of the team that they ARE going to win, and he encourages them to dig deep inside themselves and play hard. They do just that (with the team loser Dave [Joe Lo Truglio] even managing to hit the ball for once) and improve their score to 10-6, and they eventually find themselves in a situation where they have all of the bases loaded and Artie is next to bat, needing to hit another home run in order to tie the game. Artie makes a good hit that enables the three runners to make it to home plate, but just as he is coming around to home plate himself, Mangenelli gets the ball and stands in his way. Artie tackles him, but he keeps his grip on the ball, making Artie out and winning the game for Mangenelli’s Fitness.
Because of the loss, the Ed’s Bar & Swill team has to disband, but they all agree to reform their team in Parsippany next year and play in that town’s softball league. They then decide to go get drunk again, but Artie tells them that he has something to do first, and he instructs Linda to bring her car around. He then walks up to Mangenelli while he is celebrating with his teammates and throws dirt in his eyes, then snatches the championship trophy and escapes in Linda’s car with it, keeping a promise he made to Mangenelli at the start of the season where he told him that he wasn’t getting that trophy. As they drive down the highway, they agree to pawn the trophy in Newark and then go over to the Jersey Shore and buy cheesesteak sandwiches with the money.