|Mr. Monk Goes to the Ballgame|
July 11, 2003
John Sanderford as Lawrence Hammond
|Monk Season 2|
|Season 1||Season 3|
When a ruthless CEO and his wife are lured to their deaths, Monk connects their murders to a star baseball player's quest for the single season home run record.
In the midst of a corporate scandal, billionaire Lawrence Hammond leaves his office with his trophy wife, Erin, and drives to a resort getaway using the directions given by their car's GPS system. However, the electronic voice leads them not to a resort hotel but to a deserted parking lot - where a killer lies in wait. He approaches the passenger side and fires five shots through the window.
The next morning, Monk and Sharona go to a Little League game where Benjy is playing against a team coached by Stottlemeyer. Benjy's team loses, and Sharona orders Monk to give the boy some words of encouragement. Monk is out of his depth, but then Stottlemeyer receives a call about the murder.
The three of them go to examine the crime scene. Monk quickly realizes that, contrary to their expectations, Erin was the killer's primary target. She was shot four times, while Hammond was shot only once, and non-fatally at that. Hammond fell out of the car, and the killer ran him down with his. Hammond still survived just long enough to give a cryptic clue: "Girls Can't Eat Fifteen Pizzas." No one knows what it means.
Monk pursues the wife angle, and soon discovers that Erin had been having an affair. When Monk sees a sports magazine, he notices that Scott Gregorio, a baseball star, had taken an art class that Erin was also in, and deduces that he was her secret lover.
At the time of the murders, Scott Gregorio was just days away from breaking the single-season home run record. He confesses to Monk that he loved Erin, and that since her death he has gone into a terrible slump. Monk suspects that Erin might have been killed to keep Scott from breaking the famous record. Surprised, Scott agrees: just a week ago, someone attacked him outside the stadium with a baseball bat and tried to smash his arm. Since then, he's had bodyguards.
Scott offers to do anything he can to help in the investigation, and Monk asks him to give some batting tips to Benjy. In his own way, Monk manages to come through: with coaching, Benjy's swing improves noticeably, and he is on a cloud, taking lessons from his sports idol.
Since they've both lost the great loves of their lives, Monk and Scott quickly bond, and Monk gives the baseball star some advice about coping.
Monk finally decodes Lawrence Hammond's last words, "Girls Can't Eat Fifteen Pizzas," as the dying man's way of remembering "GCE 15P", the license plate of the killer's car. The car is found abandoned after being stolen from the Presidio the night before the murder. A smear of Hammond's blood is found on the front bumper, and under the seat is a home-programmed CD-ROM disk for a GPS device, that was used to lure Hammond and his wife to the car park. A security camera took a fuzzy photo of the killer. Monk knows he's seen the face before - but where?
Monk investigates whether Darryl Grant, the baseball player whose record Scott is about to break, is trying to protect his record. He and Sharona interview Grant's agent, who assures them that his client is an honorable man who has already had a record broken and would never stoop to sabotaging another player.
At Benjy's Little League game, the umpire quits after Stottlemeyer gets in his face. Since Benjy's team has to forfeit the game unless someone replaces the umpire, Monk agrees to do it. He couldn't be a worse choice for the job.
Despite the many delays caused by Monk, the game goes on, and Scott drops in time to see Benjy hit a game-winning home run. Stottlemeyer proves to be a good loser, congratulating Benjy personally and giving him the ball as a souvenir, telling him it'll be worth a lot of money someday - and that's when Monk has his epiphany. Everyone has seen the killer's face before, on a TV commercial for storm windows, endorsed by Darryl Grant, and featuring footage of the record-making hit.
Here's What HappenedEdit
Monk and the police close in on Walker Browning, an out-of-work computer programmer who caught the famous ball. A few weeks earlier, the ball would have fetched $3 million at auction, but was in danger of becoming worthless if Scott Gregorio broke the record. Browning tried to put Scott out of action by attacking him, but failed, and afterwards Scott was too well-protected. Instead, Browning got to Scott by killing the woman he loved.
Browning says there is no proof, and Stottlemeyer informs him that he left a fingerprint in the stolen car. Browning releases his attack dog, Toby. In the confusion, the police subdue Browning, but Toby runs out the door with the priceless baseball in his mouth.
The baseball season ends with Scott failing to break the home run record. Interviewed on TV, he admits that he's disappointed, but repeats the advice given to him by a "good friend" - that the most important thing is taking care of the people you love, or being true to their memories.
Later, when Monk and Sharona are taking a walk, they see Toby, who is still clutching the ball in his jaws. He releases it and runs off, but the ball has been reduced to soggy scraps.
- This is the first episode to allude to Monk's Gymnophobia. When going to the art class that both Scott Gregorio and Erin took, he is shown to be disturbed with the nude male model.
- Stottlemeyer informs the killer that they had found his fingerprint in stolen car. However, in flashback, its clearly showned that he was wearing glowes. Why would he take them off?
- How could killer broke Lawrence Hammond's into garage and car, since there were presumably good secured? And how did nobody noticed traces of breaking in?
(Monk gets Scott Gregorio to coach Benjy)
Sharona Fleming: Thank you, Adrian! (pause) I thought I'd thank you now, because in a half an hour, you're probably gonna piss me off again.
Monk: You're welcome.
(as Monk starts cleaning the plate)
Stottlemeyer: Okay, guys, we're gonna be here for a while, so if any of you have any homework that you need to do, you might as well take it out.