Only weeks before the scheduled release of Hardball, the director was forced to remove more than 20 uses "of a certain curse word" so that the film could be released with a PG rating instead of an R, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Tuesday). Until that time, Paramount had adamantly maintained that it would make no cuts in the film, which concerns a Chicago Little League team in which the members spout four-letter words. Reportedly based on an actual team, Hardball had earned the ire of the team's coach, who denied that the members used foul (no pun intended) language. He also accused the studio of perpetuating racial stereotypes of black children. Director Brian Robbins told the Times that he feels "OK about the new version." However, he added, "We discussed the ratings issue before we made the film, and I just wish this could have been decided back then, instead of at the last minute."