Richard Linklater, one of the indie world's favorite directors of the last couple decades, released two films in 2006, both unusual in some way. A Scanner Darkly used rotoscoping to turn a live-action film into surreal animation, while Fast Food Nation took a nonfiction book and turned it into a fictional story. Fans wondered: What's next on his agenda?

Well, we have an answer! Linklater must like trying new things, because this time it's a documentary -- his first time in that genre except for a short (Live from Shiva's Dance Floor) that he made a few years ago. This one, called Inning by Inning: A Coach's Progress, is a profile of University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in NCAA history.

Garrido granted Linklater unprecedented access to practices, games, and team meetings, not to mention access to himself and the players. And Garrido is no stranger to the ways of filmmaking, either. The 68-year-old coach has been friends with Kevin Costner since the days when the actor attended Cal State Fullerton, where Garrido was then coaching (and winning). Costner even recruited Garrido to play a Yankees manager in his film For Love of the Game.

Linklater screened a rough cut of Inning by Inning for Austin Film Society members last Thursday -- a fitting venue, considering he co-founded the organization and is its artistic director. No word yet on when the film will be finished and released, but the subject is a natural fit for Linklater, who loves University of Texas and baseball. If it's good, maybe it can count as an apology for Bad News Bears.