Episode - 8F13
First Aired - 2/20/1992Baseball Episode
where Homer and his homemade bat carry the power plants softball team into the championship game. However, Mr. Burns hires a team of Major League Baseball players to guarantee a victory and win a million dollar bet.
This episode contains examples of:
- As Himself: Wade Boggs, Josť Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Mike Scoscia, Ozzie Smith, and Darryl Strawberry are the ringers Mr. Burns hires. Musician Terry Cashman sings a version of his song "Talkin' Baseball" based on the events of the episode during the credits.
- Bait and Switch: It looks like the episode will revolve around Homer and his "magic" bat, but the plot switches to the Ringers Mr Burns hires. The bat even breaks during the first practice with the pros.
- Back for the Finale: Ozzie Smith appears on the ending group photo in astral form, due to being trapped in another dimension.
- Down to the Last Play: Homer is called upon to pinch-hit for Darryl Strawberry with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Thanks to Mr. Burns and his weird Hand Signals, Homer becomes distracted and gets knocked-out by a pitch to the head, forcing the winning run to score.
- Gretzky Has the Ball: Lisa erroneously says Homer's hit by pitch counts as a hit.
- Jerkass: The woman whose house is burning down, making Josť Canseco get everything out of the house for her and then complaining that the dryer goes elsewhere.
- Police Brutality: Steve Sax is arrested for just about every unsolved crime in New York City by the Springfield Police for no particular reason. Also Disproportionate Retribution.
- Take That: After Mr. Burns kicks Mattingly off the team for not getting rid of his nonexistent sideburns, Mattingly notes that he "still like[s] [Burns] better than Steinbrenner."
- Tempting Fate: Burns finding the idea that his nine players would befall nine calamities before the Shelbyville game hilarious. Technically he's correct. Only seven players were subject to ridiculous calamities. Mattingly is kicked off because he still didn't get rid of the nonexistent sideburns Burns kept screaming about, and Strawberry still makes it.
- Whole Plot Reference: To The Natural, particularly the film version starring Robert Redford as a baseball player using a a bat of Thunderbolt Wood from a lightning-struck tree.