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Recap / South Park S 9 E 5 The Losing Edge

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The boys of South Park have found themselves in Little League Baseball, which their parents love and are extremely enthusiastic about, while the kids hate the sport. After winning their final game of the regular season, they soon find themselves stuck in the State Championships of Little League, and while they attempt to throw their games in an attempt to save their summer from being taken over by baseball, every other team they face has the same idea and South Park Cows have little experience with losing...

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While the kids are on the field, Randy has made a name for himself via getting drunk and engaging in fights with other parents of the opposing Little League teams. Like something out of a Rocky movie, Randy finds himself facing the toughest person he's ever fought against: the Bat Dad. His fear of facing the Bat Dad leads to him not attending the State final.

Meanwhile, the South Park kids see a way they can save their summer by enlisting Kyle's stereotypical Jewish cousin, Kyle Schwartz, to their team, as they know him to be terrible at every sport he plays. However, while the final starts off promising due to Kyle Schwartz's physical failings, their opponents from the Denver Little League have practiced and proved themselves to be "really good at sucking".

Just as it seems South Park is going to win and doom the kids' summers to the national circuit of Little League, Randy returns to face the Bat Dad and the two wind up in a fight. Upon realizing that the fight could lead South Park to become disqualified, Stan and the rest of the kids encourage Randy to keep fighting, spurring him to victory and leading to South Park's disqualification.

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Tropes:

  • Bail Equals Freedom: At every game, Randy gets into a fight, is arrested by the police, then gets released after paying bail. The cycle continues throughout the episode and the inevitable trial for twelve counts of assault is never seen - Randy really should have gotten six months for his repeated assult and surely breaking conditions of bail. Considering how blatant it is, it's not unfounded to suggest it's a rib on the fallacies of the bail system - that it results in one law for those who can afford bail, another for those who can't, and sit in prison until trial - or until a guilty plea is extracted.
  • Baseball Episode: Obviously. But not in the usual way...
  • The Bus Came Back: Kyle's cousin, Kyle Schwartz makes his third appearance when he is recruited by the boys to help them lose the game.
    Kyle Schwartz: I'm back!
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  • Description Cut: The Donovans and the Broflovskis are sitting next to each other in the stands, and Mr. Donovan says, "Just look at those boys out there, lovin' the great game of baseball like we did when we were kids." Meanwhile, on the field...
    Kyle: [at second base] Oh, God, I'm so bored!...
    [Token, at first base, yawns loudly]
    Butters: [in left field, singing] I see a ladybug, hello Lady Ladybug...
    [pitcher Stan throws the ball toward home plate with an expression that suggests he'd rather be anywhere else]
  • Genre Savvy: Before the game against Denver, Cartman recognizes that they're in a sports movie type plot and that at this point, the team usually recruits a ringer to help them win. So in order for their team to lose, they need to recruit someone who's a terrible athlete instead.
  • Informed Flaw: While the Denver team is clearly good at intentionally throwing games, it seems weird that they made it to the finals if they were that good at playing badly.
  • Oh, Crap!: After striking out the last Conifer batter, the boys celebrate the end of baseball season and the real beginning of summer - until Stephen Stotch, their coach, tells them they're now going to the postseason and have more baseball to look forward to. The kids' jaws drop in absolute horror, and Stan lets out a Big "NO!".
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Denver team South Park face in the finals.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The South Park team are cobbled together from the available "talent" in their class. They are still the best of a bad bunch in their local league, but would be ground into paste in the postseason if the other teams weren't even more determined to lose than they are.
  • Running Gag: Randy constantly getting into fights at the Little League games, then being arrested afterwards.
  • Shout-Out: Randy's plotline is a complete plot reference to the Rocky movies.
  • Super Ringer: Inverted. The boys recruit Kyle Schwartz in hopes that his lack of athletic ability will make them lose.
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