Wednesday, December 27, 2006

February 20, 1992: "Homer at the Bat"

Front row: Homer Simpson, Montgomery Burns.
Second row: Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Mike Scioscia.
Third row: Don Mattingly, Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr.

# Player Pos How recruited Fate
1 Steve Sax 2B playing at jazz club six life sentences
2 Wade Boggs 3B punched out by Barney
3 Darryl Strawberry RF pulled for pinch hitter
4 Jose Canseco LF baseball card convention saving burning house
5 Don Mattingly 1B washing dishes at home kicked off team
6 Ken Griffey, Jr. CF overdose of nerve tonic
7 Mike Scioscia C deer hunting radiation overdose
8 Ozzie Smith SS touring Graceland lost in Mystery Spot
9 Roger Clemens P thinks he's a chicken

From the January 27, 1992, issue of Sports Illustrated:

"Virtually all the writers on the staff are rotisserie league junkies," says Simpsons creator Matt Groening. (This explains why—since fielding doesn't count in Rotisserie baseball—Boggs is drawn with a glove on his right hand. The real Boggs throws right handed.) Last spring, in an overt act of collusion, the writers conspired to create the ultimate Rotisserie team and write a show around it, using the actual major league players to provide voice-overs. Throughout the summer, whenever one of the Springfield nine visited Southern California on a road trip, he would come into the studio to read his lines.

"I was surprised that the players were so amiable," says writer John Swartzwelder, whose script poked fun at their images. It portrays Strawberry, for example, as a spry fielder and team leader who throws around such words as "hustle" and "attitude." Mattingly is booted from the team for failing to trim his sideburns. And Boggs is punched out by a patron at Moe's Tavern after a dispute over who was England's greatest prime minister.

Not everyone appreciated Swartzwelder's sense of humor, however. "One of the players' wives objected to her husband's having an affair with Mrs. Krabappel, Bart Simpson's teacher," says Groening, who was then forced to say "No way, Jose" to the plot twist.

Thanks to The Simpsons Archive for the information.