One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'm pictured on!

Okay, maybe not exactly, but close enough! I am on the photo page for the April 14 Jays game against the White Sox.

Apparently that game was a record low for attendance at a Jays game in SkyDome (I still call it that, not Rogers Centre!). The announced attendance was 10,610, however it felt more like an Expos game when they were in their lame duck years. Based on memory, I'd say no more than 8000.

Without further ado, the image, and url still there, so you can (probably not bother) see for yourselves! I'm in about the sixth row with a red hat (follow Brandon Morrow's glove through the umpire's head).

And yes, I got a couple of foul balls, and gave one away.

Simpsons MoneyBART episode review (Season 22 episode 3)

I saw this episode when it aired, last Sunday, October 10, and thorougly enjoyed it. It just dawned on me, that I could post a review here, as I am in dire need of posts on this (very much still alive) blog.

The Simpsons being my favourite all time show, even if I do not watch it very often anymore, save for new episodes when I have the chance.

So of course, The Simpsons has countless baseball references, most notable being the 1992 episode dedicated entirely to baseball. That episode was "Homer at the Bat", where numerous big leaguers had sizable guest spots. That was the episode where Mr. Burns hired all the ringers to work in the power plant in order to be eligible to compete on their softball team. This was to ensure Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's softball team would beat Shelbyville's.

This past Sunday's episode was also entirely dedicated to baseball. The title, of course a reference to the Michael M. Lewis book, Moneyball.

Oh, and if per chance you have not seen it, there are partial spoilers within.

The show starts off with two plot lines that become one in act two. Lisa becomes worried she will not be able to get to an Ivy League school due to her minimal involvement in school clubs. Meanwhile, Ned Flander's resigns as Bart's baseball teams manager. Reason being, Ned let the umpire call a long fall ball a home run run without saying a word, this of course was his own shortstop!

A Montreal reference worth noting, Marge tells Lisa she could always go to McGill (the Harvard of Canada)!

So of course Lisa becomes the new manager, much to Bart's initial shagrin.

Lisa, not knowing baseball heads to Moe's Tavern, to find the drunks watching baseball, and ask them about baseball. All they know is whatever the manager does, he is it wrong, and if it works, he is a button pusher! Lisa then finds Professor Frink and the other nerds talking baseball, sabermetrics style! Bill James (the one who coined Sabermetrics) guests with the funny: "I Made baseball as much fun as doing your taxes!"

One of the books the nerds give her is of course Moneyball. She continues to bone up on baseball. With her Moneyball, and sabermetrics research Ralph Wiggum ends up being positioned peferctly to catch a line drive. The show then goes into a montage featuring of course "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" as background music that shows her team moving up in the standings. After which, a good Nelson Muntz soundbyte. And Bart naming ballparks, Enron Field (ha ha!), Pacific Bell Park, then SBC Park, and now AT&T Park.

As the show progresses, there's numerous good quotes and Simpsons style wit, such as the announcer saying "Bart Simpson on deck, his bat's just hungering for a homer... speaking of homer, Bart's father's name is you guessed it, not on my fact sheet!"

Also nice is the Mike Scioscia cameo. He of course was in the 1992 Simpsons episode, so it made reference to that. He was the one who got radiation poisoning, which Scioscia explains helped give him super managing power.

Perhaps a hidden gag on the length of a ballgame, with Bart off the team, he states how after seven hours at the amusement park he is finally starting to enjoy himself. All the while, this is while Lisa's baseball game is going on. Ralph is later then too juiced to play, juiced as in too many juice boxes! He did not know what he was putting into the body!

The episode ends of course with everything being back to normal as per usual. As referenced in C.E. D'oh, which also ends with bart saying he is Tomokazu Ohka of the Montreal Expos! While Milhouse is Esteban Yan of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

I have omitted many good quotes, definitely worth seeing for baseball fans, especially baseball fans that like The Simpsons!

Here's hoping the rest of season 22 (!) continues to be good! (I'm not one of the ones who complains about the quality after season x, they have plenty of good episodes after season x!)