'The Simpsons Movie' Goes to Bat Friday; Not the First Time for Homer

Like so much that has made "The Simpsons" the best comedy series in TV history along with "Seinfeld," those moments are very good but none can top "Homer at the Bat," an episode as delectable as a plate full of donuts (mmmmmm ... donuts). In addition to the big league cameos, the episode is filled with great bits of dialogue, such as when the umpire goes over the ground rules before a game between the power-plant employees and the police:

Homer's exploits on and off the diamond have proven to be his signature moves. "You can't leave first until you chug a beer. Any man scoring has to chug a beer. You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings. Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning."

Or the lyrics parodying Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball":

Well, Mr. Burns had done it. The power plant had won it. With Roger Clemens clucking all the while. Mike Scioscia's tragic illness made us smile. While Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile. We're talkin' .... Softball. From Maine to San Diego. Talkin' ... Softball. Mattingly and Canseco. Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw. Steve Sax and his run-in with the law. We're talkin' Homer ... Ozzie, and the Straw.

Scioscia said he had a great time doing the show and was impressed by the writers' creativity. On the other hand, "Hopefully, it won't be the defining moment of my career."

There are worse fates than being remembered for appearing on "The Simpsons," though. For one thing, you could get acute radiation poisoning from working in a nuclear power plant. Or worse, you could be remembered for your appearance on a show like "Mad About You."


Nice weekend for the Devil Rays. They beat the Yankees 14-4 on Friday, which was the good news. The next two days didn't go quite so well. They allowed 53 hits. And 45 runs. And walked 15 batters. And hit two more. And committed five errors. And threw 540 pitches.

So there were a lot of ugly pitching lines in there, including this week's winner by Shawn Camp:

1 1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 K, 3 HR

What makes that line so bad is that he gave up the nine hits in relief, not easy to do.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached here. His Web site is at jimcaple.net, with more installments of "24 College Avenue." His new book with Steve Buckley, "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans" is on sale now.

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