Round 110: 8F13 vs. 3F10.
8F13: “Homer at the Bat” (Season 3 / February 20, 1992)
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss
Love this episode, even though I don’t know anything about baseball and the plot is straight-up stolen from that Michael Jordon/Bugs Bunny classic, “Space Jam.”
Guest stars can be a tricky thing, and having a whole bunch of them in one episode can easily turn into a gimmick or a distraction. But it works here, because the heart of the story is still with Homer, the baseball celebrities just enhance it. And they’re really funny in it, too. I can only imagine how this plays for someone who actually knows the sport and these players. Maybe it’s like what I felt when I watched the “Futurama” episode with all the cast members of the original “Star Trek” in it? Or that “Family Guy” with all the cast members of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” Well, maybe not so much that last one.
Anyway, if you have the DVD I recommend checking out the commentary for this one. It’s pretty fun, there are a lot of stories about recording the baseball people and you get to hear which one of them was kind of a dick and also which two Simpsons cast members kinda hated the script and didn’t want to do it.
- -“Mattingly! I thought I told you to trim those sideburns.”
3F10: “Team Homer” (Season 7 / January 7, 1996)
Written by Mike Scully
Directed by Mark Kirkland
Showrunner: David Mirkin
As much as I love “Homer at the Bat,” I’m going to have to let “Team Homer” win this one. They’re both very good episodes. But watching them back to back, I just enjoyed this one a bit more.
The winner: 3F10, “Team Homer.”