After reading one of the most recent posts at the Tao of Stieb about the possibility that Ken Griffey Jr might be on J.P. Ricciardi's radar, I recalled his stint on the episode of the Simpsons "Homer at Bat". I'd have to say that it's one of my favourite Simpsons episodes of all time next to "Lisa the Vegetarian".
We learned that all that heckling really does affect a baseball player, Mr. Burns doesn't know what sideburns are, and that getting hit on the head counts as a basehit. So let's reminisce about how the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's softball team of ringers suffered nine separate misfortunes, but still managed to be 1992 City Softball Champs.
Don Mattingly 1B: was kicked off the team after he refused to shave his sideburns. Then after he shaved his sideburns, Mr. Burns wouldn't let him on the team anyway.
Steve Sax 2B: is interrogated by Eddie and Lou after being pulled over, and never makes it to the game after being sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences.
Ozzie Smith SS: disappears into the unknown after going into the Springfield Mystery Spot.
Wade Boggs 3B: is knocked unconscious after getting into a fight with Barney over who is England's greatest Prime Minister.
Mike Socia C: suffers from radiation poisoning after working too many hours at the power plant.
Jose Canseco LF: missed the game because he was too busy saving people and appliances from burning buildings.
Ken Griffey Jr CF: overdoses on nerve tonic and suffers an grotesquely swollen head.
Darryl Strawberry RF: does make the final game, but Bart's heckles undoubtedly affect him deep within emotionally.
Roger Clemens P: is convinced he is a chicken after being hypnotized by the team hypnotist.
This episode proves that you don't need a team of ringers to win a championship. Maybe the Steinbrenners can heed that advice with the Yankees. And just in case you want to hear the celebration song, it's posted below as well.