March 26, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “MoneyBart”

In which Lisa takes over as manager of Bart's Little League team.

Lisa becoming a baseball manager for Bart’s Little League team has all the sibling rivalry you can expect from such a move, and Bart does have some decent reasons why Lisa should absolutely not hold that position.

Among those reason, the fact that she is still a child doesn’t ever seem to come up.

See, it’s a big day at Springfield Elementary.  A confident young woman stops by, so confident that Milhouse aspires to be like her when he grows up.  But who is she?  Well, she’s the only alumni of the school to go on to the Ivy League, which means Lisa aspires to be like her too.  But as it turns out, Lisa doesn’t have nearly as many extracurriculars as Miss Dahlia Brinkely.

Who’s that?  The name of the recent Yale graduate I didn’t mention a name for before.  Duh.

That means Lisa needs more after school activities.  She’s considering fencing until Maggie totally schools her at it.  It’s embarrassing (for Lisa) and awesome (for Maggie).  But there’s some bad news when Ned Flanders comes by to announce he’s quitting as manager of Bart’s Little League team the Iso-Tots.  It seems Ned let a call in his team’s favor that he knew for a fact was wrong slide, and the guilt is eating him up inside.  Could Homer do the task?  Theoretically.  I mean, he won’t, and yes, he may regret not spending more time with the kids later, but Homer doesn’t envy Future Homer.  Now he needs to drink some whiskey and mayonnaise.  You know, at the same time.

But Bart is soon overjoyed to see there is a new manager!  It’s Lisa!

Who, er, knows nothing of baseball.  That’s Bart’s problem.  That’s the rest of the team’s problem actually.  Well, maybe not Ralph Wiggum.

Seeing she needs to learn how to manage fast, Lisa heads down to Moe’s to ask the guys there.  As it turns out, the only people who know baseball management, despite everyone there being a baseball fan, are Professor Frink and the college nerds.  They’ve got the whole thing figured out using stats and math, as encouraged by guest star Bill James.

I don’t know who that is.

But armed with stats and math, Lisa’s true friends, Lisa gives the team a make-over and the Iso-Tots start winning.  I mean, they weren’t lovable losers before since they’re kinda mean and had a winning record, but now they’re really winning.  Of course, Lisa’s also taken all the fun out of the sport.  So much so, that Bart sees a chance to hit a home run when ordered to walk and does so.  Sure, Bart wins the game, but Lisa then throws Bart off the team.  He won, but he’s punished.  The rest of the team doesn’t know what to do.

Then again, this was the episode with the Bansky opening.

That’s some dark stuff right there.

With Bart and Lisa feuding, and then Homer and Marge getting involved, with Marge going for family unity while Homer champions winning at all costs, it looks like Bart may be sitting in the stands for the championship since human emotion has finally lost to cold computer logic in the sport of baseball.

But while Homer and Lisa go to the game, Marge takes Bart to the local amusement park to make him feel better, and that’s when Lisa calls in a panic.  She needs another player as Ralph has been juicing..with juice boxes.  He can’t play.  Bart initially refuses, but riding in the roller coaster behind Marge and Bart is guest star Mike Sciosa.  Marge remembers he got radiation poisoning the last time he was in Springfield, but that just gave him super-management powers.

Did he not notice he was the only one in this conversation that aged?

As it is, his advice is to always listen to your manager, so Bart goes to the game and at least pretends to listen to Lisa as he pitch runs for someone.  Then he steals second base against her wishes.  And third.  He’s successful both times!  Will he listen to Lisa and stay put or try and steal home and maybe win the game?

What do you think?

He tries to steal home and fails because he’s Bart Simpson.  Springfield loses, but Lisa finally learned what the thrill of the game was all about, and cold stats don’t show that.  The two reconcile and are carried off the field.  That’s sweet.

Much sweeter than that Banksy opening…

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