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Angels Roasting on an Open Fire

August 21st, 2014
bart chalk board

Aybar has braces. Dental plan. Aybar has braces. Dental plan. Aybar has braces. Dental plan. Aybar has bra…

Starting today, FXX will air every episode of The Simpsons (and the movie) non-stop until the run completes. Given the series is now 25 seasons in, it’s going to take nearly two weeks for this project to end. Before the boom of TV dramas in the early 2000s, there was a case to be made The Simpsons was the greatest show in television history. Even with all the excellent series the last decade and The Simpsons’ mediocrity for the better part of a dozen years, it still could be a consensus top-5 show anyway — there might not be a better TV season than Season 4 of The Simpsons. (Last Exit to Springfield is the best episode and I’ll fight you if you say otherwise. Homer at the Bat is the only other acceptable answer.)

In celebration, I have taken Angels — and some other baseball personalities — and likened them to characters in the Simpson universe. With how enormous that universe is, it was impossible to hit on every character. But if you have better ideas than me let me know in the comments.

This is the third year in a row I’ve used this hacky template, previously for The Dark Knight Rises and the fourth season of Arrested Development. Unlike those two pop culture duds, we know The Simpsons marathon will be good, at least through about season 10. With the preamble out of the way, let’s start at the top.

 

Arte Moreno — Mr. Burns

The guy with the bucks. Prone to evil schemes such as blocking out the sun, making a complete wardrobe full of exotic animals, lowering concessions prices to gain favor, and wanting to play hardball with a worker’s union (that last one applies to both!). Monty’s most sinister plans are usually foiled, however. Likewise, even money can’t buy Moreno a World Series trophy.

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Billy Beane — Maggie Simpson

The unsuspecting little Simpson shot Mr. Burns, just as Beane’s seemingly ragtag group of ballplayers trounce the superstar-laden Angels on a now-annual basis.

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Mike Scioscia — Mike Scioscia

Scioscia had not one, but TWO guest appearances on The Simpsons. (Although the second episode aired in 2010, and episodes that late in the run barely count.) Echoing George Steinbrenner, Mr. Burns attempts to win a company softball game and hires actual major leaguers to play on his team, one of whom was then Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia. Unfortunately for Scioscia, he suffered a tragic illness caused by radiation due to his love of working at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Angel fans hope real-life Scioscia doesn’t kill the Halos’ October chances by meddling with the bullpen or suicide squeezing.

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Jerry Dipoto — Homer Simpson

“Oooo, Albert Pujols. D’oh! Oooo, CJ Wilson. D’oh! Oooo, Joe Blanton. D’oh! Oooo, Josh Hamilton. D’oh! Oooo, Ryan Madson. D’oh! Oooo, Tommy Hanson. D’oh!”

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Mike Trout — Lisa Simpson

The wisest of the Simpson clan. Lisa combines childlike exuberance with skill beyond her years. At only age 23, Trout is already the best player in the game and likely bound for Cooperstown even if he just turns into a solid above average major leaguer. However, like Lisa, Trout’s analytical side gets the best of him at times, evident in his habit for striking out looking. Also, Trout asks for extra slime on his Subway.

Better than Arby's.

Better than Arby’s.

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C.J. Wilson — Bart Simpson

Popular and marketable but both are probably well past their prime. I’ve never been a huge Bart fan, and even still, most of his usefulness came early in the series when he was more or less the star of the show. Onscreen, Bart does his best to aggravate other characters. Meanwhile, Wilson is infuriating to watch pitch, nibbling and walking batters at will. At least for their sakes, the two have managed to cross mediums into car dealerships, shampoo, Butterfinger, and “Bartman” fame. Wilson’s “OK, dude, whatever” when told he should throw more strikes is clearly the baseball equivalent of “Don’t have a cow, man” or “Eat my shorts.”

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Mike Butcher — Principal Skinner

The poor bastard that has to corral Wilson/Bart.

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Me — Marge Simpson

I have perfected the disapproving groan when watching games.

marge mad

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Albert Pujols — Comic Book Guy

Worst. Contract. Ever.

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Josh Hamilton — Ned Flanders

A devoted Christian. Left-handed.  Ultimately just annoys those he aims to please. Too easy.

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Jered Weaver — Sideshow Bob

Both are tall, gangly, and posses great hair. Weaver’s intensity on the mound is rivaled only by Bob’s singular focus of murdering Bart. Would it really surprise anyone if Weaver took a rake to the face as penance for a poor start? Also, both have brothers of lesser renown, be they Sideshow Cecil or Jeff Weaver.

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Matt Shoemaker — Sea Captain

Bearded and relatively anonymous compared to their starrier peers. Plus, they have occupations in their names, so that’s fun.

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Erick Aybar/Howie Kendrick — Snowball/Santa’s Little Helper

Feels like they’ve been around forever but it’s difficult to recall them doing anything spectacular. Just always present, maintaining their spots amid constant change around them.

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Kole Calhoun — Groundskeeper Willie

Calhoun, red-headed and originally thought of as a fourth outfielder, overcame his humble roots to become the second best position player on a team with the best record in baseball. The red-bearded Willie, despite his humble occupation, is never afraid to spring into action even when it’s not expected of him, sometimes taking an axe to the back for his troubles. Calhoun and Willie both like to clean up — Calhoun clears the bases of runners, while Willie clears the hallways of garbage.

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Huston Street — Poochie

A new addition that the front office hopes will refresh the bullpen, but will the acquisition pay off? The previous product was just fine without him, and the move could backfire if Jose Rondon turns into a star. Hopefully Street isn’t killed on his return trip to his home planet.

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Mike Morin and Cam Bedrosian — Itchy and Scratchy

Keeping the bullpen metaphor with cartoons in cartoons. Both prospects at the start of the year, yet Morin always wins out.

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Chris Iannetta and Hank Conger — Lenny and Carl

When evaluating Angel catchers, it’s difficult to separate Iannetta and Conger. Both are different, yet offer value in their own ways to give the Angels one of the most valuable catcher platoons in baseball. Imagine Moe’s without Lenny and Carl. It would somehow be even more depressing than it already is. They would probably have to bring in John Buck just to fill a seat.

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David Freese — Milhouse

My wife on why the Freese as Milhouse comparison fits: “Because he tries so hard but he’s just not very good.” Freese also probably collects Alf pogs and coin purses. Everything was coming up Freese for a few moments in 2011, but since everything has been coming down Freese.

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John McDonald — Krusty the Clown

Washed up, but still trotted out for some reason.

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J.B. Shuck — Troy McClure

You may remember him from such catches as Into the Stands and Into My Heart and Dial “S” for Scrappy.

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Rally Monkey — Mr. Teeny

Obligatory.

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Derek Jeter — Inanimate Carbon Rod

Roughly the same range at shortstop and similar personalities.

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Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun — Rod and Todd Flanders

“[HGH] helps us play!”

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Kirk Gibson — Chief Wiggum

Gibson is the self-appointed chief of unwritten rules, but really just an incompetent dolt.

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Jim Bowden — Ralph

“BREAKING: Ken Rosenthal’s parody account reports Mike Trout leaves MLB and ch-ch-chooses to play in Japan.”

Jim Bowden enjoying an ice cream cone.

Jim Bowden enjoying an ice cream cone.

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Dr. James Andrews — Dr. Hibbert

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Whoever the team doctor was that said Skaggs’ injury wasn’t severe — Dr. Nick

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Eric Sogard — Radioactive Man

The glasses do nothing!

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San Diego Padres — Apu

It seems like the Padres are in a perpetual state of selling off players. “Thank you, come again.”

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Hawk Harrelson — Grampa Simpson

Consistently confused by the changing world.

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Jerry Reinsdorf/Jerry Reinsdorf’s Clone — Kang and Kodos

Aliens from a another planet set on enslaving players/the human race.

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Enjoy the marathon!

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Dedicated to bringing you top notch Angels analysis!