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The Cruel Fate of MLB's "Winning" Indians Apparel

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Getty Images

Professional sports leagues have no time to waste when it comes to celebrating a world championship win. In the NFL and MLB, teams that have made it to the Super Bowl and World Series have already printed shirts, hats, and other merchandise congratulating themselves on a victory. That means the losing team is left with a sad inventory of apparel that’s declared them the winner—the sports equivalent of a “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline.

Normally, that irrelevant clothing goes to charitable causes. But not anymore.

This week, MLB announced that any gear boasting of a Cleveland Indians win in the 2016 World Series would be rounded up and destroyed. The league cited concerns that the product sometimes makes it way to consumers, despite a strict return protocol. Once the World Series is over, outlets are expected to send the losing team’s product back.

World Vision, the organization that had previously been responsible for distributing the clothing to impoverished parts of the world, told ESPN.com that they had no knowledge of any product they had acquired in the past making its way into the hands of collectors.

The problem may extend beyond unauthorized eBay auctions. According to The Huffington Post, secondhand clothing donations can sometimes have a negative impact on local economies struggling to sell their own wares. World Vision said that it normally targets areas where such trade is not a concern.

Chicago Cubs fans, meanwhile, can order their brag-gear online and have it delivered to them via Uber within minutes.

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Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Fox Sports, YouTube
Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

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Great Big Story, Youtube
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Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
Great Big Story, Youtube
Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:

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