We’re obsessed with the throwaway cartoon jokes that, through sheer luck, come true in real life years later. Homer Simpson solved the Higgs boson, a Caitlyn Jenner joke took on an entirely different meaning, and now it turns out The Simpsons might’ve been onto something when it made an episode about the Major League Baseball spying on us.
The FBI is currently investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for accessing the Houston Astros’ database in 2014. When the system was breached, the perpetrators involved stole information regarding how the Astros internally discussed trading options. And while it’s not a picture-perfect comparison, The Simpsons was well ahead of its time by covering an MLB conspiracy all the way back in 1999.
In season 11’s “Brother’s Little Helper,” Bart is convinced that the MLB is spying on Springfield after he takes Focusyn, a psychostimulant drug (and a Ritalin parody). Although nobody believed him, it turned out he was right. The citizens of Springfield are left with a machine that has every piece of information on them more than a decade before Edward Snowden released NSA files.
And who shows up to distract everyone from the situation? Mark McGwire, who was one of the biggest baseball stars at the time and happened to play for the St. Louis Cardinals. Although it wasn’t strictly the Cardinals spying on Springfield, the St. Louis connection is enough to connect it to the recent investigation.
It’s doubtful even McGwire could distract the FBI by “sock[ing] a few dingers,” but he could always try.