In the spirit of March Madness and NBA Playoffs, I had intended here to create a bracket in which we would pit the Mariners walk-up songs in a gladiatorial, mano-a-mano competition by which we could ultimately determine who has the ultimate taste in walk-up songs. Having subsequently looked at how much effort that would take (read: more than 20 minutes worth), I have decided against it in lieu of a more traditional, “lets rank these motherfuckers like I’m writing for Buzzfeed” style.
Let’s break this down the criteria by which they will be judged.
Fit – The first category here will pertain to the interaction between player and song. This takes a couple of factors into account – is the song emblematic of the player? Does this song somehow provide us with greater insight into the man behind the uniform? Bonus points can be awarded in this category for weirdly inappropriate fits – think something along the lines of Jon Rocker walking up to that John Legend song from Selma, Delmon Young walking up to “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” or Ichiro walking up to a song about having friends.
Inherent Song-ness – Is the song good? Does it suck ass? Does it suck enough aforementioned ass so as to be entertaining? Is there some clear intentionality underlying the choice of the aforementioned but still unnamed ass-sucking song that could make me believe that it was a clever choice rather than simply a shitty one? Does that forgive the player for knowing the ass-suck song well enough to employ it in an ironic capacity, knowing that for it to even come to mind as something they could leverage as a joke they probably had to hear it a few times already anyway? And if they are in fact listening to this song enough to be able to call on it in an ironic way, is there a chance they are basically just doing this as a smokescreen to cover up their miserable tastes like how I laugh furtively when Fall Out Boy comes on via Spotify but do nothing to actually change it?
Baseball-ness – Does the song mention baseball or games or baseball games?
Having concluded the front matter, if you will, here are the starting pitchers for your Seattle Mariners:
5 – J.A. Happ – “Hysteria” by Muse.
JA Happ is the new kid on the block and it remains to be seen whether he maintains the track he was using last year. Let’s assume so because repressive content quotas and making wild assumptions are the bedrock of sports journalism.
Based on the title alone, I am a little disturbed if this song actually “fits” Happ at all. I prefer my pitchers to be sub-hysterical whenever possible. Sans-hysterical if they can pull it off.
As far as inherent song-ness goes, this is an OK song. That being said it is featured prominently in the Twilight soundtrack which takes it down a couple of notches through no fault of its own.
They actually DO play a game of baseball in Twilight (which this song is featured in). In fact, they even have a goddamn music video that features the game. That being said, by looking up this song, realizing it was in the Twilight soundtrack and then subsequently realizing that they played baseball in that movie, I was reminded that I have seen Twilight which is an unpleasant revelation.
Conclusion: Fuck you JA Happ’s walk-up song for reminding me that I have seen probably about 60% of the Twilight series. Last place.
4 – Roenis Elias – “Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony
Props to Roenis for keeping it real with the random Marc Anthony deep cuts. As a player from Cuba with a pretty fascinating origin story I can certainly get behind the choice as it reflects music that Elias actually listens to. I would prefer if he had chosen “Hero” by Enrique Inglesias but that might be more of a preference on my part than anything else (read: esta noche).
The title to the song itself is “Live my life” in Spanish. This brings up a few interesting questions that we should sort through before we come to any conclusions. Whose life is being lived here? Is this a call to action for the listener to bang Jennifer Lopez and otherwise live the life of Marc Anthony, Latin pop-music sensation? Or is this instead just a call for the listener to identify with the lyricist which would render the title as an urging towards self-actualization and authenticity. Either way it seems kinda gay so I’m going to go ahead and put it in 4th place, narrowly edging Happ since the song has Spanish in it and Robinson Cano speaks Spanish.
3 – James Paxton “???” by “???”
I have no idea what Paxton’s walk-up song is. It wasn’t listed in the first result I saw in the google search, but I am going ahead and putting his song in 3rd because I love James Paxton.
2 – Felix Hernandez “All Hail the King” by Avenged Sevenfold
So I primarily know Avenged Sevenfold as a band I am retrospectively embarrassed to have liked in middle school. Regardless, the song chosen here has some pretty clear parallels to Felix’ monarchal moniker which, for me, warranted inclusion in the upper-tier of this list. That being said, there was research to be done.
Having migrated to Wikipedia, I came upon this weirdly existing Gantt chart showing the timelines of the various contributors to the band over the years. Sharing below with no permission:
Wow those are some fucking names. M. Shadows, Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance have stayed true to the cause for years, resounding the faux-metal bugles heralding our own monarch’s trips to the mound with aplomb. I think the Rev died so that’s a bummer. As to the rest of these clowns, props to Johnny Christ for sticking with the crew after hopping on the ole A7X bandwagon following the untimely maybe-demise of Demon Ash who sounds like a fuckboy.
1 – Hisashi Iwakuma – “Feel this Moment” by Pitbull
Nothing says baseball quite like a Japanese pitcher walking to the mound to the overproduced sound of a son of a pair of Cuban expats by way of Miami—that is, Pitbull’s dulcet tones serenading crowds to the collective squelches of corona-lubed panties dropping in a Tuscon night club.
Love in this club. Indeed.