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Riley Breckenridge has spent the past 14 years traversing the globe and making (mostly) loud noises with the band Thrice. He was born and raised a California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angels fan and gave up on aspirations of playing professionally after his junior year of college, when he realized that his inability to hit anything other than a fastball was not a trait that scouts found endearing. He is also “the other guy” from @ProductiveOuts.
As a musician, I probably pay more attention to the music played in MLB stadiums than I should. For most baseball fans, those songs are just background noise, not worth a second thought. For some, they’re the perfect amount of prodding they need to thrust themselves into acts of full-blown jackassery in the hopes of being featured on the Jumbotron. For me, they’re an obsession, like most aspects of baseball culture and history. When used correctly, music has an ability to create nostalgia, set a mood, and evoke emotion. When used incorrectly, it can really ruin a moment.
ESPN’s Playbook has spent the last month-and-a-half covering MLBs Stadium Songs, the “songs that each team relies on to get fans on their feet.” As you might expect, most of them are awful. I decided to take a closer look at the 15 teams whose songs could most use an overhaul and suggest a fitting replacement for each of them given the team’s current status.
Yeah, yeah…sure you do. The traffic, the smog, the traffic, the unbearable hipster presence in Silverlake (and almost everywhere else), and THE GODDAMNED TRAFFIC.
Suggested Replacement: Abba, “Money, Money, Money”
Is it just me, or were the developments in L.A. over the last three weeks kinda like Magic Johnson walking into a dinner party for National League GMs stark naked, wearing Ned Colletti in a Yoda-style backpack, with Colletti aggressively throwing crumpled hundred-dollar bills at Brian Sabean’s face?
Texas Rangers: Al Dean & The All-Stars, “Cotton Eye Joe”
Yikes. This song has over 13 million views on YouTube and yet I’m convinced that nobody has ever listened to it on purpose. It’s the perfect marriage of square dancing and methamphetamines. San Bernardino County in the shape of a song.
Suggested Replacement: Design The Skyline, “Surrounded By Silence”
Because the Texas Rangers (of late) are the bane of this Angels fan’s existence, and because this is one of very few songs that is actually worse than “Cotton Eye Joe.” It’s not even a song, really. It’s what it might sound like if you let a troop of chimpanzees run wild in a Guitar Center.
Milwaukee Brewers: Myron Floren, “Beer Barrel Polka”
If you’re crushing Miller High Lifes with the intention of making yourself forget that the Brewers bullpen leads MLB in blown saves, this might not be such a bad tune after all.
Suggested Replacement: Descendents, “Everything Sucks”
Because it’s the fourth-place Brewers, and because of Rickie Weeks, and because of the bullpen, and…I’ll just stop there.
Miami Marlins: Enrique Iglesias, “I Like It”
Eesh. I don’t.
Suggested Replacement: Scott Stapp, “Marlins Will Soar”
Because this is probably the worst baseball-themed piece of music in the history of baseball-themed music. And because the Marlins (and that hideous cocaine-and-anime-inspired yard) are too.
Cincinnati Reds: DJ Khaled, “All I Do Is Win”
OK. You’ve got a point there. You have been doing that. A lot. Please stop. Do we really want a Chris Berman-endorsed manager to have nice things?
Suggested Replacement: Bronson Arroyo & Aroldis Chapman, “Reds Hooded Sweatshirt”
Because Reds fans need to be reminded that Scott Stapp, err…Bronson Arroyo is gainfully employed by their organization, and someone ought to shake him and remind him that he’s not Adam Sandler.
Atlanta Braves: Several Orchestra Dorks, “The Tomahawk Chop”
Um, it’s 2012, folks. Let’s move on.
Suggested Replacement: Anything, really. Please.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Buzz Poets, “A New Pirate Generation”
Oh boy, Fuel and Blink-182 split a few handfuls of quaaludes and booked some studio time for a collaboration.
Suggested Replacement: Gravity Kills, “Crashing”
This seems apropos of the Pirates’ recent ability to get their fans’ hopes up in June, July and August, only to crap the bed down the stretch.
Chicago Cubs: Steve Goodman, “Go! Cubs! Go!”
They’re! Not! Going! Anywhere! And haven’t for 104 years!
Suggested Replacement: Alter Bridge, “All Hope Is Gone”
Alter Bridge (ex-Creed) is a perpetuation of a horrible thing, just like the Cubs.
Houston Astros: Moe Bandy, “Deep In The Heart Of Texas”
The heart? Uh, it could be argued that Houston is the actually the butthole of Texas. It’s hot, swampy, smelly, and mostly filthy. That’d probably ruin the cadence of the chorus, though.
Suggested Replacement: James Q. “Spider” Rich & Boots Randolph, “Yakety Sax”
San Diego Padres: The United States Marine Corps Theme
I’m all for a tribute to the troops, and think that having the Padres play on Sundays at Petco in uniforms that look like they were pulled off a rack at Bass Pro Shops achieves that (albeit in a visually off-putting way). This song works as a tribute to the troops, but fails as a rallying cry for one of the most apathetic fan bases I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying a baseball game in the company of.
(BP’s own Sam Miller suggested that the Padres’ stadium song may or may not have been Buck-O-Nine’s “My Town” at one point. Attempts to verify the claim proved inconclusive. In any event, Sam just made us all listen to a ska song for the first time since 1995, and that is an awfully commendable rickroll.)
Suggested Replacement: Runae Moon, “No One Cares”
Because it seems like nobody does, and because wait…how is this video a real thing? I want this clip played on the Jumbotron at Petco after every seventh-inning stretch at every game as punishment. Forever. Or at least until the Padres turn it around. Or until people start showing up for games and acting like they care. Ok, yeah. Maybe forever.
Seattle Mariners: Zombie Nation, “Kernkraft 400”
Believe it or not, they went 399 other Kernkrafts before they settled on this pile of German neo-disco garbage.
Suggested Replacement: Motorhead, “King Of Kings”
Because King Felix is about the only reason to watch the Mariners these days. Also: LEMMY.
Colorado Rockies: DJ Otzi: “Hey Baby”
I mean, besides this being one of the worst songs you’ve probably ever heard in your life, what’s wrong with it? Ah, that’s right. Everything. It sounds like a wasted Austrian guy who just found the “REVERB/ECHO” button on his karaoke machine.
Suggested Replacement: John Denver, “Rocky Mountain High”
Have you ever noticed how much John Denver looked like Martina Navratilova?
Boston Red Sox: Neil Diamond, “Sweet Caroline”
Oh, hey. It’s Keith Law’s favorite song.
OH MY GOD THEY'RE PLAYING "SWEET CAROLINE" I'M IN HELL
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) April 12, 2012
Replacement: Steely Dan, “Everything Must Go”
These lyrics are so poignant in the wake of the weekend’s trade.
“It’s time for a walk on the real side. Let’s admit the bastards beat us. I move to dissolve the corporation”
“Now our self-esteem is shattered.”
“Everything must go. We gave it our best shot.”
Los Angeles Angels: The Foundations, “Build Me Up Buttercup”
This one really resonates with the 55+ age demographic that is the lifeblood of every successful baseball franchise. For most Angels fans, it’s a perfect time to hit the pisser, and for Orange County Register Angels beat writer Bill Plunkett, it’s the about the worst thing ever.
Every time they play "Build Me Up Buttercup" a puppy runs out into traffic without looking.
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) June 20, 2012
He’s got a point. The song is hokey and outdated, and when it’s paired with the other Angel Stadium song staple, Train’s lap-softening, barbandish* anthem “Calling All Angels”, it’s a damn shame that the new foam Trout hats they’re selling don’t come with earplugs.
*possessing qualities of a bar band: leather pants, linen button-ups, a penchant for subpar balladry, the “wet look,” etc.
Replacement: Jon Brion, “Didn’t Think It Would Turn Out Bad”
Because who did, really?
Kansas City Royals: Garth Brooks, “I’ve Got Friends In Low Places”
“Welp, we’re Royals fans.”
It’s the only song I could find that was more depressing than that Garth Brooks dirge.
Thank you for reading
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