While my love for music and sports are certainly not original, they are as deep as anyone's. The idea for this post came more or less accidentally, as I was thinking about the Mariner's season (why would I do that?) and songs began to pop into my head that I thought accompanied the season well. It entertained me, so maybe it will entertain you. Before I get started I'll lay some quick ground rules: The songs aren't necessarily intended to reflect a player's identity, or career as a whole. Simply to portray the role they played in the 2015 season. Only starting position players and some other role players will appear. Pitchers will have to wait for another time. I'll put a link to the entire playlist at the bottom of the page, in case you don't want to listen as you read each section. Also, before you say "that song was a bit of a reach, Shane." This entire exercise is a reach. This is probably not a wise way of introducing myself to this community. Which is why I'm going to do it. Here we go.
Mike Zunino: Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want- The Smiths
(Long sigh) Ohh, Mike. I really wanted to pick something funnier (read: meaner) here, but I just couldn't do it. The more I thought about Mike's season, I just felt terrible. He's trying so hard, and trying to do it right. "You see the luck I've had, can make a good man turn bad." Please don't turn bad, Mike. Er, worse. Here's hoping he gets what he wants soon.
Logan Morrison: Mad World - Evergreen Terrace cover of Tears for Fears
The case of Logan Morrison truly is maddening. As he alternated between stretches of brilliance with the joy of baseball on full display to abysmal runs of bad luck and failure, I found myself question the meaning of existence. I like to imagine him humming this to himself as he runs through first base, watching another fly ball die at the base of the fence in Sam Fuld's glove. I chose this version, because why wouldn't Bro-gan Morrison listen to Evergreen Terrace?
Robinson Cano: Send the Pain Below - Chevelle
A horrendous start hung over Cano's season like a very cynical, snarky, uninformed cloud despite his rally to finish the season with mostly Cano-like numbers. What he battled through to get to that level of production is impressive. While Chevelle frontman Pete Loeffler is pushing down the pain of rejection, being used, and apparently snowboarding, Cano was dealing with an extreme case of the rumbly tumblies that affected his weight and diet in addition to a hernia. Way to push through it like a champ, Robbie.
Brad Miller: Change (In the House of Flies) - Natalie Lungley cover of Deftones
Did Brad have any clue about the forced metamorphosis that was coming his way in 2015? While there were always questions about his shortstop defense, he's always been confident that he belongs there. Then Lloyd and Jack Z pulled off his wings, and they laughed. They laughed as he skittered around the outfield, sometimes looking strangely beautiful, and other times looking like a grown man rolling around in the dirt. I chose this version of the song because it really brings out the sad.
Ketel Marte: Let's Get Loud - Jennifer Lopez
Alright, I don't have a great lyrical connection on this one. Here's what I know: Ketel plays baseball in a way that makes me want to party like it's the early 2000's. Who better to host that party than Jenny from the block? While Ketel is stealing bases and showing his defensive range, I may or may not be salsa dancing in my living room. Live your life, Ketel. Unless Cano tells you to cut your hair. Then cut your hair.
Kyle Seager: Hero - Foo Fighters
I am partial to Kyle. This is not a unique sentiment. But there is something so satisfying about watching our "ordinary" hero go about his daily business. He works hard with what he has to give us his best. Just imagine this song playing as you watch Kyle's exchange with Jered Weaver in slow motion. I'm tearing up.
Nelson Cruz: Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't - Brand New
"I am heaven sent...don't you dare forget," Cruz says quietly as he digs into the batter's box on a Sunday afternoon. "I am all you've ever wanted, what the other boys all promised" he sighs, as the count evens to 2-2. Then he casually blisters a walk off single into left field. Cruz was better than we expected, and maybe better than we deserved. Ever the consummate pro and encouraging teammate, I wonder if in quiet moments he ever thought about how well he was playing and the frustration that it didn't seem to matter. "We were contenders, now throwing the fight. I just wanna believe in us." We all wanna believe, Nelly. We all do.
Austin Jackson: Complicated - Avril Lavigne
Jackson is good at pretending to be a leadoff hitter. He is not good at being a leadoff hitter. Whether it was unintentional or through devious mind tricks, he had Lloyd McClendon convinced to hit him at the top of the order. The refusal to hit Jackson lower made things, well, complicated. "You're tryin' to be cool, you look like a fool to me." I must've shouted this at the TV hundreds of times. I chose this acoustic version because it's even more hilarious than the original. I mean better. It's even better.
Seth Smith: Like a Rock - Bob Seger
Seth is so solid and consistent that you almost forget how much he's contributing. He's also a little boring, like this song. But that's what makes him a great part of the team. He grinds out at bats, stares at his cleats uncomfortably while Jen Mueller energetically asks him questions, and doesn't smile. Strong and steady..........and I'm dozing off. Moving on.
Franklin Gutierrez: You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban
This probably isn't fair to Guti. He deserves something a little more fun. But I just get so inspired when I think about all he's been through and the passion he plays with, that I want to stand on Josh Groban's shoulders while he stands on mountains. Thank you, Guti, for making us more than we thought we could be.
Mark Trumbo: Homewrecker - Marina and the Diamonds
"I don't belong to anyone," says Mark as he is passed from team to team. Trumbo was supposed to be Jack Z's quick fix. The spark that would allow the Mariners to crawl out of the cavern they dove headlong into to start the season. The issue here is that Mark himself is no stranger to diving into black holes, which is what he promptly did upon arriving in Seattle. He came in exchange for a valuable piece as Arizona soon found out, and sent the lineup's freefall into terminal velocity. While the home that he wrecked may have already been broken, and he did improve a little, the damage was done.
Jesus Montero: The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot - Brand New
Yes, I realize this is the second Brand New song. That's probably lazy. I just couldn't get this pairing out of my head. In late 2014 and 2015, Jesus Montero began the hard work of repairing his reputation and proving himself. His struggles to that point were largely self inflicted. He effectively blocked his own shot at a major role on the team. I commend him for his hard work and desire to be better. There is a long road ahead, however. Once deemed a can't miss prospect, Jesus is now humbly saying "call me a safe bet, I'm betting I'm not."
Dustin Ackley: I Will Fail You - Demon Hunter
You better believe I just went Christian metal band power ballad on you (they're from Seattle, too)! Heralded as a future all-star since his college days, Dustin became a cycle of disappointment. No matter how long the beard grew, or how awkwardly he made a nice play in the outfield, he just couldn't seem to break through with any consistency. Stretches of scorching brilliance created false hope for himself and the fans, making the failures even more crushing. This season had all of this on display, and finally it became too much to bear. Now he will hit 35 homeruns in Yankee Stadium in 2016, failing Mariners fans one last time.
Wellington Castillo: Hello - Martin Solveig & Dragonette
As the water began to creep above Mike Zunino's neck, Jack threw him a flotation device: a capable backup catcher who could contribute offensively and remove some of the massive pressure building on Mike. Well, as it turned out ol' Beef Wellington was only able to do that for a couple weeks before the Mariners heaved him at the Diamondbacks in a fit of desperation to bring in the Homewrecker. It was nice of Wellington to stop by Mariners-land to say hello, before heading to Arizona to be better at everything.
Justin Ruggiano: Creep - Radiohead
Nothing describes Justin's time in Seattle quite as efficiently as "I don't belong here." He tried his best to fit into the role that was asked of him, but for whatever reason, management just wasn't satisfied with his contribution. At the time of his departure, Ruggiano was putting together some of the more effective plate appearances on the team. He was phased out anyway, as creeps and weirdos often are.
2015 Season: Deathbed Atheist (KC Blitz Remix) - Norma Jean
I chose this to summarize the season for a simple reason- "This is my nightmare."
In a couple months, spring training will begin and we can wipe the memory of that nightmare from our brains. There is hope again, and we won't know if it's foolish until the end of summer, so we may as well keep hoping. To look ahead to the coming season, I leave you with this:
A Good Day - Priscilla Ahn
Thanks for reading, and I hope this wasn't a massive waste of your time. I can live with an average sized waste of your time. If you can think of any songs that you believe would be a better fit for someone, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear it! Go Mariners.
Here's a link to the whole playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZhPapDn-7q7znT1hvbJGfXdXLTShP39Z