Walk-up music is one of my favorite things about baseball: the link that's formed in your brain between seeing a player and hearing their special song and the instant feelings of hope and happiness that can trigger (or, to be fair, despondency; to this day "Fortunate Son" makes me hunch over and search for the nearest fermented beverage). This year, some favorites will be returning, but the roster churn means that in addition to seeing new faces at Safeco, we will be hearing some new tunes as well. This list will definitely change throughout the season--Cody Martin and Mike Z are still on the list, for instance, whereas Dae Ho Lee isn't yet (please let it be K-pop please)--but for now, this is what's listed on the official site. You can find the complete list of all songs and players here. Let's take a brief survey of some of the chosen songs and what they may portend for each player's season.
1. Nori Aoki - "Right Round" by Flo Rida
Can anyone tell the difference between Flo Rida and Pitbull? Can Nori Aoki? Did he mean to pick a Pitbull song and got Flo Rida by accident? This song came out in 2009. A lot of other songs have come out since 2009, most of them better than this song. I’m trying to see Aoki picking this song as an ode to his somewhat adventurous outfield defense--he spins right round--but really I think this has just been his walk-up song since his days with the Brewers and he hasn't ever changed it, proving that the cruel hand of time takes everything from us too swiftly except earworm pop songs.
2. Joaquin Benoit - "Fireball" by Pitbull
Oh good, there’s some Pitbull, I can't believe we made it all the way to #2 without him. I have to admit the little trumpet-n-drums part where Pitbull isn’t actually singing or rapping or doing anything is a pretty good part of this song. I can even imagine a fun dance in the stands where we all play pretend trumpets as he walks in! No? Just me playing this pretend trumpet by myself? Ahh, it's eighth grade all over again. Anyway, Benoit picking this means he will be ticking up his velocity this year what no get that chart out of my face I’m working on a bit here
...huh. For some reason I always think "slow" when I think of consistency, but if Benoit remains as consistent as he's been in years past, he might be throwing some fireballs this year.
3. Robinson Cano - "Blessings" by Big Sean featuring Drake
I had never head this song before because I am Old and Uncool but the beginning of it sounds like Alfred Hitchcock throwing down some beats for a hype video for a team of Valkyries, which is a decent enough summation of what opposing pitchers must feel when they see Cano walking towards them. "I live the life I deserve, $@*! a vacay I feel better at work." Let us all aspire to be a tenth as good at our jobs as Cano is right now. I AM GOING TO CRUSH THESE SPREADSHEETS, LINDA. This song isn’t so much a banger as it is just a matter-of-fact statement of greatness, which makes it perfect for our superstar and his torrid start to the season. Blessings on blessings on blessings, fam.
4. Steve Cishek - "Courtesy Call" by Thousand Foot Krutch
I have never heard of this band. They are Canadian. They have been making music since 1995. They have sold a million albums. Do you like Linkin Park, but worse? Then you will probably like TFK, as they are known to their legions of fans. There is a intense, quiet storm build to the beginning of this song before the guitars and screaming start in earnest which I could see being a cool walk-out moment from the ‘Pen: "Hey-o here comes the danger up in this club…this is your last warning, a courtesy call," which is kind of a badass way to announce one’s arrival—although the use of "hey-o" definitely detracts from the badassery rating. It's like getting menaced by Ned Flanders, which makes sense, because TFK is a Christian rock band. I bet Seth Smith and Steve Cishek totally make each other mixtapes and ride on the team plane sharing one set of earbuds. As for this song's predictive lyric, it has to be: "I am not afraid of the storm that comes my way/it shakes me to my core it makes me stronger than before." This is probably some deep metaphor about faith, but I choose to interpret it as Steve telling us he might get battered around this year, and though he may bend he will not break.
5. Adam Lind - "I Could Be The One" by Avicii and Nicky Romero; "Miami 2 Ibiza" by Swedish House Mafia & Tinie Tempah
Because when you look at Adam Lind, the first thing you think is "electronica fan," right? In case you are having trouble wrapping your mind around this, I have created for you an Artist's Rendering of Adam Lind at an EDM concert:
Seriously, this guy continues to fascinate me as a person, even if these particular songs are not my style of banger. "Miami 2 Ibiza" is most notable for its attempt to rhyme "Queen Latifah" and "procedure." "I Could Be The One" is a song that is indistinguishable for me from any other electronica song, but does contain the rather sad line "Do you think about me when the crowd is gone?" Aw, Adam! I promise we'll think about you every day, provided it's a righty on the mound. Also! I could not include the video for "I Could Be the One" because it is way risque/NSFW but if you are of legal age and not officially on the clock now you should watch it, because, well, it's something.
6. Kyle Seager - "Wild Ones" by Kip Moore
You thought for a second this was going to be Wild Ones by Pitbull, didn’t you? You know Kyle wouldn’t do you like that. This is a country song, I think, but as if interpreted by Imagine Dragons. It’s every bit that good. And it’s one minute and forty-two seconds long! I didn’t know you could make songs that short. I have listened to it approximately twelve times typing this up and I live inside the song now, someone toss me a Cheerwine. That's right, Cheerwine not beer because this guy is singing in a very gentlemanly nice voice about being so WILD! The kind your mama said run from, your papa kept you from. What kind of wild? "A little loving, a little touching, a little kissing and a hugging." YOU WILD ONES! Clearly Kyle chose this song to honor the time he WILDED OUT on Jered Weaver, so I’m hoping this song predicts more times like that. Sassy Kyle is a fun Kyle.
7. Chris Iannetta - "Just Getting Started" by Jason Aldean
First of all, it should be pointed out that this was one of Mike Z's walk-up songs last year, which means Iannetta has gone full SWF on Mikey. Secondly, I confess my personal dislike for new country and recognize that I am maybe not able to be impartial about this choice, but the popularity of this song among ballplayers baffles me. It kind of sounds like a song you’d hear in a car commercial. Even in the chorus, it has ruminative quality that doesn't make me want to light the world on fire, but maybe I just don't have a well-developed palate for country music. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out a lyric in this song is "we gotta whole lot of moonlight left," which seems like a pretty clear rebuttal to Seager’s former walk-up song "Running Out of Moonlight." You tryin’ to start something, Chris? Will we have beef over our respective amounts of moonlight? Or maybe you could just loan some to Kyle, that seems like a thing a good teammate would do.
8. Ketel Marte - "Piquete" by Wisin
This song is an old-school-style reggaeton banger, with that beat that sounds like an oom-pah-pah band hopped up on Adderall that weaves some strange magic over one's hips. "Piquete" is a slang word that roughly translates to "swagger," and according to my very limited Spanish, this song is about seeing a fine-ass lady who's got her own money and a killer flow and how if you want to go after this independent, beautiful woman, you better check your own swag levels first. I love this song for Ketel in 2015, who will definitely be feeling his swagger as he begins his first full year in the grandes ligas.
9. Wade Miley - "Backwoods" by Justin Moore
I love how Miley just really leans into his image. This song talks about being in the holler and that is some legit southern-ness right there. Fun fact: there were probably more people at Justin Moore's last concert than in all of Wade Miley's hometown in Louisiana (which hovers around 6,000). His dad worked on eighteen wheelers. He grew up shooting jackrabbits starting from age three. Wade Miley is straight country, and this song celebrating the basic pleasures of country life makes no promises but the simplest. "In the backwoods we get it done right/work hard, play hard, hold my baby tight." It won't be fancy, but Wade's here to throw baseballs and drink Dixie beer, and he can't get that up here.
10. Maybe not new, but perfect anyway:
Felix Hernandez - "The Man," by Aloe Blacc; "Down With the King" by Run-DMC, "Hail to the King" by Avenged Sevenfold
First of all, Aloe Blacc wrote that song for Felix and only for Felix and no one will ever convince me otherwise. Secondly, that Run-DMC track is a certified banger. "Down with the king for years, about ten of them"--GUYS THAT"S ABOUT HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN DOWN WITH OUR KING. Finally, I don’t know how you got onto this list Avenged Sevenfold, please see your way back out.
Charlie Furbush - "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool
All you need to know about this one is
- Taijuan Walker - theme from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" You'll be able to pick me out at the game tonight, as I will be the one doing this dance, kickin' it with my Walkman on.
For the first time at our place this season: goms.