First things first, the Mariners have been using “Spoonman” by Soundgarden as part of their pregame 40 year anniversary highlights pump-up package, which is a great choice. So a big ol’ RIP to the legendary Chris Cornell. Please solemnly head bang to this jam first before proceeding.
All right, moving on. Here is a comprehensive list of all the various walk-up and intro music the Mariners are using in 2017. We all know baseball players are not typically creatures of refined taste in pop culture. They like what they’re familiar with. In some cases, walk-up music is chosen as a point of pride for a player’s cultural or ethnic background. Other times, it’s just some dumb song they’re just kinda okay with, or I dunno, the DJ suggested it. If you go to lots of games as a fan, you begin to become familiar with the songs and know who’s up even if you missed hearing the player’s name. Sometimes, years later, you’ll still think of a particular player whenever you hear their walk-up song.
So let’s get to some rankings. For the sake of brevity, I’m limiting this to the top 5 walk-up jams of the batters, a separate section for pitchers, and then the duds of the bunch.
Taylor Motter - “The Mack” by Nevada featuring Mark Morrison and Fetty Wap
Although I wish he’d just gone with the original, which is still one of those songs that will get me up and dancing in just about any social situation, I do fully approve of this walk up jam. Fetty Wap does his Fetty Wap thing intermittently and the video shows fun scenes from New Orleans, which is one of my favorite cities.
Mitch Haniger - “HUMBLE.” by Kendrick Lamar
Of course our boy Mitch walks out to most fire track on this whole damn list. The beat bumps, Kendrick sorts out many a hater, and the video is full of striking visuals. Come back soon, Hani-mal.
Ben Gamel - “Country State of Mind” by Hank Williams, Jr.
Okay, I gotta give it up to Ben here for at least choosing something that comes close to good country. Hank Jr. is....hit and miss, to say the least, and this is closer to a miss, but at least it’s not some bullshit pop radio country song. See below for further rants and missives on all that.
Carlos Ruiz - “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins
This is a great pick because it’s old and tired as hell, just like Chooch. But, every ballpark benefits from a great 80’s pop hit wafting through the stands every few innings, so yeah, this is prime walk-up music. Obviously they just use the part after the sick drum fill, which is the part everyone loves. Chooch just wants to give the people want they want and if he can’t do it behind the plate or at the plate, he’ll do it with his walk-up music, god dammit.
Guillermo Heredia - “Coronamos” by El Taiger featuring Cosculluela, J Balvin, and Bad Bunny
I don’t know much Spanish, but this shit is great. Coronamos means “to crown” per Google, so that explains the swagger, I guess. Fire beat, bad visual effects, that guy’s Smokey the Bear hat(!), and the guy dressed like Christopher Reid from Kid n’ Play. Where can I get that Orca whale crewneck? Hook it up, man. Also, send help for I have fallen down a Spanish auto-tuned rap YouTube k-hole.
Edwin Diaz - “ Dema Ga Ge Gi Go Gu” by El Alfa featuring Bad Bunny and El Jefe
Featuring some of the same dudes from that “Coronamos” jam, this is somewhere between a soundtrack to your worst, most feverish nightmare and a floor stomping club banger. This track and video is like a fascinating car crash for your ears and eyes. From the air raid/sci-fi horror flick sirens to the same boing sample that Beyonce used on “Formation,” this one definitely gets your attention, which is good for a badass closer intro. Edwin is working on getting his badass closer status back, but still, this slaps. The Mariners made an accompanying intro video for Edwin featuring fast cuts of objects that are also fast like fighter jets and cheetahs and shit and it’s totally fucking bonkers. Big improvement over Cishek’s intro video/song from 2016 (shudders).
Yovani Gallardo - “My Time” by Fabolous
I’m cool with this. Yovani walking out to a forgotten Fabolous song from 2009 just further adds to his mystique. Much like Yo’s pitching, this song is neither great nor terrible. It’s just kinda there, getting you moderately hyped but not TOO hyped. I picture Yovani playing this at a responsible volume in his 2006 Mitsubishi Galant while driving to Safeco on days he pitches, windows cracked, modestly head-bobbing with a world-weary smirk.
Ryan Weber - “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy
First of all, if you’re gonna use a Fall Out Boy song as your intro jam and you don’t choose this, then I can’t even mess with you, man. Secondly, what in the unholy fuck is this music? This is what Fall Out Boy turned into? Who names their song Uma Thurman and references “Pulp Fiction” like 25 damn years after the movie came out? Jesus, this is bad. Only made it 40 seconds into that video to be completely honest. Wow. Also, RIP Ryan Weber, we hardly knew ye.
Kyle Seager - “To the Sky” by Dustin Lynch
Well, it’s no “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” that’s for sure. This garbage slice of pop/stadium country is somehow an even less country version of this Bo Burnham bit (fair warning, you may never be able to hear modern country again without thinking of that Burnham bit if you haven’t seen it yet). Again, I’ll get my soapbox here and say that there is SO MUCH fantastic music out there that falls under the broad genre of country and hardly any athletes seem to be aware of any of it. Walk out to Loretta Lynn or something and we’ll talk, Kyle.
Christian Bergman - “Toma” by Puscifer
Well, let me get this out of the way first. Tool is garbage prog metal for teens who peaked in the late 90’s and thought they were far more intellectual than they actually were. Never trust a Tool fan with anything important. Well, shit, I guess we need Christian here in the rotation for now, don’t we? Hmmm. Anyway, Puscifer is the singer of Tool’s side project/even weirder vanity project band, I don’t know. The name is an unseemly portmanteau of “Pus” and “Lucifer,” which, wow, great wordplay, dude. I was working at Everyday Music on Capitol Hill when Puscifer’s first album came out and for some reason we did a midnight release for it. The only people who showed up were the 3 weirdest white dudes I’d ever seen. And boy were they excited. Anyways, the song is basically Tool guy yelling “TOMA!” over and over again over a skittering industrial drumbeat and then layered with his normal vocals. Jesus, Bergman, this is bad. Really bad. Like I’m shocked the Mariners let this slide. May I suggest this instead? Or this? Literally anything else?
Nick Vincent - “Face Everything and Rise” by Papa Roach
Again, if you’re going to choose an awful band for your walk-up music, at least choose one of their passable (or at least more recognizable) songs. Papa Roach made music beyond 2002? Okay, sure, why not. I would have pegged Nick as a 311 fan or something at least. This over-compressed puke bucket of a song has a broke ass Mad Max/Saw mash up video to go along with it. Lots of gas masks. Wonderful. The song itself manages to mix in elements of EDM(I guess?) into it’s nu-metal shit stomp with a cleanly sung chorus, of course. Face everything and rise? I’d rather lay down and take a long nap of shame after sitting through that.
Hisashi Iwakuma - “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull featuring Christina Aguileria
Okay, I’m willing to give Kuma the benefit of the doubt here and assume he asked the Mariners DJ for “Take On Me” by Aha, but the DJ gave him this instead because he’s still a big Mike Morse fan and NO ONE ELSE can have that song. But yeah, this shit sucks, obviously.
That about does it for me. What song would you walk-up to? Give me your standard walk-up song and then your HIGH LEVERAGE SITUATION walk-up song. Links encouraged.