by Matt Wells
We all know that some baseball pitchers have songs they love to enter the game to. Mariano Rivera, and now cross-town rival Billy Wagner, come in to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” Trevor Hoffman comes into AC/DC’s “Hell’s Bells.” I’m sure there are other relievers in the game today that, though it is not publicized as much, enter the game to their own brand of classic rock.
But, what about the less-publicized pitchers? What about the starting pitchers, for that matter? What songs do they enter the game to?Well, thanks to Microsoft and their Windows Media Player, and to the places I download my music from, I have compiled a list of songs that today’s starters can enter the game to. This list concerns just starting pitching, and the songs on this list are on my Windows Media Player Playlist, which is why they made the list.
These songs also reflect the current situations the major league pitchers are in today.
Josh Towers, Toronto Blue Jays – “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand
Yes, Toronto manager needs to take Josh Towers out of the game. A lot. Just look at that record – 1-9! Towers has even spent time in the minor leagues this year, but apparently, that didn’t help his game. Mix in an ERA of 9.11, and you got a pitcher you need to take out.
In his 9 losses this year, Towers has lasted (get this): 4 2/3 innings, 6 innings, 2 innings, 5 2/3 innings, 2 1/3 innings, 5 2/3 innings, 4 innings, 5 innings, and 4 innings. That’s right…the longest Towers has pitched in a loss is 6 innings. Seems like it’s time to open up a can of bullpen…and time for Josh Towers to start telling Gibbons to “Take Me Out.”
Javier Vazquez, Chicago White Sox – “Welcome to Paradise” by Green Day
Vazquez suffered through an 11-15 season in 2005 for the Arizona Diamondbacks. After just one year in the desert, Vazquez was shipped to Chicago in a deal that sent Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez to Arizona. Things could not be working out better for Vazquez.
As of today, Vazquez is 8-4 for the defending World Champions despite an ERA of 5.00. 8 wins and an ERA of 5.00?! How is that possible?! Let me tell you:
In his 8 wins this year, Vazquez has seen the White Sox score 4 runs, 13 runs, 8 runs, 9 runs, 9 runs, 11 runs, 8 runs, and 20 runs. Guess what? That’s an average of 10.25 runs per win. Mr. Vazquez, “Welcome to Paradise” (an offensive paradise, that is).
Brett Myers, Philadelphia Phillies – “Smooth Criminal” by Alien Ant Farm
“You’ve been hit by, you’ve been struck by..a smooth criminal.”
Uh oh. I can hear the boos now. It’s easy to make fun of Brett Myers in light of recent events. For all of you who don’t know, Myers is accused of hitting his wife in public on the streets of Boston this past weekend.
Now, the fact that a plethora of witnesses were present doesn’t make Myers a “smooth” criminal. Everyone saw what happened, there just seems to be disagreement on whether he slapped his wife or punched her.
Either way, Myers is a criminal. Being in the public eye due to his profession, makes his actions real “smooth”…as in stupid. Myers is a good pitcher; he just needs to treat his family better.
Tom Glavine, New York Mets – “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart
Yes, Greg Maddux fits into the category of old-timers doing a halfway decent job on the mound this year. So does Randy Johnson. Roger Clemens, despite just two starts this year, can fit into that category.
But, none of those pitchers are having the season that 40-year old Tom Glavine is having for the Mets. Glavine is 11-2 for the top team in the National League, and he is just 14 wins shy of the coveted 300-win mark.
The 40-year old lefty is proving that is possible to be a veteran and still shut down the opposition, remaining “Forever Young.”
Jered Weaver, LA Angels – “Wasting My Time” by Default
Weaver, the younger brother of Jeff (also an Angel), cruised out to a 4-0 record to start his career. The 23-year old even started his career with a 1.37 ERA in those 4 starts, allowing 4 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings.
How was he rewarded? He was demoted back down to AAA. The Angels had just signed Kelvim Escobar to an extended contract, and Bartolo Colon was ready to come back off of the DL. There was no room for Jered at the major league level. But, hey, wouldn’t it have been something if the Angels had traded Jeff to make room for Jered?…
So, a 4-0 record with a 1.37 ERA gets you a demotion? Jered Weaver must have thought to himself that the Angels were “Wasting My Time.”
Kerry Wood, Chicago Cubs – “Hurt” by Johnny Cash
“I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel…”
Cub teammate Mark Prior would make this list except for the fact that, for the moment, he’s healthy (that shouldn’t take too long to fix…). But, it was Kerry Wood who was placed on the DL on June 7th with a shoulder injury. Yes, yes…another shoulder injury.
Wood was not his dominating self this year going 1-2 in four starts. Of course, it’s hard to be yourself when you spend much of the time on the sidelines. Wood has started just 47 games over the past 2 1/2 seasons. Compare that to an average, healthy pitcher starting about 35 games in one season.
Wood may be out for the year, or he may not. That is up in the air. One thing is for sure, however – Kerry Wood is “Hurt” again. What else is new?
Oliver Perez, Pittsburgh Pirates – “Wake Me Up When September Ends” by Green Day
Perez has two things going against him this year: (1) He has 10 losses against just 2 wins, and (2) he plays for the Pirates.
The Pirates easily have the worst record in the game and they just got swept by the Kansas City Royals, of all teams. The Royals! Perez has the distinction of being the “ace” on the worst team in baseball.
This is the same Oliver Perez who was 12-10 with a 2.98 ERA in 2004. However, Perez is just 9-15 since, and his ERA just keeps increasing. As of today, his ERA for the 2006 season is a ghastly 6.63.
Between playing for the perennial cellar dwellers and losing the most games of any National League Pitcher, Perez would probably rather be playing golf right now. So, do me a favor…just wake him up when September ends.
Of course, I’m sure that there are plenty of other songs out there that reflect the situations of pitchers in the major leagues today. Feel free to comment with your ideas for songs! Starting pitchers only, for topic purposes.
NOTE: This article is for entertainment purposes only. If I met these players on the street, they’d probably beat the living daylights out of me (especially Brett Myers!). But, not before I got their autographs!
In addition, I have titled the article by “edition,” for I hope to make a team version with songs regarding teams’ positions this year.