Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Soundtrack of Life

With very little happening until Thursday, when pitchers and catchers report (and, really, not much happens even then), it’s time for one last bit of frivolity before the hearty, in-depth analyses. Thus, I present the Soundtrack of Life.

The Soundtrack of Life is a game, developed by some friends while in college, that essentially asks the question: What would your theme music be?

Starbucks made a clever commercial not too long ago under this same premise, as a twenty something worker went through his morning routine, while a variation of Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll Part II” was being sung by anyone and everyone around him.

The way that the game went was to pick a song that would accompany you as you entered a bar/party and would set the tone for your evening. Some popular choices included the intro to House of Pain’s “Jump Around”, Tupac’s “I Get Around”, and Queen’s “Fat-Bottomed Girls” (remember that these are college students on the prowl), which would conceivably set the environment. Interestingly, bw-3 (before it changed its name) at the University of Dayton had “Fat-Bottomed Girls” on the jukebox, so the biggest guy among us would feed $20 into the machine, play it over and over, and look menacingly at anyone who complained. Ah, the good old days.

But the game was always fun for mindless Sunday morning discussions and was reinforced by some famous Soundtrack of Life moments in cinema; most notably Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey’s character) entering the Emporium in Dazed & Confused in a slo-mo saunter while Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane” provided the backdrop.

To put the idea into Cleveland terms, think of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” playing every Friday at 5PM on WNCX, hyping up untold Clevelanders for the weekend and setting the tone for a Friday night.

This concept, or game, was always also fun to play at Jacobs Field, as players came out to what could be called their Soundtrack, or theme music. In years past, they have ranged from the boring (almost all of them) to the clever (Thome coming out to the chorus from Black Oak Arkansas’ “Jim Dandy” - Jim Dandy to the rescue) to the incredible (no matter what you thought of John Rocker personally or as a pitcher, when he came out to the extended version of The Scorpions “Rock You Like a Hurricane”, there was no way to not get excited). We would listen to a players' intro music and pick a song that would be more fitting for them.

So, I’ve decided to make some suggestions for the 2006 Tribe for songs that they can be introduced to.
Without further ado:
2006 Song Suggestions
Grady Sizemore – Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix
The Seattle native memorably came out to the Doors’ “Back Door Man” last year, leaving a lot of things up to the imagination; but this year we’ll go with the guitar intro to this Hendrix classic. Some songs that were rejected include “Just a Gigilo” by David Lee Roth (suggested by serial poster Cy Slapnicka) and the “Superman Theme” by John Williams, playing off of the SuperSizemore persona. The “Superman Theme” just seemed a little too cocky.
Jason Michaels – I Want Action – Poison
Honoring his brother Bret Michaels’ band (they’re not really brothers), this 80’s anthem should fit in well with his reputation as a hard guy, and sometimes-bad boy.
Jhonny Peralta – Tonight Show Theme
Starting with the Ed McMahon “Here’s Johnny” introduction, the song is just classic for the low-key Peralta to make an intro and become a fan favorite as fans introduce him right along with Ed.
Travis Hafner – Stone Cold ’s entrance music
The way that the WWE fan (he sat front row at a recent show at The Q) swaggers to the plate, the glass-breaking and intimidating music that accompanied Austin’s way to the ring would serve nicely into making nice-guy Pronk a little more intimidating.
Victor Martinez – Let’s Go Crazy – Prince
I had a lot of trouble with this one (mainly because my exposure to Latin music consists of Gloria Estafan and Gerardo), but an upbeat song to accompany an upbeat, happy-go-lucky guy seemed natural.
Ronnie Belliard – Hells Bells – AC/DC
The tolling of the bells that begin this classic, then the guitar riff is just simple enough that it would serve as a nice intro. The connection is Belliard…Bells…get it?
Aaron Boone – Beverly Hills – Weezer
In honor of his Playmate wife, and the fact that he is a native of SoCal (and with a shout out to serial poster T-Bone, a diehard Weezer fan), Boonie can come out to the refrain of this recent hit.
Ben Broussard – Better Man – Pearl Jam
Yes, this is a bit of a dig on Benny, who is a big PJ fan. In lieu of playing his own CD, he can come out to the line, Can’t find a Better Man, which Shapiro may have sung during a recent karaoke performance, referring to his 1B problem.
Kasey Blake – Back in Black – AC/DC
Eschewing the advice of Cy Slapnicka (who suggested some Tom Petty songs, “Even the Losers”, “Runnin’ Down a Dream”, and “Free Fallin’”), I’m going to stay positive with Kasey. We’ll call “the black” hitting .250, so hopefully he can get back in the black this year, after hitting .241 in 2005. Next up for Kasey (if he goes above .250) is to earn back the C in his name by not whiffing so much. The guitar intro to “Back in Black” isn’t bad either.
C.C. – Numb/Encore - Jay-Z & Linkin Park
The Crooked Cap, who is a big Jay-Z guy, could come out to this tremendous song. If you saw the Grammy performance of this song, it doesn’t do it the justice of the track on the CD.
By the way, when are Indian fans going to figure out that when C.C. pitches someone should be putting C’s up for all of his strikeouts instead of K’s? Where are all of the clever fans in this town?
Cliff Lee – Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
This is a weak one, as it’s basically on here because Lee is a big Led Zeppelin fan and “Stairway to Heaven” doesn’t exactly fit the bill.
Jake – Once Bitten, Twice Shy – Great White
Playing off of the Jake the Snake persona, this 80’s anthem plays nicely.
On another aside, when will we see the emergence of The Snake Pit whenever Westbrook pitches? It’s such a natural. Why am I the only one who thinks of these things?
Paul Byrd – Freebird – Lynard Skynard
This is an obvious play on his name, since I don’t know very much about him. I thought about the theme music to Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, while they played a clip of the movie on the Jumbo Tron. Realizing, though, that this is Cleveland, I thought that the anthem of Southern Rock would play a little better.
Rafael Betancourt – Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
This goes back to an interview with Eric Wedge that I heard on the radio a few years back, when Wedge kept praising “Rocky” and how he really came through, and so on. As I sat there wondering who Rocky was, Hamilton came back on to say that Betancourt had done a “whale of a job”. Only then did I realize that Wedge was saying Raffy. But, for me the nickname stuck.
Fernando Cabrera – Enter Sandman – Metallica
Not because he looks like the Sandman from Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (though he kind of does), but more because it’s intimidating the way the Eric Gagne coming out to “Welcome to the Jungle” is intimidating. I’d like to see many years of Cabrera swaggering out of the pen, with Metallica blasting in the background – signaling to the opposing team that the game has just been shortened from 9 to 8 innings.
Bob Wickman – Takin’ Care of Business – BTO
There isn’t that much to be said about this one, which is pretty self-explanatory. He grabs his lunch pail and his hard-hat and gets the job done. May not be pretty, but it’s done.

Also, while we’re at it, I would change the song played after a Tribe victory to the song they play during the final game in Teen Wolf, “Win in the End”; while Tom Petty’s “Even the Losers” can play after a loss, mocking the opposing team while they’re exchanging handshakes on our home field.

And there we have it, my suggestions for introduction music for the Indians’ Soundtrack of Life 2006.

If there’s anyone I missed, or anyone I whiffed on, let me know.

2 days until pitchers and catchers report. Feels like December 23rd.


t-bone said...

Great read:
- =w= indeed rules
- somewhat weary on Vic's song, although i cant think of an immediately replacement.
- Billy Squier "The Stroke" has to fit in there somewhere

In unrelated news, how about the impending chaos that would ensue if Cox goes through with their threat to not get Tribe TV?

In my eyes, Tribe TV is looking like the bad guy here.

"The fact is, the Indians have been one of the highest-rated TV teams in the majors for years," Liberatore said. "Watching Indians games has become a way of life in this town, and there's a cost associated with that."

So due to the fact that this town loves its team, we now have to pay more to watch it? So there weren't cost's associated when it wasn't as much of a TV draw (which i find hard to believe, the Tribe has always had the ratings... even in the bad days). I imagine they'll make a heck of a lot more on advertising with the increased viewership, wont they be pocketing that?

I'm no longer a Lakewood resident, nor a Cox subscriber (Adelphia out in the 'lake), but it's going to blow to be hanging out after softball, or on your average Friday or Saturday night, and have to figure out where to go because only certain places may subscribe to the MLB package.

Cy Slapnicka said...

I thought of a replacement for Grady today. While I really like Voodoo Child and think it is a good fit, doesn't "Centerfield" by Fogerty fit perfectly? Check the first verse. If nothing else, alternate with Centerfield for day games and Voodoo Child at night. And before anyone mocks me, yes I am planning on purchasing a pink Mrs. Sizemore shirt this year.

As for The Stick, some Santana might work. Perhaps "Oye Como Va"? Or We go with Stevie Ray Vaughn "House is Rockin".

Ronnie strikes me as a hip hop fan, so I like "Quality Control" by Jurassic or "Thru Ya City" by De La Soul.

Man, I can't stop thinkin about it being 80F, a Saturday afternoon and watching baseball now.

Paul Cousineau said...

I have a feeling that this Tribe TV thing will sort itself out.

I think that noted gumshoe Roger Brown doesn't have a heck of a lot else going on, other than reporting the rejection of an INITIAL PROPOSAL.

Mr. Brown, with all of his experience in negotiations, probably is familiar with the basic principles (proposal, counter-proposal, hammering out the final details, agreement) of negotiations.

The Tribe won't let this new venture get off on the wrong foot. Every interview that I've heard has said that if you got the games last year, you'll get them this year.

Remember, pitchers and catchers haven't even reported yet. Still plenty of time to get a deal done.

Rockdawg said...

If you're gonna go with Zeplin, I think I'd go with "Rock N Roll" or "The Immigrant Song." There should also be a relief pitcher that comes out to "Dirty Deeds" by AC/DC. The opening riff is great.

I saw Lebron perform against the Bobcats last week. He could literally score whenever he wanted to. It is so fantastic that someone that good plays in Cleveland.

t-bone said...

Channel 3 news is doing some thing on Grady on Thursday's 6pm news. For you out-of-towners, i'm sure it'll be on their website Friday.

Cy Slapnicka said...

As I sit here day dreaming about Winterhaven, how cool would it be if a tv station went down to spring training and just documented the process? Put mics on players during long toss, went fishing with them, golfing, sat around the batting cage, etc.

Would you not watch this every day? The Indians network would be a great place for programing like this.

t-bone said...

This'll be the first year in what... 3 or 4 that I wont be going down to Winter Haven. Very unfortunate.

t-bone said...

The Grady thing on Ch.3...


t-bone said...

And how about Joey getting arrested for stalking...

Updated: Feb. 16, 2006, 10:59 PM ET
Albert Belle charged with stalking ex-girlfriend
Associated Press
click this

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Former baseball star Albert Belle was arrested Thursday and charged with stalking his ex-girlfriend, police said.

Scottsdale police said the 39-year-old Belle was taken into custody after a former girlfriend told officers that he had stalked her.

Belle was being held without bond at the Maricopa County Jail in Phoenix, according to a county sheriff's department spokesman.

A five-time All-Star outfielder, Belle hit 381 career home runs in a 12-year big league career that began with the Cleveland Indians in 1989. He also played for the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore before retiring in 2000 after his second season with the Orioles.

The volatile Belle often ran into trouble on and off the field during his playing days.

He was fined in 1994 for using a corked bat and suspended after instigating a brawl by elbowing an opposing player. In 1991, he threw a baseball into the chest of a fan taunting him. Years later, he tossed a ball at a photographer.

Belle, who has lived in Arizona for several years, was arrested on a DUI charge here in September 2002.

Cy Slapnicka said...

Wow, it gets even better. In an update, it looks like double-O Joey was using GPS to track her. I wonder if he was dressing up with fake classes and a mustache or using Predator drones to track her too.

PHOENIX -- Albert Belle tracked his ex-girlfriend with a GPS device and repeatedly threatened her, according to a police probable cause statement filed in support of stalking charges.

The 39-year-old former baseball star was arrested in Scottsdale on Thursday and charged with stalking. He made an initial court appearance late Thursday, and a judge set bail at $108,000, ordered him to be electronically monitored and to stay away from the victim.

Reached by The Associated Press on Friday morning, Belle declined to comment on the case.

"You didn't write a story about my Hall of Fame induction," Belle said. "You guys never report the good stuff that I do."

Belle's next court appearance is set for Feb. 24.

Despite impressive statistics, Belle collected just 40 of the 390 votes needed to reach the Hall of Fame in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America in January. His prickly past was blamed by many for his low vote total.

The police probable cause statement said that Belle's former girlfriend discovered a Global Positioning System tracking device that had fallen off her car on Jan. 26. Believing that Belle was responsible, she called police, who began an investigation.

The unidentified woman told investigators that for several months Belle "had been showing up everywhere she went [the store, on dates, the gym, etc.]," the probable cause document stated. The woman asked Belle if he had placed the tracking device on her car, and he initially denied it.

But on Feb. 3, he left her a message apologizing for "doing all that tracking stuff," the statement said. A later recording had Belle threatening the woman, telling her she needed to hire a bodyguard for protection and that she "would never know what hit her," the statement said.