Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Music Fills the Air

As has become the custom around these parts, to celebrate the first full practice in Spring Training, it’s time for a bit of an exercise in frivolity with the 3rd Annual Soundtrack of Life suggestions for the 2008 Cleveland Indians. For those who missed the concept and the past years, they can be found here and here. Again, for those who are new, the song title will link to the song.

Essentially, it boils down to recommendations for each player (or at least the ones that figure to play a major role in 2008) for accompaniment music.
Walking music, we used to call it.

So, without further ado, I present The Soundtrack of Life, 2008 edition:
Grady Sizemore
The frenetic opening riff from Nancy Wilson accurately sets the tone for the style of play that we all know that our SuperSizemore brings to the plate, the basepaths, and (quite obviously) center field. The fact that Sizemore, like the Wilson Sisters of Heart, is from the Seattle area and St. Grady is an avowed classic rock enthusiast put this one on the hook for Sizemore.

Asdrubal Cabrera
Youth Gone Wild
While certainly none of us hope that AstroCab hits “Skid Row” this year, the precocious youngster gets the ‘80s rock anthem in lieu of the DiaBride’s suggestion of the theme song to “The Young and the Restless”, which I know only from Jack Butler’s obsession with the show in “Mr. Mom”.
“No, it couldn’t be Victor’s – he had a vasectomy…it didn’t take?!?”

Travis Hafner
Man in the Mirror
Due to shock that you’re feeling after expecting some sort of heavy metal/German rock music, allow me to explain - after last season, it’s time for some introspection for the man trying to find his inner Pronk, something that was missing all of 2007. Travis, it’s time to take a look at that man in the mirror and…make that change.

Victor Martinez
The Warrior
The most oft-overlooked part of the Tribe as he tends to be taken for granted for his consistently excellent play, it’s time to recognize Vic the Stick for what he is. He dons the tools of ignorance about five times a week, anchors the middle of the lineup, handles the pitching staff, and leads the Indians by his actions and by his toughness. While some could say this is simply an opportunity to watch the Charles Barkley “Superstars” video that shares Vic’s anthem…you’re only partly right. By the way, Chuck makes one shot that ISN’T a dunk in the complilation…and that’s the one when he goes by 5 Portland Trail Blazers! Lest anyone ever think the Clown Prince of TNT has no room to talk, just watch this over and over.
But I digress…

Ryan Garko
Welcome to the Jungle
After hearing Garko on the “Jim Rome Show” last season, when Garko-my-God-did-you-see-how-far-he-hit-that professed his love for all things “Jungle”-related (to the uninformed, Rome refers to his show as “The Jungle”), this is just too easy. Sure, it was funny when he came out to “This is Why I’m Hot” last year, but it’s time to excite the masses Gonnie Garko. Axl and Slash in all of their destructive glory is a good way to start.

Together Forever
With LF committed to the platoon of David Dellucci and Jason Michaels (Dellichaels, because the entity needs no first name), these two are inexorably linked…for better or worse. Like the Rick Astley song, not many people like the arrangement and feel that a more credible alternative should be explored. Plus, I hope that Dellichaels is remembered with harmless curiosity in a few years the way that Rick Astley is, as opposed to the vitriol that he normally brings about.

Casey Blake
The Beard has come out to a Metallica song every year that he’s been with the Tribe (even when he was just The Jaw), he wears #1, and he probably is on the last legs of his time here due to his escalating salary. So let’s avoid the potshots or any thoughts about RISP and enjoy the drum solo.

Franklin Gutierrez
Smooth Operator
There’s just something so fluid about the way that Frank the Tank carries himself to the plate, around the basepaths, and patrolling the outfield that it’s impossible not to think of the cat as a pretty slick character. I know that everyone was hoping for the old Will Ferrell impersonation of a Panzer, but YouTube is populated with nothing but imitators of the classic scene, so Sade gets the nod.

Jhonny Peralta
I Can See Clearly Now
As Jhonny tells me on Cleveland radio all the time, he sees “better than 20/20” these days thanks to his Lasik surgery. How could I not go here with the man’s improved vision? Next year, I’m hoping for something like “I Get to Every Groundball Hit to Me”…is that even a song?

Andy Marte
One More Try
That’s right, the Timmy T version. Out of options and staring at a roster with no certain spot for him, it’s time for “The Dominican Dandy” to live up to the nickname that was bestowed what feels like many, many moons ago. Watching that video, are we sure that’s not Andy Samberg?

C.C. Sabathia
Last Dance
Sorry if you don’t want to see this one and would prefer that “Mo Money, Mo Problems” remained as C.C.’s theme, but it’s time to enjoy one final twirl with the Big Fella before he heads off our dance floor.

Fausto Carmona
Runnin’ with the Devil
For those not well versed in what a “Faustian Dilemma” is, it represents a deal with devil, explaining why the crazy licks of Eddie Van Halen’s guitar should augment the Tribe’s burgeoning ace to the mound. I really wanted to use “The Wickedest Man Alive” by Naughty by Nature due to the fact that Fausto’s stuff is just filthy, but it seems that outside of a few suburban kids on the East Side of Cleveland in the late 1980’s, the song never really found too much of an audience. Regardless, here’s a snippet.

Jake Westbrook
Rock Steady
Outside of the first half of 2007, when Jake was undone by that weasel of an oblique strain, he has been nothing short of the model of consistency in the middle of the Tribe’s rotation. And that…ladies and gentlemen, earns him these two guys singing some Bad Company at a bar I wish to visit.

Paul Byrd
I Want a New Drug
While “Free Bird” is the obvious choice (Byrd has a book coming out with a similar title this year), I was unable to secure the rights to the southern rock anthem from Lynard Skynard, who suggested that I use “Free Chicken” instead. Afraid that it may be misinterpreted as complimentary poultry for the masses, I’ll take the opportunity to address the fact that Paul Byrd claims to have used HGH to treat a pituitary gland problem, but stopped using the drug years ago. The question becomes, then, what exactly is he taking to remedy the pituitary issue?

Cliff Lee
Hair of the Dog
Not sure if the refrain was uttered by the native Arkansan to Victor in the tunnel in their infamous “dust-up” last season, but various reports and stories have certainly painted Mr. Five and (f)Lee as a bit of a, well…

Joe Borowski
Livin’ on the Edge
Pretty self-explanatory here, for anyone who went through multiple bottles of Pepto and ate Tums like they were Spree during JoeBo’s tightrope saves last year. I do appreciate the fact that The Big Borowski comes out to a “Rocky” montage as he hails from the same hometown (Bayonne, NJ) as boxer Chuck Wepner (known as the “Bayonne Bleeder”) the alleged inspiration for Sly Stallone to pen “Rocky”, but there’s something about acknowledging that Borowski lives on the edge that appeals to me.

Rafael Betancourt
People’s Court Theme Song
If the Indians are intent on fostering this “Betancourt is in Session” theme (and they certainly seem to be) when Senor Slo-Mo enters the game, at least add some levity to it by adding the music that we all grew so familiar with thanks to Wapner, Rusty, and Llewelyn. The song is pretty great too.

Rafael Perez
Rain on the Scarecrow
For the reliever who looks like he’s about 130 lbs. soaking wet (take it from one who knows), Perez has the look, in his seemingly two sizes too big Tribe uniform, of a Scarecrow – all skinny arms and skinny legs. The fabric of his uniform just flaps in the breeze for lack of anything to cover, but protecting (in this case a Tribe lead)…just like any good Scarecrow does.

Masa Kobayashi
Usual Suspects Theme
“My Name Is Kobayashi”…then, the strings.
That’s all that should accompany the Japanese import to the mound.

Jensen Lewis
Rise Up with Fists
A bit of an obscure title from the indie rock artist Jenny Lewis, performing with the Watson Twins…which is inconsequential, outside of the similar name for the artist and the young hurler. Of course, the most important thing you need to know about the singer Jenny Lewis…the one that sings this song…is that she appeared as a child actor in the movie “The Wizard”. Yes, the one you’re thinking of – the Fred Savage movie about video games where his younger brother is some sort of video game prodigy. You remember her, the little redhead in the flick who volleyed back and forth the way that Winnie Cooper did with Kevin Arnold. I know that’s probably the last thing she wants to be known for (everyone knows Fergie was in “Kids Incorporated”, right?), but it served as the clincher for this song to be Jensen’s music.

Strike up the band, boys…Spring has officially sprung.


Unknown said...

Rise Up With Fists also works as it's time for Jensen to Rise Up to the next level in the bullpen With the Fist of Iron and Fist of Steel Raffy brothers... Follow thier example Jenson.

Cy Slapnicka said...

Seems like every year I read this list while at work, and youtube.com is blocked. A few comments until I get to hear it in its full glory...

As good as "Runnin with the Devil" is, "The Wickedest Man Alive" is much cooler for the Fautasic one. And if we're going to suggest he sold his soul for his nasty stuff, why not use "Cross Road Blues" by Robert Johnson. Perhaps he had a minor league stop in Mississippi where HWY 61 and 49 cross?

Another option for CC could be "The Dance" by that chubby bitch Garth Brooks? Or if we are going to beat on him, "Society" by Eddie Vedder. But a more positive song would be "Rise" by Vedder.

I still love "Centerfield" for Grady, I've been beating my drum about that since 2006 and will not stop. I also realized this year that the Casey striking out line is so applicable.

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