FINALLY, it's baseball season. Now I'm not knocking the other sports (except golf, maybe), but baseball is the sport for me. And to those who know me, it is surprising that there is a sport for me at all. I am incredibly uncoordinated, know almost nothing about how March Madness works, and have little to no interest in the Olympics. I know more statistics about media consumption than ESPN worthy tidbits. I own one jersey, which was purchased for me by a friend as a gift. I giggle at every double entendre uttered during a sportscast, and when you're looking, there are A TON, especially in football... do you realize how many different uses ESPN has for the word 'penetrate'? Seriously.
But baseball. It's America's pastime. And they almost never say one man penetrated another, because that's not how Baseball works. It's tobacco chewing, high socks, spitting, and home runs. Clean grass. Raked dirt. Hats. Which is why this week, in honor of opening days around the country, we are talking baseball in stereo. The only way I know how to talk about things.
: Each team gets an artist and sometimes a song to represent their persona, or how much they suck. Here we go.
THE NEW YORK YANKEES - Vampire Weekend "Giving Up The Gun"
The Yanks are the quintessential winners that people love to hate. Like Vampire Weekend, their clean-cut image and winning/chart-climbing is adored by fans and ravaged by haters as undeserved, fueled by money being thrown at them, and totally fake. Also the Yankees love to give up the gun, ESPECIALLY IN THEIR FIRST GAME.
METS - The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
The other New York band. They have fans for sure, they can be lots of fun, but they are not exactly the "winners" that Vampire Weekend can claim on their tax return. Also, they are kind of whimpy. If the Mets were a genre, they'd be shoegaze.
RED SOX - Dropkick Murphys "Shipping Up To Boston"
My friend said it best: "Dropkick Murphy's couldn't be more 'Boston', when I think of my Sox I think of a checkered past, underdog triumphs, missed opportunities, beards, and a strong, unwavering sense of local support." My response was no one cared about them until they had that one song in that one movie (the 2004 World Series), and suddenly they were a household name. Whatever.
THE CHICAGO CUBS - Billy Corgan, "Bodies"
Billy Corrigan was once great, (for the Cubs, it was 1908) but since then, like the fans, has slowly gone insane. Remember kids, love (for the Cubs) is suicide.
THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX - Kanye West "Stronger"
Kanye is a White Sox fan. This song represents their desire to work harder, including their 2005 victory. We also heard Kanye hates Billy Corgan's poetry LIKE THE PLAGUE.
THE MINNESOTA TWINS - Conor Oberst
Shut up, Conor Oberst. I don't care about your recent collaboration with Jim James and M. Ward. Or that you signed Joe Mauer. Just shut up. Bright Eyes was a long time ago.
PHILLIES - Free Energy "Free Energy"
A newly christened contender (Free Energy/the recent smattering of Philly glory). We like this band. "We're breaking out this time" they cry, and I'd listen if it sounded more like the pop rock of this Philadelphia band and less like a bunch of Philly fans crying about last years World Series and losing Cliff Lee.
THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES - Black Kids "I'm Not Gonna Teach Him"
Remember when the Orioles won the division in 1997? Yeah, me neither. They remind me of a buzz band that Pitchfork fellated, and later pissed on. Third fiddle.
THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS - The Lonely Island "I'm On A Boat"
Not a real team, not a real band, not a real song.
INTERLUDE: California Teams From A Jack White Dynasty Perspective
I. THE LOS ANGELES DODGERS - The Deadweather
With stars like Manny Ramirez and Joe Torre, the LA Dodgers are what all the cool kids are digging in California. But remember, they are all just FAKE transplants, like the team itself, which was originally based in Brooklyn. Allison Mosshart, Dean Fertita, both famous for other acts before Jack White hooked them up.
II. THE LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM - The White Stripes
Although not as flashy, the Angels have been a stronger contender in seasons past, especially before the top heavy Dodgers were front-loaded with notable winners from other teams. The White Stripes may not be Jack White's coolest band, but they are arguably the most successful.
III. THE SAN DIEGO PADRES - A Beat-Up Old Neil Diamond LP
I was going to complete the trifecta with The Raconteurs, but I like the Raconteurs. The Padres are a po'boy team that might have to trade Adrian Gonzalez, hometown boy and star player, because they can't afford him. Thus they don't even get real people. Neil promptly phoned and said he was a Boston fan, and they cancelled their season to go to Mexico.
THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS - Any Guided By Voices tune
It's all about drinking. In the immortal words of editor David Pitz: "Those boys, though from Ohio, could drink all of Milwaukee under the table."
THE TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS - She and Him - "In The Sun"
You can pretend you love She and Him/love the Devil Rays, but we all know you only go to see Zooey Deschanel in person/to see the other team play. Aw, Florida has a baseball team! Adorable!
THE SEATTLE MARINERS - Nirvana
What do Nirvana and The Mariners and Starbucks have in common? They are all overrated! That joke KILLS at hipster parties. Except I usually leave the Mariners part out, hipsters hate sports.
THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS - Stars
Both, for the most part, consistently mediocre. But Joe, they are Juno Award nominated!
Shut up, Conor Oberst.
Got a team/band mashup? Please tell me about it! Think I gave your team the short end of the stick? I want to hear about it! Leave your love of the game in the comments! -joe puglisi
Special thanks to the sports/regional knowledge contributed by Red Sox lover Josh Terrill, ESPNologist Jackson Williams, and our editor/insane Cubs fan David Pitz.