by Blake Hammond
What happened to the Cincinnati Reds? We have no idea. But maybe it was the walk-on music?
Besides baseball, there are two things that I associate with GABP and the Reds — beer and music. Well, maybe there are three. Losing in the playoffs has seemingly snuck itself in there in the last week or so. Whatever, I don’t want to talk about it. Ever since I was a kid, my favorite baseball players' personalities have always matched their walk-on batting intros. (Adam Dunn’s intro, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica, was badass, unless he struck out afterward, which was often the case.)But as I got older and was able to drink at the games (legally anyway), I began to notice a trend in my beer buying regiment. I was buying more booze in the bottom-half of the innings than in the top-half and I had no idea why. But after some deliberation (a couple more beers), I finally figured it out. It was this team’s batting intros that drove me to the stands to go broke on $9 beers (thanks, guys!)So, in lieu of thinking about my bank account, or the fact that we made history being the only team ever up 2-0 in a series and still, somehow, some way, found a way to lose three straight at home, here is a list of the Reds' starters walk-on songs, rated on a scale of how many beers it takes for me to enjoy them. Even though no amount of booze will ease the pain of that Game 5 loss, maybe making fun of these guys' music preferences will.• Zack Cozart: “Too Close” – Alex Clare: Alex Clare’s DupPop single “Too Close” (best known for soundtracking an Internet Explorer commercial) has risen on the pop charts at the same rate as Zack Cozart’s batting average over the past season. Coincidence? I think not. But really, Zack? This is your walk-on song? This is what gets you pumped up? I mean, for God’s sake, the lyrics don’t make any sense. “I feel like I am just too close to love you”? It would make much more sense if the lyrics were, “I feel like I’m too just too drunk to do you.” That would be a song I could connect with. Rating: 8 beers.• Drew Stubbs: “Breakin’ a Sweat” – Skrillex and The Doors There is no excuse for this. The whole thing sounds like Netzero fucked Jim Morrison and it’s just not OK. I honestly think this may be half the reason why Stubbs’ hitting had been so atrocious over the last season. Really though, if I had to hear this screeching dial-tone noise ringing throughout GABP every time I went up to bat, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate either. Rating: 20 beers. Alcohol poisoning sounds better than this song. • Brandon Phillips: “Turn Up” – 2 Chainz; “Turn On The Lights” – Future; “Everythang” – Young Jeezy; “Pop That” – French Montana; “Bandz a Make Her Dance” – Juicy JAll right, DatDude, what the hell? I understand wanting to switch it up during the game and maybe having two or even three songs tops. But five? In most games you don’t even get to the plate five times!It’s OK, though. It’s worth it just to see all the old white people get uncomfortable when there is some Rap music blowing through the speakers at GAB.Rating: 2 beers. • Joey Votto: “Paint it Black” – The Rolling StonesI like to picture Joey Votto sitting at home alone, crying, listening to this song and asking, “Why do I have to do everything?!?” Seriously though, when you hear that thumping drum beat in the beginning of the song, you know fear strikes the heart of any opposing pitcher having to face Votto-matic.Rating: Zero beers. No alcohol needed for this one. • Ryan Ludwick: “Brass Monkey” – The Beastie BoysWhile Phillips' newer Rap joints are a little too hood for the white people in the crowd, this is something they can relate, too. I wish Ludwick could bat twice in the order, not only because he’s a great hitter, but so I can see the drunk 40-something in front of me gyrate and giggle some more when this song comes on. Rating: 2 beers. It’s a fantastic song but it is about drinking, so it only seems right to have a little bit of a buzz. • Todd Frazier: “Come Fly With Me”/ “Fly Me To The Moon” – Frank SinatraTodd Frazier is a class act. His intro songs were chosen because they remind him of his grandparents (seriously dude — is there a bad bone in your body?). But honestly, who better than Old Blue Eyes to bring out the classiest Red since Sean Casey? Rating: Zero beers. Maybe a “Daniels on ice, two fingers” though, in salute to Sinatra. • Jay Bruce: “Everything I Do” – TimefliesI don’t know who these guys are, but based on the 15-30 second judgment made when I heard it every time Bruce came up to bat, I’m not a fan. (Sidenote: I’m going to blame this song on that pop-fly he had in the ninth inning of Game 5. Thanks a lot, Timeflies — you ruined the season!)Rating: 5 beers. • Ryan Hannigan: “The Show Goes On” – Lupe Fiasco I applaud Hannigan for throwing up a Lupe song as his walk-on. It’s cool that he listens to some good Hip Hop. But this song was quite possibly the worst choice he could have made. The sample of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” alone makes me want the “show” to stop and never go on again.Rating: 5 beers.• Scott Rolen: “Viva La Vida” – ColdplayThis might be the weirdest choice on the whole list. When you see Scott Rolen up to bat, he just looks pissed off. Like he’s Liam Neeson and the ball he’s about to smash just took his daughter and sold her into the sex trade. But then you hear his walk-on music and it’s freakin’ Coldplay? I was expecting some AC/DC, even some Motorhead, but Coldplay? I would go on, maybe even make a “You know how I know you’re gay?” joke — but honestly I’m afraid of this guy. Even if he does listen to Coldplay.Rating: 4 beers. After about four large drafts I’d be singing along. It’s just got that Pop-chant chorus that I can’t resist when intoxicated. I wasn’t going to do any pitchers but this one was too hard to resist …• Mike Leake: “Some Nights” – Fun You know what would be fun, Mike? If “Some Nights” you’d stop choking and pitch to your full potential. Rating: 6 beers. (While we know up-to-bat music is irrelevant in Major League Baseball and cannot actually be blamed for the Reds blowing it in the playoffs, we'll offer our suggestions for new walk-on music this coming spring. Look for it in about six months. Leave your own suggestions in the comments.)