Watch out for 3hree Things every Tuesday, where Riley Breckenridge, drummer of Orange County's favorite local alt-rock band Thrice, gives his take on life in Southern California as an OC native.
Major League Baseball players have horrible taste in music.
And before I give examples of just how horrible it is, I must post the following disclaimer:
I do not believe that I have impeccable musical taste, nor am I of the belief that my personal taste in music should be a benchmark for what is “good” or what is “bad,” but for the sake of this column, I'm assuming that “we” (those of you that read this column, and me) are on a similar page regarding music, and even if we're not on the same page, we're probably reading from the same book, which means you'll probably understand where I'm coming from with the following 3hree Things. After all, we're discussing a sport and/or management and players that thought (at one point) that it would be “cool” to have Scott Stapp sing a theme song for the Marlins or beat a penis-softening Train song to death before every Angels home game for the past seven or eight years.
Also, not all MLB players have horrible taste in music. My former teammate at Pepperdine, Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf, is largely responsible for getting me into Slayer and Iron Maiden in '95, when all I listened to was punk rock, classic rock and marginally shitty hip-hop.
As a huge Angels fan, and in an effort to keep this local, I've noticed that we have a few players on this year's Angels team who have made some undeniably poor choices for their at-bat or entrance music this season that help illustrate my thesis.
] 1) Jordan Walden- Rob Zombie, “Dragula”
This is Angels closer Jordan Walden's entrance music. Apparently, it's the fruit of an extensive search. He was 11 years old when this song was released in 1998, and Rob Zombie hasn't really been relevant as anything but a film director since then. (Note: I loved La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Volume 1, for what it's worth.) There's a 13-year gap there that I can't fill in the blanks on.
I'm all for dusting off old classics, but White Zombie? If you wanted to take the mainstream-metal route, there wasn't an old Maiden track, or Sabbath, or Pantera, or Death, or Nine Inch Nails, or Slayer, or even pre-Black Album Metallica you track you could have chosen? And if you still listen to metal, there hasn't been a single song since 1998 that would get you more fired up to walk a leadoff batter and blow a save than White Zombie? I feel like every MLB player has a 60g iPod with five albums on it, none of them more recent than 2005.
2) Peter Bourjos- Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Can't Stop“
Before we get started on Peter's choice of tuneage, I must say that this video is outstanding, and it's arguable that this is one of the better songs that RHCP have released since Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magikin 1991. That said, I'm not sure how this song, released in 2002, ends up being the choice of a 24-year-old baseball player for something that puts him into the right headspace before he steps into the box. I absolutely love Flea as a bassist, think Chad Smith is a phenomenal drummer, and have always been a fan of John Frusciante's guitar work, but Anthony Kiedis has found a way to make every RHCP song feel the same for over a decade. I just can't get into it, but (with SoundScan as proof) there are millions who feel differently.
With Peter's choice, I'm just wondering if baseball players are the kind of people who “just don't listen to music,” the same way you'll run into someone from time to time who “isn't much of a reader.” WHAT?
I know that figuring out how to hit a an offspeed pitch, working out, and working on your fielding is incredibly time consuming, but is there really no time for anything else? No new music for those road-trip flights and bus rides? The best song you could think of came out 10 years ago? When you were 14? Really? (Sigh.)
Aside from the mind-numbing, paint-by-numbers, contemporary country audio shart that this song embodies, there is a line in it, that says “Put on the SMELL GOOD.”
Read that again. “Put on the SMELL GOOD.”
SMELL GOOD is cologne (apparently). That's like calling a laxative POOP-RITE, a condom NO-BABY, or calling your food YUM-YUMS. (If you do one or any of these things, I hate you.)
This track is a paean to boring, mindless, tired country schtick, and when I think about it… it's actually kind of perfect for a player that has a career batting average of .198 (that's historically bad for those of you who don't follow baseball…Think: being successful doing at what you do less than 20 percent of the time) while somehow retaining a job on one of the “better” teams in baseball. Woe is us, Angels fans.
In my opinion, there is so much great music available these days that it's almost paralyzing. There's almost too much to consume, too much to listen to, and too much to actually devote the time it takes to fully appreciate (the way you might digest a record of say, 15 years ago when it was the only record you heard/bought that week and it was stuck in your CD player for a month.) Is this really a snapshot of all these guys listen to? And if so, why is it so mind-blowingly tired and lame?
If you were a player, what would your at-bat or entrance music be?