By Jef With One F
By Rocks Off
By Chris Lane
By Angelica Leicht
By Corey Deiterman
By Angelica Leicht
By Corey Deiterman
Only in Houston
The 2013 Houston Astros were beyond bad, the second-worst season ever by a franchise in Major League Baseball's recorded history. That should give you this article's frame of reference, which will be long on hope and short on snark. If you want to read a bunch of shitty comments about how bad the team was or may be this season, head over to Deadspin.
I'm a homer when it comes to my sports teams, an Astros fan since Bob Watson and Doug "The Red Rooster" Rader played the corners. We used to sit in the centerfield seats so Mom could amuse Cesar Cedeño by speaking to him in Spanish between pitches. She got him to converse a few times while Dad was guzzling down some Dome Foam and teaching us how to log the game on the scorecard.
So yeah, this devotion runs deep. I wish the squad well and hope their progress this season will be acknowledged with the following songs at Minute Maid Park in 2014:
Foster the People, "Coming of Age": The new Foster the People track would be a fine walk-up song for whichever Astros player becomes the team's breakout star; let's hope there will be at least one. (My guess is third baseman Matt Dominguez.) That "feels like, feels like I'm coming of age" chorus is perfect for hailing the next big thing.
Pink Floyd, "Money": When the team goes on its wildly unanticipated run of wins, this song should be played after each one. Baseball's pundits like to make a big deal over the Astros' payroll, which is lower than those of most — okay, all — other MLB teams. It's a sign that the ownership isn't committed to winning, they say. But if a team wins with a low payroll, à la Moneyball, everyone's a genius.
I'd be stoked to hear that rhythmic cash register and those familiar guitar riffs right as the 'Stros record the last out of a win. It would be a big foam middle finger from general manager Jeff Luhnow to those who believe you have to throw money at anything to make it worthwhile.
Jay-Z, "Money, Cash, Hoes": If you ain't up on your Astros, you may be unfamiliar with L.J. Hoes. He's an outfielder, and single-handedly destroyed the Mets in one of the last spring training games of the season. He's fully aware his last name is Hoes, so don't go there. Hoes is still trying to make a name for himself apart from his name, so back the hell up, haters.
I hope L.J. crushes it this season so he can take back his name and be cool with "Money, Cash, Hoes" being played in homage, in an entirely appropriate context, at the old ball game. According to Baseball America, Hall of Famer Lou Brock once stepped into the batter's box to Isaac Hayes's "Theme From Shaft." I don't think anyone's walk-up music could be more badass than that, but "Money, Cash, Hoes" would be a real close second.
Drake, "Started From the Bottom": Also according to Baseball America, Drizzy's songs were used in baseball stadiums last season more than anyone else's. This is odd to me, since baseball is America's pastime and Drake is Canadian. Also because he has that one song about making his lady friend whistle. (Hope no team used that one last year.) But this one is about starting from the bottom and getting your whole team to a place that's not the bottom. I'd take that in 2014.
The Wheel Workers, "Rainbows": Even if you don't share the probably misplaced optimism I possess for the new season, you've got to give the Astros one thing: Those uniforms are fly. I was so happy to see the rainbow colors come back, and what better way to celebrate than with a song by a hometown band?
By the way, DJ Minute Maid, that's a trend you could totally start if you want to be innovative: use songs by local music acts only; you've got plenty to choose from. This tune from last year's Past to Present is an equality anthem. As the Astros search for parity this season, it could be inspiring. It's got a neat drum/piano bit that would sound great in a stadium — you know, like that other sports anthem, "We Will Rock You."
A Better Tomorrow?
Perhaps a new Wu-Tang Clan album isn't the best idea after all, RZA.
Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA has been acting with a single-minded purpose: making a new Wu-Tang album happen, against all odds, even hinting he might release one single copy. He's already titled it A Better Tomorrow and dropped a couple of singles to promote it; even as projected release dates have come and gone, he's admitted that he's struggled to get the other eight members in a room together.
Normally, this would be exciting. Even though Wu-Tang's last few collaborative efforts have been mixed affairs, the individual members involved have been firing on all cylinders for several years. However, there are some really good reasons this album should not happen at all.