Last year's Houston Astros were beyond bad, the second-worst season ever by a franchise n Major League Baseball's recorded history. That should give you this blog'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. I've been 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 Cedeno by speaking to him in Spanish between pitches. She got him to converse a few times while dad would be 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 by possibly hearing 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 most -- okay, all -- 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, a 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.
Still,...there's some indication he once walked up to this throwback jam in his minor league days. 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 this year.
According to Baseball America, Hall of Famer Lou Brock once stepped into the batter's box to Isaac Hayes' "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.
The Script, "Hall of Fame" Grossman, Guzman and Fowler. That's not a law firm, it's a few of the 2014 Houston Astros. Maybe they aren't household names yet, but they need you in the stadium, eating hot dogs and cheering them on to more victories than last season.
This 2012 song may be a little schlocky, but the chorus encourages self-improvement. No harm in that for a team coming off the worst record in the league.
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Katy Perry, "Dark Horse" Needs no explanation. Skip the Aphrodite stuff and just use the dark horse and perfect-storm references.
Lorde, "Team" Maybe this is the one that should just be played in the locker room before the 'Stros hit the field. It has that good vibe that says we have each other's back, no matter what. We're on each other's team.
Young Money feat. Drake, "Trophies" The trumpet line in this song made it a favorite on my playlist right away. Over the Juice Box's speakers, it could serve as a modern-day version of the old "Charge!" clip the Astrodome played between pitches to get the crowd going.
Also, its message is a good reminder to the players they started this endeavor to take care of themselves and their people. Championships are appreciated, but most of us realize you're doing a job just like the rest of us.
Drake, "Started From the Bottom" Yeah, this is the second Drake song on this list. According to Baseball America, Drizzy's songs were used more in baseball stadiums last season 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 ladyfriend whistle. Hope no team used that one last year.
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; 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 only songs by local music acts. You've got plenty to choose from. This song 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."
"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" Even if everything goes wrong again, we've always got the seventh-inning stretch.
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