Power Rankings: The Best Nickname-Based Walk-Up Songs of All-Time

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Walk-up songs give you a momentary yet monumental view into a player’s soul and mind, perhaps triggering a connection that you otherwise would not have made as a spectator. I recall learning that John Axford would have “New Noise” by Refused play every time he ran out from the bullpen. It was a moment that proved to me that baseball players were, in fact, humans that don’t all exclusively listen to Florida Georgia Line.

A lot of fun can be had perusing Baseball-Reference’s nickname tracker. Did you know that Bill Tomb was known as the Chinese Bandit in the 1960s? I’m not even remotely certain that I know what that means. If I was to hazard a guess, I would imagine that a remarkable level of racism went into that creation. Current Red Sox star Travis Shaw is known as the Mayor of Ding Dong City. Some are genuinely confusing. Why would Eugene Moore be called Deerfoot AND Lucille? Why would Ronald May be nicknamed Tri-Pod?

Using meticulous research and advanced sabermetrics, we have identified the top ten nickname-based walk-up songs of all-time.

HONORABLE MENTION
Bob Oakley – Valuable Blonde

Oakley was blessed with one of the most unique nicknames in the history of Major League Baseball, but with that blessing comes the most unfortunate curse. While no tune goes by that exact title, plenty of songs discuss the value of blondes, both male and female, at explicit length. Oakley gets and loses points for both an abundance of songs about valuable blondes and no single song about valuable blondes.

HONORABLE MENTION
John Reigar – Milkshake

Barring a government conspiracy greater than any of us could imagine, I was not present on the night that John Reigar was gifted the nickname of Milkshake. I, therefore, cannot speculate on its seemingly nonexistent origins. What I can tell you is that Milkshake strikes about as much fear in me as a loaf of bread. And to be clear, I love bread. The divisive split between adoration and lamentation of Kelis’ “Milkshake” prevents Reigar from making the cut.

HONORABLE MENTION
Dozens of Players – Shorty

Seriously, there are like a million guys nicknamed Shorty. Apparently, it was a thing to be as uncreative as possible. 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” is an inclusive positive statement to all, which both hurts and helps its cause to crack the top ten. It misses the cut because I’ve heard it like a billion times (999,999,997 times of which not by choice) and man it gets old. Question, if a batter nicknamed Shorty faces a pitcher nicknamed Shorty and this song is played for Shorty’s walk to the plate, who benefits from the brief mental spark that it might actually be their birth month and day?

HONORABLE MENTION
Marty Marion – The Octopus

Marty Marion’s decision to use iconic children’s musicians the Wiggles’ Henry the Octopus is the very definition of making a statement. We just aren’t sure what it is. Is it purposefully ironic? Is it his own subtle way of reminding his children how much he loves them? Or, perhaps, the most obvious choice, he simply loses his mind getting amped up to this song. Who could blame him? This audio masterpiece certainly cracks your humble author’s top three favorite songs of this list.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s top ten list.

10. BRANDON BARNES
POSITION & TEAM: Colorado Rockies, OF
NICKNAME: Superman
WALK-UP SONG: “Superman” by Goldfinger Continue reading

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Top 10

Top 10 Reasons Spring Training is in the Spring and Not in the Fall

10) Studies show that elderly Arizonans are susceptible to boredom in March.
9) Other studies show that elderly Floridians might be dead by autumn.
8) The Babylonian calendar made space for “if healthy” talk in the month of Nisanu.
7) The Roman calendar made space for “change of scenery” talk in the month of Martius.
6) No one really likes the smell of “freshly cut brown grass.”
5) Broadcasters would say, “Hope autumns eternal!” And that would just be weird.
4) Were it called “fall training,” players would merely learn how to sue grocery chains.
3) Road trips to Florida would be delayed due to fantasy football drafts.
2) Road trips to Arizona would be canceled due to fantasy football debt.

And the No. 1 Reason Spring Training is in the Spring and Not in the Fall
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Top Ten Player-Induced Vehicle Accidents in Baseball History

Poor Red Sox hitter Mookie Betts watched his golf cart roll into a lake.

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But is this the worst baseball-player-caused vehicle mishap in history? Of course not! It’s not even in the top ten!

Top Ten Baseball-Player-Caused Vehicle Mishaps

10. The time Bobby Doerr shouted “Follow that cab!” and the cab in front of him drove off a cliff.

9. When Dick Allen asked to take the team bus for a spin and drove it onto the White House lawn, nearly smooshing Richard Nixon’s pet dog. Continue reading

Top Ten Ways Mike Trout Can Have a Lousy Career

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A month ago, our crack analyst Jason Bulay looked at a career path in which Mike Trout might crash and burn. Now, our dope analyst Brian Reinhart looks at still more possibilities for a disappointing Troutian future.

10. Mike Trout is featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated every week from now until his retirement. That retirement comes early, as Trout is a perpetual victim of the jinx who develops a sudden propensity for walking into mirrors placed under ladders by sinister black cats on the night of the full moon.

9. Aliens abduct Mike Trout and probe his inner ear, causing him to suffer from severe vertigo in the batter’s box.

8. A team of MLB historians discover that Mike Trout was, in fact, a member of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox. Continue reading

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A Homer

Top 10 Things Justin Turner Did After Having His Pimple Treated

10) headed over to his friend Bobby’s house to just, like, watch TV and stuff.

9) borrowed his mom’s car and then, like, didn’t put any gas in it.

8) went to the mall and just, you know, hung out or whatever.

7) went to his friend Ricky’s house so he could stare at Ricky’s sister.

6) locked himself in the bathroom at Ricky’s house for, like, five minutes.

5) finally wrote a thank-you note to his Gram-Gram for the birthday money.

4) also wrote that stupid college-entrance essay, gah.

3) studied for the SAT, but also didn’t study for the SAT.

2) took out the garbage even though it apparently wasn’t fair to do so.

And The No. 1 Thing Justin Turner Did After Having His Pimple Treated
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Ten Hot Predictions for the Second Half of the 2015 MLB Season

Hang onto those Joe Mauer cards. They'll be worth something special this time next year!

Hang onto those Joe Mauer cards. They’ll be worth something special this time next year!

Major League Baseball is always full of surprises, but don’t be surprised if any of the following happens in the final months of the 2015 MLB season. Our crack analysis team has devised 10 bold, but confident predictions for some stories we’ll be following:
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A Bad Beer

Editor’s Note: On Monday, The Marketing Report released its list of the cheapest, i.e., most affordable, beer at each major league ballpark. Missing from the list, however, were the names of those beers. What follows, then, is a helpful roster of 10 beers to avoid.

Top 10 Worst Beers At Major League Baseball Stadiums

10. Al Qaeda Breweries Jihadi Dry

9. Amish Beer Co. Excommunication Bitter

8. Johnson & Johnson Neosporin Lager

7. Wolfgang Puck’s Braised-Lamb Pilsner, With Shiitake Mushrooms

6. Budweiser

5. SPCA Brewhouse Litterbox Ale

4. Latter Day Saints You’ll-Get-Nothing-And-Like-It Light

3. Walt Disney’s Malt Licorice

2. Coors Light Dunkel

And The No. 1 Worst Beer At Major League Baseball Stadiums

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Top 10 Reasons I Didn’t Win The Home Run Derby Last Night

10) my back has been bothering me. (Come on over and I’ll tell you all about it. Bring some beer. And some work boots. I’ve got some chores for you. I should mention here that my back has really been bothering me, so you might want to pack a sandwich, too. A couple of sandwiches. There really are a lot of chores. You might not even have time to eat that extra sandwich, or even the bag of Kettle Chips that you should also bring along.)

9) my knees have been bothering me. You think knees are something that only old football players have? Don’t be daft. Baseball players have knees, too, because a lot of baseball players played high-school football. My knees? Really bothering me. (Come on over and I’ll tell you all about it. Bring beer – more than you had planned, because with the back and the knees I have a lot to talk about. So, you know – I’ll get thirsty. Bring enough so that we can also talk about the headaches I’ve been having in the mornings.)

8) my head – like I said, I’ve been having a lot of headaches, especially in the mornings.

7) to be honest, I’m more of a gap-to-gap hitter. And do you see Major League Baseball conducting an All-Star Gap-To-Gap Derby? No. No, you do not. That’s discrimination, folks, plain and simple. And I’m pretty sure the Constitution or whatever says you can’t do that. It’s against the law and also the 10 Commandments. One of them, anyway. A big one, too. Can I help it if I wasn’t born as big as Todd Frazier? OK, true, Todd Frazier wasn’t born as big as Todd Frazier. He was just a little baby when he was born. That’s pretty obvious. But he’s a big guy now, bigger than me, and so here I am sitting in the dark and running out of beer and getting kind of hungry for a ham and Swiss on rye.

6) I couldn’t find Cincinnati anyway. Let’s back up: Last month, under the assumption that I’d get invited to the Home Run Derby despite the fact that I am a gap-to-gap hitter and am experiencing some weakness because I’m hungry for a sandwich, I did what folks call a “dry run” to Cincinnati just to make sure I could find it, because sometimes cities are hard to find if you go the wrong way and end up in a honky-tonk just off Exit 24, right next to the feed and seed. So just to be safe, I borrowed my neighbor’s car when he was sleeping and plugged “Cincinnati” into the GPS and a few hours later arrived in Cincinnati, Arkansas. Did you know that prior to 1857, Cincinnati, Arkansas, was known as Buzzard Roost? That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about here. Places called Buzzard Roost almost never host home run derbies. So I left and ended up in Cincinnati, Iowa.

5) I overslept.

4) the pitcher wouldn’t throw the ball in my wheelhouse. Oh, did you miss my turn at the plate? You were at the beer store and/or making me a sandwich with extra mayo? That’s too bad, because, yeah, I was out there all loosey-goosey with my cap on backward and joshing around with the guys – I’ll tell you, that Prince Fielder is just as nice as he seems – but then when it was my turn to hit, the pitcher started checking his Facebook account on his cellphone and just wouldn’t throw me a quality strike. It was so bad that – this is what I’ve heard, anyway – ESPN has decided to not even show the highlights, not ever.

3) God’s master plan. Did you know that God has a master plan? It’s true. And apparently, as part of His master plan, I just wasn’t supposed to win the Home Run Derby. And who am I to argue with God and His master plan? I mean, it’s a master plan. And He’s God. Frankly, that’s a lot to argue with, and, as mentioned, my head hurts. Also, I am assuming that God’s master plan will provide for some beer and a sandwich.

2) I didn’t get invited. It’s all politics, man. Have you ever noticed that? You haven’t? Open your eyes, people. Or should I say sheeple? Because it’s all politics. You know the thing about politics, though – it’s catered. Politicians are always getting the equivalent of the Yankees’ postgame spread and usually for free. So I’m just hoping for a sandwich, really, and some beer. In exchange, I’ll vote yes, or no – whatever – on Proposition 180.

And The No. 1 Reason I Didn’t Win The Home Run Derby Last Night
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Top Ten Ways to Make the All-Star Game More Interesting

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10. Have every player assume the identity of a Major League character. Adrian Beltre will sacrifice a live chicken before the game.

9. Sprinting race where everybody rubs Adrian Beltre’s head and runs away as fast as they can.

8. Royals pitcher Chris Young (6’10”) faces off against Jose Altuve (5’3″) in a limbo contest.

7. Any time a player commits an error, they are carried off the field by that lady who hosted The Weakest Link, after she uses a megaphone to tell them, “You are the weakest link!”

6. Pablo Sandoval is required to swing at every pitch.

5. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are required to pitch to each other.

4. Every inning starts with Billy Hamilton on first base.

3. All wild pitches will hit a giant target for the A.J. Pierzynski dunk tank.

2. Bartolo Colon must play in the Home Run Derby.

And the No. 1 Improvement to the All-Star Game:  Continue reading

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A Joyce Sitting

Top 10 Things .183-Hitting Matt Joyce Can Do To Get His Mojo Back

10) wear the new Calvin Klein cologne, Dottie Kamenshek For Men.

9) wax on, and also wax off.

8) snatch a pebble from a dead mystic’s mummified hand.

7) eat a peanut, a Cracker Jack and a hot dog off a naked slumpbuster and call it cycle.

6) begin asking pitchers to “throw it right here.”

5) join a prayer group, then ask those people if they know how to hit a slider.

4) attend a Tony Robbins seminar, steal his credit cards, use them at the batting cages.

3) walk a mile, literally, in Mike Trout’s shoes. Literally.

2) read Zen in the Art of Archery, then toss it up and swing at it with a stick. Repeat.

And The No. 1 Thing .183-Hitting Matt Joyce Can Do To Get His Mojo Back
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