Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What Does the Brewers' 2014 Walk-Up Music Tell Us About The Team?

A lot, actually

By Evan Rytlewski
khris davis milwaukee brewers
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They say eyes are the window into the soul, but for my money, music tells you way more. At the start of each Brewers season I scour the team’s entrance music searching for clues into what each pick says about the players’ tastes, mindsets and prospects for success, and this year’s roster is loaded with some particularly cogent selections. Here’s a rundown of what each song tells us about the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers.

Ryan Braun 
– “Still in This” by B.o.B
Ryan Braun does not care about haters. That’s not exactly news at this point, but B.o.B’s chorus pretty much spells out everything Braun wants to but can’t say in interviews or contrite phone calls to season ticket holders: “I’m in my zone, I’m feeling it / Stop blowing my buzz, quit killing it / So buy another round / They tried to shut us down about an hour ago, but we still in this bitch.” It’s a song so perfectly Ryan Braun that every Remette purchase might as well include a free download of it. He probably walked down the aisle to this.  

Carlos Gomez – “All Me” by Drake
Carlos Gomez will not be as good this year as he was last year. Last year Gomez’s at-bat song was Drake’s triumphal “Started From the Bottom,” a true masterpiece of the form. “All Me” is good, too, but it doesn’t pack nearly the same punch, because how could it? That’s how I view Gomez’s prospects for 2014. Not every at-bat song can live up to “Started From the Bottom,” and not every season can live up to a Gold Glove-capped 24 home runs, 40 stolen bases and 73 RBIs.

Logan Schafer
 – “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison
Logan Schafer is a better player and more interesting person than most people realize.

Lyle Overbay –“Given to Fly” by Pearl Jam
Lyle Overbay understandably relates to aging white guys who have been on a long, gradual decline seemingly for ever.

Matt Garza – “Toss It Up” by Tupac
Matt Garza, like gangsta rap, has a reputation for not being very respectful to women.

Khris Davis – “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” by Ice Cube
Khris Davis was the only person in America still buying Ice Cube albums in 2008. This actually isn’t a bad song at all—the beat is classic West Side funk—but by choosing a fairly obscure late-period Ice Cube single over one of Cube’s stadium-friendly hits Davis is telegraphing his disregard for showmanship.

Aramis Ramirez – None (at his request)
Aramis Ramirez is still a Cub at heart. Ramirez spent most of his career at Wrigley, where at-bat music is only one of the many nonexistent modern amenities, and by being the only Brewer to snub this Miller Park tradition, Ramirez puts distance between himself and his teammates. Ramirez has been an important part of this team for the last two years and will continue to be one this year, but he wants you to know his time here is all business. This is one of the many reasons Ramirez never came close to replacing Prince Fielder in fans’ hearts.

Rickie Weeks – “Trophies” by Drake
Rickie Weeks leads the league in at-bat music percentage. That is a statistic I made up a long time ago, but it’s as true as ever this year. “Trophies” is a great choice, and it’s going to sound incredible booming across Miller Park.

Jeff Bianchi – Tonight” by Jeremy Camp
Jeff Bianchi is a man of faith. That is the only reason baseball players ever choose at bat music from Christian contemporary musicians.

Scooter Gennett – “Courage To Grow” by Rebelution
Ask Scooter Gennett how he feels about marijuana.

Zach Duke – Outsiders” by Eric Church
Zach Duke must feel pretty lonely in the clubhouse as the only member of the opening roster who is really into country music. That’s just as well: The team is stacked with other, more distinguished lefty relievers, so there’s a good chance this guy won’t be sticking around that long anyway.

Marco Estrada – “Bodies” by Drowning Pool
Marco Estrada has anger issues. But after logging so much time as one of the team’s most dependable starters and receiving next to no credit for it, can you blame him? This year diminutive newcomer Scooter Gennett and a dog who sometimes wears a jersey will be honored with bobbleheads, but this veteran backbone of the team’s rotation remains bobble-less. I’d listen to nothing but pillow-punching music on my drives home from the stadium too if I got treated like that.

Will Smith – Hell Yeah” by Rev Theory
Yes, Will Smith knows which song you would rather he use, and no, he doesn’t find the joke very funny.
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