It’s the All-Star Break and while the Seattle Mariners sit 9 games below .500, I think anyone closely observing can see this is not the same Mariners team we have seen the last few seasons. There is a lot to be happy about among the new faces—Franklin, Miller, and Zunino—and some of the older faces are finally showing promise. The oldest face is the most entertaining of them all right now. On a different note though, today I would like to bring you a fun list of the current Mariners batting songs.
My favorite ex-Mariners walk up songs has to belong to Randy Winn and Russell Branyan. Winn would step up to the plate to the opening instrumental of Gangster Nation by West Side Connection, and I always liked when I would hear the “Na na, na na, naaa-na…” and that classic 2000’s rap instrumental—it was awesome. Branyan came up to a country song, which I normally wouldn’t go for, but I loved the part of the Brooks and Dunn song that played: “Slick pickup trucks, Big timin’ in small town, Stirrin' it up right about sundown” … it just fit so well for Branyan’s persona and his fun mixture of walks, strike-outs, and dingers.
Interestingly enough, not all players choose their songs for fond childhood memories or personal preference. In an article on MLBtraderumors about agencies, it went through the process of Yuniesky Betancourt choosing Good Vibrations by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch in an attempt to winner over fans in Milwaukee. The article seemed to imply that it had in face endeared him to the home crowds. In any case, as promised, here is a list of your current Mariners and their pre at-bat songs (links go to YouTube):
Shortstop, Brad Miller: Jet Airliner—Steve Miller Band & Sabotage—Beastie Boys. “Crazy Legs” as he is known (for his foot speed) has a pretty solid list here. Sabotage is one of the greatest Beastie Boys’ hits and it really shows off his youth.
Second baseman, Nick Franklin: Don’t Stop Believing—Journey & Don’t Look Back—Boston. Somebody had to do it; somebody had to have the most famous song in American culture as their walkup music. The Journey hit was released 10 years before Nick Franklin was born. Nick Franklin was a gift from the baseball gods showing us that we didn’t have to stop believing in a competent Mariners offense. Not many teams have somebody to replace a failed top prospect that works out as well as Franklin has so far.
Left fielder, Raul Ibanez: Werewolves of London—Warren Zevon & Force of Nature—Pearl Jam. These two songs say it all about out favorite 41-year-old. On a night where the energy is high the “Ahoooooo” in Werewolves of London turns into a raucous cry of “Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuul” that could carry anyone one of his hits a few rows deeper. The Pearl Jam song is clearly an ode to the Northwest where Ibanez is doing his third tour of duty.
Designated hitter, Kendrys Morales: Flava in Ya Ear—Craig Mack. A DH that can hit as wells as Morales hits is a brand new flavor in our collective ears. The best flavor may still be ahead of us too; Morales is a notorious second half player. He is hitting .355 in August over his career.
Third baseman, Kyle Seager: Runnin’ Outta Moonlight—Randy Houser. It is amazing there aren’t more country songs on this list—Miller, Franklin, Seager, Smoak and Ackley all hail from the South. The Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina area is where the Mariners obviously have their most trusted scout; since Jack Zduriencik has taken over they have made a lot of draft picks from that part of the US—besides the guys I already mentioned, the M’s have also drafted Danny Hultzen (VA) , Ryan Kiel (WV), Brian Moran (NC), and John Hicks (VA) among many others from that area.
First baseman, Justin Smoak: Am I the Only One—Dierks Bentley. With the way Smoak has been hitting since coming off the disabled list, maybe all the Mariners should adopt the Dierks Bentley song. Over Smoak’s last 100 games, he is hitting an inspiring .274/.369/.438 which is not what we hoped for when we traded Lee for him, but it will keep first base off the Mariners’ wish list.
Right fielder, Michael Saunders: Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like)—Grits. Saunders always comes up to some of the best classic Hip-Hop songs; last year it was Biggie Smalls and now in 2013, it is even more catchy. If I had to guess, I would say Saunders chose this song to show how much he really appreciates his MLB life. In related news, Ooh Ahh (My Life Be Like) is one of the 4 songs in rotation for Michael Morse.
Catcher, Mike Zunino: 99 Problems—Jay-Z & Ante Up—M.O.P. I hate 99 Problems, I hate the video, and I hate the instrumental—but I am in the minority in that way. A lot of people really like 99 Problems and I imagine Zunino does because he chose it. I would say Zunino only has one problem, and it’s a curve ball.
Center fielder, Dustin Ackley: Fortunate Sun—Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fortunate Son is one of my favorites, especially on this list. Ackley is trying to revive his career in the outfield after scuffling, to put it nicely, with the bat at second base. I doubt that there is much that can be gleaned about the Ackley’s Mariner career from CCR’s anti-government, anti-Vietnam War ballad, but I will enjoy it all the same—especially if Ackley can sprinkle in some hits.