Take Chone Figgins, for instance. Here’s a guy hitting .191 being introduced for each at-bat to the sounds of the infamous Andre Romelle Young, better known to the masses as Dr. Dre. Doctor Freakin’ Dre!! One of the most renowned musical artists of our generation! Straight aural sex! And Figgins, of all people, is out there ruining his sh*t.
It doesn’t seem right. A .191 effort at the dish deserves the type of lyrical misery that fails eighty-one percent of the time. What kind of music can justifiably be viewed as an eighty-one percent failure? Rebecca Black? The Jonas Brothers? Kajagoogoo? There are so many options, of which Dr. Dre should not be one.
The act itself is commonplace, of course. These days, every hitter in the game has his own walk-up music. In most cases, the player handpicks his audio accessory. And in almost every case, crappy songs are rarely selected.
One thing I have noticed is that walk-up songs tend to be divided along racial lines. Here’s a quick ethnic breakdown of every genre of music that bangs on your eardrums at baseball games:
Country. A favorite of white players from the backwoods of rural America.
Rap. Reserved for African Americans and the occasional badass white player from the suburbs (ex. Brendan Ryan).
Techno/Dance/Bubblegum Pop. Reserved for Ichiro.
Rock/Metal/Alternative. The choice of ACPs (Average Caucasian Players).
Salsa/Latin. A preferred option for the litany of Spanish-speaking hitters.
When it comes to choosing an introductory tune, players rarely step outside the box, so to speak, to gather their music. You’d never catch Justin Smoak leaving the on-deck circle to Lil’ Wayne. Likewise, Franklin Gutierrez wouldn’t be caught dead taking his practice cuts to Kenny Chesney. And so what we seem to have is this perfectly-manicured culture-clustered utopia of melody and harmony.
I get that. I understand it. If Latin Jones needs Menudo to get on base, fine. Far be it for any of us to alter his taste in symphony. We can leave the genre alone. Out of respect to the individual. In most instances, at least.
But what if everything else was fair game? What if only the good players got to handpick their ditties? And what if everyone else was subject to earning their cut based on performance? Seems pretty fair, yeah? Play well and you’re rewarded with a walk-up song of your choice. Struggle, and the fans choose for you. Yep, that’s how it should be.
I say we start with a baseline batting average of .220. If your rate of success is under the baseline, you can choose your genre and that’s it. After that, the fans vote on what your track will be. Country music guy? Enjoy Dwight Yoakam. Big on hip-hop? Try some Vanilla Ice.
For those hitters who really can’t hack, the genre goes out the window, as well. We’ll set the bar for this level of humiliation right smack dab on the Mendoza Line, an even .200.
So guess what? If you’re batting .199 or less, get ready for a little dose of Yanni. Or maybe William Hung is more your thing; you might be getting some of that, too. Hey, did you know that David Hasselhoff had a brief singing career? Well, you will. Joe Pesci once released his own album, too…best of luck getting on base to that garbage.
Fact is, if you aren’t performing, you aren’t getting the freedom to ruin our favorite songs by associating them with your suckitude. It should be up to us what we pair with your swings-and-misses. If that ends up being Wilson Phillips, then so be it.
Who knows, maybe Figgins’ underwhelming season is just a blip on the radar in an otherwise-solid career. I sincerely doubt it, but it’s possible. Nevertheless, Dr. Dre’s rhythmic influence will live on forever. And frankly, Dre didn’t earn that Ph.D to have his art tainted. So, Figgy, it’s time. Time we hit with you a new joint. This is as kind as I can be. It could be worse. At least this is funny: