St. Louis Cardinals Walk-Up Music: Year End Review

picture of busch stadium neon light sign at night

I probably saw my last Cardinals game in-person last Friday, unless of course I am gifted with the holy sacrament of playoff tickets.  So it is appropriate after seeing about 12 or so games this year to evaluate the players’ choices for the music playing when they walk up to the plate.  What makes a great walk-up tune, you ask?  There are two main factors.  First, the song must be good, which is pretty self-explanatory.  If a player ever walks up to a Dashboard Confessional song, that is not good.  Second, the song should be appropriate to the player’s general demeanor and on-the field persona, and to some extent performance.  Bonus points can also be given if the track is somewhat humorous and obviously clashes with the player’s persona, but this territory should be tread carefully, much like trying to shoot the moon while playing Hearts.  In no particular order, here are seven notable walk-ups.

Matt Holliday:  “The Big Show Theme Song” – WWE

Matt Holliday is the Cardinals highest paid and best offensive player.  Matt Holliday is also a big strong man, albeit not as physically intimidating as The Big Show.  I can think of no better way to introduce Holliday, and love how the song hearkens me back to the days of watching wrestling pay-per-views at my buddy Phil’s place on Sunday nights.  This song and player is a match made in the Field of Dreams.

Song Grade:  B+

Appropriateness Grade:  A

Jon Jay:  “Mercy” – Kanye West feat. Pusha T, Big Sean, & 2 Chainz

It has been well-documented that we love “Mercy”, and Kanye individually.  The song is a slam dunk.  Unfortunately, this song that oozes cool was chosen by one of the dopiest-looking players on the team.  I love Jon Jay, and he has been a great player this year, but I can’t do anything but think he belongs on the short bus when I see the picture above.

Song Grade:  A-

Appropriateness Grade:  D+

Yadier Molina:  “Sigan Bailando” – Wisin y Yandel

“Sigan Bailando” is a pretty enjoyable song, and as a native Spanish speaker, it is nice to see Yadier give a little love to his heritage.  In the same respect, I have no idea what the hell is being said and can’t find a good translation.  This is a problem because Yadi is the most gangster, grudge-holding, neck-tatted, going to destroy you player on the team, and would like to see him rock something really gangster rap.

Song Grade:  B

Appropriateness Grade:  B

Lance Berkman:  “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” – Johnny Cash

Even in his limited plate appearances this year, Lance Berkman was able to reach way back and pick a great Cash track as his intro music.  The only player this song may be more perfect for is Chris Carpenter, every time he stares deep into an opposing batter’s soul.  Lance Berkman has been a seer of sorts since he joined the Birds, and Cash is the perfect personification of that.

Song Grade: A

Appropriateness Grade:  B+

Matt Carpenter:  “Long Hot Summer Day” – Turnpike Troubadors

I wouldn’t expect anything different than a son of Texas to make the best country intro choice on the team.  For several reasons, “Long Hot Summer Day” seems right for Carpenter.  Baseball is the sport of summer.  The song is perfectly upbeat, to the point it infuses a certain energy into Busch Stadium whenever Carpenter steps to the plate.  And finally, it is a much superior song to “Song of the South” in this atmosphere, which is the most overplayed intro song by players who want to be “country”.

Song Grade:  A-

Appropriateness  Grade:  A+

Allen Craig:  “Tell Me When To Go” – E-40

Allen Craig is from the Bay Area.  So is E-40.  Beyond that, this is the perfect example of why hip-hop intro songs shouldn’t be limited to black and Latino players.  “Tell Me When To Go” represents the swagger Craig has shown at the plate throughout 2012, and in general is a great ass-shaker.

Song Grade:  B+

Appropriateness Grade:  B+

Shane Robinson:  “Ashamed” – The Browning

I had to look through the comments on the youtube video to find an appropriate description of “Ashamed”:  Dubstep Metalcore.  Now if that doesn’t sound like a big plate of feces to everyone, I don’t know what would.  To compound matters, Robinson is maybe the lightest-hitting non-pitcher on our roster, and merits something more along the lines of the Full House theme song instead of this mess of noise.  Yuck.

Song Grade:  F

Appropriateness Grade:  F

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