The slow crawl of the early offseason is no fun for anyone. Especially when Shohei Ohtani wants nothing to do with you Toronto and you have a feeling the “impact bat” that your favourite team’s general manager keeps talking about looks a lot more like Josh Harrison than J.D. Martinez. Until the hot stove starts to heat up, we are left to fend for ourselves when it comes to talking baseball.
So we started looking backwards. Thinking about the evolution of the Blue Jays over the last few years, we remembered that the Jays became contenders because of two key deadline additions in 2015. We’re speaking of course of LaTroy Hawkins and Mark Lowe. By bringing in walkout tracks like “They Want EFX” and “Copperhead Road,” respectively, they joined Chris Colabello’s “Return of the Mack” in helping lead the club to success through great music. Hawkins, Lowe, and Colabello moved on, but thankfully Michael Saunders showed up with “Hypnotize” to help keep the team afloat just long enough to earn a wild card berth in 2016. Then those songs disappeared in 2017 and we all know what happened. But a new year means new opportunities. So with that in mind, here are some of our suggestions for new walk-up songs for some of our favorite Blue Jays.
Marcus Stroman – ‘My Generation’ by The Who
Consider Stroman’s new walkout song as the latest shot fired in the offseason war of words between Stro and his many haters and critics. This classic Who anthem, which portrays a generation of older people as people who are out of touch with the youth of today is perfect for Stroman. I’m guessing Roger Daltrey wasn’t talking about bat flips and emotive on-field celebrations but the point still stands. Given the current state of the Blue Jays offence, Stroman may continue to pinch hit in 2018 as well.
Aaron Sanchez – ‘Without Me’ by Eminem
Guess who’s back, back again (I mean seriously, four trips to the DL?!). If the blister problems really are behind him, Sanchez is going to want to let people know not just that he’s here to stay, but also remind them that the rotation just felt so empty without his ace-level performance. It’s both a confidence boost and a nice, subtle dig at his former best buddy.
Kevin Pillar – ’46 & 2′ by Tool
Sometimes the best way to convey data is in a format where the consumer gets the same messages through multiple mediums. This song accomplishes a few things – it’s a driving song with an absolutely amazing drum solo, but it also accurately tells the fans in the stands what Kevin’s K to BB ratio was. That might save Rogers some money from displaying those stats on the video boards as well.
Roberto Osuna – ‘Wake Up’ by Rage Against the Machine
This song has just about everything you could want for the young closer. It has a nice hook, some pounding guitars to pump up the fans, and most of all, a reminder to Osuna to battle through the fatigue generated from being the most overworked pitcher of his age in the PITCHF/x era according to Mike’s Fatigue Units. As an added bonus, Osuna actually was born when it came out.
Josh Donaldson – ‘Don’t Want to Miss A Thing’ by Aerosmith
For my money, Donaldson has used some of the best walk up music in recent Blue Jays’ history. When he first came to Toronto, the Bringer of Rain walked up to Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’ – complete with signature drum fill. This season JD was using the equally great ‘So Fresh, So Clean’ by Outkast. Given Donaldson’s impending free agency, ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing’ is a fitting swan song (wipes away tears) for the Jays best position player and a reminder to enjoy him while he’s here.
J.A. Happ – “Milkshake” by Kellis (Yet to be released remix)
J.A. Happ rose to Canadian prominence when it was discovered he didn’t know that milk came in bags. Because he’s making mad bank, he was able to finance a special remix with Kellis this offseason to honour the incident, while simultaneously paying homage to the Jays great attendance numbers the past 3 seasons. “My Milkbag brings all the fans to the yard.”
Teoscar Hernández – ’15 minutes’ by Barry Manilow
Teoscar burst onto the Toronto scene by clubbing eight home runs and hitting .261/.305/.602 during the month of September following his pickup by the Blue Jays. Now the pressure is on the 25 year old to show that it wasn’t a flash in the pan and that he can have some level of lasting fame and success.
Marco Estrada – ‘Slow and Low’ by the Beastie Boys
A tribute to the signature pitch that makes Estrada so effective – and a reminder to keep it down in the zone. Don’t want to leave that changeup hanging.
Troy Tulowitzki and Devon Travis – ‘Hurt’ by Nine Inch Nails (Johnny Cash version)
Troy got curious on his iPod and started playing this song before a game one day. Unfortunately, when he landed on first base awkwardly and hurt himself that day, he definitely could still feel it. The same applies for Tulo’s double play partner, Devon Travis. Hopefully, Johnny Cash’s career resurgence with ‘Hurt’ is a bit of a metaphor for the Blue Jays middle infield – someone whose heyday was behind him, but is launched back into the spotlight in peak form because they borrow someone else’s material (let’s say this is one of JD’s bats).
Carlos Ramirez – ‘Zero’ by the Smashing Pumpkins
From July 15, 2016 to September 19, 2017, Carlos Ramirez threw a shutout. When you go more than a full calendar year without giving up a run, you shout that out to the heavens. Emptiness is loneliness and loneliness is cleanliness and cleanliness is godliness and God is empty, just like the scoreboard when Ramirez finishes his inning of work.
Let’s face it. Watching Kendrys slog it out on the basepaths was a bit of a chore. And for someone who hits the ball so hard, he sure beats it into the ground a lot. But when the game is on the line? Hoo boy is Morales the guy you want up. His four game-tying or game-winning home runs in the 9th inning or later last year led all of baseball. No one man should have all that power. That’s why he can’t turn it on until late.
Russell Martin – ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin
Despite providing tremendous defensive value through his pitch framing abilities, Martin has seen a pretty significant drop in the amount of runners he has thrown out on the bases over the past two years. This Motown classic should light a fire under Martin and make potential base stealers take notice – Russ is not to be trifled with.
Danny Barnes – ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ by Simple Minds
Despite long stretches of effectiveness, Barnes is often forgotten about when discussing the depth in the Blue Jays bullpen. While it’s likely due to his less than exciting repertoire of 92 mph fourseamers and changeups and his “create-a-player no. 2″ look, Barnes is worth remembering. This ditty made famous by the Breakfast Club should help him out in this regard.
Aledmys Díaz – ‘Smooth’ by Carlos Santana ft. Rob Thomas
I had to include the newest Blue Jay. No real reason for this, other than it’s a real good song and it’d be nice to hear a few times during a summer ball game while enjoying a couple cold ones. (Ed. note: Mike is the only one of us who feels it would be nice to hear ‘Smooth’ a few times per game. Also, he isn’t fooling anyone when he says he’s only enjoying ‘a couple’ of cold ones).
Joe Biagini – ‘Let’s Get Serious’ by Jermaine Jackson
Biagini’s first entry in the bigs, ‘Tears of a Clown’ by Smokey Robinson, was pretty perfect for the…unpredictable righty. But like Jermaine’s first attempt at breaking out on his own, Biagini’s transition to starting didn’t exactly go perfectly. This song is also about getting serious, which is great for the third year pitcher, but it’s completely ridiculous at the same time. Sound like anybody we know?
Justin Smoak – ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ by LL Cool J
Don’t call it a comeback. Seriously, just don’t. Smoak was not coming back to anything. Why was he nominated for that award? Just pure nonsense.
Jose Bautista – ‘Glory Days’ by Bruce Springsteen
2017 was a tough year for the franchise icon. Despite hitting over 40 home runs just two seasons ago, it appears as though age may have caught up to Bautista. This classic Springsteen song will remind Jose of simpler times – times when Jose’s bat speed let him turn on those “speedballs” that Bruce is singing about in the first verse. With the team deciding to decline his option for 2018, it’s looking like whatever Bautista’s walk up song is, it will be blaring through the PA speakers at the Trop next season.
Joey Votto – ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ by Drake
Take on all that money, Blue Jays’ front office. Obviously the song we want to be Votto’s walk-up song, not the song he wants to be his walk-up song. The NL MVP runner up is more of a Kendrick man, anyway.
Sounds like a winner.
Lead Photo Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports