After so many long, dreary months without baseball, it has finally returned to the East Bay. And to a lesser extent, the rest of the country.
In celebration of this momentous occasion, an occasion that should absolutely be a national holiday, by the way, it’s time for a list of quintessentially A’s songs to get you excited about your time at the Coliseum to come in the next six (or hopefully seven) months.
The Prodigy — “Firestarter”
They changed it a year or two ago for reasons I will never understand, but for quite a while the starting lineups were announced to “Firestarter,” which is a great way to get hyped for a game. The fact that I can’t even remember what the 2018 version is should tell you it didn’t hold up.
Here’s hoping they bring it back for 2019 in honor of the late Keith Flint.
Warren G — “Regulate”
Let’s start by taking it back to the glory days of 2012-14 when the team was winning everything and future MVP Josh Donaldson’s walk-up music was inspiring the regulators to mount up.
Last year, and reportedly this year, Chad Pinder has been using “Regulate” as his walk-up music. It’s a bold move. He didn’t get to Oakland until 2016, a couple years after Donaldson had moved on, but he’s gotta know the song comes with expectations. Or if he doesn’t know, someone should warn him.
Wham! — “Careless Whisper”
One more throwback before we get to the present day. Josh Reddick may be with the Astros now, which is unfortunate, but the man was a born Oakland Athletic. The A’s are the only team where a guy can wear a Spider-Man costume under his uniform and walk up to George Michael and not be the weirdest thing the franchise has ever seen.
I really like the current club, don’t get me wrong. The Matts Chapman and Olson have a chance to go down among the all-time greats and Khris Davis has somehow become one of best power hitters in the history of the franchise that had the Bash Brothers. But what they need is someone who can pull off walk-up music with a sax solo.
2Pac — “Ballad of a Dead Soulja”
Speaking of Khris Davis, the man apparently has taste in music.
He may have been born in SoCal and raised in Phoenix but he’s clearly taken to the East Bay, having picked a Tupac deep cut as his walk-up music. And I respect that. Some of the best music in the world has come from the Bay Area and I wish more transplants would embrace it.
(Also, my bold prediction is that Davis will finish the season with a .247 batting average. Really going out on a limb, I know.)
Drowning Pool — “Bodies”
Newcomer Marco Estrada is really pandering to my sensibilities with his choice for warm-up song, Drowning Pool’s ode to angry, sweaty nu-metal mosh pits. My love of this song would be a guilty pleasure if I was still capable of feeling shame.
Granted, if I were to suddenly develop working legs and became a pro baseball player, my walk-up music would be Alice Cooper’s “Feed My Frankenstein,” starting with the opening riff. But if that was off the table, this would be high on the list.
AC/DC — “Back in Black”
Warm-up music for a closer is a different animal than warm-up music for a starter. If you’re a starter you’re gonna get most of the song in, so it needs to be consistently uptempo and build to a crescendo right around the first pitch. If you’re a reliever you get maybe 30 seconds, so it needs a solid riff and a raging chorus to get you and the fans all riled up.
The greatest examples of this were Grant Balfour’s pick of Metallica’s magnum opus “One” and Sean Doolittle’s pick of Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” both of which are absolutely perfect for the occasion. But neither of them is from Australia. Perth native Liam Hendricks went back to his homeland for an AC/DC classic which, while not Metallica, is still pretty ideal.
G-Eazy — “Calm Down”
Mark Canha is a Bay Area native so he would be expected to pick a local product. G-Eazy isn’t Tupac, but he’s still Oakland, so I’ll allow it.
Anyway, music isn’t Canha’s specialty. He’s a gourmand. His Instagram account is a must-follow if you want to be taunted with meals from the best restaurants in the Bay Area and the cities the A’s pass through, including Tokyo for last week’s “season opener” against the Mariners.
Kodak Black — “Codeine Dreaming”
This is more in honor of AL Platinum Glove winner Matt Chapman than the song itself. The man was voted the best defensive player among the nine Gold Glove winners. He could have picked “Cotton Eye Joe” and made the list. He can do whatever he wants.
He’s only got four to five years of cost control left before he’ll be in line for a nine-figure contract lasting into the 2030s, so I’m going to need all of you to go out to the ballpark and buy one of everything from the team store so they can afford it. Maybe just hand some cash to team president Dave Kaval for the Sign Chapman Long-Term Fund. I know Davis is the more immediate concern, but Chapman is gonna command such a high price they need to start saving now.
Kool & the Gang — “Celebration”
The sweetest song in all of pro sports. The song they play after the last out when the A’s win.
For some reason the team tried to change it in 2014 to… something else, I don’t know. It wasn’t very appropriate for a celebratory mood and most of all it didn’t hold to tradition. Even the players were confused and dismayed when they won on Opening Day and “Celebration” didn’t start blaring. Sean Doolittle even took to Twitter to complain.
Needless to say it lasted less than a week.
Here’s hoping we’re going to hear “Celebration” play about 50 times this year and well into October. But win or lose, it’s good to have baseball back.
LET’S GO OAK-LAND CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP.
Follow editor Daniel J. Willis and tweet column ideas to him at Twitter.com/BayAreaData.