Describing MLB GMs' Offseason Attitudes Through Song
Music and baseball go together like Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan.
The nature of the game (frequent breaks in the action) means the fans have to be kept happy somehow; playing background music is a great way to increase fans' patience.
But it goes deeper than that. Preschool students learn to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", and millions of kids nationwide grew up thinking the last words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" were "Play ball!" (or was that just me?).
With that in mind, here are the songs that GMs have been singing to themselves this winter.
Brian Cashman, Yankees: "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses
Key lyrics: "We are the people that can find whatever you may need, if you got your money, honey, we got your disease."
This hard rock classic is the perfect intimidation song to play when the home team is ahead in the late innings (oddly enough, the Indians sometimes play it when they're losing).
The Yankees' signings so far this offseason haven't been quite as expensive as usual, but they've still added close to $50 million in contracts through free agents and trades. And they're not done yet.
New York fans, "you can have anything you want".
Jack Zduriencik, Mariners: "Friend Like Me" from "Aladdin"
Key lyrics: "So don't you sit there, slack-jawed, buggy-eyed, I'm here to answer all your midday prayers!"
In this tune, one of the best-recognized Disney songs of all time, Robin Williams (the Genie) spells out for Aladdin just how lucky he is to have someone so powerful on his side.
It's kind of like how Mariners fans should be feeling after Zduriencik made the team 24 wins better in just one year on the job, then netted Seattle a second ace (Cliff Lee), a master glovesman with great speed (Chone Figgins), and one of the most potentially potent bats in all of baseball (Milton Bradley).
M's fans: "you've got some power in your corner now."
Theo Epstein, Red Sox: "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan
Key lyrics: "How does it feel, to be on your own, with no direction home?"
This song, one of Dylan's most popular, is a smug, patronizing ode to a spoiled brat who lost everything.
It's how Epstein must feel about Jason Bay, who passed up attempts to re-sign with the Red Sox. In response, Boston signed the cheaper (and quite possibly, better) Mike Cameron and used the money they saved to help fund the acquisition of John Lackey.
Meanwhile, Bay was forced to go to the Mets and say, "do you want to make a deal?"
Omar Minaya, Mets: "I'm No Superman" by Lazlo Bane
Key lyrics: "I can't do it all on my own, I'm no Superman."
Best known as the theme song from "Scrubs," this tune describes a man who, simply put, can't face life's challenges by himself.
Minaya's job is in serious jeopardy after the Mets' disappointing 2009; even though the team's struggles were caused by slumps and injuries that were beyond his control. He's desperately trying to improve the team this winter, but aside from (finally) signing Jason Bay, he's having trouble getting anything done.
He doesn't have much margin for error; the front office is stacked his with potential replacements, so "there ain't no hand to break your fall".
John Mozeliak, Cardinals: "I'll Be There For You" by Bon Jovi
Key lyrics: "I'd live and I'd die for you, steal the sun from the sky for you."
This winter, there is only one name that matters in St. Louis: Matt Holliday.
It's a match made in heaven. The Cardinals get one of the best hitters in the game to fill their hole in left field, and Holliday gets an environment in which he can thrive (as evidenced by his 13 homers and 1.023 OPS in two months with the team last season).
It's too great of a love story for it to not work out—can't you imagine Mozeliak telling Holliday, "when you get drunk, I'll be the wine"?
Ned Colletti, Dodgers: "Why Can't We Be Friends?" by War
Key (and only) lyrics: "Why can't we be friends, why can't we be friends?"
Colletti is in one of the most difficult positions in all of baseball—his owners are ensnared in a nasty divorce, and control of the franchise is in question.
With a handful of expensive arbitration hearings on the horizon, a few places where the Dodgers could improve, and a massive forehead threatening to overtake his entire face, Colletti's hands are tied because he has no idea what his budget is.
It would be a lot easier if the McCourts could resolve their differences amicably (and quickly).
Alex Anthopoulos, Blue Jays: "The Times They Are A-Changin'" by Bob Dylan
Key lyrics: "Your old road is rapidly aging, please get out of the new one if you can't lend your hand."
In Dylan's signature song, he proclaims a timeless message: change has come, and you'd better embrace it.
Having inherited a disgruntled fan base and a clubhouse on the brink of mutiny, it's a philosophy Anthopoulos has to endorse in order to succeed in his new job. Thus far, he has devoted his efforts to improving the team's image, and the trade of Roy Halladay signals a willingness to move forward for progress' sake. Even when it's unpopular.
Blue Jays fans, if you don't think he's moving fast enough, remember—"the slow one now will later be fast".
Mark Shapiro, Indians: "Revolution" by The Beatles
Key lyrics: "You say you've got a real solution; well, you know, we'd all love to see the plan."
In a surprisingly pro-establishment song for someone as radical as John Lennon, The Beatles suggested the protestors and critics were too quick to condemn the government.
After trading away many of the Tribe's best players over the last 18 months and all but raising the white flag for 2010, Clevelanders are getting antsy. They forget, however, that they made similar criticisms five years ago, as Shapiro was engineering his first ultra-fast rebuilding project.
Indians fans, "don't you know it's gonna be alright?"
Mike Rizzo, Nationals: "I Am the Walrus" by The Beatles
Key lyrics: (irrelevant, because this song makes no sense)
If a picture's worth a thousand words, this headshot should get my point across pretty well.
Jim Hendry, Cubs: "Ding Dong! the Witch is Dead" from "The Wizard of Oz"
Key lyrics: "Sing it high, sing it low, let them know, the wicked witch is dead!"
In this timeless musical number, the people of Munchkinland celebrate after Dorothy's house falls on their evil overlord.
To Hendry, it's surely an allegory for his hard-earned success at getting Milton Bradley out of his hair. While he isn't actually dead (just transported to Seattle), all that matters is that he's gone.
All through Chicago, "let the joyous news be spread—the wicked old witch at last is dead!"
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