As always, Jamie Ramsey over at Better Off Red has collected the running list of the Reds at bat/walk up music for the 2019 season and, as is my wont, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at what each of our favorite players are listening to (as of this particular date in history).
Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes players don’t really care at all. You’ll regularly see dudes switch songs in and out all season, or you have the Scott Schebler’s of the world who just put “play anything,” which is super lame.
As a general rule, baseball players have a tendency to like some bad music, so in that way they’re much like the rest of us. I long stopped being a music snob (I used to be kind of annoying about it, really). These days, I’m of the mind to let people like what they like. Yes, some songs are categorically bad, but your jam is your jam. Jam out.
Florida Georgia Line sucks very badly, however, and you should be ashamed of yourself for listening to it.
That said, here’s the usual caveats:
- I’m not a critic of music.
- I am only highlighting the batters, because those are the songs that you typically hear. Yes, pitchers have music for when they take the mound, and sometimes those are some pretty tight jams, but unless you’re at the stadium, you’d be hard press to know it. And yes, sometimes pitchers bat, but meh.
- I’ll highlight only one song if a player has multiples they use on a given list (some will have a song for each PA).
- I am probably stupid and wrong in my analysis, but you’re used to that at this point.
So, without further ado.
Nick Senzel - Workin Me by Quavo
I feel like this needs a bit of background.
Quavo’s real name is Quavious Keyate Marshall, which is a boss fuckin’ name. More importantly, he’s a member of the super popular group Migos. The trio is responsible for hits such as Bad and Boujee and Walk It Talk It. In this one, Quavo breaks off from the group and does some solo work.
Knowing some of that information helps me, at least, because I had no idea who “Quavo” was when I saw this listing on Jamie’s site. Knowing that he’s part of Migos makes a little more sense to me...
Anyway, this song is mostly unremarkable to me. If you like bass, you’ll probably dig it. The beat, like most Migos offerings, is fantastic, and I’m a sucker for those background, just off verse “Skrrt skrrt” that they tend to put into, well, every song.
It’s worth point out that the lovely lady in that music video above is Saweetie, herself a talented and capable rapper. As far as I can tell, she doesn’t have any place in the song, only the video. Which is a shame, because to me, it seems like she’s a superior rapper to one Quavo.
Joey Votto - Como La Flor by Selena Y Los Dinos
An extremely Joey Votto choice. This one certainly needs some background information.
From the song lyrics page on Genius:
“Como La Flor” is the second track off Selena’s third album Entre A Mi Mundo , released on May 6th, 1992 (album) and released as a single on October 4th, 1992. The song talks about a sad woman who is hurt in a relationship because she has lost her boyfriend and she explains how it hurts to lose his love but she describes his love as a flower that has dried up and died.
Well then! Wonder if Joey is going through some things in his life? Maybe heartbreak is an explanation for his early season struggles?
Probably not. Since I don’t speak the language, I would’ve had no idea that this song was about something like that, because it doesn’t immediately give that vibe. I would’ve said “love song,” not “love lost.” Alas.
Eugenio Suarez - Con Calma by Daddy Yankee & Snow
So the thing that’ll immediately jump out about this song if you’ve never heard it before is the hook, which “samples” Snow’s 1993 hit “Informer”, which you’ve absolutely heard even if you don’t think you’ve heard it.
I put sample in quotes because, I don’t think that’s really the correct term. Snow is very much in this song and it’s absolutely better for it. This song is pretty damn good, actually, and I’ve noticed from doing these pieces for a couple years, Eugenio has some pretty good taste in music.
Now, this is very much Spanish speaking music that actually gets played on the radio in the United States, and maybe I’m totally dumb as a foreigner and someone from, say, Puerto Rico, would tell me that actually this song sucks. No matter. I’m here for it.
The music video features some really good dance groups, but also superimposed Snapchat/Apple Memoji heads, which creeps me the hell out.
Yasiel Puig - This Girl by Kungs vs. Cookin’ on 3 Burners
Speaking of song you’ve definitely heard even if you don’t think you’ve heard it. Fast forward to about :45 in the video above and give it 20 to 25 seconds. I can’t place it on first listen, but I’ve definitely heard that beat multiple times in my life. Sporting events, to be sure. It sounds like something that was co-opted by a commercial, and probably one for consumer tech...
And wouldn’t you know it, it was Cricket Wireless/Samsung joint, “Get More Save More”.
Yeah, you’ve heard this one and didn’t know where. That said, it’s pretty okay. Giving the whole thing a spin is worth it, even if it’s just to say that you’ve finally heard the whole thing.
Derek Dietrich - In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
Haaaa. Of course it would be, Derek Dietrich.
His other song is My Year, by Gashi featuring G-Easy, which probably should’ve been featured here, since not everyone has heard that song in their life. Though, I found it unremarkable, mostly. G-Easy’s verse starting at around 1:00 is worth a listen. The hook, “This my year, this gon’ be my year my year” is really resonating with Dietrich so far. It has, really, been “his year.”
Jesse Winker - Drive Slow by Kanye West
So, Kanye West the person is... complicated, and that probably putting a favorable spin on the topic.
Kanye West the artist is a legend, regardless, and this song is a classic. This isn’t even in the top three from Late Registration, because everyone knows that “Heard ‘em Say,” “Gold Digger,” and “Touch the Sky” outpace this song by quite a bit. But still, it’s an “old school” (these days) banger. It’s also always interesting to pull the curtain back on the mid-aughts and realize, yes, Paul Wall was a cultural force at one point in time in our history.
The good old days, I guess?
Jose Iglesias - God’s Plan by Drake
This song is what I would consider an “above average” Drake song. Now, depending on your feelings about Drake, you may not feel like there is such a thing. I like Drake’s music, for the most part. This is a Drake song, and it sounds like one from the jump, for better or worse.
This was a pretty big song in 2018, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it. I like it, you have an opinion about it (or about Drake). That said, this music video is fantastic. It features Drake’s typical “dancing,” but the portions that break the fourth wall are legitimately touching. And look, I don’t know how much of it is bullshit and how much of it is real, but still. I’m gonna suspend belief.
J. Iglesias also uses this song as one of his choices. I’m leaving it here because, again, I don’t speak the language, but the music video is one of the more aggressively bro things I’ve witnessed in a while. There’s a yacht, champaign being poured on augmented breasts, guys in Jordan jerseys, excessive jewelry and a litany of other cringeworthy things. Song seems fine, though.
Jose Peraza - Por un Beso de Tu Boca by Silvestre Dangond
Google Translate tells me that this song is called “For a Kiss of Your Mouth” which, well. All I know is that by even American standards, this song sounds kinda hokey. It’s still fun, because I seem to find all Latin music “fun,” because I am very much a gringo. Still, there’s still something off about this one in a way I can’t put my finger on.
Peraza also uses the one with the dancing bear in it from last season, which is GREAT. There’s a costume bear wielding a lightsaber in that video, which if you haven’t seen, is a very worthy click.
Tucker Barnhart - break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored by Ariana Grande
I hadn’t scanned the list before I began writing this. I just assumed that this would be some really bad country song from the last few years.
Instead, it’s a really bad pop song from just this year!
Ariana Grande is a supremely talented pop star. She’s got a fantastic voice. The premise of this song is stupid, the hook is worse, and there’s nothing else about it that saves it. It’s not even particularly catchy, because “breaking up with you’re girrrrllfrriiiend... because I’m boooorrred” doesn’t really lend itself to getting all that caught in your ear. It’s burdensome, i think is the best way to put it.
This song is not good. Let’s move on.
Curt Casali - Safari Song by Greta Van Fleet
So, I’m not all that sure how to approach this song.
It bangs. There’s no way around that in the slightest. It’s very good on the first listen. I think the problem is (and you’ll hear it immediately)... it’s basically like if Led Zeppelin and the Who came together and made a song right now, expect it’s not as good as, you know, that.
There’s really not enough people making rock music like that right now, so I get it. On the other hand, I wonder if maybe it bites from that era just a little too much, you know? I don’t know anything about Greta Van Fleet... maybe everything rocks this much. Still, this is going to appeal to a very certain group of people. And they nailed it.
I’m finding it to be too familiar in a bad way, though.
It’ll still go into my rotation.
Kyle Farmer - Seein’ Red by Dustin Lynch
God this song sucks.
Still, I’ll entertain it for just a moment. It gets somewhat of a pass for the video. It eschews the new country thing of, well, pandering, for whatever the hell Dustin is doing in this video.
I’m going to give Farmer the benefit of the doubt here. “Seein’ Red,” has a baseball connotation, of course. Sitting red, looking for fastballs, hitting them far. I get it. When I’m not giving bad opinions about music on this website, I watch baseball sometimes.
Still, the choice here, is fairly obvious: