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A definitive review of the Reds at-bat music, 2020 edition

The Reds are playing without fans, but the players still have at bat music. Let’s take a listen.

All for the Hall: Under the Influence Benefiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Spoiler Alert: I don’t like this guy.
Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Even without fans, you’ve certainly heard music and sounds on the broadcasts. So, with that comes walk up songs. And with that, comes me, Red Reporter’s Official Music Critic*, talking about those walk up songs.

It is so, so weird to think about these this year. Typically they’d be used to not only pump up the batter, but also give some type of anticipation to the crowd as the batter walked to the plate. But! There’s no crowd.

I’ve always kind of viewed these as songs for the batter and much less for the crowd. They are kinda like theme songs for wrestlers in WWE as they walk up to the ring, except it’s to get their mind right instead of yours.

Regardless, with or without fans, they have the sounds of baseball, and that means at bat music. And if they have at bat music, I’m gonna take a listen to it.

The usual caveats:

  • I’m not a critic of music, but I’m going to act like one.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • But I am actually right, and you should feel bad if you think otherwise.

Shogo Akiyama - Hito ni Yasahiku by The Blue Hearts

Holy shit, this song rules. Shogo Akiyama has moved up a couple of spots on My Favorite Player List (TM) solely based on this song. How in the world could anyone not like this song. It’s Japanese punk. I have no idea what they’re saying. Do I care? Absolutely not. I listen to music all the time where I don’t know the lyrics. I also listen to this kind of music all the time in English, so this is right in my wheelhouse. 10/10, Shogo. A+. Would listen again.

Phil Ervin - Calling My Spirit by Kodak Black

Hey, did you know that Kodak, the company, the photo company, is turning its sights (or focus, damn focus is a better pun) from film to pharm? And that they’re doing so with the help of a 700+ million dollar plus investment from the US Government? And that a bunch of people must’ve knew about it before you and I did because their stock skyrocketed before the official announcement?

Wild. Anyway.

This song doesn’t do a lot for me, but it’s not terrible! The beat is actually pretty good, and I’m always going to give a shoutout to a video that features as much cat as this one does. (Probably should put the trigger warning for some provocatively dressed females here, too, even if I don’t care even a little bit about that). There’s way too much autotune on this guy’s voice, though. I think that’s supposed to be a feature, not a bug. But it’s a bit much, to the point of it being annoying, in my opinion (which is obviously right and final on this topic I am the extreme subject matter expert on..)

Joey Votto - NIkes On My Feet by Mac Miller

Mac Miller tragically died in September 2018 after being sold some street drugs laced with fentanyl, which is a distressingly too often told story regarding drug deaths in 2020. Miller spent many years in the spotlight dealing out in the open with his depression and drug abuse, and was only 26 years old when he died. The whole thing is just sad.

I was never really a Mac Miller fan. And this song is fine. It’s the rhymes are buttery smooth, and really the whole thing is just easy to listen to, but it just never really registered on my radar, though I realize Mac Miller meant many things to many people.

The ending won’t never not be sad to me.

Votto is also wearing Nikes on his Feet this season (maybe every season, I don’t know).

Nick Castellanos - The Climb Back by J. Cole

Did I say was never really a Mac Miller fan? I actively dislike J. Cole for reasons that I can’t really explain. It’s just.... not very good? I don’t know, I think I’m mostly in the minority on this. But this is kinda boring. The lyrics and rapping are mostly good, I guess. I just... this doesn’t do anything for me, emotionally. Except make me want to skip it. Pass.

Mike Moustakas - Look Into My Eyes by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Man, Bone Thugs is never not going to get the tip of the cap from Derek G. I wasn’t actually old enough to appreciate this music when it came out, but I had an older brother who was, and he played quite a bit of Bone Thugs. Crossroads is one of the best songs that’s ever been recorded. Also, remember what I said about liking songs when I don’t know what they’re saying? I’ve never understood more than 10 words that Bizzy Bone has rapped without looking it up. It doesn’t matter. It’s awesome.

Eugenio Suarez - Espirtu Santo by Redimi2 ft. Barak

So, you know, I know enough Spanish to know that this title is probably something about God. But, really, that doesn’t matter very much when it comes to naming pop or hip hop songs.

So I started listening but, really, started watching the video and, well.... that’s when it became a lot more obvious what was going on. Watch that thing! It’s incredible.

I’ll reserve much judgement here. I dig the piano. And it all sounds well and is done well. It’s just not my thing, so I can’t really say whether or not it’s “good” or “bad.” I tend to lean good, really. I kinda like it.

Jesse Winker - Lie to Me by Future

Remember how I complained about Kodak’s autotune and said I was just kinda anti-J. Cole by default? I actively dislike Future, and it’s mostly because of how shitty his voice sounds on every song he’s ever recorded. Pass.

Nick Senzel - Pot of Gold by The Game ft. Chris Brown

Both of these guys suck, so I’m just gonna skip it.

Freddy Galvis - Los Bandoleros by Don Omar ft. Tego Calderon

From 0:01 seconds in, this song lives up to every single one of your expectations. I mean from the first string you hear, you kinda wonder where this is going to go. And then it goes to all of those places, immediately. This may be my second favorite song on this list, so far.

Tucker Barnhart - This Bar by Morgan Wallen

Matt Davidson - Chasin’ You by Morgan Wallen

I grouped these on purpose, because I am inherently anti-Morgan Wallen for reasons that have nothing to do with him or his music, really (but kinda).

For some reason, I’m still on Facebook. It’s not particularly an entertaining thing, nor is it great for my mental health. But hey, I’ve got a lot of old pictures stored there and for the half-dozen people that I actually like that are my Facebook friends, it’s cool to keep up with.

So anyway, one day I was looking at the Facebook feed and was particularly perturbed by a thing that I shouldn’t have been. I’m not really going to get into the long, boring story, but essentially the issue I have with Morgan Wallen is this: Jason Isbell wrote and sung a song called Cover Me Up, and it’s just great, as you’d expect with Jason Isbell (who is easily my favorite artist going right now).

Morgan Wallen covered it, which is completely fine. I mean, it’s worse in every possible way, but it’s still a good song. It’s just a good song, and Wallen does it... fine, I guess?

Anyway, one time I was on Facebook and someone there shared some kind of artwork they had made with the lyrics from Cover Me Up,..... and attributed it to Morgan Wallen. Even though it’s not his song. And it’s not even the best version of the song.

And well, I hate it. So I hate Morgan Wallen now. Sorry, Morgan, them’s the breaks.

And now I’m Mad Online about it all over again.

Josh VanMeter - Heartless by Diplo ft. Morgan Wallen

What if Morgan Wallen but the beat was somewhat interesting?

Still hate it, thanks.

Curt Casali - Safari Song by Greta Van Fleet

I covered this already.

Com’mon, Curt. Be more interesting (for me).

Kyle Farmer - God’s Country by Blake Shelton

As much as it might seem, I don’t hate pop-country music all that much. I actually even like it from time to time. I’m originally from rural Indiana. This shit runs through my blood. I regularly drink Bud Light and jam out to some of this with my old friends and family (back when you could gather with people like that, of course).

This song is fine.

Tyler Stephenson - May We All (Acoustic) by Florida Georgia Line

That said, please visit this link to hear my thoughts on Florida Georiga Line.

These guys suck out loud.