Let’s call this part the final part, The Closer: The National League.
Part One, The Starter, I delved into a bit of history regarding our ballyhooed National Anthem as well as provided somewhat cogent thoughts on what songs could replace the National Anthem for each American League city. Part Two, The Closer, we will hit the National League cities, but first a few questions:
Why the fuck are we playing the National Anthem at all? What patriotism comprises the beginning of a ballgame? Should we play a game before we battle another country? Is that what we should be doing now? Send our troops over to a foreign country and force them to play an American game before war games commence?
“Hello enemy of our state, we’ll sing our national anthem, you sing yours, we meet to show you how we can kick your ass in one of ‘our’ sports, then the next day we bomb your country flat as a parking lot.”
No, and we shouldn’t be playing it before any game. However, being that MLB will hopefully be starting up soon (or not – thanks Phillies and Blue Jays), they are up to bat to begin a new tradition – every city plays their own ‘anthem.’ Here are the suggestions for each National League, aka ‘The Senior Circuit” aka “Nationalism – we’re number one (no were are not) – League.
National League East
New York Mets – back to New York and the definitive Big Apple second banana, the Mets. As they need to compete with the Yankees, they need a song that’ll really get people moving, because the Mets are a stagnant bunch. They get the best Ramones jingle jangle, “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
Washington Nationals – Reigning World Series champs in the heart of our country’s capital and its governmental chaos. It’s hard to not just let them have the National Anthem, it’s part of their name for fuck’s sake. For now, they get Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” If things change in this country, they’ll get another song.
Atlanta Braves – Tomahawk chop my ass. What does the fine team in Atlanta deserve besides a name change? Good question. It’d be easy just to give them Love Shack by the B-52s and be done with it, but no. They get a grittier song, Outkast’s “Southernplayalisticcadillacmuzik.”
Philadelphia Phillies – hoo boy. Worst fans ever for any sport are in Philadelphia, so no I am not going to pick Elton Johns “Philadelphia Freedom” it’s too nice for them. They are hard on their teams. They boo their best player, Bryce Harper. They booed Santa Claus. And they have the COVID. Straight from the Philadelphia sound, they get the O’Jays “Back Stabbers.”
Miami Marlins – I’m taking a moment off and ceding to my FBC contributor Spry and going with his suggestion of “Hot Hot Hot” by Buster Poindexter. It’s a catchy dancy tune and fits so well with a team from a hot place that’s so fucking cold. Marlins are awful.
National League Central
Chicago Cubs – no, they do not get the wonderful Steve Goodman song ‘Go Cubs Go.’ He wrote that when they sucked but were lovable. Now they don’t suck, but their owners are Trumpers so they suck. Let poor Mr. Goodman rest for fuck’s sake. They get ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ as performed by white boys because just like the Cubs, it is overhyped and garbage. On second thought, no. They can keep the damn National Anthem.
St. Louis Cardinals – there is no doubt the Cards have baseball magic mojo. Whenever you think they are not going to have a good season, they do. However, for the most part, their fans are dumb-ass crackers who have no problem rooting for their black players in Cardinal red and then tossing out the n-word like it’s fucking candy at a parade. I’d give them a Chuck Berry tune, but I don’t think that’s fair to Chuck, even though he’s dead. And, as they do have a history of drunks on and managing their team, they get this: The Urge “Going to the Liquor Store.”
Milwaukee Brewers – The Brewers are one of those teams that if you ask a semi-casual baseball fan to name all the teams, they frequently forget them and then say ‘Oh, yeah I always forget about the Brewers.” Therefore, they will get a song from a Milwaukee-based band the natives think everyone knows but people can never remember. Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun.”
Pittsburgh Pirates – Naturally when you think if the Pittsburgh area and its history, you think of pirate ships. Dumb name. Seriously. When the Pirates were good back in the ‘70s, they had Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family.” That will not work now. They need to get nasty. Butthole Surfers “Pittsburgh to Lebanon” and they can hand out free acid so everyone can get on the same wavelength as Dock Ellis.
Cincinnati Reds – One time many years ago, the Reds had an owner who was overtly anti-semitic – Marge Schott. Sadly that was when they were a) pretty good, and b) also had a manager who bet on his own team – still looking right at you Pete Rose. One went to jail, the other probably should have. Congrats – you get Lonnie Mack’s “Cincinnati Jail.”
National League West
Los Angeles Dodgers – I’m pretty sure they still play this song after every home victory and it’s been in vogue since 1984. This song was written for the 1984 Olympics, but in typical acidic tongue-in-cheek writing, Randy Newman has a very unflattering view of LA in “I Love LA.” The Olympic committee said ‘no thanks’ in so many languages, but for typical Dodgers fans, who are not deep thinkers, it’s fine.
San Francisco Giants – The Giants won 3 World Series in 5 years during this past decade, and as Larry David would say that’s ‘pretty, pretty good.’ There are some pretty, pretty great bands who’ve written songs about San Francisco. They get two songs. The first one because the park is literally on the bay, so Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.” Second is a touch more modern – Train’s “Save Me San Francisco.”
San Diego Padres – The Padres are, how should be say it? BORING. They rarely win anything, never won a World Series and have only been there once. However, I do not dislike the Padres so much I’d select the Boomtown Rats’ “I don’t like Mondays” as their new anthem. “Sand Diego Serenade” from Tom Waits is a beauty, but sloooooow. Therefore they get a song as insipid as San Diego – the Coronas “San Diego Song.”
Colorado Rockies – It’d be nice if we could all sit around, listen to some good Colorado music and celebrate the greatness that is the Colorado Rockies. Problem is, we can’t because they have just as solid a track record of World Series appearances and victories as the Padres. So, you get a non-native singing about Denver: Warren Zevon’s “Things to do in Denver when you’re Dead” which is also a damn fine film.
Arizona Diamondbacks – Phoenix, for the most part, is a cultural wasteland and a huge Hoover of water. Yes, the Dbacks won a World Series behind that piece-of-shit Curt Schilling, but Mark Grace got a ring, so there’s that. Arizona songs are either weak or slow – other than Public Enemy’s “By the Time I get to Arizona” which would incite a riot bigger than the White Sox’ Disco Demolition. Therefore, it’s “Rattlesnake Shake”Fleetwood Mac’s original version.
Do you have arguments over my NL choices? Of course you do. Grab a bat and take a whack at them.