Mr. Irrelevant reader ODA won a guest post for accurately predicting the Redskins’ opening loss at Houston. Here it go.
Mix in a few new ones between “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” and “Orioles Magic” this October.
1. My Morning Jacket – “Holdin On to Black Metal”
You may recognize it as the newest addition to Camden Yards’ mix of “O”-themed sound bites, a list which also includes snippets of “Icky Thump” and that creepy Wizard of Oz chant. Jim James, leader of the legendary Louisville band, also bears a pretty remarkable resemblance to Wild Bill Hagy.
2. Band of Horses – “Everything’s Gonna Be Undone”
Like Band of Horses, Chris Tillman and Adam Jones got their start in Seattle. Now that they’ve undone the 17-year divisional win drought, maybe Tilly and AJ can continue pouring gravy on the Bedard deal with a couple of playoff series wins.
3. Gram Parsons – “Streets of Baltimore”
“She said the prettiest place on earth was Baltimore at night”. Indeed, the O’s are 72-36 at night; only 24-30 during the day. The potential problem here is that Game 2 is scheduled for a 12:07 or 3:07 start and the first pitch of Game 3 will be at 3:45. I guess we’ll see if it makes any difference.
4. Animal Collective – “Fireworks”
Love them or hate them, I’d be remiss to exclude them when describing Baltimore. That statement rings true for both the iconic Baltimore band and the O’s league-leading 211 home runs. I trust they saved a few fireworks for October.
5. The Beatles – “Don’t Let Me Down”
This team owes a lot of its success to this bullpen, specifically Zach Britton and his unexpected shut-down capabilities: 37 saves, 1.65 ERA and .178 BAA. With the memory of a shutdown closer gone AWOL in October, Birds fans will still surely be nervous in the ninth.
6. Talking Heads – “This Must Be The Place/Naïve Melody”
After reaching the 2.4 million attendance mark for the first time since 2005, it seems Camden Yards feels like home again for O’s fans and players. It’s a far cry from the franchise record of 3.7 million, but it’s something to build on. As far as the song choice goes, David Byrne was a graduate of Landsdowne High School in Baltimore County and also attended the Maryland Institute College of Art.
7. Willie Watson – “Mexican Cowboy”
Guadalajara native Miguel Gonzalez will likely pitch a pivotal Game 3 of the ALDS in Detroit. If ever there was a dusty old cowboy on this team, it’s the gritty Gonzalez who’s battled through two potentially career-ending injuries a stint in Mexican winter ball to get here. Despite Miggy’s past struggles against the Tigers, I think it’s his time to shine.
8. Beach House – “Walk in the Park”
The O’s are 26th in the league in walks; 17th in OBP. We’ll see if it comes back to bite them or if they can continue to rely on the long ball in October. Guitarist Alex Scally of Beach House is a Baltimore native and I presume an Orioles fan.
9. Tweedy – “Low Key”
“Low Key” is how Buck has handled this team all year and it shows. The Wieters injury, Machado missing the start of the season then his second major knee injury, the A’s fiasco, the Davis suspension … the Birds’ season had every opportunity to go sideways this year but Buck steadied the ship and led the team to 96 wins. No doubt about it, he deserves to win AL Manager of the Year.
10. The Cars – “Since You’re Gone”
This one’s for you, Matt, Manny and Chris. It was really hard to imagine this team without you and well … it still is. Unless they win it all this year, we’ll always be left wondering. Hope to see you guys next October. The Cars were led by Ric Ocasek, who grew up in Baltimore and plays the powder blue suit-wearing creeper in this music video.
11. Woods – “Full Moon”
Game 5 of the ALDS, if needed, is slated for October 8. The same night, a full moon will appear over the Baltimore harbor. This might mean something if the O’s hadn’t traded Jason Werth to the Blue Jays in 2002.
12. The Walkmen – “Another One Goes By”
Will this finally be Buck’s year? In 16 years as a manager, he’s never made it to a World Series and was famously fired from both the Yankees and the Diamondbacks a year before both teams won a ring.
13. Strand of Oaks (feat. J. Mascis) – “Goshen ‘97”
For the last 17 years, Orioles fans have more-or-less rotted in the AL East cellar. Regardless of how 2014 ends, this song is a testament to where the O’s have been and where they never want to go again. Cheers to more October baseball in Baltimore.
14. Electric Light Orchaestra – “Showdown”
There’s no sugar coating it; the Tigers are a really tough first round matchup. Detroit has advanced to the ALCS each of the past three years, they went 5-1 against the O’s during the regular season, have one of the best lineups in the game and their rotation boasts AL Cy Young winners of the past three years. Their one glaring weakness is a bullpen with a 4.29 ERA, nearly last in the league, so at least there’s that.
At the end of the day, this series is no different than any other, though. The starters will need to compete, the lineup will need to hit home runs and hit with RISP, and the bullpen will need to shut the door when asked. It won’t come easy, but I think Buck will have these guys ready to go. Go Birds.
(Ed. note — I love pretty much all of this music. If you’d like to listen to it via Spotify playlist, have at it.)