Top choices for baseball’s soundtrack

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It is often said music is the soundtrack to life. I, for one, attach memories, people, places and even smells to songs.

Feel like tearing the world apart after a bad day? Need some aggressive music with that with an extra helping of drum beats and guitars, please.

Feeling like walking the clouds? I’m calling on Mr. Al Green and a few of his buddies.

So, then I got to thinking…

If someone was making a movie about the steroids era in Major League Baseball, what would that soundtrack sound like? Hmm.

I’m no Jerry Bruckheimer, but I think I could do a pretty good job of pairing a dramatic story with compelling music. All I have to do is close my eyes, click my heels three times and…sorry, wrong movie.

The soundtrack for baseball’s dark age today when we go down “The List.”

“Pusherman” by Curtis Mayfield. As we alternate between Victor Conte taking phone calls in his BALCO office and Kurt Radomski taking orders in the clubhouse, Mayfield reminds us that for a few dollars in hand, he is our best friend. And all our troubles will fly out the window, at least until the effects wear off or we go broke. In which case, some poor jokers will have to do the unthinkable—take extra batting practice! Gasp!

“Viva La Vida” by Coldplay. I probably have never heard a better song about a fall from grace. I figure this could go somewhere near the movie’s climax when Barry Bonds is sitting alone with his face half shaded, and then the music: “I used to roll the dice/Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes/Listen as the crowd would sing/Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!/One minute I held the key/Next the walls were closed on me…”

“Cry Baby” by Janis Joplin. And now would be a good time for a video montage. We have Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Miguel Tejada and some others I’m probably forgetting about offering “deeply regretful” and sometimes tearful apologies to fans. Ironically, this is the part of the movie that is intended to get people the angriest, not command sympathy.

“Easy Street” from “Annie”. This song needs a modern touch-up, but the basic concept remains intact. Commissioner Bud Selig (substituting for Ms. Hannigan) and his cronies conspire to convince baseball fans and the media (who collectively represent Daddy Warbucks) that all along baseball executives were trying to protect the game (Little Orphan Annie). You see, when baseball went into the tank after the 1994 strike, the commissioner’s office had to do something. That something turned out to be nothing. They watched idly as baseball players got bigger and made more money for themselves and for owners. Selig warned players that steroids were evil, he really did. But goshdarnit, they just wouldn’t listen. Like I always say, if your kid runs into the street and avoids all the cars, he deserves a little something extra for the effort.

“Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” by Aerosmith. This little snippet is dedicated to the players who realize that taking ‘roids was not the best idea they have ever had. And their wives and girlfriends realize it, too.

“Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. Redemption, reconciliation. Order is restored, and all is right with the world. Now, I just have to cast someone to play the hero.