Alright, let’s be honest. It’s September and we’ve almost completed 162 games. That’s a lot, and as fans, we’re pretty exhausted. I love baseball, but the MLB schedule wears you out over time and I’m running on fumes. In order to give everyone a break so we can give the Red Sox our full attention and love in the postseason, here’s a silly article to distract you all and hopefully make you smile. The goal is to assign a band for a select few Red Sox players, based on whatever absurd reasoning I can come up with. I know this is a huge shift from my niche of statistical analysis but let’s give it a shot. Enjoy!
JD Martinez: Metallica
Powerful, heavy, and absolutely dominant within a smaller, less populated position (genre). JD Martinez and the heavy metal icons just made too much sense for me. While not the first great DH, JD may be the first to deliver designated hitters an MVP trophy. His performance has been groundbreaking for the position, reshaping the capabilities and importance of a DH in the modern game. Likewise, while not the first pioneer, Metallica took heavy metal music to astronomical heights and mainstream success like never before. They were trailblazers and completely elevated the genre. Oh, and both kick ass!
Mookie Betts: Led Zeppelin
When I think of a superstar destined to set the world on fire, I think of early Led Zeppelin. Mookie Betts is that superstar leading a new generation and breed of baseball players: athletic and powerful with strong 2-way play. Like Mookie, Led Zeppelin revolutionized rock ‘n’ roll by giving it a bluesy hard rock element which has gone on inspire just about every band and genre after them. Mookie Betts is to super-athletic baseball players what Led Zeppelin is to hard rock. Tell me you wouldn’t go bananas if Mookie walked up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th to the tune of “Immigrant Song.” Game over man.
Andrew Benintendi: Bon Jovi
Iconic hair and good looking, Andrew Benintendi has to be an 80s hair band. I picked Bon Jovi for the aforementioned reasons, but Benintendi is also your mom’s favourite player. Don’t believe that this is a perfect match? Go ask your mom who her favourite band was growing up and I’m willing to bet that she tells you it was Bon Jovi. Bon Jovi has been rocking sold out venues for a very long time; let’s hope Benintendi is the same way.
Chris Sale: Rush
Has there ever been a more talented player? What Sale brings to the mound makes him nothing short of a generational pitcher. Likewise, the only band that could live up to this comparison is Rush. Perhaps the most technically proficient band ever, the Canadian prog-rock trio create some sounds and time signatures that are unmatched in music. I like to think of Neil Peart’s drumming as the equivalent of Chris Sale’s slider: so good that we’ll be talking about it long after they’re gone. I’d also like to hear Chris Sale take the mound to “a modern-day warrior; mean, mean stride; today’s Tom Sawyer; mean, mean pride.” It suits him well.
Steve Pearce: Toto
Steve Pearce’s terrorization of the New York Yankees in early August was so legendary that he has to be Toto. Whether it’s just meme culture or genuine genius, Toto is the internet’s favourite band – particularly for their song “Africa” (despite “Rosanna” being way better). I consider this both the highest and the least serious accolade one could get in this article, so giving it to Steve “the GOAT and Yankee Killer” Pearce makes sense.
Jackie Bradley Jr.: U2
There are moments where we love JBJ, namely for his stout defensive plays. Then there are moments where we despise him, namely for his streaky hitting. I feel like U2 is a good fit here. At their best, the whole world loved them. They have as many hit tunes as JBJ has defensive highlight reels. But then they go ahead and put an album on everyone’s iPhone and we proceed to hate them. Also, a fair amount of people think that they are overrated.
Brock Holt: ABBA
How can anyone not love Brock Holt? He’s such a funny and charismatic teammate. As such, I feel like ABBA is a good fit. Why? Because who doesn’t love ABBA!? They’re a feel good, catchy pop band that always makes you smile. Brock Holt possesses many positive and loveable characteristics, just like his Swedish musical counterparts.
Xander Bogaerts: DMX
X Gon’ Give It to Ya. Enough said.
(Ignore the fact that DMX is a solo artist and not a band)
Craig Kimbrel: Iron Maiden
The Red Sox closer brings a nasty combination of power and precision to the mound. He’s a showstopper who packs a lot of heat. For Kimbrel, I find the best musical comparison to be Iron Maiden. The heavy metal legends deliver a filthy punch of speed and power with technical proficiency. Like Craig, they know how to close a show too. Kimbrel is such a beast you’d think his number was 666.
Dustin Pedroia: Neil Diamond (for one song in particular)
Dustin Pedroia lives, breathes, and dies Red Sox baseball. He has been the spark plug and the heart of this organization for over a decade. I know this isn’t a band (and that I’m technically cheating a little) but there is no other artist that can represent the Boston Red Sox like the way Pedroia does. Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” is a tradition and a core identity of this organization. The classic tune is a synonym with the Red Sox the same way “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is synonymous with the English soccer club, Liverpool FC. This is the only thing that can come close to encapsulating Dustin Pedroia’s importance to this franchise.
This was actually a lot harder than I expected. I hope this helps get you to the regular season finish line. Do you agree with my choices? Do you think you can match some other Red Sox players with iconic bands? Let me know in the comments below. See you all in October for the hunt for number 9. Go Sox!
LISTEN: Interview with top Red Sox prospect, Tanner Houck!