Baseball players and bad music go together

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Two items caught my eye this morning that make me realize how bad things have gotten with ballplayers and their love of bad music.

First is a post by MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, detailing the walkup (and walkout) music of the Cleveland Indians. The takeaway: the vast majority of Indians like very bad music.  There are a couple of exceptions. Matt LaPorta likes a Tom Petty song, for example, but his list — which also includes Alabama and the Eagels — suggests that he may be 50 years-old.

Shelley Duncan comes out to “The Stroke” by Billy Squier, which is OK, I guess, but I have to scrutinize him pretty closely seeing as though my daughter likes him.  Would you let your daughter swoon over a Billy Squier fan?  Have you seen the video for “Rock me tonight?

Finally, why Chris Perez — a relief pitcher — comes out to “Firestarter” suggests that he’s either clueless of has a good sense of irony. I hope it’s the irony.

Then there’s Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.  He’s his own sad case.  He was at MLB.com’s Fan Cave last week where an intervention was staged by Mike O’Hara and Ryan Wagner. I don’t think it will be a success:

I change my mind about this a lot, but at the moment, my walkup music would rotate between “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles, “Where is my Mind” by the Pixies and “How Soon is Now” by the Smiths. Yeah, that last one is kind of mopey for walkup music, but the intro is pretty sweet.

I’d normally say “don’t judge me” now, but I suppose I pretty much gave up my right to that.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.