I just read about the big free agent signings by the Yankees, and I will of course root against them again this season. My two favorite teams did little during the off season to improve their rosters, so I’ll have to hope that their young players can lead them into contention.
Even though I despise big-spending teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Angels, I have to admit that three of them are mentioned in titles of great songs. I have made a list of the top ten song titles mentioning MLB teams. The list is eerily similar in that the teams at the bottom of the list are usually at the bottom of the standings as well.
10. “It’s a Shame About Ray” by The Lemonheads: Tampa Bay fans should feel especially glad that they won the pennant last year, since the song representing them is about a young man’s death.
9. “Blue Jay Way” by The Beatles: The chorus on this track from
Magical Mystery Tour says “Please don’t be long,” which is what Toronto fans have been pleading since 1993, their team’s last championship.
8. “Indian Reservation” by Paul Revere and the Raiders: Mark Lindsay’s band reached number one in 1971 with this hit about the Cherokee tribe. The last time Cleveland’s team finished number one was 23 years before that.
7. “(I’ve Got a) Tiger by the Tail” by Buck Owens: The Tigers won it all in 1984, and they won the pennant a few years ago. For the twenty years in between, though, they have been near the tail of their division. Hearing Buck sing about their mascot, though, has to be an enduring consolation.
6. “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver: Colorado’s team was flying high in 2007 when they won the pennant. Before that season, though, they were a long way from the peak. Still, they have a great ballpark and a great song to honor their team.
5. “Yankee Bayonet” by The Decemberists: This is a poignant love song performed with the beautiful blend of acoustic and electric that permeates throughout the album
The Crane Wife. It’s just unfortunate that the band couldn’t have titled it Cardinal Bayonet or Phillies Bayonet or Rangers Bayonet or anything else.
4. “Twin Size Bed” by Death Cab for Cutie: The song is a depressing story about a lonely woman who finally gives up hope finding someone. She buys a twin size bed to replace the queen size mattress she hauled out to the dumpster, which is where Minnesota’s team usually ended up in the 90s.
3. “Reds in My Bed” by 10cc: It might be hard to discern that this is really a 10cc song, since neither Eric Stewart nor Graham Gouldman does the lead vocals. This is the delightful, anti-Cold War, Russian leg of the album
Bloody Tourists, which also led the band to Jamaica (and chart success) in “Dreadlock Holiday.”
2. “Draft Dodger Rag” by Phil Ochs: Another of Ochs’ anti-Vietnam War songs, this one is performed with the wit of a young man using every sort of pretext to avoid getting drafted. It’s just too bad we can’t ship off those blue bums from L.A. who keep signing millionaire free agents.
1. “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes” by Elvis Costello: This is the best song from among the best albums of all time, Costello’s debut
My Aim Is True. It’s a fun song about rejection, with lines like “I said I’m so happy I could die, She said drop dead then left with another guy.” It’s also the only song to mention two MLB teams. Since this one is at the top of the list, we’ll associate with the California team that’s usually at the top in the standings.