With the possible exceptions of John Fogerty's "Centerfield" and Kenny Rogers' "The Greatest," songs about baseball are typically really corny. But, Scott Stapp's anatomically inaccurate "Marlins Will Soar" aside, they're also pretty inoffensive.
Michael E. Anderson/Yep Roc This rotation goes a figurative 0-162.
Had The Baseball Project--a supergroup of sorts consisting of R.E.M.'s Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey, among others--stopped after one album, they'd make it into the "inoffensive" stack as well. But just in time for opening day, they're back with Volume 2: High & Inside, a lobotomized folk-rock catastrophe which has nonetheless been met with semen-gargling enthusiasm from the likes of NPR.
The album blows, all right. If it were a children's record, it might make sense. But it's not (we asked), and Volume 2 features guest spots from the likes of The Hold Steady's Craig Finn, Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard, Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan, and Steve Berlin from Los Lobos. As a colleague puts it, Baseball Project tracks "are like Raffi songs for tone-deaf, aging sports nerds who might have once bought a R.E.M. album pre-1994. It's the worst kind of novelty music--it takes itself too seriously." Music fans who profess love for this ear torture are akin to baseball fans who'd rather watch the All-Star game than the World Series.
In fact, when attempting to come up with a list of the five worst baseball songs ever, we were able to narrow it to a dozen--all written and recorded by The Baseball Project (Macklemore's "My Oh My" came in a distant 13th). Here are the five worst, along with the stupidest lyric from each:
5. "Harvey Haddix."
"Harv gave up a hit and then he lost the whole contest. I wonder how he slept that night knowing how close he came to a most exclusive club that should include his name."
"A Giants-Dodgers pennant race. Mays and Koufax face to face. Sometimes I dream of Willie Mays and tell him I was there."
3. "Buckner's Bolero."
"Bob Stanley picked a pretty bad time to uncork a wild pitch, and I'm sure he's still thinking that you could have blocked it, Rich. Then the tying run might not have been tallied by Mitch."
2. "Ted Fucking Williams."
"Everyone says 'Hey Mick!' Mantle this, Mantle that--it makes me sick. Why do they like him better than me? I'm Ted Fucking Williams!"
1. "Ichiro Goes to the Moon."
"He'll have a seven-course meal that Yumiko his wife prepares, and for his second stomach two ice cream bars and six chocolate eclairs. By day he builds a spaceship; it's got a periscope and hatch. At night he goes 5 for 5, with a patented sliding catch."