The Rotation: Bronson Arroyo, Soft Tosser and Hard Rocker

Andy Patton's weekly column about baseball and music. Soft-tossing right-hander Bronson Arroyo rocked hard to some grunge in his career.

Welcome to The Rotation! This is a weekly column, written by yours truly, that talks about the wonderful blended worlds of baseball and music. These two have been staples of Americana for centuries and are as big a part of our culture as apple pie and Chevrolet. My goal is to pick a different topic between the beautiful, unified world of baseball and music and write about it each week.

As a Seattleite, I’m a fan of grunge music, the accompanying greasy hair that comes with grunge music, and crafty starting pitching. With the exception of Randy Johnson and early-career Felix Hernandezthe best Mariners pitchers have survived on craft and deception, rather than overpowering velocity. Jamie Moyer, Hisashi Iwakuma, Gil Meche and now Marco Gonzales are the epitome of Seattle’s craft.

That combination makes it a real shame that longtime big league right-hander Bronson Arroyo never made it over to the Pacific Northwest—they would have been perfect for each other.

 

Bronson Arroyo’s Grunge Career

 

Arroyo pitched in parts of 16 big league seasons. He was mostly with the Cincinnati Reds, although he was also a rotation piece on Boston’s epic 2004 team that broke an 86-year World Series drought—going 10-9 with a 4.03 ERA.

It was earlier that year, well before the miraculous comeback against the Yankees in October, that Arroyo made his stage debut as a musician.

Arroyo performed at a fundraiser at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston in January of that year. He played a cover of Pearl Jam’s Black, along with first baseman Kevin Millar—who Arroyo taught how to play guitar.

He later performed full sets at fundraising events, along with a full band that included saxophonist Elan Trotman and two members of the band Gnarls Barkley—drummer Eric Gardner and guitarist Clint Walsh (No Cee-Lo, sorry).

Arroyo eventually released a cover album in 2005 called Covering the Bases, which included covers from grunge bands like Pearl Jam (duh), Alice in Chains, the Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters and Incubus. The album also includes the Red Sox’s victory song in 2004, The Standells’ Dirty Water. Arroyo is joined by Johnny Damon, Lenny DiNardo and Kevin Youkilis on that one.

Arroyo is also a vocalist on Chad Perrone’s album Wake, where he sings on the song “Since You.”

Is there any way this guy can be reborn as a Seattleite?

 

Walk-Up Songs of the Week

 

Note: If you want a playlist of all the walk-up songs of the week, go to Spotify and search “Pitcher List Walk-Up Jams”

 

Hitter: Jason Castro, Willy Wonka (Macklemore)

I cannot tell you how excited I am that someone uses this as their walk-up song. I’m going full Seattle on you today, and I have no regrets. Most people haven’t listened to Macklemore’s latest album, Gemini, which came out in 2017. But it is arguably his best, most well-rounded album. Willy Wonka is an absolute treasure, and seeing him perform it live while he is suspended from the stadium ceiling, dressed like Willy Wonka, is a true sight to behold.

We can do all the analysis we want on Castro’s resurgence this season, but the proof is in the walk-up song in this case.

 

Pitcher: Kenley JansenCalifornia Love (2PAC)

Eric Gagne used Welcome to the Jungle way back in 2003 when he was the best closer in baseball for the Dodgers. That choice is often talked about alongside Hell’s Bells and Enter Sandman as the best closer entrance songs of all time, although I’ve always thought that Jansen’s use of California Love was pretty dang great as well.

Jansen may not be as elite as he used to be, but he still brings it most nights—and having the backing of 2PAC and his love for the state certainly helps.

(Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Content Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on dynasty deep sleepers, and the weekly hitter and pitcher stash lists. Andy also co-hosts the Never Sunny in Seattle podcast on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and separately hosts the Score Zags Score Podcast.

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