Today we have another setlist lineup, courtesy of Aaron. Aaron has presented us with the lineup for the San Francisco Giants. For those of you who don’t know, the Giants are the reigning World Series champions, a phrase that still hurts this Phillies fan’s heart to type, especially since the post mentions History’s Greatest Monster ™, Cody Ross.
Reminder: if you would like to submit your setlist lineup for your favorite baseball team, email email@example.com. The rules are simple: take your team’s starting lineup and match it with a specific version of a Phish song or songs that best matches that player. The only catch is that the songs you choose must have been played in your team’s general geographic area, so don’t pick the Greek Cities to represent Alfonso Soriano if you are a Cubs fan.
So, without further ado, I present to you the World Series Champion San Francisco Giants:
Upon first thinking about the Giants being meshed with Phish, I figured it would be rather difficult matching a performance to an individual player. However, once I started, I found it easier than I expected. The defending World Champs are a unique bunch, often considered a group of misfits. Their strong characters are what helped them persevere through their slumps, and win a Championship no one thought they could.
Aaron Rowand – 12/08/1994 Possum: Rowand has been in the bigs for 10 years, and has a career batting average of .276. He isn’t known for his power, speed or clutch hitting. His defense doesn’t have hitters changing their strategy at the plate either. He is what he’s always been…a consistent ball player who plays the game well, isn’t the most talkative, and can sometimes pack a punch. That’s why this Possum matches him well. Possums aren’t known for being very exploratory, yet this Possum is much different. It starts the same and ends the same, but in between we have a silent jam, which is typically not part of the usual jam. The band then goes into a slower jam than normal, with some heavy blues jamming. It packs a quiet punch, much like Rowand.
Freddy Sanchez – 07/31/1997 You Enjoy Myself: Sanchez is a three-time all star and was the NL batting champion in 2006. He’s good, and everyone knows it. You Enjoy Myself is a great song…and everyone knows it. Now that we’ve drawn that comparison, I will indulge you as to why this YEM matches Sanchez on a more personal level. This beastly YEM takes you on a hypnotic journey of funk while never slowing down. It’s not, in any way, the best YEM of 1997, yet it deserves to be mentioned with other great versions because that’s exactly what it is…a great version. Similar to this YEM, Sanchez will always be known for being a great ball player and swinging a hot bat. He’s no Mickey Mantle, and this is no MSG YEM (10/22/96), but both have proven that they are worthy of being mentioned with other greats.
Aubrey Huff – 09/18/1999 Boogie On Reggae Woman: Huff is an interesting ball player. While he may be mostly known for wearing a”rally thong” during the Giants postseason for luck, there is more to Huff than just his unique undergarment choice. On top of being a silver slugger, he has hit into two very unique events in Major League Baseball: an inside-the-park home run and hitting for the cycle. Why does he match this Boogie? THIS is a rare Boogie. Every Phish fan should listen to this deliciously beautiful jam. Most Boogies tend to be shorter and containing no improvisational parts at all, while this one is around 20 minutes of awesomeness. Powerful and fierce, this Boogie could hit 20+ dingers in the spacious AT&T Park this season too!
Buster Posey – 07/19/98 Ghost: Posey is one of baseball’s best young sluggers. Trust me, I was at the game where he single handedly destroyed the Brewers last season with his two-home run, four-hit, 6-RBI game (one hit being a grand salami). Yes, that ties the not-so-awesome Barry Bonds in the most RBI’s in one game by a Giant category. And now in his second year, Posey continues to improve. 1998 saw Ghost (also in its second year) becoming a popular jam vehicle for Phish. This Ghost fuses funk and rock together perfectly while stringing together a catchy groove that would cause anyone to think they are running the bases after just driving in 4 with one swing. Awesome Ghost, awesome player. Buster Posey was also NL Rookie of the Year for 2010…of all the songs debuted in 1997, which one do you think is best??
Pablo Sandoval – 03/25/1993 Mikes Groove: Sandoval, often referred to as the Kung-Fu Panda, is a popular face around the Giants franchise. He is powerful, hits for average and jumps over catchers just so he isn’t tagged out. He’s good at the hot corner too. Sandoval is widely known for being a happy player, full of the smiles of pure delight that come with just being on a major league team. His big smile might cause you to forget, however, that he is very dangerous. He will take you deep and then smile as he runs the bases while your throwing your glove down on the mound in disgust. This Mikes Groove is the standard Mikes>H2>Weekapaug, but features teases of the happy-go-lucky Beatles tune “Ob La Di, Ob La Da.” It might even cause you to forget that you are listening to Phish, but this is 1993 people…they WILL melt your face, as Trey reminds you during the blistering ‘Paug.
Pat Burrell – 07/20/1998 Split Open And Melt: Burrell has driven in 955 runs in 10 years while batting .254. He won’t wow you in any sense of the word, but he will play hard and drive in his runs. He will, on occasion, take you deep too. This Split Open and Melt matches Burrell well because it’s nothing extraordinary, but it’s still a fun version full of funk and multiple peaks. This SOAMelt is worth listening to, as Burrell is worth having at the plate when you need a run driven in from second.
Cody Ross – 05/27/1994 Harry Hood: Cody Ross doesn’t look like much. In fact, he doesn’t even look like an athlete. That’s not bad, it might even cause a pitcher to underestimate you (Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Derek Lowe…I’m looking at you three. Remember last post season?). Harry Hood is what it is…a Phishy song that can sometimes contain a good jam. On paper, I’d probably not think anything of a Harry Hood. This Hood is not a jam you should overlook, though. It definitely has some delicate work by Trey, and the peak is absolutely breathtaking. While I wouldn’t call Ross’ playing “breathtaking,” I would say my breath was taken away when the Giants won the World Series!
Miguel Tejada – 10/07/2000 Bathtub Gin: Miguel Tejada came from extreme poverty to being one of baseball’s notable sluggers (he won the home run derby in 2004). He has driven in over 1,200 runs in his career so far, so you can rely on him to give you production at the plate. Similar to Tejada, you can rely on a Gin to deliver…usually. This one does. The jam is beautiful and represents how far the band has matured over the years. The jam loses the “Gin” theme and still manages to deliver a much expected hosing. Both Tejada and Bathtub Gin have come a long way at this point, and we hope there are still many years left!
Tim Lincecum – 03/22/1993 Reba: The face of the Giants franchise, and my all-time favorite player. I make a point to try and watch every start, just to watch him pitch. To me he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now (along with Halladay and Lee). The two-time NL Cy Young winner is definitely an interesting guy. At a very charitable 170 pounds and standing 5’11, he delivers a two-seamer that hitters have nightmares about. Among his four-seam and curve ball, his changeup is his strike out pitch (Lincecum has been the NL leader in strikeouts for three straight years now). Lincecum also “picked up” a splitter (as if he needed it!) that he uses to keep batters off balance. If anyone has a chance to watch him pitch, it surely is a treat, but in doing so you’ll probably notice very unorthodox pitching mechanics. He’s a full body pitcher. Putting a lot of pressure on the back leg, he quickly moves from his back leg to his front. Using his front leg to stay low to the ground, he bursts into a stride that is a foot longer than he is tall (that’s a 6’11 stride, people) With his pitching arm still down in an inverted “L” shape, he uses a late-breaking action (bringing his arm up) to thrust the ball at amazing speeds. Think of it like a full-body crack-the-whip.
That, among other important traits, are what makes Lincecum so much like Reba…but specifically this Reba. The song Reba IS Phish, ask any fan. The composed parts seem virtually unpredictable, no matter how many times you listen to them. The jams that follow are lights out phenomenal, with blissful build ups and gorgeous peaks that reach elevations higher than any mountain. Mind-boggling, unorthodox, soaring, amazing…this jam has it all. Flawless is a word that comes to mind. The goofy lyrics, the energetic four-part structure that never repeats but allows some of my favorite jamming are some of the reasons why Reba is an excellent Phish song. This jam is everything I love about Phish. The jam starts out quiet, but builds into an intricate universe of mesmerizing melodies and exploding guitar peaks that will give you goosebumps. It is amazing how the band locks in together and, through the jam they never lose one another…eventually hitting every peak in unison. In my opinion, the best Reba for the best baseball player. Unorthodox structure, but leads to very amazing things. Look for Lincecum to acquire his first silver slugger and gold glove this season.
Brian Wilson – 04/17/1992 David Bowie>Catapult>David Bowie: Fear the Beard! One of the leagues greatest closers (behind Rivera and Hoffman, respectively) You can almost guarantee a save from this man, he’s just that good. Along with his great pitches comes an extremely sarcastic, but hilarious, attitude. He’s a definite character (went on Lopez Tonight dressed as a sea captain. Editor’s note: first, and only, person I can name that was a guest on Lopez Tonight). Along with Wilson having character, the song David Bowie has a lot of character too. The early versions are known for having blistering guitar shredding and an epic ending. This version of Bowie is no different, but it goes even further to be unique and full of character. One of the interesting “Bowie sandwiches,” Phish debuts the song “Catapult” in the middle of this awesome jam. Catapult would later prove to be an intriguing song at Phish shows, popping up in the middle of many jams often unexpectedly. With the way Phish decided to debut a song in the middle of a jam, I was reminded of Brian Wilson. Such a Phishy thing for them to do…as Phishy as Brian Wilson is reliable.
Barry Bonds – 08/03/2003 46 Days: Bonds…Barry Bonds…he, um…hits the ball hard? He also quadrupled his hat and shoe sizes in a few short years. His HEAD got bigger (let that sink in). If he had hair, it would resemble the needles used to inject this guy full of steroids. Big on the outside, empty on the inside. This 46 Days is 40 minutes of nothing. Boring, no point…I could feel myself falling asleep while listening to it. Don’t listen to this jam, but more importantly, DON’T vote this guy into the hall of fame! Yes, I know this wasn’t played in California, but Bonds isn’t a Giant anymore, is he? That means Hank Aaron is still the home run king, Brewer and Braves fans!