One of the most important parts of being a baseball fan is the crushing certainty that you are The Underdogs and your rivals are getting special treatment from ESPN or Bud Selig or New York-biased media outlets. (If you're a Mets or Yankees fan, your rivals are getting special treatment from L.A.-biased media outlets.) Usually, it's not true. But I can't help feeling a twinge of jealousy when our sister blog at LA Weekly writes about a metal band based on Dodgers super-prospect Yasiel Puig and named PUIG DESTROYER.
The Arizona Diamondbacks don't have a Cuban super-prospect with a name that's really fun to say, but they do reside in a city that loves its metal. I can't actually "play the guitar" or "write music" or "pronounce Yasiel Puig's name correctly, no matter how hard I try," but I can do the next most-important thing: Figure out which D-back our municipal metal talent should be emulating.
The Obvious Option: Paul Goldschmidt The good news is that Paul Goldschmidt is a two-ton mountain man who's hitting .313/.395/.557 with 21 home runs and a league-leading 77 RBI.
That's super metal! His surprising base-stealing ability kind of dampens the natural connection big home run hitters have with sludgy Black Sabbath guitars and tempos, but there's definitely enough slugger here to work with. And a few quick adjustments to his name -- "gold" is a great start -- would make him high-fantasy appropriate, if that's the kind of hard rock you're looking for.
The bad news is that Paul Goldschmidt loves country music. He had Florida Georgia Line sign a guitar for him earlier this year, and his walk-up song literally is called "Got My Country On."
The Guy Who Already Sounds Like a Famous Metal Guitarist Option: Didi Gregorius I could be wrong, here, but I'm 90 percent sure "Didi Gregorius" was the name of a peripheral character in every single episode of VH1's Behind the Music.
He's the technically talented but insufficiently party-hearty Central European guy who joins a band after It All Comes Crashing Down and before The Band Gets Back Together and films an episode of VH1's Behind the Music.
The Really Angsty Betrayal-Metal Option: Justin Upton Somewhere between everybody hating Black Veil Brides and everyone giggling at "crabcore" bands sits an important truth: At a high school level, at least, what used to be separate metal and emo fanbases have been bleeding together for a long time.
Justin Upton is the perfect Diamondbacks avatar for that angst. Like high school crabcore fans, there was a weird distrust between him and his peers that never quite went away; like high school crabcore fans, he labored under the constant awareness that he was disappointing his
And like high school crabcore fans, once he left his hometown and set out on his own, he tried desperately to conceal his angsty, Attack Attack!-loving past from all the new people he met.
The Past-His-Prime Touring Act Option: Heath Bell You know Heath Bell isn't as good as it used to be in the '80s. But they still shred a little, and they put on the best damned show they possibly can at the State Fair every year, even though they're on immediately following the harness-racing finals and part of their set is ruined by the smell of fresh manure.
At least they're convinced they're still a super-famous metal band, even if nobody else in the crowd is. In hindsight the tickets maybe weren't worth it -- you were paying for the name, more than how good they actually sound in 2013 -- but what are you supposed to do now? Watch harness racing?
The Cripplingly Self-Aware Option: Brandon McCarthy America's favorite athlete-tweeter is a constant delight but probably also too self-aware to be the basis for a metal band.
If you put Brandon McCarthy and preternatural guitar talent into our metal-band mold, you'd just end up with one of those early Minus the Bear albums where all the guitars sound like dial-up modems and the songs have titles like "I'm Going To Kick This Party Into Gear (And The Gear Is Your Bed, And ~You're~The~Partyyyyyy.)"
The Guy Whose First Album You Really Liked, But Then It Kind Of Went Downhill From There Option: Ian Kennedy Yasiel Puig, if and when he regresses to the mean, might already have this sewn up.
But one of the most important functions of any successful, popular band is to allow people who ostensibly love them to complain about how much better their first record was, before they kind of sold out and the first guitarist overdosed and they had to bring in Didi Gregorius.
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