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Rays walkup music bracket, Round 1

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Make sure to vote by Monday

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, another off day. After the Rays had just one off day for the entirety of May, they now have two in the span of four days, which means we can really get cooking with this walkup music bracket. The bracket was introduced a few weeks ago, as the field was narrowed down to 15 with one final song added via the fan vote.

The fan vote was used to decide our 16th song for the Sweet 16, and somehow three songs managed to tie with 30 votes a pop. Derek Norris’ Marilyn Manson diddy is getting the tie-breaker win since there was a comment in favor of the song, in addition to the votes. All apologies to Logan Morrison’s Kendrick choice and Kevin Kiermaier’s “Hustlin’” decision, which were right there in the running.

This week, we have seeded the choices (by an automatic number generator) and the Sweet 16 matchups are shared below. I’ll give my pick for the winner, but the voting to determine the actual winners will be done by you, the readers. Without further ado, let’s get to the matchups:

1) Jake Odorizzi - Country Grammar (Nelly) vs.

16) Daniel Robertson - Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay)

Dang, a tough matchup right off the bat. “Something Just like This” is a beautifully melodic tune that pairs Chris Martin’s outstanding voice (I truly do not understand all the Coldplay hate) with the funky, electronica sounds of The Chainsmokers. But c’mon. Even the fact that Nelly is wearing a St. Louis Cardinals jersey in the music video (he is from the 314 after all) can’t slow down this throwback jam. It should get your vote.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Jake Odorizzi - Country Grammar (Nelly)
    (215 votes)
  • 33%
    Daniel Robertson - Something Just Like This (The Chainsmokers & Coldplay)
    (109 votes)
324 votes total Vote Now

2) Matt Duffy - When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin) vs.

15) Steven Souza Jr. - Space Jam (Quad City DJs)

To paraphrase the great Shea Serrano, if you don’t vote for “Space Jam,” you might be the police.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Matt Duffy - When The Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin)
    (122 votes)
  • 64%
    Steven Souza Jr. - Space Jam (Quad City DJs)
    (223 votes)
345 votes total Vote Now

3) Chris Archer - Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix) vs.

14) Xavier Cedeño - Daria Mi Vida Por Ella (Victor Manuel)

Here’s my first controversial opinion: Jimi Hendrix is incredibly talented, but he’s the type of talent where you’re aware of how talented he is when you’re listening to him - and I don’t really mean that as a compliment. His songs have an almost strained feel to them where you can hear him doing amazing things on the guitar, but it can kind of take you out of the moment. The selection from Cedeño opposing him is exceptionally catchy, and you just can’t help but tap your feet along to the beat. It’s getting my vote, but I don’t have high hopes for it actually pulling the upset.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Chris Archer - Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix)
    (273 votes)
  • 13%
    Xavier Cedeño - Daria Mi Vida Por Ella (Victor Manuel)
    (43 votes)
316 votes total Vote Now

4) Jose Alvarado - No Olvido Mi Pueblo (Ozzie Tales) vs.

13) Tim Beckham - DNA (Kendrick Lamar)

Not that it really matters in terms of being used as a walkup song, but Don Cheadle in the “DNA” music video is enough to lock down the vote for Lamar. Although Ozzie Tales looks like he would be the most fun uncle to have of all time in the “Pueblo” music video.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Jose Alvarado - No Olvido Mi Pueblo (Ozzie Tales)
    (60 votes)
  • 78%
    Tim Beckham - DNA (Kendrick Lamar)
    (220 votes)
280 votes total Vote Now

5) Colby Rasmus - Wolfpac (Jimmy Hart & Howard Helm) vs.

12) Alex Cobb - Intro (The XX)

Sure, having the Wolfpac theme is hilarious for a walkup song, but “Intro” is one of the best songs of the century, and that’s not even too much of an exaggeration. It’s the song that put The XX on the map for a lot of folks, and it’s so beloved that there are numerous videos online where viewers have clipped the song on repeat for close to three hours (there’s even a ten-hour compilation) so listeners can just absorb the greatness of the song on repeat for the length of the entire Lord of the Rings series. That’s respect.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Colby Rasmus - Wolfpac (Jimmy Hart & Howard Helm)
    (140 votes)
  • 52%
    Alex Cobb - Intro (The XX)
    (155 votes)
295 votes total Vote Now

6) Brad Miller - Tha Crossroads (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) vs.

11) Derek Norris - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)

“The Beautiful People” had to win the fan vote just to get into the Sweet 16, but I have a feeling it could make a little run. It’s simply too perfect of a match between player choosing the song and general vibe of the song. I can’t actually watch the video all the way through without getting a little nauseous/dizzy, but it would get my vote (for now). Sorry, Bone Thugs.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Brad Miller - Tha Crossroads (Bone Thugs-N-Harmony)
    (156 votes)
  • 48%
    Derek Norris - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
    (149 votes)
305 votes total Vote Now

7) Evan Longoria - Down And Out (Tantric) vs.

10) Alex Colome - Tiempos (Lapiz Conciente)

The iconic nature of Longoria having used the same walkup song for so long is easily enough to get him through a relatively soft first-round opponent. It may not be enough to make it to the final four, but I think Longo is safe for now.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Evan Longoria - Down And Out (Tantric)
    (280 votes)
  • 13%
    Alex Colome - Tiempos (Lapiz Conciente)
    (42 votes)
322 votes total Vote Now

8) Curt Casali - Can’t Stop (Red Hot Chili Peppers) vs.

9) Austin Pruitt - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

This is the most similar first-round matchup, and in a battle of similarities, you have to go with the OG crew in Nirvana. “Teen Spirit” is better than “Can’t Stop” by enough to make up for the fact that “Can’t Stop” might actually be the better walkup song in the sense of getting the crowd and the player in the right mood for participating in the sport of baseball.

Poll

First-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Curt Casali - Can’t Stop (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
    (116 votes)
  • 61%
    Austin Pruitt - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
    (189 votes)
305 votes total Vote Now

That’s it for the first-round matchups. Make sure to vote sooner than later, since the next off day is this upcoming Monday. We’ll be back then to announce the winners from the first round and set up the second-round matchups.