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Rays walkup music bracket, semifinals

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And then there were four

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays
Jim Hickey appreciates Odorizzi’s nod to Nelly when he takes the mound
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The votes have been tallied, the results have been calculated, and we’re on to the Rays walkup music bracket semifinals. Let’s start with a brief recap of last round’s action and then move on to this round’s matchups.

Round 2 Recap

1) Jake Odorizzi - Country Grammar (Nelly) over

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

In previewing this matchup last week, I called it the “lowkey matchup of the bracket so far.” That turned out to be an accurate assessment, as the final vote came in as close as we have seen so far, with a 53 percent-47 percent victory for Nelly and Odorizzi. With the presumed favorite out of the bracket (more on that in a second), there’s a decent chance Nelly could have a real chance to take this thing.

7) Evan Longoria - Down and Out (Tantric) over

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

Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! I’ll admit to being shocked not only that Longoria/Tantric toppled Souza/”Space Jam,” but that it did so with such relative ease (61 percent of the vote). In the end, DRB commenter Regional Nova may have summed up the reason for Longo winning the vote best when responding to why he voted for Longoria/Tantric:

Yes, but I'm voting for it for 3 reasons

1. its only about the first 10-15 seconds for our purposes

2. Longo is the only one that I know of that has ever used it, and its as associated with him as much as any walkup music this side of Chipper Jones/ Crazy Train.

3. Francisco Lindor beat Souza to the punch on Space Jam

The people have spoken, and Longo marches on.

3) Chris Archer - Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix) over

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

The Archer/Hendrix duo is beginning to look like an exceptionally tough pair, as they cruised to another 60+ percent victory. If Hendrix ends up winning this thing after I trashed him in the Round 1 preview, I’m definitely going to take my reverse-jinxing skills to real life and start trashing any politician I am secretly hoping will win.

12) Alex Cobb - Intro (The XX) over

13) Tim Beckham - DNA (Kendrick Lamar)

A small part of me is dead now that DNA is out of the bracket, but it was a necessary evil. With “Space Jam” out, “Intro” will be the song getting my top vote the rest of the way. Enjoy the kiss of death, Cobb/The XX.

Round 3 Matchups

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

12) Alex Cobb - Intro (The XX)

This would be the championship matchup for me personally, as the other half of the bracket just doesn’t do it quite as much for me. (I still maintain that the winner will be deserving regardless, as the Rays actually had a surprisingly strong and deep selection of walkup music.) The choice is also tough here because these are two diametrically-opposed songs. (And I don’t just mean this in a weird, socio-racial way.)

“Country Grammar” is the essence of gluttony - in the best way possible. It is fast-paced lyrics from the first second of the song. It’s cars and girls and sex and St. Louis Cardinal jerseys. (TBRVIB, The Best Rap Videos In Baseball.) It doesn’t climax so much as start at 100 mph and stay there for three minutes and 47 seconds of all-consuming glory.

“Intro” is minimalist paradise. It starts with fire of its own, a synthesized drop in the first two seconds that sets the tone for 128 seconds of lyric-less goodness. There may well be an official music video somewhere other than on YouTube, but it seems fitting that the main video for the song on YouTube is just an “X” on screen for the entire time. Nothing else. It couldn’t be more simplistic and yet it couldn’t be more beautiful of a song.

Personally, I’m leaning slightly towards “Intro,” but that’s only because I’m a bit of a minimalist guy when it comes to music - either choice is great here.

Poll

Third-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Jake Odorizzi - Country Grammar (Nelly)
    (56 votes)
  • 49%
    Alex Cobb - Intro (The XX)
    (55 votes)
111 votes total Vote Now

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

7) Evan Longoria - Down and Out (Tantric)

The run Longoria has gone on is amazing to me and speaks to his beloved stature in Rays history. I say that because no one in their right mind would vote for that abomination of a song unless it had some serious good memories attached to it. The song does get the excuse of being elevated at least a bit when used as a walkup song - the first five seconds are halfway decent in terms of firing up the crowd, but the reason this song is in the semifinals is because of the man to whom it is attached and not the other way around.

All that said, this could be the end of the road for Longo and Tantric, as Jimi and Archer have steamrolled their competition to date. “Voodoo Child” has “Down and Out” covered in just about everything possible measure, but I have said that before and the Longoria angle has managed to prevail regardless. This will be the biggest test yet.

Poll

Third-round matchups

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Chris Archer - Voodoo Child (Jimi Hendrix)
    (35 votes)
  • 70%
    Evan Longoria - Down and Out (Tantric)
    (83 votes)
118 votes total Vote Now