David Bowie passed away Sunday night, leaving behind a rich legacy in music, film, and generally being cooler than everyone. So what better tribute is there than to pick out the Bowie songs that best exemplify Giants from the past and present? And don't say "Lots of tributes are better than that." Just because it's true doesn't make it less hurtful.
As always with these teams, if I forgot someone obvious that you think should be on the list, it's either because I'm dumb, or, if you complain about it, because I find you personally distasteful.
C: Buster Posey - Win
"Now your smile is wearing thin"
"I never smile when we're on the field"
"It ain't over"
"I've got it"
"All you've got to do is win"
"Have you met me? I'm Buster Posey. That's all I do."
1B: Bill Terry - Boys Keep Swinging
"Luck just kissed you hello when you're a boy." Sure, this song is about the privilege of being born male, but it also effectively summarizes how life feels for the ultra-successful athlete. And Bill Terry, the last National Leaguer to hit .400 and player-manager for the World Series-winning team in 1933, certainly had success. He's in the Hall of Fame and the Giants retired his number.
If you're wondering why I used this for Bill Terry and not Barry Bonds, it's because a lot of Bonds's success was built on his excellent batting eye, which meant that often he didn't swing. It would have been inappropriate. Shame on you for not considering that.
2B : Both Freddy Sanchez and Marco Scutaro - Quicksand
1. "I'm sinking in the quicksand of my thought and I ain't got the power anymore"
2. "Don't believe in yourself, don't deceive with belief"
3. "I'm...just a mortal with potential of a superman, I'm living on"
4. "Aah-aah, aah-aah, aah-aah, aah-aah"
Both of them have said all of these phrases multiple times regarding, respectively, their mental states about their failing bodies, their attempted comebacks and the way they lie to themselves about how likely they are to succeed, the years in baseball they should have had, and the actively painful part of their numerous failed rehabs. I'm sure of it.
SS: Buddy Kerr - Drive in Saturday
His name was always buddy! Close enough for me.
3B: Pablo Sandoval - The Little Fat Man With the Pug-Nosed Face
On the one hand, I'm pretty much over the whole Pablo thing. On the other hand, this is a hilarious song and I'm so, so petty.
LF: Barry Bonds - Starman
This song really gets at the core of Barry Bonds. For a long time, he was baseball's pre-eminent villain, described as a malcontent who didn't do much for the fans and was content to be above us. But what if...what if he was worried that if he engaged with us, it would hurt us? What if he'd like to come and meet us, but he thinks he'll blow our minds? That's a serious concern when you're Barry Bonds, Greatest Baseball Player On Earth, and I respect him all the more for sacrificing his reputation to protect us, the fans.
CF: Willie Mays - Star
Star is about the dream of being a rock and roll star, of being loved and admired by the masses. Who could embody that better than Willie Mays? Absolutely no one, ever, except maybe David Bowie.
RF: Hunter Pence - Ziggy Stardust
Total gimme, since Pence is literally a spider from Mars.
SP: Sam Jones - Magic Dance
David Bowie was, of course, born David Jones, and since the Giants have never had a Bowie in their history (we can make Bowie Kuhn honorary commissioner, I guess), the best replacement is Sam Jones, the only All-Star Jones the Giants have ever had. He was excellent in 1959, pitching 270 innings with an ERA+ of 134, which was good enough for a second place finish for the Cy Young.
As for why I'm using the Magic Dance from Labyrinth here, maybe Sam Jones was secretly the king of a bunch of goblins. You can't prove he wasn't.
RP: Sergio Romo - Panic in Detroit
lol miguel cabrera
SP: Salomon Torres - Under Pressure
THAT'S MEAN, GROUG. FURTHERMORE, DAVE BURBA HAS NEVER GOTTEN HIS FAIR SHARE OF BLAME FOR TURNING THAT GAME FROM A BAD SITUATION INTO A DISASTER, AND DAVE RIGHETTI'S A GREAT PITCHING COACH, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, HIS PERFORMANCE WAS THE FINAL POOP CHERRY ON THAT SHIT SUNDAE.
Look, hypothetical person saying that, I don't need your sass. I'm trying to make a cheap joke here. Lay off.
C: Bengie Molina, Station to Station
See, it's funny because he runs slowly.
2B/OF: Eugenio Velez - Let's Dance
OF: Angel Pagan - Oh You Pretty Things
For all his faults as a player over the last few years, you can't say that Pagan's attractiveness game has dropped at all. Swarthy doesn't slump, people.
OF: Willie McGee - Beauty and the Beast
To be honest, I'm leaning pretty heavily on the second half of this title.
Manager: John McGraw - Joe the Lion
Joe the lion went to the bar. A couple drinks on the house and he was a fortune teller. He said "Nail me to my car and I'll tell you who you are." Now, I don't know how often McGraw literally got nailed to a car, but he'd go out and have his share of drinks, and he was also pretty damn good at finding which players would be great ones, an ability that could perhaps be attributed to...fortune telling? Just throwing it out there. Furthermore, McGraw was known as "the old lion of the Polo Grounds," a nickname whose importance is in no way diminished by the fact that I just made it up.
And there you have it: the David Bowie team. If you're thinking "Hey, this seems like nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse to listen to a bunch of David Bowie songs," well, yes. That's right. And you're welcome.