The San Francisco Giants have a rather sizable history relating to music. Tony Bennett belting “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” Carlos Santana mastering the national anthem on the electric guitar. Former Journey frontman Steve Perry being a staple at home games. More famous names that I’m currently forgetting. You catch my drift.
Heck, even two of their own members, pitcher Barry Zito and third base coach Tim Flannery had music careers in addition to their baseball ones.
And then of course there’s Smash Mouth, the most Twitter-active celebrity Giants fan, even if it was at one point revealed that it’s not the band members actually crafting the wild tweets, such as this one:
We are hearing Giants ownership/upper mgmt might not be on the same page as Zaidi regarding Harper. They want to offer a long term contract like they did with Bonds and Zaidi does NOT want to. Sabean/Baer step the F up, this is your team, not some slappy's from the Dodgers! @KNBR— Smash Mouth (@smashmouth) February 26, 2019
I always enjoy hearing celebrity fans talk sports. Sometimes they really know what they’re talking about, and it reminds me that even people with millions of dollars and fancy lifestyles are spending their evenings the same way I am, watching the Giants sleepwalk through the season, taking notes on the minutiae, and eagerly hoping for breakouts from young prospects that other people haven’t heard of.
Other times they don’t really know what they’re talking about, and it’s an important reminder that not every fan watches 500 hours of baseball a year while consuming every Fangraphs article and having at least five Baseball-Reference tabs for Minor League players open at any given time. There’s no right way to fan, after all.
So, now for the big question that you all probably find yourself asking with regularity: Where am I going with this?
Spin’s Daniel Kohn recently published a fun article that interviewed 28 musicians about the upcoming baseball season for their favorite team. Two of the interviews centered around the Giants: Steve Harwell and Paul Delisle of aforementioned Smash Mouth fame, and Michael Franti of Michael Franti and Spearhead fame (sidenote: Google and Wikipedia list Franti as being a rapper first and foremost, which ... no?)
Smash Mouth and Michael Franti are quite different when it comes to musical style, and they’re a bit different when it comes to the Giants, though they share one underlying theme: positivity.
Before I dive into some quotes, it’s worth noting that Smash Mouth’s interview was conducted prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and Franti’s was not.
Outlook for 2020
While Smash Mouth was optimistic about the future, they weren’t super sold on the present, saying “Most likely the Giants look like 10 games under 500 team but again, ya never know.” Franti went in the other direction, predicting a 36-24 campaign (I’ll allow it) and adding, “Admittedly my wildcard prediction above might be a stretch for 2020, but this is a short season with no fans, and that means if a team gets hot for a month it could make them playoff contenders. So who knows? We for sure won’t suck.”
You won’t find too many Giants fans who don’t love Bruce Bochy, and that was a theme here. Franti’s Bochy discussion was All-Star level, as he said, “He was the inspirational father figure for our young players, and he was also the manager who allowed every player to grow their hair and beards out and not give a crap if our starting pitchers smoked weed on their time off before anyone else did. And for that, we won three rings in five years!!!”
Smash Mouth took a more traditional approach, saying, “We were used to more ‘set lineups’ and with Bochy, the lineup changed daily and we grew to like it because we won three championships.”
The band also added that “Not sure what to expect from Gabe Kapler,” while Franti praised the Giants new manager for taking a stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Smash Mouth dispelled any notion that they’re just super casual fans (not that there’s anything wrong with that) by listing some under the radar players when stating who they’re looking forward to watching, saying, “Want to see how Mike Yastrzemski comes back after his very solid season last year where he hit 20HR’s and just played very solid baseball. Want to see how Kapler utilizes him. Other players to watch are Abiatel Avelino, Jaylen Davis and Heliot Ramos. A player to keep an eye on is SS/2B Mauricio Dubon both in the field and at the plate. His approach at the plate reminds us of A-Rod, but about 80 pounds lighter.”
Now they just need to work on spelling names and they’ll be all set. Also, Mauricio Dubón should 100% change his Twitter bio to “A-Rod, but about 80 pounds lighter.”
Franti knows how to win the heart of the Giants fanbase. The musician picked Atlanta to win the National League, adding, “Everyone’s money is gonna be on the Dodgers in the NL (but as a Giants fan, I could never utter such nonsense).”