If there’s one baseball tradition that should be messed with as little as possible, it’s the seventh-inning stretch, when fans can stand up, try to get their last beer of the evening, and belt out “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” But that’s what the Kansas City Royals–currently trying to stave off their fourth straight 100-loss season–are in the mood to do. In what’s clearly an attempt to distract their fans from more headlines about “rebuilding,” they’ve launched a competition to select their new seventh-inning stretch song. And not to get all Project X, but we have to run down the team’s list of candidates, which not only reads to us like a DJ’s “Un-Super Sweet 16″ playlist, it inadvertently highlights the team’s struggles:
1. “Last Dance” by Donna Summer
2. “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield
3. “Kansas City” by The Beatles
4. “The Limbo”
5. “Cotton Eyed Joe” by Rednex
6. “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash
7. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
8. “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
9. “Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)” by Michael Jackson
10. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
Now, by this time we shouldn’t be surprised by the inclusion of “Sweet Caroline,” which, much to our chagrin, has spread so far and wide, it’s even wiggled into our favorite team’s between-innings entertainment. And “Cotton Eye Joe,” which is a terrible, terrible song, at least has some sports-event traction. But some of these choices are just downright inexplicable–not to mention indicative of the Royals’ sad-sack mentality. “Last Dance”? Are the Royals just trying to say to their fans that they’ve given up, even though there are two and a half innings left? “Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground)” may be a terrific song, but it’s probably not the best choice for a perpetual cellar-dweller. (At least “Bad” wasn’t on the list instead.) And the same could probably be said about “The Limbo” and its call of “How low can you go?”
But the worst choice may be “Ring Of Fire”–and not just because it’s fresh off Applebee’s-shilling duties. Recall the lyrics to the song’s chorus:
I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.
Guess we’ll keep seeing those “rebuilding” headlines for a while.
Royals fans choose 7th inning stretch song [royals.mlb.com]