Only time will tell if the Blue Jays are the best team in baseball this year, but they certainly made an early claim for “awesomest” on their opening night by having Rush lead singer Geddy Lee throw out the season’s ceremonial first pitch.
I mean, think about it — first pitches are generally reserved for presidents or former players and the like, but the Blue Jays decided to go the rock-n-roll route. Perhaps the Jays should have kept Lee on the mound for the whole game — after all, we do know he can handle a high-pitch count. (Get it? Because his voice — wait, come back…)
Anyway, I got to thinking — who is the best local rock star each Major League team could trot out to throw its ceremonial first pitch?
Here is my feeble attempt to answer that question, division by division.
Red Sox: Ric Ocasek — Sure, the obvious choice would be to pick Steven Tyler or Joe Perry. But the thought of The Cars’ gangly front man throwing a pitch is too good to pass up. Steven Tyler can’t do anything without making it into some ridiculous scene. Ocasek would just get up there and fire a strike, Big Unit-style.
Yankees: Jay-Z — Obviously, one of the conditions of negotiating Robinson Cano’s contract would be this opportunity.
Rays: Nick Carter — MLB’s lamest stadium gets the lamest person to ever throw out a first pitch. You could have had Jim Morrison had the guy just stayed alive.
Orioles: David Byrne — Hopefully the O’s would provide an oversized jersey for the former Talking Heads lead singer to wear as he threw out the opening pitch.
White Sox: Dennis DeYoung — The Styx lead singer is a lifelong fan.
Indians: All members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony — If we have to settle for just one, make it Krayzie Bone.
Tigers: Bob Seger — F*ck Kid Rock. We’re going with Detroit’s original and best rocker.
Royals: Melissa Etheridge — She has a better fastball than Nick Carter.
Twins: Prince — I think I speak for us all when I say I would empty my savings account to see Prince throw out the opening pitch at a baseball game. Of course, my savings account is only in double figures.
Astros: Lyle Lovett — The Astros had him sing the first national anthem of this season, but they should have upped the ante and put him on the mound. He couldn’t be any worse than the other guys they’re trotting out there.
Athletics: MC Hammer — Hammer IS the A’s, and threw out the first pitch to open last year’s ALCS in Oakland.
Angels: Dick Dale — The original rock guitar badass.
Mariners: Duff McKagan — Eddie Vedder is a Cubs fan and Kurt Cobain is dead, so the honor goes to the Guns N’ Roses bassist, who is also a huge M’s fan.
Rangers: Vinnie Paul — The Pantera drummer once witnessed the Stanley Cup get damaged when it was thrown off the roof of his house by Stars player Guy Carbonneau. Surely a first pitch belongs in his sporting repetoire.
Braves: Andre 3000 — Big Boi can only come if OutKast gets back together.
Marlins: Pitbull — Obviously to be thrown while wearing sunglasses and fist-pumping.
Phillies: Hall and Oates — They’ll do anything that you want them to.
Mets: Mike D and Ad-Rock — The Mets all picked Beastie Boys walk-up songs to honor Adam Yauch when he died last year, so there’s no better choice.
Nationals: Dave Grohl — The rock ‘n roll jack-of-all trades got his start in the DC-area music scene.
Cubs: Eddie Vedder — We already tipped you off on this one.
Reds: Peter Frampton — He was born and raised in Britain, but he lives in the Cincinnati area. That’s good enough for us. It saved the Reds from Nick Lachey.
Cardinals: Nelly — Admit it, you still love at least one Nelly song.
Pirates: Donnie Iris — He’s huge in Pittsburgh even though most of us know him as a one-hit wonder. But it’s an awesome hit.
Brewers: Steve Miller — Liberace didn’t live long enough for this honor, so we’re going with the Gangster of Love.
Diamondbacks: Alice Cooper — We’re not worthy.
Dodgers: Slash — First pitch to be thrown with cigarette hanging from mouth.
Giants: Surviving Grateful Dead members — This is their town, man.
Rockies: That guy from The Fray — Wow. Nick Carter may have just been passed up on the weenie scale.
Padres: Tom Waits — Something really weird would happen, we assume, and that’s way more interesting than anything that will happen to the Padres in a game this year.