(Photo Courtesy of Keith Allison)
Finals participant Jed Lowrie is going to need some of those acrobatics to top Yoenis Cespedes in the walk up music finals

by Jim Turvey

We’ve gone from sixteen all the way down to two. Let’s do a quick recap for anyone just joining us for the finals. First off, the process started with the thirteen active A’s hitters, plus two players on the DL (John Jaso and Scott Sizemore), and the Triple-A player most well known (Jemile Weeks). The match up winner was determined by the following percentages: 33% how good the song is, 33% how well it matches the player, 33% how goofy the song is, 1% ability of the song to be stuck in your head for days.

In Round 1 , we managed to get rid of some of the dead weight (no offense, Eric Church), and said goodbye to the ever-popular “Wobble” . In Round 2 , we had maybe the best showdown of the bracket to date with the Classic Rock battle between Jed Lowrie’s “Tom Sawyer” and Eric Sogard’s “Welcome to the Jungle.” Finally, just last Friday, in Round 3 , the finals crystallized after NERD POWER was finally vanquished, and the WWE could only carry Josh Reddick so far.

Now we have arrived at the finals with the following match up:

16) Yoenis Cespedes- “El Animal” by Gente De Zona vs. 2) John Jaso- “Those Shoes” by The Eagles

We’ve tried numerous different ways to determine which walk-up song is the best in the previous rounds, and since this is the final, it calls for a culmination of all those criteria, plus a few more. First off, who holds the edge in our original percentage breakdown? From Round 2, we determined that “El Animal” received 25/33 on how good the song is, 17/33 on how well it matches the player, 20/33 on how goofy it is, and 5/1 on how catchy it is, resulting in a total score of 67/100.

Let’s take a look at how well “Those Shoes” would do by the same criteria:

How good the song is: 22/33, the song is a classic from one of the best bands of all-time, but certainly isn’t at the level of “Hotel California” or “Life in the Fast Lane.”

How well it matches the player: 21/33, seeing as Jaso is most renowned for his batting eye, and ability to draw a walk, “These Boots Were Made for Walking” may have made for a better fit, but “Those Shoes” aren’t a bad option either.

How goofy the song is: 23/33, once again boosted by a music video , which I don’t even know how to describe, “Those Shoes” continues it’s consistently high marks.

Ability to get stuck in your head: 1/1 pretty catchy guitar riff, but nothing compared to “El Animal.”

Total: 67/100. (No I did not doctor the numbers to make a tie, and have to create more tiebreakers. And if you believe that, I have some great vacuum cleaners to sell you as well!)

With our two songs both attaining exactly a 67/100 in our original criteria we’ll have to delve a little deeper to find our winner. John Jaso relies strictly on “Those Shoes,” while Yoenis Cespedes has also been known to use “Slow Down” by Clyde Carson as a walk up song, but that’s more a minus than a plus. Both songs have received boosts based on outside sources, but that’s not what the finals are about, we need to settle this fair and square.

There is certainly very little separating these two, and both should be proud of their walk up selections, but here’s the bottom line. If it were the bottom of the eighth, tie ballgame, men on first and third, two outs, Yu Darvish on the mound, there’s no way “Those Shoes” is going to get you in the zone more than “El Animal.” And really, when we’re looking at walk up music isn’t that what really matters? Sure the song can be catchy, but in the end, walk up music exists because it should have a positive impact on the batter. It’s why the players only get their walk up music at home, and why they put thought into it.

So there you have it, Yoenis Cespedes takes home the Home Run Derby crown, and the first annual A’s Walk Up Music Bracket crown in the same year. I can only imagine which one means more to him.

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