MLB Band List, Part I - National League

I was recently turned on to this video, which compares the Phillies recent run of "pretty good-ness" to that of the Foo Fighters, another bunch of dudes who are also generally solid and respectable, but never really transcendent.

... Adding, it appears that this video is part of a larger series of videos from Fanhouse TV, where they compare teams to music groups in a series of short videos. Highly recommended, go check it out.

What about the rest of MLB?  What bands do they most closely resemble?

National League

NL East

Atlanta Braves are Garth Brooks: Unstoppable in the 1990s, with pockets of fans everywhere (thanks, TBS!).  Ill-advised character change, and getting away from what worked for them, proved to be harbinger of a significant downturn (Chris Gaines; shifting focus from pitching to hitting / losing Leo Mazzone).  Currently lying fallow, but you wouldn't be shocked if they came back just as strong as ever.

Florida Marlins are The Sex Pistols: Young group assembled by a greedy, creepy man (Malcolm McClaren; Wayne Huizenga), and swiftly dismantled after hitting their peak.  Followed by a second, unexpected comeback with the original creepy man nowhere in sight.

New York Mets are Black Sabbath: Gargantuan and powerful, but always will be left with a healthy dose of the "what-might-have-beens" had they not lost their most talented performer(s) to substance abuse (Ozzy Osbourne; Dwight Gooden / Darryl Strawberry).  The fill-ins proved to be ineffectual lightweights (Dio; Frank Viola / Kevin McReynolds).

Philadelphia Phillies are The Foo Fighters: See video.

Washington Nationals are New Order: Rose from the ashes of other groups' tragic demises (Ian Curtis and Joy Division; Montreal Expos), and forged a completely new identity.  Unmistakable European flavor.  Like Joy Division, it was almost impossible to hear the Expos on the radio, and like New Order, the Nationals are ubiquitous over the airwaves.



NL Central

Chicago Cubs are Jimmy Buffett: Millions of people like them for some reason, despite having done nothing worthwhile for a full century.  The culture of drinking surrounding each probably explains this tolerance for failure.  The fans are generally affable and friendly, but are single-mindedly dedicated to their hero(es).  Fans will travel thousands of miles to see them play.

Cincinnati Reds are The Rolling Stones: The oldest still-working group out there, they nonetheless peaked decades ago but keep insistently plugging away.  Nostalgic throwbacks for some, painfully anachronistic for others.  Controversies of the past are now mostly in the background, but still pop up from time to time (Marge Schott, Pete Rose; drug abuse, yucky sex).

Houston Astros are ZZ Top: Texans, and really goofy looking in the 1980s.  They've been around a lot longer than it seems.  Relied on the "Killer B's" for many years (beards; Bagwell/Biggio/Berkman).  Weird fixation on outer space.

Milwaukee Brewers are The Butthole Surfers: Strongly associated with alcohol consumption.  Well-known and understood by "serious" fans but no one else knows them, but for one moment in the past (1982; "Pepper").  Conceal an otherwise notable lack of skill with novelty (performing nude, use of props; Sausage Races).

Pittsburgh Pirates are Guns N' Roses: A glorious past, but dormant for over a decade.  Fans wait anxiously for their return to prominence; highly unlikely to happen anytime soon, in either case, despite glimmers of hope to the contrary.

St. Louis Cardinals are The Beach Boys: The wholesome, family-friendly exterior conceals a deviant, tragic core (substance abuse, performance enhancing and otherwise; tragic deaths of key performers).  Led by an authoritarian egomaniac (Tony LaRussa; Murry Wilson).  One brilliant member surrounded by a rotating cast of a couple solid supporting players and a bunch of scrubs (Albert Pujols; Brian Wilson).  Shocking, inexplicable late-career resurgence (2006 postseason; "Kokomo").

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks are The Eagles: Initially assembled from members of other great groups, they later developed their own look and sound, including ditching the hideous clothes of their early days.  Both strongly associated with the desert, and with one unlikely and confusing yet defining work ("Hotel California"; 2001 World Series).

Colorado Rockies are The Flaming Lips: Languished for years after early, random shot of success ("She Don't Use Jelly"; 1995 Wild Card team).  Great concepts thwarted by inability to execute, with the reasons often being a mix of environmental and psychological.  Late career success realized after years of experimentation and tinkering, but predicated on the simple idea of building a well-rounded team / writing good songs.

Los Angeles Dodgers are Steely Dan: Despite being fully established on the West Coast, have never really abandoned their New York roots.  A rich mix of black, Jewish, and WASP cultural influences.  Considered sad-sacks previously, their accomplishments of the past overpraised in hindsight, in large part based on how mediocre their latest material has become.  

San Diego Padres are Al Green: Affiliated with religious figures despite being defined by unholy influences ("hedonistic" southern California; 1970s make-out music).  Both wore ridiculous clothing in the 1970s and 1980s.  Not really hated by anybody.

San Francisco Giants are The Grateful Dead: Defined for years by the presence of a bloated, drug-addled figurehead who all the fans paid to see, at the expense of developing or addressing the needs of the rest of the group.  Owners/management gladly raked in the cash.  His abrupt departure left his former comrades and bosses with a purposeless existence.  Greatest accomplishments as a group were years in the past, but that didn't stop people from paying ridiculous sums to watch them.

A tip of the hat to the great MLB/Simpsons analogy list.

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