Your 2016 Minnesota Twins will exit the All-Star break with the blindingly ugly record of 32-56, the very worst in the American League. The club's garbage-fire season offers almost nothing in the way of silver linings. So what is an alt-weekly music section to do? It's unclear if hurling rock-critic zingers at Paul Molitor's hapless squad will do anything to help, but goddamnit it's worth a try. Based upon on-field performance, here's how we'd re-select the walk-up songs for this year's Twins lineup.
Eduardo Núñez — SS
Actual song: "Dame Tu Whatsapp" by El Karma
Appropriate song: "All Star" by Smash Mouth
Because he's our team's only All-Star! That's the cutsie lil' joke, but here's the grim reality: There's no telling whether he'll be a one-hit wonder like Smash Mouth. Do we trade him while his stock is sky-high? Do we ink him to a long extension, the same mistake Interscope Records made with Smash Mouth in the '90s? And, like pop-ska hooks with zero lyrical substance, what are the true merits of flashy hitting combined with suspect defense? General manager Terry Ryan must mull those exact, verbatim questions before Núñez gets his game on, gets paid.
Eddie Rosario — LF
Actual song: "Blin Blin" by Don Omar
Appropriate song: "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra
Back in May, the Twins demoted Rosario to Triple-A due, in large part, to his atrocious 31:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He returned to the bigs earlier this month and is on a tear. But if Rosario, the dazzling rookie from '15, wants sustained success, some plate discipline is in order. Has hitting coach Tom Brunansky tried strapping him down, Clockwork Orange-style, to watch endless clips of Nancy Sinatra's 1966 walk-advocating jam? It just might work.
Joe Mauer — C
Actual song: "What You Know" by T.I.
Appropriate song: "Work From Home" by Fifth Harmony
Remember Joe's work from behind home plate? The three American League batting prizes? The 2009 MVP award? Concussions robbed our hometown hero of his magic — he's hitting .270 since moving full-time to first base — and we're not suggesting he return to the catcher role. That said, the double-entendre pulsations of "Work from Home" could arouse old ball-smacking sensations in ol' Joe. At the same time, the ironic joy of watching Mauer, perhaps the least turnt man alive, arrive at the plate to the bass-thumps of T.I. is a cherished Minnesota tradition.
Brian Dozier — 2B
Actual song: "Jugg" by Fetty Wap
Appropriate song: "Power" by Kanye West
Dozier entered June hitting .205 with five home runs. Then the power surge began. Dozier has since boosted his average 41 points, wailed nine home runs, and set the club record for consecutive games with an extra-base hit with 11. Should any one man have all that power, we're glad it's Dozier. Additionally, if his ego took a shot during the slump, summoning some of Kanye's swagger could keep the long-balls popping.
Miguel Sanó — DH
Actual song: "El Mayor Clasico" by De Vitrina
Appropriate song: "Talking Body" by Tove Lo
If we're talkin' body, Sanó's has been an imperfect one throughout his career. Concerns over the burly slugger's elbow, hamstring, and weight have dogged him for years, and he's appeared in only 60 games this season. When healthy, though, the second-year player is a dinger-smacking godsend. This Swedish electropop hit about sex ("If you love me right / We fuck for life") might sound off-brand for Sanó, but if we modify "love me right" to "condition me properly" and "fuck for life" to "avoid the DL," we've got a pro-health anthem that should inspire uninterrupted 40-plus-home-run seasons.
Trevor Plouffe — 3B
Actual song: "Down Foe My Thang" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
Appropriate song: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye
The misadventure of sticking Miguel Sanó in the outfield is mercifully over. He's returned to third base, rendering the 30-year-old Plouffe an ideal trade candidate. Or at least he would be, had the Twins dealt Plouffe before he cracked a rib earlier this month. Surely the veteran infielder has heard trade rumors through the grapevine. Should a contending team offer a halfway decent prospect before the trade deadline, the Twins might be saying "not much longer would you be mine, baby" to the longtime starter.
Max Kepler — RF
Actual song: "93 'til Infinity" by Souls of Mischief
Appropriate song: "Du Hast" by Rammstein
Kepler's actual choice is pretty perfect. He was born in 1993, you see, and he'll chill (i.e. perform solidly as a baseball player) until infinity. The pick boasts cleverness and classic hip-hop flavor, though it lacks nationally rooted intimidation. That's where doomsday-reckoning German metal outfit Rammstein comes in. As pitchers get wise to the German-born rookie outfielder — he's notched an impressive 33 RBI in 46 games thus far — he'll need to psych 'em out some. And nothing's scarier-sounding than Till Lindemann growling "Du Hast" over marching metal guitars.
Byron Buxton — CF
Actual song: "Flashlight" by Parliament
Appropriate song: "Contact" by Daft Punk
It looks like the once-hyped prospect is done with Triple-A demotions, and he's delivering when it comes to defense and baserunning. Consistent contact at the plate, however, has been tricky for Buxton, whose average has hovered around .200 for most of the year. The wild modular synths and epic arch of "Contact," the 2013 electro-house album cut from Daft Punk, could provide that aspirational soundtrack. Buxton's eye-popping stat line for July (.375/.444/.625) suggests he might have found his stroke, without any assists from masked French DJs.
Kurt Suzuki — C
Actual song: "Night Nurse" by Gregory Isaacs
Appropriate song: "Mama Said Knock You Out" by LL Cool J
First off, major props to Buxton and Suzuki for picking legit bangers. Jocks are supposed to opt for Drowning Pool and Flo Rida, not legends like P-Funk and reggae god Gregory Isaacs. But, for the purposes of our gimmick, we're giving Suzuki this LL Cool J joint for the "Don't call it a comeback" line. His OPS dipped 118 points from 2014, his first year with the Twins, to 2015. Currently slashing .294/.332/.447, Suzuki is enjoying a career year, so yeah, let's call it a comeback.
Finally, the entire pitching staff — which owns the American League's worst ERA (4.97) — deserves 2Pac's classic diss track "Hit 'Em Up," because that's exactly what American League batters have gleefully been doing to them all year.