Track Marks: “STOP FUCKING BUNTING” by Puig Destroyer

Grindcore* is a narrowly defined genre with limited appeal. An extreme permutation of metal, the songs are loud, short, and incomprehensible. On top of that, a lot of grindcore acts title their songs for maximum shock value to make sure you get the point if you can’t understand the shouting. Gruesome lyrics aren’t requisite and one Grindcore band actually widened their appeal by narrowing their subject matter to just baseball.

Enter Puig Destroyer, a portmanteau of Grindcore luminaries Pig Destroyer and Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig. Cuban defector Puig blasted onto the scene last year, skipping a level of the minor leagues to plug a hole in the Dodgers’ outfield and became if not baseball’s most talented player, certainly its most exciting.

I'm showing real restraint by limiting myself to one Puig gif
I’m showing real restraint by limiting myself to one Puig gif. Seriously, check out those reflexes.

He was celebrated by Puig Destroyer, a metal supergroup of baseball fans that took this joke of a band from conception to viral hit quickly; their first single “ONE MAN, FIVE TOOLS” was featured on Deadspin just ten days after Puig had made his Major League debut.

The idea of the band my be a joke, but Puig Destroyer often has something more perceptive to say about baseball in a sixty-second song than some crusty old managers will say in any post game press conference.  Co-founders Ian Miller and Riley Breckenridge also host The Productive Outs Podcast. THE PRODcast showcases Miller and Breckenridge as my idea of the 21st Century baseball fan: willing to think about the game without being mired in dogma, interested in things besides baseball, and lovers of what’s great about the game without taking it too seriously. I call them Fire Joe Morgan Fans.

This brings us to “STOP FUCKING BUNTING”. Why highlight a song from Puig Destroyer’s first EP when they’re promoting their first full length? In short, because they won’t stop fucking bunting.

In long: Despite the fact that all American sports fans care about right now is the start of the college and pro football seasons, the final month of Major League Baseball’s regular season is the most exciting. Expanded playoffs mean more teams are vying for more spots; more games matter. This also mean an unprecedented number of bad managers are leading teams in contention. Unlike a coach in other sports, baseball managers pick which players to send out and are mostly hands off during a game with the exception of making pitching changes. If anything, in-game managing amounts to meddling that could hurt more than help your team. This is especially the case with bunting.

I’m not talking about having a pitcher who can’t hit bunt a runner over or bunting against a defensive shift to get a hit (although neither of these are foolproof). I’m talking about directing a professional hitter to sacrifice an out for a base instead of doing what they’ve spent their life training for. Bunting was considered a viable strategy for over a century, but we live in a post-Moneyball era where lots of baseball fans and professionals have examined the old mores of the sport objectively. Like a lot of things we accepted because they were part of tradition, we now know sacrifice bunts are rarely good. A lot of managers who came up the ranks doing things the old way disagree, hiding behind the fact that this is the way it’s always been done.

“STOP FUCKING BUNTING” is brilliant because it encapsulates all of this strategy in a concise package with the correct amount of rage. The Seattle Mariners haven’t been in the playoffs in twelve years, The Kansas Royals over twice that long. Both teams have a shot this year. Both teams are hitting sacrifices at a rate above the American League average.  If I was a fan of one of those teams, I’d be playing this from a boombox in the ballpark, Say Anything-style. For clarity’s sake, presented below are the entirety of the song’s lyrics.

no clock, only outs
but still you insist on,
giving them away
…what the fuck?

play for one (that’s all you’ll get)

stop fucking bunting

*Extreme metal fans may quibble and say Puig Destroyer isn’t really grindcore. I have no qualms being the type of person who cannot or will not make this type of distinction.

Rob

Rob is one of the founders of SportsAlcohol.com. He is a recent first time home buyer and it's all he talks about. Said home is in his hometown in Upstate New York. He never moved away and works a job to pay for his mortgage and crippling chicken wing addiction. He is not what you would call a go-getter. This may explain the general tone of SportsAlcohol.com.
Rob