Meet the Mets vs. Let's Go Royals: Predicting the World Series based on classic team anthems
Who will emerge victorious in this year's World Series -- the Royals or the Mets? It's a difficult question to figure out. Will the Mets' power pitchers give them the edge, or will it be the Royals and their bullpen of hurlers who treat surrendering runs like they were Bartleby the Scrivener and they would simply prefer not to? Will Yoenis Cespedes be the midseason acquisition who makes a difference, or will it be Johnny Cueto? And which crafty veteran will prove most valuable -- the fastball-only-throwing Bartolo Colon, or the fly ball-only-inducing Chris Young?
Turns out, none of these will prove to be the difference. Rather, it's going to be music. That's right, it's all about sounds of the human soul set to a catchy melody. But just which team has that edge?
Team theme: Meet the Mets vs. Lorde's "Royals"
Anyone who has ever even passed near New York City in the last 40 years has heard "Meet the Mets." It's the team anthem upon which team anthems are based. Catchy, upbeat, and endlessly quotable, it never goes out of fashion.
Even Don Draper, who doesn't love anything, loves the song.
Meanwhile, the Royals simply do not have a song that is so closely associated with the team, though the fact that Lorde's "Royals" was inspired by seeing a George Brett photo has given it a sort of cult team anthem status.
While Lorde is great, "Royals" and the Royals are dwarfed by a song about networking.
Let's Go: "Let's Go Mets" vs. "Let's Go Royals"
And here we are, with our second Don Draper mention. "Let's Go Mets" was conceived just in time for the Mets' 1986 World Series run by Jerry Della Femina, a New York ad man who was largely the inspiration for Mr. Draper.
Shelly Palmer was tasked with writing the hit, which would go triple platinum, thanks to lyrics like "We got the teamwork, to make the dreamwork" and "There's no stopping us now, we're gonna do it again, it's not a matter of how, it's just a matter of when!" Honestly, you could put this song in "Wet Hot American Summer" and probably not notice any change.
Meanwhile, the Royals got their own Let's Go anthem one year earlier as they raced to the World Series against the Cardinals in 1985. This time, though, the inspiration came not from the world of advertising, but rather from "Purple Rain." That's right, the Royals' "Let's Go Royals" draws inspiration from Prince's "Let's Go Crazy." And for that reason, it must be declared the winner.
Classic Jams: "You've Gotta Have Heart" vs. "The Kansas City Royals are on the Go"
A song seemingly made for the David Ecksteins of the world, the 1969 World Series champion Mets came together to sing this song about never giving up on a special album called, predictably, "The Amazing Mets." And sure, it may be a song from "Damn Yankees," but when you've got a chorus of Mets players singing it on the Ed Sullivan Show, it becomes it's own thing. Kind of like how no one really thinks of Dolly Parton when they hear "I Will Always Love You."
Meanwhile, in 1977, Gene McKown put together a charming, jaunty jam as the Rroyals went to their second consecutive ALCS. And whether you're a Royals fan or not, you can't help but enjoy shouting, "Sock it to them, KC, you're in the know! The Kansas City Royals are on the go!"
While McKown's tune may be the stronger and more lively of the two, there is something to be said for a chorus of Major Leaguers. Which is why we have no choice but...
Miscellaneous: "Get Metsmerized" vs. "Big John Mayberry"
And finally, two songs which defy categorization. On one hand, we have another choice cut from that 1986 Mets team, only this time Mets players spit their own lyrics. George Foster, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, Rick Aguilera, Rafael Santana and more stop by to drop a few bars and it's a little like they have never heard music before. So, as Gooden drops in lines like "Fastball, slider and curve, step up to the plate if you've got the nerve," the effect is less that of a pop song and more a bizarre, postmodern reflection on what music even is.
And it's amazing.
Meanwhile, the Royals counter with the legend of Big John Mayberry. And no, it's not about former New York Met and Big John's son, John Mayberry Jr. We can only hope that future generations will sing this song and soon count Mayberry as one of America's greatest legends, along with Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed and Mark Twain. (Wait, you're saying Twain was real?!)
While Big John is a fitting entry in the American mythos, when Darryl Strawberry is trading bars with Doc Gooden, well, there's simply no other way to go.
Assuming that my calculations are correct and these songs truly are the most predictive postseason factors, well, it looks like the Mets will be raising their first World Series trophy in nearly 30 years. Hopefully they'll grace us with a brand new team anthem, one where Bartolo Colon sings in his beautiful tenor and Matt Harvey croons like Sinatra.