Welcome back to The Wild Card. This is the column where I write something kind of esoteric and weird, but I tie it back into the Diamondbacks, or at the very least, Baseball in general. This will come to you every Friday at Noon for your lunchtime enjoyment. Unless you take lunch at 11:30, then I can't help you.
This week I wanted to preview players on the 2015 Diamondbacks in an alternative way. As I often do, I looked through the music library on my laptop. My general takeaway was "Wow, I have a lot of U2 for someone my age." And then it hit me. U2 is a popular enough band, and has a very diverse (in quality) discography, that I could do a fly-by preview of various players on the 2015 Diamondbacks using loose comparisons to U2 albums. So let me get my Pitchfork reviewer* hat on and dive in and make a lot of song puns.
* I'm not really a Pitchfork reviewer. I actually like to listen to music. Also these are just my opinions on things, they aren't necessarily right or wrong, but leave poorly punctuated and heated comments because I don't care for Atomic Bomb anyway. It's the internet!
BOY (1980) - Archie Bradley
A debut album, and highly regarded! It was the launching pad to a very successful career. Archie Bradley has impressed this spring. Will he say "I Will Follow.... that to a great career"? Time will tell.
OCTOBER (1981) - Tuffy Gosewisch
The forgotten album in U2's discography is widely considered their worst. You sometimes forget it exists, but then you're reminded of it occasionally. Then you're pretty nonplussed at it and remember WHY people don't
WAR (1983) - A.J. Pollock
War is an album, in my opinion, that does not have any weaknesses, track wise, but is looked over for some of the more flashier albums. A.J. Pollock does everything pretty dang good, but is overshadowed by the likes of Paul Goldschmidt. That's fine though, He'll have the occasional "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" at the plate**, but you can bet his double total will be around "40"
** I have no idea what this means.
THE UNFORGETTABLE FIRE (1984) - Ender Inciarte
Sort of uneven and not perfect, but kind of exciting, because it's not like anything else that was out there.
THE JOSHUA TREE (1987) - Paul Goldschmidt
Simply the best all-around, and everyone knows it. Actually won the Album of the Year Grammy, whereas Paul Goldschmidt has yet to win an MVP because he happened to play for teams with bad pitching staffs. Such is fate.
RATTLE AND HUM (1988) - Cody Ross
Much like Ross' contract, is bloated and not too great, but born out of some weird arrogance. To be fair to Cody, though, he never said "This is a song Charles Manson stole from The Beatles. We're stealing it back."
ACHTUNG BABY (1991) - Josh Collmenter
This was a complete 180 in U2's style, and is considered one of their masterpieces. Josh Collmenter has had to reinvent himself from Reliever to Starter to Reliever again to Starter again, and in the context of the rotation of the Diamondbacks, he would be considered a masterpiece.
ZOOROPA (1993) - Bronson Arroyo
Kinda weird sounding (and looking), but is generally a solid, if not spectacular, listen. However, in 2015, it seems really dated and has not aged well. "Daddy's Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car" is also kinda like getting tommy john surgery. Extend that metaphor out as long as you want.
POP (1997) - Trevor Cahill
(Note: I started writing this on Wednesday, the comparison is still apt, and like hell I'm gonna do a rewrite now. Thanks Dave Stewart/John Hart)
Pop is widely considered a disaster. Some songs aren't great, and are produced horribly, and the album as a whole is too long. However, you get the feeling that it could be good if it just got its shit together, as there's some good tracks with weird mixing ("Staring at the Sun", "Gone")
Trevor Cahill is much the same way, he can be an eternal tire fire, but he'll sometimes show you enough flashes to really annoy the hell out of you.
Of course, not anymore. THANKS GUYS.
ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND (2000) - Daniel Hudson
A heartwarming and happy comeback story, but the second half of ATYCLB is a bit of a slog, save for "When I Look at the World", you like that Huddy has come so far to get back, but you have natural trepidation as to if he can stick it out a full year after two Tommy John surgeries. So long as there isn't too much "Elevation" on his fastball, he'll be effective.
HOW TO DISMANTLE AN ATOMIC BOMB (2005) - Mark Trumbo
It hits hard on occasion ("City of Blinding Lights", "Original of the Species"), but man oh man does it strike out a lot. Some people have given it a lot of critical acclaim and I'm not sure why that is.
NO LINE ON THE HORIZON (2009) - Yasmany Tomas
An overall intriguing product, but with one fatal flaw that overshadows the rest. Yasmany Tomas' defense at Third Base is the Baseball equivalent of "Get On Your Boots", possibly one of the worst songs, not just from U2, but ever.
Also the tour for this album was the highest grossing ever at the time, and Tomas is the holder of the largest contract in Diamondbacks history. There's layers here, people
SONGS OF INNOCENCE (2014) - ?????
This was kinda hard, it was hard to think of something that was forced on the Diamondbacks populace, and wasn't really wanted by everyone... Think think
GET BACK IN YOUR CAGE, KEVIN.
(I kid though, I think it's a pretty solid album, especially from Tracks 6 and onward, all anyone wants to talk about is the release strategy which fine but there's 11 songs there that you should reall- wait, where are you going, come back!)
So there you have it, the definitive Diamondbacks preview based on a very old band. You don't get that anywhere else.