Again, these super-scientific rankings are based on algorithms developed by the NSA. They are completely serious, and you should rush to the comments section if you feel like your team was ranked too low.
For the purposes of this power ranking, which is based on the hair-metal bands each MLB area produced, "hair metal" is defined by the following:
a) if you were listening to the band in question, your grandmother would yell at you to turn that crap off
b) there were funny clothes and hair spray involved, and ...
c) no closer in baseball would use their songs as entrance music
Simple. On to the rankings:
1. (tie) Dodgers - everyone
Every hair metal band ever went through Los Angeles. If you need to pick one, go with Mötley Crüe, but don’t limit yourself. As a Giants fan, I feel there is something so completely appropriate about this. It’s probably the reason my subconscious thought of this list. My irrational, geography-based dislike for a professional sports team needs something like this to masquerade as tangible evidence.
1. (tie) Nationals - no one
Couldn’t find a hair metal band for Washington D.C., so they get enough credit to tie with the place that spawned millions of them. They should probably take first place for sparing the world. There probably weren’t any hair metal bands because D.C. punks would have whomped on them while Ian MacKaye yelled at them to stop.
3. Astros - King’s X
Not really hair metal, but Houston was pretty thin with candidates, and I also wanted to see if Gary Huckabay reads Baseball Nation. A band that was above their peers for a while before becoming mostly forgotten, they were the Glenn Davis of metal.
4. Yankees - Twisted Sister
The archetype. Dumb, catchy, and funny looking -- that’s like the tagline for hair metal. You might hear their songs in ads for Pert Plus now, but there was a time when they really freaked people out before they became acceptable. Sort of like Reggie Jackson.
5. Mariners - Queensryche
They used to be considered "thinking man’s metal," which is amusing when you read the plot of their masterpiece, "Operation Mindcrime":
...he remembers how, as a heroin addict and would-be political radical frustrated with contemporary society, he was manipulated into joining a supposed secret organization dedicated to revolution. At the head of this organization is a political and religious demagogue known only as Dr. X, who by manipulating Nikki through a combination of his heroin addiction and brainwashing techniques...
The guy who wrote "Birdemic" reads that and thinks "What the crap? What is this nonsense?" But the album is still pretty epic, and if you want to go big as a Seattleite, you can.
6. Athletics - Y&T
Oakland’s slogan this year is "Green Collar Baseball" -- a nod to the team’s blue-collar image of low-profile grinders. So it fits that Y&T is the A’s rep, as most of their best work was completely under the radar. And they didn’t have a lot of hits. The perfect A’s comparison.
7. Rangers - Pantera
Right now there’s someone angry that Pantera is on a hair-metal list. They have no idea.
Oh, they evolved into a band that would make closer-entrance music, but seeing as they a) were from Arlington, and b) willingly posed for that promo shot, they make the list. Because they made some good music, they’re ranked high. But that picture drops them down just because, c’mon, that picture.
8. Giants - Night Ranger
The Bay Area was all thrash in the ‘80s, so hair metal bands would just drive a few hours south to avoid getting beat up. Night Ranger’s here by default, and they rank highly because they were an integral part of one of the best movie scenes of the past 20 years. San Francisco was also responsible for Metallica, which is like the Giants introducing the world to Willie Mays, but San Francisco was also technically responsible for that Metallica, which is like the Giants introducing the world to Deivi Cruz.
9. Rays - Savatage
An underrated band that also serves as a reminder that this world needs more rock operas. One about the Rays would do just fine, with side two being all about Sam Fuld.
10. White Sox - Survivor
"Eye of the Tiger" is an iconic song, and the band has the greatest header of any section on a Wikipedia page ever:
1989-2000: work on greatest hits album.
I remember those 11 years as if they were yesterday. The constant updates on "60 Minutes" about the track-list selection process never got old. That’s like editing the White Sox page to include a section called "The Lyle Mouton Era."
11. Marlins - Saigon Kick
Not bad compared to their peers. Good, even. But if they tried to play a 42,000-seat arena, there would still be some pretty sweet seats available when it started. Am I writing about the band or the team? Yes.
12. Phillies - Cinderella
A casualty from the ‘80s, in that all they wanted to be was the Rolling Stones, which is respectable enough, but because it was the ‘80s, they had to get all hair-metalled up. You want to appreciate the performances in retrospect, but all you can think about is what they looked like. Just like Steve Carlton when he had a mustache!
13. Padres - RATT
"Round-’N’-Round" was actually a hauntingly beautiful song when you washed the hair spray out. Who knew? It’s kind of like those yellow and brown Padres uniforms. Your first instinct is, wait, gross, but then you see the beauty in them, hidden like they were one of those Magic Eye pictures, and you can’t go back.
14. Braves - Drivin’ ‘N’ Cryin’
They rocked 16% as hard as Leo Mazzone, which is saying quite a bit, actually. True story: they were once fined by the FCC for excessive apostrophes. Their original band name was 'riv'' ''' C''i'', which was pronounced "Samantha."
15. Twins - Vixen
They weren’t the Jackie Robinson of hair metal, but Jackee of "227" was the Vixen of sitcoms. That might not make sense, but neither did Vixen.
16. Orioles - Kix
Can’t remember any of their songs, but you have to admire a band that took this name knowing they would share it with a delicious breakfast cereal. There would be easy jokes to be made if a) Coco Crisp or Zack Wheat ever played for the Orioles, b) Alan Mills’ nickname were "General", or c) there were ever a cereal called Luis Mat-O’s, but no dice.
17. Reds - Prizoner
When you meet a teenager who doesn’t get what the big deal was about Nirvana, show him or her this video, and explain its from the same year as "Nevermind." You might not like Nirvana, but at least you can understand how they represent an easily definable cultural shift, just like the one baseball went through from the Schottzie era to the post-Schottzie era.
18. Cubs - Enuff Z’nuff
Best way to describe this one is in graph form:
The Cubs almost attained separation! Alas, it was not to be.
19. Red Sox - Extreme
Laugh if you want, but do you know how much restraint it must have taken Nuno Bettencourt to not fire off a minute-long solo in the middle of "More Than Words?" Probably about the same amount of restraint that it took Pedro Martinez to not jump on top of Don Zimmer after knocking him down. Doesn’t mean that both weren’t low points in the history of civilization.
20. Pirates - Bret Michaels (Poison)
He moved to Los Angeles, just like everyone else on this list, but he was from Pittsburgh. He’s like a reverse Xavier Paul! Also, "Unskinny Bop" might be the dumbest hair-metal song ever, and that’s like finding the largest red ant ever. So, so much competition, but there it is.
21. Tigers - Ted Nugent (in Damn Yankees)
He didn’t qualify for the list when he was a solo artist, and this isn’t a list ranked by big, dumb rock. If it were, the Tigers would be in the top five. But Nuge did have his paws in some hair metal, and it was most unfortunate.
22. Mets - Danger Danger
It was tough to find a representative from Queens, but you can’t argue argue with hits like "Naughty Naughty" and "Bang Bang." And by "can’t argue," I mean "can absolutely ignore." The Mets actually have a pretty sweet in-house option if they ever need a name for a metal band: Angel Pagan. You could totally picture holding a lighter up while signing along to Angel Pagan’s MTV smash-hit ballad, "Fast Down the Line."
I hadn’t heard of any of these bands before this list. I’d like to think in an alternate universe, some nerd is ranking metal bands based on the baseball players that listen to them, and he’s thinking, "Who in the heck are Billy Jo Robidoux, Craig Paquette, Aaron Guiel, John Frascatore, and Rance Mulliniks?"
28. Indians - Warrant
Why are they lower than bands like Kingofthehill or Helix? Because you can’t get a stupid Kingofthehill or Helix song stuck in your head just by thinking of the band’s name. Oh, "Cherry Pie." I wish I could quit you.
29. Angels - Stryper
Not down this low because of their subject matter, just down here because they stunk. They actually covered an Earth, Wind, & Fire song, and it’s worse than you can possibly imagine. I’d rather listen to the Rally Monkey gnaw through ukulele strings.
30. Rockies - Winger
Kip Winger is from the Denver area. The Rockies are responsible for a mascot that stands behind home plate and tries to distract the opposing pitchers. Those are two of the gravest sins committed against humanity. One more and we appeal to the U.N. to send the entire area into space. That’s not a threat, that’s just the desperate appeal of a crumbling society. No more, please.