Like most Toronto Blue Jays fans, Tim Gevaert was captivated by the team's swinging bats.
But Gevaert took his interest a step further, creating a viral video of every Blue Jays home run this season — up to Aug. 26 — and setting it to the beat of Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down."
Toronto leads Major League Baseball with 689 runs before Friday night's game with the Detroit Tigers. Their 173 homers are second most in the majors — one behind the Houston Astros.
"The idea of condensing all the swings down to a short montage captivated me for some reason, and I realized they'd sound almost like a metronome," said the 29-year-old Gevaert in an email with The Canadian Press. "I figured adding some music to the background would help hold people's interest and wouldn't be too difficult."
In the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9jaMJvYNq0) each clap beat of Cash's song is punctuated with the crack of a Blue Jays bat hitting the ball. The final homer shown is Edwin Encarnacion's grand slam in Toronto's 12-4 rout of the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. The song winds down as Encarnacion rounds the bases and the Blue Jays' bullpen throws their hands in the air as the ball lands behind them.
Gevaert wrote a script to download every Toronto highlight from mlb.com, then edited down each clip to 22 frames to match the beat and used the video editing software Lightworks to put it all together. Choosing the accompanying soundtrack was the toughest part.
"At first I was considering 'Closer' by the Nine Inch Nails for it's heavy beat and slower tempo, but decided against it because of the more 'mature' subject matter," said Gevaert, who lives near Waterloo, Ont. "Part of the reason I enjoy baseball is that it's a family friendly pastime. I decided on Johnny Cash because I'm a big fan of his and its beat and slower tempo made it ideal.
"I also like the not-so-subtle allusion to mowing down the rest of the competition in the league."
Gevaert, who says Jose Bautista is his favourite player, hopes that the Blue Jays see the video and are inspired by it as baseball's regular season enters its final months.
"I hope they're proud of their accomplishments and get to reflect on how beloved they are by the fans," said Gevaert. "If this video can help them remain focused on the post-season down the stretch, that's more than I could have ever hoped for."
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John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press