Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Many Ways To Have A Good Time
2008-03-18 09:08
by Emma Span

To be honest, I’m sick of spring training. Sure it’s great, in the middle of winter, to get those first photos and videos of the players out in the sunshine... but it’s sort of like watching a singer practice scales or something: interesting enough for a little while, but pretty soon, you just want the show to start. I've therefore been tuning out most of the desultory news from Tampa and, instead, thinking about the really meaningful things. Things like entrance music.

You know you’ve thought about it: if you were a baseball player, what would your at-bat song be?

Originally I was going to write this post about my own ideal selections. (You know, assuming I were good at baseball. And a guy). But every time I sat down to write, I got hopelessly bogged down in iTunes. This is not a simple question. Because first of all, what kind of imaginary baseball player are you? A home run hitter, or a speedy on-base guy? Are you slumping, or on a hot streak? These things matter. Then, of course, it has to be a song that can hold its own in a stadium – Radiohead may be a great band, but nothing from The Bends is going to fire up a crowd of 55,000.

I finally had to admit defeat for the time being, though I did manage to narrow it down to a list of 47 possible songs. (...And just think, my editors wonder why I have trouble making deadlines). So I'm taking the more general approach here, and hoping to get a good discussion going.


Just like some songs will always remind you of a certain phase of your life, or a romance, or a particular movie, some are forever connected in my brain to baseball. First you’ve got the obvious ones, Yankee Stadium songs like “New York, New York,” or “The Boys are Back in Town,” or, God help me, “YMCA.” Children seem to like it, and I suppose that’s why they do it (“you know, for kids!”) -- but the grounds crew dance got old fast, and I’m praying that when the team moves into the new building, they can leave this behind. Also: did anyone ever point out to the organization what that song’s actually about? Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely fine with lyrics about guys cruising for casual gay sex at the Y… I’m just a little surprised that the Steinbrenners are so cool about it. I have to assume that someone, at some point, must have said something; the song’s been out for thirty years, and it isn't exactly subtle to begin with.

Then there’s “Enter Sandman,” of course. I doubt I’ll ever think about anything besides Mariano Rivera when I hear it, even if I live to be 90 -- despite the fact that Mo himself doesn't much care for "that kind of music." Meanwhile, one of the many reasons I was madly in love with Paul O’Neill in my younger days is that he'd come to the plate accompanied by various Bruce Springsteen tracks, and by The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” making him one of the surprisingly few ballplayers with good taste in music.

Unfortunately, song quality doesn't seem to matter when determining what'll stay with you. “Who Let the Dogs Out,” for instance, is tragically seared into my memory, thanks to the Mets' inexplicable and enthusiastic embrace of it during the 2000 World Series. In fact, whenever that Series is mentioned, my mind flashes immediately to Clemens throwing the shard of bat at Piazza, Luis Sojo's Game 5 bloop single, and the damn Baja Men, in that order.

Sometimes a less than great song is still the perfect choice for a certain player: who can forget Gary Sheffield’s flawless Yankee Stadium selection of Ludacris’s “Move, Bitch?” (or, as it was played at the Stadium: “Move, ....., get out the way/ Get out the way, ....., get out the way”). In the midst of his fielding meltdown, Chuck Knoblauch switched his music to Eminem’s bitter “The Way I Am,” and I still think of those painful throws to first whenever I hear it. “This is Why I’m Hot” features some of the silliest lyrics in recent memory, but it was completely appropriate for Alex Rodriguez’s insane 2007 season. And Kyle Farnsworth warms up to some godawful shrieking nu metal thing I can't identify, which, I'm afraid, feels about right.

On the whole, far too few players take advantage of the opportunity for comedy here, but there are always a few standouts. Giambi used to use a WCW Wrestling theme song -- the Wolfpack, I believe. And Mike Myers came out to the “Halloween” theme, which was cool, although it would’ve been much cooler had he pitched well. Cliff Floyd, formerly of the Mets, played the theme from “Sanford and Son.” Personally I’ve always thought it would be great for some aggressive power hitter type, ideally Sheffield, to step into the box with a Tori Amos song blaring one day, just to see the reaction.

So, to get things started, I've got two questions for you guys. First, what’s your at-bat song?

And second, can the Banter community please put its many heads together and, for the love of god, think of a better entrance song for Joba Chamberlain than Tim McGraw’s deeply awful “Indian Outlaw”? Seriously, look at those lyrics. If this kid’s going to be around as long as everyone hopes he will, this could be vitally important.

Comments (73)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-03-18 09:22:05
1.   Alex Belth
How about "Flash" by Queen? LOL. Worked for Will Ferell in "Blades of Glory." How about the theme to Pee Wee's Playhouse. Just something completely bugged. "Cocktails for Two" by Spike Jones. Or "I Feel Pretty" from "West Side Story." No, maybe "Good Foot" by James Brown, or "Can't YOu Hear Me Knockin'" by the Stones. "Ain't No Half-Steppin" by Kane, or the opening to "Going Back to Cali" by Uncle L, or the end bit to "Children's Story..." Knock 'em out the box, Rick, knock 'em out, Rick.
2008-03-18 09:30:26
2.   Raf
I would think my at bat music would probably be Isaac Hayes "Theme to Shaft." Maybe "Freddy's Dead" or "Pusherman" by Curtis Mayfield. Maybe Blackstar's "Definition." Maybe George Duke's "Reach For It." Or given the improbability of my MLB career, I'd probably use the Jackson's 5 "Great to be Here."

If I were a closer coming in from the bullpen, I would choose something pretentious, like "Sprach Zarathustra" or "Pomp & Circumstance"

2008-03-18 09:36:29
3.   Emma Span
1 Yeah, "Can't You Hear Me Knockin" is totally on my list of 47. So is "Rocks Off."
2008-03-18 09:42:49
4.   Alex Belth
Emma, I knew there was a reason we're friends. "Rocks Off" is one of my very favorite Stones tunes. Dag, good call.
2008-03-18 09:46:39
5.   kylepetterson
Making Love out of Nothing at All by Air Supply.
2008-03-18 09:48:36
6.   kylepetterson
In all serious - Further on up the Road - Springsteen.
2008-03-18 09:48:46
7.   Schteeve
I would be a speedy, high OBP good baserunner type dude, and I'd walk up to Jane's Addiction,

"I been caught stealin....ONCE."

2008-03-18 09:49:54
8.   Just fair
P.E.'s "Welcome to the Terrordome" and Beastie Boys "Sabotage" will always get me all fired up. Just don't know how well I could hit bee-bobbin' up to the plate with 55,000 folks screaming. Ah, to find out just once.
2008-03-18 09:50:11
9.   Schteeve
Or Feel me Flow by Naughty by Nature, because that groove is just way too thick.
2008-03-18 09:54:57
10.   ms october
1 that slick rick would be nice and so would 2 blackstar definition

i always wish the really famous guys like arod or jeter or whoever (and no just becuase he was in a song juan pierre doesn't count) would use a line from a song they were in - like arod should come out to jay-z's all i need - shut your bumba i got arod numbers

2008-03-18 09:57:28
11.   thelarmis
sooo nice to have you back emma! : )

last year, there were quite a few threads discussing possible Joba entrance tunes. i think Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills" was the best... someone mentioned AC/DC's "Thunderstruck", too.

"Indians" by Anthrax, might also be a good one for Joba.

There's a lot of good energy songs on the debut Mind Funk cd...

There's gotta be a funny Infectious Grooves song for an at-bat.

Maybe Mo can switch to Van Halen's "Panama" ; )

2008-03-18 10:05:11
12.   unmoderated
this is one of my favorite baseball conversations, and i remember commenting on such things in emma's blog when joba first hit the scene.

theres a great wiki page on songs used by players, which reminded me about cliff floyd and sanford and son.
that has got to be my favorite...

if memory serves, there were some very interesting choices on that list. someone random had elliot smith (ryan freel? is that you?) and there was some belle and sebastian, no joke...

...i'm just gonna go find that page. brb.
nope, cant find it.

2008-03-18 10:11:54
13.   unmoderated
oh, and my entrance music just might be 'this or that'

if i had to bring the rock, it would be the pixies version of 'head on' or sweet's 'fox on the run.' no idea why.

2008-03-18 10:13:58
14.   thelarmis
the style of musik may not fit Sheff, but Skid Row's "The Threat", would be pretty appropriate. too bad the lyrics to Rage Against The Machine's "Killing in the Name", couldn't blare over a stadium PA...

"theme from Sesame Street" for Huston Street.

ooh, there's gotta be some kind of "Taking To Myself..." type of song for Ryan Freel(and Farney, of course!)

for A-Rod's hot streak, he could've used Joe Jackson's "I'm The Man"!

2008-03-18 10:17:06
15.   liam
Nothing from the bends? What about JUST? I'd walk up to the beginning or the solo...
2008-03-18 10:17:44
16.   rilkefan
In the spirit of 1 , I was thinking about one of the maniacal Stalin marches from Shostakovich's symphonies - the 8th or 10th perhaps. Or more conventionally, "Dam That River" by Alice in Chains for the sudden avalanche of sound.
2008-03-18 10:24:16
17.   thelarmis
16 Shostakovich RULES! the 10th symphony is amazing.

Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell" would be a good energy tune...

Led Zep has a bunch of tunes that would work...

2008-03-18 10:27:27
18.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 i found a page for you:
2008-03-18 10:45:10
19.   Adam B
I always thought that "Flash" by Queen would've been funny for Tom Gordon to use.

As for me, I'd use "Ace of Spades" by Motorhead.

2008-03-18 10:48:38
20.   OldYanksFan
Cauz Iz a good time guy, I'd have to go with Sanford/Townsend's Smoke From a Distant fire. If you are over 45 (or not) and don't THINK you know this tune, check it out for a blast from the past.
2008-03-18 10:50:52
21.   JL25and3
Emma, I'm surprised Alex didn't comment on your excellent Coen Brothers reference.

I have no idea what my walk-up music would be, because it would probably (a) change from one day to the next, and (b) be defiantly idiosyncratic. Today might be Doc Watson playing "Way Downtown."

However, if Chris Britton makes the team, I might suggest Howlin' Wolf's "Three Hundred Pounds of Heavenly Joy."

2008-03-18 10:53:21
22.   dlewanda
I've thought about this on more than one occasion. Interestingly, Bernie Williams, arguably the most "musical" Yankee, used no music when he stepped in. I would be hard-pressed to pick something personal when stepping in or coming in from the bullpen - most of my personal tastes are too mellow for a sporting event. I would probably default to a harder classic rock tune, like "Magic Carpet Ride" or "Carry on, Wayward Son"...
2008-03-18 10:59:53
23.   wsporter
21 "However, if Chris Britton makes the team, I might suggest Howlin' Wolf's "Three Hundred Pounds of Heavenly Joy.""

I wondered about that and in keeping with an emerging Queen theme I'm wondering if somehow 'Fat Bottom Girls' might not be appropriate for Mr. Britton.

Farnsworth's would have to be Thin Lizzy's 'Waiting for an Alybi' me thinks.

2008-03-18 10:59:58
24.   dlewanda
22 Here's a NY Times link describing Bernie's preferences (registration required)
2008-03-18 11:01:52
25.   Andre
19 Ace of Spades is a good call

I'd pick Baba O' Reilly (Who), TNT (AC/DC), Long Way to the Top If You Want to Rock N Roll (AC/DC), Thieves and Liars (Ministry), Start Me Up (Stones), opening music to Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine).

2008-03-18 11:25:11
26.   cult of basebaal
hey eric! welcome back! how's atlanta?

here's a few more to throw out there ...

The Thing That Should Not Be ... metallica
Voodoo Child ... Hendrix
Immigrant Song ... Zeppelin

2008-03-18 11:26:52
27.   vockins
I have AB songs for every MLB team. Got caught stuck in an airport a while ago.

Yankees: BDP "South Bronx," Dictators "Next Big Thing," solo Lou Reed version of "Sweet Jane," Moondog once in a blue moon, Talking Heads "Mind"

2008-03-18 11:29:11
28.   vockins
0 The entrance music for Joba Chamberlain is Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills."

Debate over.

2008-03-18 11:34:50
29.   JL25and3
23 I might hold that one out for Bartolo Colon - that or LL Cool J's "Big Ole Butt."
2008-03-18 11:37:08
30.   dianagramr
A-Rod should use Pink Floyd's "Money".

Me? I'd walk up to the plate to the intro music to Deep Purple's "Knockin' on your Back Door"

2008-03-18 11:41:37
31.   Knuckles
I'd go w/ "Improvise" by Jurassic 5 or "Root Down" by the Beasties.
2008-03-18 11:42:41
32.   Bama Yankee
I'm sure that I would get stuck with Sweet Home Alabama just like Andy Phillips and some of the other guys from Alabama... (I like the song, but I might try to do something a little more original)

I always thought that Karim Garcia should use this song:

2008-03-18 12:01:31
33.   tommyl
So many to choose from...a few off the top of my head:

1. Pearl Jam-Even Flow

2. Zeppelin-Battle of Evermore (you know the part where they sing about the ringwraiths)

3. Metallica-Wherever I Roam

4. Guns n Roses-Welcome to the Jungle

5. Pink Floyd-The Wall Part 2

2008-03-18 12:02:02
34.   tommyl
33 Oh, and for my namesake:

The Who-Pinball Wizard

2008-03-18 12:20:02
35.   JL25and3
34 Or if you're mired in a deep slump: "But Tommy doesn't know what day it is..."

Actually, I already sing that for Jim Thome.

2008-03-18 12:20:48
36.   JL25and3
32 I can't get youtube at work, but I hope the link is to the Who song, "Who Are You."
2008-03-18 12:23:17
37.   scopi14
I'm gonna agree with Adam B - I cannot believe some pitcher has not taken 'Ace of Spades' as their anthem yet. The opening to 'Immigrant Song' is fantastic, too. 'The Wizard' by Black Sabbath also has a great beginning. I guess we need to keep in mind, you'd get all of 10-15 seconds as you were striding to the plate or mound.
2008-03-18 12:27:00
38.   tommyl
Oh man, how could I not think of Sabbath's Iron Man? or Iron Maiden-666 many good ones.

I still think Kyle Farnsworth should warmup to Every Rose Has its Thorn

2008-03-18 12:29:07
39.   tommyl
35 Or "Tommy can you hear me?"
2008-03-18 12:29:23
40.   OldYanksFan
Anyone watching the game? For some of those kids, this will be the biggest thrill of their lives.
2008-03-18 12:34:15
41.   glennrwordman
15 Precisely.

Prior to the paragraph that mentions it the first album I thought of from this post was indeed The Bends! Weird...

"Wanted" by Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers.

2008-03-18 12:36:04
42.   tommyl
Of course, for playing the Red Sox you can always try Dropkick Murphys-Shipping up to Boston, just for the irony :).
2008-03-18 12:40:57
43.   Shaun P
For Joba, what about Metallica's "No Leaf Clover" - they'd have to play the chorus. Phil Hughes would say we should use the S&M live version with the orchestra; he apparently loves that album. Hmm, maybe that's the song Hughes will use.

I would go up to Metallica's "I Disappear" because I wouldn't be at the plate (or in the majors) for very long. ;)

2008-03-18 12:41:54
44.   Kels
Gorillaz - Clint would be cued up-to the "Finally, someone let me out of my cage..." part. This is all assuming I'm the 45-50 homer guy that I assume I would be.

And out of curiosity, can players choose anything or are they restricted by music rights?

2008-03-18 12:49:29
45.   Rob Middletown CT
I would use "Sympathy for the Devil" by the Stones. Please allow me to introduce myself (announce my presence with authority?), I'm a man of wealth, and taste :)

"Thunderstruck" by AC/DC would be a good song to use, IMO.
"Devil's Dance" by Metallica...
"Know your Enemy" by Rage Against the Machine (for Sox games)

Ack, I'm blanking. Too much focus on metal in this post.

2008-03-18 12:49:40
46.   pistolpete
11 I believe that was my mention of Thunderstruck - if Joba's not using it, I'll take it – but only if I were a reliever and I'd have the time to jog in from the bullpen while the opening to that song sllllooowly built up.

If I were a position player, I'd have "Slither" by Velvet Revolver.

2008-03-18 12:50:36
47.   MC Safety
How about a closer coming out to "I Wouldn't Wanna Be Like You" by Alan Parsons Project.
2008-03-18 12:53:45
48.   Biscuit Pants
Out of the bullpen, "Dirty Deeds"

Coming to bat, "Sexy M.F."

just because

2008-03-18 13:33:47
49.   joejoejoe
"I Fall to Pieces" by Patsy Cline. I'm not going to lie -- I don't want to face 95 mph pitching.
2008-03-18 13:38:31
50.   joejoejoe
49 That's for me as a batter.

For Joba how about "Nebraska" by Bruce Springsteen?

From the town of Lincoln Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-03-18 13:39:07
51.   OldYanksFan
Unfortunately, "Man I feel like a Woman" is already taken by Papelbom.
2008-03-18 13:44:37
52.   Bama Yankee
36 You got it, JL.

49 LOL. Good point, joe. I'd probably make Billy Crystal look like Rod Carew...

2008-03-18 13:57:44
53.   rilkefan
51 Could do without the casual misogyny.
2008-03-18 13:59:05
54.   Marty
"Death or Glory" by the Clash
2008-03-18 14:17:11
55.   wsporter
Momentary change of subject:

I am so proud of the New York Yankees right now and proud to be a fan.

2008-03-18 14:58:11
56.   underdog
We stole your fun idea on Dodger Thoughts, btw... (although I recall having similar discussion there some time ago, re: theme/at bat music). I do still like Nomar's use of "Lowrider" though it gets old after awhile. I am personally attached to something from Beastie Boys Check Your Head, though I liked Humma's idea of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly theme. If that wasn't already my cell phone ring I'd use that for sure. Er, if I were actually to get a major league at bat, that is.
2008-03-18 16:03:07
57.   cult of basebaal
Angel of Death by Slayer would be great (especially for Frankie Rodriguez!) ... well, except for the part where the lyrics are about josef mengele and all ...
2008-03-18 16:26:14
58.   rip rizz
My at-bat song would be the scratched samples from the beginning of "Rules" by the Wu-Tang Clan: "Both hands clusty / pullin' out gats / double-barrel / blew off the burner kinda dusty" and so on. Mediocre song by Wu standards, but the opening is great.

Doesn't Jeter come up to "The Way You Move" by Big Boi? that's a nice choice.

Send joba out to "bulls on parade" by Rage Against the Machine, I should think.

2008-03-18 17:05:54
59.   Zack
Yeah, the biggest problem with AB songs is that that they get old really quick. Players don't put nearly the time and effort into them as they should. I mean, honestly, what better things do they have to do?

Wouldn't everyone imagine themselves as the 50 HR guy? HRs are sex and power, who doesn't love that? Nobody wants to be David Eckstein, but EVERYONE wants to be Albert Pujols. I mean, this is a fantasy, so why limit yourself? The only way I could see dreaming of being a speedy, toolsy-guy is if that guy is Ricky Henderson or Ty Cobb, and they were so much more than that.

I was kind of thinking I would work my way through albums, you know, all of Beck's Midnite Vultures or Sgt. Pepper's, just to keep it interesting. But if I had to choose one song, I'd probably go with Toots's "Pomps and Pride"

2008-03-18 17:39:33
60.   murphy
the intro to "Epic" by Faith No More.
2008-03-18 17:42:17
61.   murphy
second choice: when the guitar kicks in in "Raining Blood" by Slayer.

my buddy came out his wedding reception to that. classic.

2008-03-18 18:31:12
62.   Aviezer
Sabotage Beastie Boys

Back in black ACDC

Ironman Black Sabbath

Crazy train Osborne

8th commandment Sonata Arctica

2008-03-18 18:47:39
63.   OldYanksFan
Since 1948: "After 60 years in Vero Beach, Fla., heartbroken Dodger fans will watch their last game at Dodgertown on March 17."

Not to mention the 'wrecking' of Yankee Stadium, I hate to see so much tradition lost. And it really bothers me that the new Stadium will cost $1.3+ billion, and it doesn't even have a roof.

2008-03-18 18:57:56
64.   wsporter
What'll I do? - Irving Berlin.
2008-03-18 19:01:53
65.   Chyll Will
The menu loop from the second disk of "Afro Samurai" Season 1. That's my bid...
2008-03-18 19:05:54
66.   Orly Yarly NoWai
If I were a pitcher, Emperor's amazing cover of "A Fine Day to Die," originally by Bathory. As an offensive player, almost certainly Accept's "Fast as a Shark."

Zack, I always see myself as Curtis Granderson, not Pujols. Maybe it's because I'm smaller than Eckstein (but still don't care that he's short).

I'd like to see Giambi step up to "Wenches and Mead" by Alestorm. Robinson Cano; Gamma Ray's "Shine On." Joba, I think, should come out to something like Candlemass, though "Run to the Hills" is a solid choice. For the Yankees as a whole, "Champagne Bath," Sonata Arctica.

Barry Zito should warm up to "Z.I.T.O." by Angra. Manny Ramirez? "Sweet Leaf," by either Black Sabbath or Green Carnation, pick the version you like. Over in LA, Torre's designated 'guy who will pitch too many innings' should get the choruses of "Do It Again" and "Dirty Work" by Steely Dan.

In basketball, Sam Cassell should always be introduced to "Big Balls," by AC-DC.

2008-03-18 20:48:12
67.   bobtaco
For myself, I'd like Sly and Robbie's Superthruster,


DJ Shadow's Midnight in a Perfect World,

If I was Matsui, something by DJ Krush, maybe Kemuri,

2008-03-18 21:09:29
68.   Adrian
I know none of you will have the slightest idea what song I'm talking about, but:

Joba's theme should be "When the Lights Go Out" by the Black Keys. It's got a great rhythmic-yet-intimidating blues hook, and the refrain is "You'll know what the sun's all about when the lights go out."

A-Rod's theme should be "Stronger" by Kanye West.

Me? My theme would be something like "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man" by Muddy Waters.

2008-03-18 23:15:25
69.   RustyJohn
If I were a position player and coming up to bat it would be either:
"Tom Sawyer" by Rush
"Renegades of Funk" by Rage

If a pitcher warming up it would be:
"Cochise" by Audioslave
"Club Foot" by Kasabian

If I had 21 minutes to spare during a rain delay it would be either:
"2112" by Rush or, if everyone in the stands wanted to smoke out during the delay, "Echos" by Pink Floyd

2008-03-18 23:19:57
70.   RustyJohn
And I'd want them to play the Renegades of Funk video on the big screen instead of my stats
2008-03-19 00:04:34
71.   RustyJohn
I'm going tosound like an absolute geek (dude, I've been listening to a lot of Rush recently) butJoba should use Rush's "One Little Victory"- great drum intro
2008-03-19 10:11:46
72.   wsporter
Rush? I will have to admit that I didn't see that coming.
2008-03-19 11:51:48
73.   Seaver
I would pick one of the following:
Iggy & The Stooges-"Search & Destroy"
The Replacements-"IOU"
Rolling Stones-"Midnight Rambler"
Dictators-"Faster & Louder"
Led Zeppelin-"Out On The Tiles"

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