During the NLCS we gave great attention to the musical “walk-up” match-ups between the Phillies and the Dodgers. I’m not going to rehash the key theme songs for players on the Phils. If you’re interested in a recap check out here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Considering I have no RTH counterpoint based in the Tampa area who would care to monitor any fair-balanced analysis I’d give to the Rays, I won’t get into much depth. I do think it’s important, however, that we preview some of the key musical offerings in this series and provide a place for a little baseball chatter. Here goes!
Everyone knows that a key battle will be between the Phils’ Chase Utley‘s walk-up theme, Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, and Rays’ Game 1 starter, Scott Kashmir. Whoever owns the song in the players’ head-to-head confrontations may own the series.
Rays’ outfielder Rocco Baldelli was always an easy guy to root for during the team’s sad-sack formative years. Along with leftfielder Carl Crawford, Baldelli was long a rare shining Ray of Hope. Plus he’s got a cool name and now he’s coming back from a rare, career-threatening disease. I’d never paid any attention to Baldelli’s walk-up music before this series. His rotation of Cream‘s “Sunshine of Your Love”, The James Gang‘s “Funk #49”, and Black Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” should be pitched to very carefully.
For baseball reasons alone I’m hoping that the Phils don’t have to see much of Cliff Floyd. During his long, injury-plagued NL career, he was a surefire Phillies Killer, sure to come up with a big hit or snare a ball headed over the leftfield wall. His intro music is Jeezy‘s “Put On”. KingEd played me some of that stuff last year. Yuck! We can pitch to this guy.
ALCS MVP Matt Garza seems like a cool enough guy, despite the lasting image my wife has embedded in my head, when she walked by the tv and said, “Eww! How much can he spit? Look at his tongue. He looks like a llama!” In his postgame interview after beating the Red Sox he made mention of listening to lots of hip-hop on his iPod. I like the title of his intro theme, “Hip-Hop Police”, by Chamillionaire. Watch it, Moms and Dads, Garza’s working blue!
The rest of the team’s key players have typically lame walk-up themes. To be honest, I’m not real familiar with some of the deep reserves on the Rays’ bench and bullpen. Some outfielder named Justin Ruggiano uses Jimi Hendrix‘s “Fire” and a pitcher named Jason Hammel uses The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black”. I don’t recall these guys having much of an impact during the ALCS. I hope I’m not overlooking manager Joe Maddon‘s bench. Maddon may be the type to sit on these key walk-up themes until just the right moment.
I’ve got some research to do on Maddon. He likes to play up his Renaissance Man/Cool, Hip, and 45 persona. It’s highly engaging, but the grooves don’t lie! I heard him talking rock music after beating the BoSox the other night. He made mention of a cool band or two before settling on The Boss. That may tell me something. Stay tuned!