Oct 082009

Those of you who frequented the Halls of Rock during last year’s baseball playoff season will recall some groundbreaking analyses of the role of players’ walk-up music in determining the outcome of a playoff series. The 2008 Phillies collective playlist was accurately predicted to contribute to wins of both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Looking back, who can’t recall the damage inflicted on the Dodgers’ playoff hopes by Derek Lowe‘s choice of intro music? Remember how we identified the flaws in master baseball DJ Joe Maddon‘s management of his team’s playlist? Rock Town Hall’s tracking of this stuff is probably the next wave of baseball analysis, now that SABRmetrics is becoming established.

In the coming weeks, Rock Town Hall will resume its analysis of the role of walk-up music in the playoffs. We encourage you to begin taking notes on this subject and preparing your own analyses.


  16 Responses to “Talkin’ Baseball Walk-Up Music”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    So far 2 Townspeople have denied the power of walk-up music in determining the outcome of baseball playoff series. Certainly these responses are not from Dodgers or Rays fans!

    I’ll be paying close attention to Ibanez’s walk-up music today. I did some research earlier, and it said he uses a Pearl Jam song. I don’t know a lot of their music, but I do recall him coming to bat with some pretty Burly music.

    Wasn’t it a Dodgers fan in the Hall who suggested that Eddie Vedder should have been on the recent “tool” poll?

  2. mockcarr

    I have to conclude that the walkup music HAS to be holding the Nationals back. I think Kearns could go back to being a productive hitter if he got rid of that top-40 country chart shite he went to the plate with…but, of course, there’s always the chance, that, well, you know, he sucks…or something.

  3. mockcarr

    Plus, I was always a little disappointed that Ryan Zimmerman never used a Dylan song.

  4. mockcarr

    Mod, I can’t get behind a player named for a crappy guitar knock-off. Conversely, I can’t get behind a team who plays in a ballpark named for a crappy beer with Nazi connotations.

    It’s really expensive to be a hockey fan, but in DC, there is no doubt that is the best team right now. Sadly, they give no Stanley Cups for fun.

  5. hrrundivbakshi

    I think teams should have consistent stylistic themes to their walk-up music — and I think an all-classic/guitar rock team would rule the school.

    Walk-up music that needs to be used — I’m not enough of a baseball fan to assign specific players to these based on personality characteristics or specific skill sets. Here you go, though:

    Tush — ZZ Top
    (Come on, man! This would totally induce turtle-headin’ in any pitcher. You’d need to be pretty brawny to step up to the plate for this one.)

    Calling Dr. Love — KISS
    (Fans of the Nationals and future Hall of Famer Elijah Dukes may appreciate how this could be used for any number of leather-gloved Lotharios, including Mr. Dukes. Plus, it’s got the requisite ingredients: killer riff, segueing into a rockin’ groove with manly vocal.)

    Space Truckin’ — Deep Purple
    (Another track custom-designed for a burly DH-type.)

    If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) — AC/DC
    (A clean-up hitter-type number, I think.)

    Lick and a Promise — Aerosmith
    (Seems well-suited for a late-lineup speedster. Watch him shake out those sprinter’s calves as he prepares for his bunt.)

    Revolution — The Beatles
    (This would need to be used for a slightly quirky team member; probably a pitcher. A Dan Quisenberry type.)

    Holidays In the Sun — Sex Pistols
    (GOD, but this is a series-clinching at-the-plate moment waiting to happen. But what kind of player deserves it? It’s perfection — foot-stomping and clapping to get the crowd excited, then the huge power chords as Mr. Ball Player makes his way from the dugout, then, as he digs in, the drums pound out that ratatatat intro as the riff roars into place… perfection!)

    Hello There — Cheap Trick
    (Lead-off hitter!)

    There are more in this genre, but I gotta get back to work.

  6. diskojoe

    The only song I wanna hear at a Red Sox game is “Dirty Water” at the end.

  7. Mr. Moderator

    A friend of the Hall from Boston sent me the following Red Sox walk-up tunes, based on something he read at the beginning of the season:

    Incomplete since it’s based on the early-season roster but…

    Ellsbury – “Let It Rock”, Kevin Rudolf (f. Lil’ Wayne)
    Pedroia – “Dre Day”, Dr. Dre
    Ortiz – “Somos De Calle”, Daddy Yankee; “My Destiny” by Yomo
    Youkilis – “Crank That (Soulja Boy)”, Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em
    Drew – (no music by choice)
    Bay – “Alive”, Pearl Jam
    Lowell – “Bombtrack”, Rage Against The Machine
    Varitek – “Kryptonite”, 3 Doors Down
    Green – “Bet That”, Trick Daddy; “I Run”, Slim Thug
    Kottaras – “Sad But True”, Metallica
    Baldelli – “All Along The Watchtower”, Jimi Hendrix; “Strange Times”, Black Keys
    Lowrie – “The Kids Aren’t Alright”, The Offspring

    It’s great to see that Rocco Baldelli still uses cool rock ‘n roll tunes. He was a standout in last year’s playoffs. It’s tell – of something – that J.D. Drew chooses to use no music. Dickhead!

  8. Is it a coincedence that Baldelli was left off the roster for the ALDS??

  9. diskojoe

    Mr. Mod, you may have an issue w/J.D. Drew because of the fact that he decided not to play for the Phillies, but I agree w/him in not choosing any “walk-up” music. Frankly, “walk-up” music to me is like professional wrestling. I’m surprised that someone who remembers baseball from back in the day would want something like this. Do you think that Mike Schmidt or Larry Bowa needed “walk-up” music? Again, the only song I wanna hear at a Red Sox game is a certain #11 1966 hit by the Standells at the end of the game.

  10. Mr. Moderator

    I’m Olde School about most things regarding baseball and music (and just about everything else, for that matter), diskojoe, but walk-up music is good for the show. It also gives us a rare look into the aesthetic interests of athletes, albeit a mostly terrifying look.

    I need to look up the walk-up music for the Cards’ Matt Holliday. Wonder if it’s Gentleman Jesse’s “Butterfingers”? No offense to my brethern in Baseball Heaven (ie, St. Louis), but I was in heaven watching Holliday drop that ball and Meth Dealer Ryan Franklin blow that save opportunity.

  11. alexmagic

    Baldelli sticks out like a sore thumb in that otherwise sorry walk-up line-up for the Sox. I think we need to score an interview with him here at RTH on the subject of walk-up rock. Somebody get on this.

    Locally, I’m going to launch a campaign to get Ryan Howard to switch over to “House Burning Down” next season.

    HVB: No “Rat Bat Blue” as the preferred walk-up music of choice from Deep Purple? I think anybody using that would be able to add another 20-30 RBIs to their total, easily.

  12. You guys seem to have all the answers for everyone else, so what would YOUR walk up song be?

    Not quite the same but my brothers and I have “paddling out” songs when surfing but they are much more laid back than walk up songs.

  13. BigSteve

    I’m of the old school persuasion. Walk-up music is just one more example of the trend in ballparks to fill up every space — aural, visual, architectural, etc — with stuff that has nothing to do with the game and serves only to distract the attendee from the beauty of the game itself. The soul of baseball is its contemplative quality, as far as I’m concerned, and turning it into a commercial for attention deficit disorder is another sign of the end of civilization.

    And today’s players need to get off my lawn!

  14. I hear you loud and clear Big Steve. I’ll put you down for Sound of Silence.

  15. underthefloat

    A big ditto to what BigSteve said. Our Dome in MN not only has the music but the muffled sounds are all wrong. I try explaining that to younger fans and they dont’ even know what I mean. Anyway OUT DOOR BALL NEXT YEAR!!

    Now for Walk Out music..How about for the ump who made the foul ball call on Mauer’s would be double? Hmmm, anyone know a good song about how being intimidated by a large crowd to the point it influences one’s judgement? Sad way for a team to lose that has played so hard and well in the past month just to get this shot. A win and we just might have won this series despite how certain most are that we didn’t have a shot.

    Yes, yes…Nathan and Gomez lost the game with thier play but this call was crucial. Painful lose.

    Just saying, sorry to gripe. Hopefully you baseball fans understand.
    Back to lurking in the shadows….


  16. Mr. Moderator

    Sorry about your Twins, underthefloat. That call on Mauer was one of this year’s postseason’s many terrible calls.

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