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@-bat music: Seattle Mariners04/11/2008 11:44 AM ET
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
The Mariners have always been one of the most international teams in baseball, with six different countries -- United States, Japan, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela and Puerto Rico -- featured in this year's starting lineup alone, not to mention Canadian No. 1 starter Erik Bedard.
Naturally, this variety of cultures and musical preferences -- plus a very creative club marketing department -- has produced a smorgasbord of vastly different walk-up songs.
MLB.com/Entertainment will be getting to the bottom of the Major League tradition of walk-up music all season long by going from clubhouse to clubhouse and getting cutting-edge commentary from the players, the organizational brass, and some of the best music critics in the business. Song choices will change over the course of the 2008 campaign for various -- and often superstitious -- reasons, but rest assured that we'll feature the songs straight from the players' plate play lists at press time.
So to start our series, we venture to the northwest corner of the country for one of the most eclectic walk-up mixes in the league, Seattle style:
1. Ichiro Suzuki CFSong(s): "Amagigoe" by Sayuri Ishikawa (alternates are "Royal Chocolate Flush" by MISIA and "Ishin Denshin" by MISIA)
Critic commentary: "'Amagigoe' is more a song for middle-aged people in Japan. It's kind of a mixture of soul and country, at least the equivalent of that in Japan." --Keizo Konishi, Kyodo News
2. Jose Lopez 2BSong(s): "Sabor a Beisbol" by Victor Manuelle
Lopez: "It's nice to have a salsa song when I go to home plate. It makes me feel like I'm at home and comfortable."
3. Raul Ibanez LFSong(s): "Werewolves of London" by Warren Zevon
Gregg Greene, Mariners marketing director: "A few years ago someone suggested it because when Zevon howls before the chorus, it sounds a lot like he's saying, 'Ra-uuuuuuuuuuul.' So we started putting the word up on the board and everyone got into it."
Critic commentary: "Hopefully this classic about United Kingdom night prowlers by the late crooner will help Ibanez put some English on the ball." --Kenny Herzog, Editor-in-Chief, CMJ New Music Monthly
4. Richie Sexson 1BSong(s): "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin
Greene: "It just sounds cool and the crowd really gets into it."
Critic commentary:" A classic rocker for spanking the ball all the way to Valhalla -- and making relieved M's fans go, "Ah-ah-ah-AH!" --Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, PEOPLE magazine
5. Adrian Beltre 3BSong(s): Unlabeled Dominican dance mixes
Beltre: "It's important to go to the plate full of adrenaline, and that's what these songs gives me. I'm not looking for a romantic song in this situation. I just want to be pumped up and ready to hit."
6. Brad Wilkerson, RFSong(s): "Jumping Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones
Greene: "He's new to the team, so we just picked a classic stadium song for him."
Critic commentary: "Hey, if the Wilk can hammer three homers in one game to this summery Stones staple, it'll be a gas, gas, gas." --Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, PEOPLE magazine
7. Jose Vidro DHSong(s): "Rumor De Guerra" by Hector El Father
Vidro: "He's a good friend of mine, so having his song up there when I get to the plate makes me pretty comfortable. Sometimes I don't even hear it, though, because I'm thinking about nothing but what I have to do in the batter's box."
8. Kenji Johjima CSong(s): "Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix
Player comment: "The organization picked the songs they play during my at-bats, but I'm so concentrated about my at-bat that I don't even hear the song they play when I step up to the plate."
Critic commentary: "Hendrix may have questioned his titular character's motivation for the gun in his hand, but there's little doubt about what Johjima will do with the bat in his clutches." --Kenny Herzog, Editor-in-Chief, CMJ New Music Monthly
9. Yuniesky Betancourt SSSong(s): "Represent" by Orishas
Greene: "This one was suggested to us recently because they say, 'Cuba' over and over again in the song, and Yuni's from Cuba."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.