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@-bat music: San Diego Padres05/09/2008 12:14 PM ET
By Doug Miller and Mike Scarr / MLB.com
There is no need for an intro; an explanation wouldn't do it justice. It tolls and everybody just knows.
Music and the Padres can be linked by one song with its funeral-dirge opening of bells slowly ringing as if from a town square tower. It is, of course, AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" and the anthem signals the unmistakalbe arrival of closer Trevor Hoffman to seal the deal on a victory. But there are also the songs that precede Hoffman's ninth, and those help announce Padres players as they step to the plate.
"It's not as long as Hoffman's, but it's something I have fun with," Brian Giles said, referring to a Red Hot Chili Peppers tune, "Scar Tissue," he chose to reflect his off-season surgery.
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 soliciting 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.
Quite a few Padres -- third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, center fielder Jim Edmonds, shortstop Khalil Greene, second baseman Tad Iguchi and catcher Josh Bard -- have opted out of choosing walk-up tunes, interestingly enough.
"I told them I don't want to have anything playing," Edmonds said. "I haven't done that in a few years. It's not a big thing. It's just not something I care much about."
Greene, meanwhile, had a slightly different reason behind his choice to stride to the plate in silence.
"It was just something that after a while it was something I didn't want to have to worry about," Greene said. "I'm a pretty big music fan and I enjoy the subtleties of it and the timing. It can evoke different emotions in different situations, and sometimes I felt it became a little bit distracting, whether it was up-tempo (or not), but I've never really hit well at home anyway, so I guess it wouldn't really matter."
Despite all that, here are the bells that are tolling in San Diego:
Brian Giles, RFSong: "Scar Tissue" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Giles: "I chose it probably because I had a micro-fracture this winter and had surgery. I listened more closely during the preseason because I wanted to make sure they played it in the right spot. But you're so focused on what you're trying to do up there that I don't think you pay attention that much."
Critic commentary: "Seeking motivation in the pain and gain of his offseason knee surgery, Giles leads off backed by this desolate ode to taking life's metaphorical punches. Giles also throws the surfer crowd a bone with John Frusciante's slinky slide guitar ... space out, dudes." --Jim Welte, Editor, MP3.com
Scott Hairston, CFSong: "Electric Worm" by Beastie Boys
Hairston: "I think a song puts me in a frame of mind where I want to be on the field. It is just one of those things that gets me pumped up. Guys have different reasons for different things. I hear it. I'm ready to go. It helps, like when you're lifting weights, you want to hear a song that will get you pumped. When you're walking up to the plate, you want something that will get you excited and pump you up for what you are about to do."
Critic commentary: "The hoops-loving Beasties are ballers of a different stripe, and while this funky instrumental jam might induce a shimmy out of Hairston, a track with a bit more muscle ('Fight For Your Right to Party,' anyone?) might help the young center fielder get out of the .200 doldrums." --Jim Welte, Editor, MP3.com
Adrian Gonzalez, 1BSongs: "Everybody Get Up/Levantate" by Pit Bull and "Mariachi Loco" by Mariachi Vargas
Gonzalez: "I like to be able to touch both the Spanish-speaking and the English-speaking communities. I like to have things that have a little background to me and have a little motivation to them, a song that I feel I can get the crowd involved and at the same time get my head on straight, but it's more to get the crowd involved. It's entertainment."
Critic commentary: "The slugger has his bases covered with this bilingual track from the Miami-based rapper: A little Español to honor his Mexican heritage; feisty hand-claps to get the blood flowing; easily interpreted, oft-repeated lyrics that help the crowd know what to do when he approaches the plate. Now if only Pit Bull had a song about moving outfield fences in ..." --Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Paul McAnulty, LFSong: "Black Betty" by Ram Jam
McAnulty: "It's a little rough and helps to get me in a mindset when I'm going to go up and battle. It's the only thing I can hear. I listen for it. It helps me clear my mind."
Critic commentary: "This crunchy Leadbelly remake is all rawkin' and whatnot, but its overuse as incidental stadium music over the years means it's not only tired, but cliché. You've got a starting gig now, Paul; time to leave amateur hour behind. Suggested updates: Black Keys, "10 A.M. Automatic"; Detroit Cobras, "Shout Bama Lama." --Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.