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@-bat music: Florida Marlins06/20/2008 1:40 PM ET
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
They traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis in the offseason, but look at the Florida Marlins now. They're young, they're good, and they're on their way to what might be another surprising season in the tradition of their World Series runs of 1997 and 2003.
So what's going on with this team that's making them unlikely contenders? Maybe it's the music.
A quick clubhouse rundown of the Marlins' walk-up music selections for their home games at Dolphin Stadium reveals a bunch of the usual chart-toppers plus some personal choices and a few moving tributes.
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.
Here are the musical hooks for those finicky, feisty Fish:
Jeremy Hermida, RFSong: "Stricken" by Disturbed
Hermida: "I used to have an old Mystikal song, but I switched with Amezaga and eventually picked this one. I hear it when I'm up there. I don't know if it gets me fired up, but I just pick a song every year, especially at home, where you really want to be productive."
Critic commentary: "This Florida Marlin is stricken with something: In his very first big-league at-bat, this Georgia native hit a pinch-hit grand slam out of Dolphin Stadium. Must be show-stopping skills. Either that or the ability to pick the right alt-metal head-banger to distract the opposing pitcher." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, Author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Mike Jacobs, 1BSong: "Push It" by Rick Ross
Jacobs: "I just like the way it sounds, and I seem to be doing well at home, so that's cool."
Critic commentary: "It's kind of hard to imagine why Jacobs didn't opt for the Salt 'N Pepa classic of the same name, although I suppose Ross is more of a demanding motivator than two 5-foot-3 women with highlighted hair slinging innuendo." --Kenny Herzog, Contributing Editor, Heeb Magazine/Freelance Music Critic
Dan Uggla, 2BSongs: "Bust A Move" by Young MC
Uggla: "It doesn't affect me, really. It doesn't fire me up. There isn't really much to it. I just pick songs I like."
Critic commentary: "It makes enough sense for Uggla to use Young's party staple, since the slugger's been known to move the crowd into a frenzy by hitting home runs more frequently than this track gets played at bar mitzvahs." --Kenny Herzog, Contributing Editor, Heeb Magazine/Freelance Music Critic
Luis Gonzalez, LFSong: "In the Air Tonight" by Nonpoint
Gonzalez: "It doesn't bother me when I'm up there. A lot more guys put a lot more thought into it, and it gets them in their little groove, but I don't pay much attention to it. They only play it for a few seconds anyway, so you hardly get any of the words."
Critic commentary: "With 18 years in the bigs, this Florida-bred outfielder has knocked many a pitch into the air at night, and is surely old enough to remember when this song was a hit for Phil Collins. Now re-making himself as a back-up for the Marlins, maybe he's divining inspiration from this Florida-born band's remake of the sultry single." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, Author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Wes Helms, 3BSong: "The Beautiful People" by Marilyn Manson
Helms: "I love guitar and drums, and this song has great drums and guitar and it gets the adrenaline going a little bit. It gets me going for my at-bat."
Critic commentary: "Maybe I'm not giving Helms' ironic sense of humor enough credit, but has he taken a good look around at his teammates? The cast of 'Melrose Place' they ain't." --Kenny Herzog, Contributing Editor, Heeb Magazine/Freelance Music Critic
Cody Ross, OFSong: "Stronger" and "Good Life" by Kanye West
Ross: "I like Kanye, and I like the lyrics to the songs. The 'Stronger' song is how I feel. No one can hold me down and if it doesn't kill me, it'll make me stronger. 'Good Life' makes me think that as ballplayers, we kind of take things for granted sometimes. Life can be a lot worse, and I think guys get too down on themselves in this game because it's a game of failure. But they shouldn't get down. We should take every day as a blessing. I like for the songs to mean something and I like to hear them. It gives me a lift and pumps me up a little bit."
Critic commentary: "I'm fairly certain Ross doesn't actually get on base unless he's actually circling them, so ironically, he might benefit from getting a little less 'Stronger.'" --Kenny Herzog, Contributing Editor, Heeb Magazine/Freelance Music Critic
Matt Treanor, CSongs: "Dead and Bloated" by Stone Temple Pilots
Treanor: "It's the most violent thing I could think of. Going to the plate, I want to get my mind right with something angry. I'm going to change it this year, though. I need something more violent. Just kidding."
Critic commentary: "Because that's always a mantra that gets peoples' caps turned inside-out during a ninth-inning rally. Unless Treanor's referring to how he's going to render the opposing pitcher." --Kenny Herzog, Contributing Editor, Heeb Magazine/Freelance Music Critic
Alfredo Amezaga, OF/IFSong: "Como Me Duele" by Valentin Elizalde; "Fello" by Fidel Rueda
Amezaga: "They're both Banda songs from Mexico, where I'm from. 'Fello' is my nickname, so I had to pick that song because he says my name over and over. And the other song, the singer was killed at a concert and he was a really good friend of my family, so I picked that song to remember him."
Critic commentary: "Elizalde is a moving choice, as he was notoriously murdered in 2006, but had already become a Banda sensation in Mexico. And if Amezaga can inspire his teammates the same way Elizalde enthralled his audiences, it's hard to argue with this selection." --Kenny Herzog, Contributing Editor, Heeb Magazine/Freelance Music Critic
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.