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@-bat music: Cincinnati Reds09/04/2008 12:21 PM ET
By Doug Miller and Brandon Harris / MLB.com
The Cincinnati Reds play in one of the smaller and cozier stadiums in baseball, a place where you can comfortably see the diamond from every seat, watch homers fly out of the yard at alarming rates, and hear the loud music that announces the Reds' hitters as they stride to the plate.
The Reds have a diverse roster, and with that comes a smorgasbord of musical tastes. So when it comes to choosing at-bat music, the Reds go for classic rock, reggaeton, the latest in hip-hop, and even a 1970s novelty song or two: just enough variety to spice up Dusty Baker's National League Central team.
MLB.com/Entertainment has been 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 Reds' tunes:
Jeff Keppinger, SSSong: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC
Keppinger: "I have no idea. It's just whatever they've thrown up there. I didn't choose it."
Critic commentary: "Given this shortstop's batting average vs. the amount he's getting paid relative to, say, Miguel Tejada, I'd say yes, this song works."--Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Brandon Phillips, 2BSongs: "Snap and Roll" by Soulja Boy; "Get Silly" by V.I.C. featuring Soulja Boy; "The Boss" by Rick Ross featuring T-Pain; "Umma Do Me" by Rocko; "Let Me Get 'Em" by Soulja Boy; "Crank Dat Batman" by Pop It Off Boyz
Phillips: "The songs that I have, they're songs that get me motivated and give me energy to go up there and hit. And there are others that describe me as a person. I like 'Get Silly' because I'm a silly person. I like 'The Boss' because I feel like I'm the boss, like I'm the man. Sometimes you have to feel like that. I like 'Umma Do Me' because I feel like I've got to do what I've got to do to help the team. I like playing songs that describe me as a person. Some songs that describe me as a person also motivate me to get things done."
Critic commentary: "Look, Brandon, we get it: With the exception of the Rick Ross ditty, you like the sort of non-melodic crunk-hop songs featuring irritating repeated catch phrases that tend to be featured in those late-night commercials encouraging you to text a random number to some other random number to get a free ringtone. I can only suggest getting more sleep."--Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Joey Votto, 1BSong: "Black Betty" by Ram Jam
Votto: "I didn't choose it. They just gave it to me. To be honest, when I'm going up to bat, I don't hear a single thing. I'm just concentrating on hitting."
Critic commentary: "Is that Freedom Rock, man? Well, turn it up, man! The Toronto-born Votto swings for the fence on this one. One-hit wonder? Check. Ridiculous band name? Check. Unapologetic and proud Southern rock? You betcha." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Edwin Encarnacion, 3BSong: "Alo" by Los Hermanos Rosario
Critic commentary: "Nice horns, solid rhythms, excellent Dominican flavor equals another one of those generic salsa/merengue numbers that are perfect for a hot summer afternoon at the ballpark. You know, ballparks should really serve more umbrella drinks in general." --Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Jay Bruce, RFSong: "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath; "Don't Bring Me Down" by Electric Light Orchestra
Bruce:: "I didn't pick those. I haven't picked any, so I don't really care."
Critic commentary: "Yes, yes, 'Iron Man,' you are one, I am dozing off, and then -- A-WOO-hoo, what's this?? Jay Bruce, kudos to you for the first truly wonderful and unexpected batting music I've been asked to judge in this 2008 season. It's harmonic and catchy, it's family-friendly, and most of all, it's fresher than a day-old kitten. Well done, sir!" --Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Paul Bako, CSong: "Shape of Things to Come" by Audioslave
Bako: "I used it last year. I like Audioslave. They're not my favorite band, but I like the beginning of that song. It's a cool song intro. You can play it from the top and it's kind of cool."
Critic commentary: "Not a bad choice, but not particularly compelling. Chris Cornell croons and swoons over both bulky guitar riffs and lighter rhythmic interludes. Not sure what's more generic: this song or Bako's at-bats." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Corey Patterson, CFSong: "Stronger" by Kanye West
Patterson: "They just picked this one for me. It's fine. It's cool. Other times, I've picked ones that I liked. I think it's good for the game to have the music. Sometimes it's interesting to see what songs everybody has."
Critic commentary: "Lines like 'bow in the presence of greatness' and a batting average below the Mendoza Line don't go well together, but Kanye's remake of the Daft Punk classic is a cool choice, both urgent and danceable." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Jerry Hairston Jr., IF/OFSongs: "Kiss Kiss" by Chris Brown featuring T-Pain; "Top Down" by Swizz Beatz
Hairston: "I've got the best songs out of anybody. They're just a couple songs I like. There's no reason. I needed to pick songs, and at the time, those were the songs I liked."
Critic commentary: "Hairston looks to get his swerve on with two club hits. The first features Brown and T-Pain laying down the burden of having too many girls to choose from. On the second, super-producer Swizz Beatz tries to fend off the haters by riding with his top down. Owning a convertible never seemed so vital." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.