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@-bat music: Oakland Athletics09/26/2008 12:57 PM ET
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
The Oakland A's are closing out a disappointing, injury-laden season for a club that usually defies expectations -- and payroll limitations -- under the watchful eye of super-GM Billy Beane. The coming years are promising, with many young, talented players learning the Major League game right now and poised for future success. But maybe there needs to be help from other areas, too.
Check out the A's walk-up music, for example. Well, try to check it out, because there isn't much of it.
Several players, such as shortstop Bobby Crosby and catcher Kurt Suzuki, have decided to forgo the selection of personal at-bat songs, while outfielder and designated hitter Jack Cust has a different reason for taking his cuts in silence.
"I've had songs and I tried some this year, but I didn't get any hits, so I canceled them," Cust says. "I said, 'Listen, no music.' Not that it changed anything, but it's too late now. Next year I'll start over and see what happens."
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 have changed over the course of the 2008 campaign for various -- and often superstitious -- reasons, but rest assured that we've been featuring the songs straight from the players' plate play lists at press time.
Here are (what remains of) the A's anthems:
Daric Barton, 1BSong: "Becoming the Bull" by Atreyu
Barton: "It's just the kind of music I like -- hard rock. It gets me pumped up a little bit and it's a good tune."
Critic commentary: "RWAAAAARGH! This Atreyu cut makes you wanna base-brawl, but it also seems more like a slugger's song. Guns N' Roses' 'Patience' or Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way' would go better with this guy's super-selective batting style." -- Ernest Jasmin, Pop music critic, Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune
Emil Brown, OFSong: "The Kiss" (from the soundtrack of the film "Last of the Mohicans") composed by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman
Brown: "I liked the movie a lot, and then I heard the song on a Nike commercial with Stephen Jackson and Shawne Merriman. I like the drama of the song, and the strings really make it powerful. I just like it, and I know it's a song that never gets played out."
Critic commentary: "I thought walk-up music was supposed to fire the crowd up, not lull everyone to sleep. If you're going for cinematic, next time try that scary theme from 'The Phantom Menace.'" -- Ernest Jasmin, Pop music critic, Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune
Jack Hannahan, 3BSong: "Kiss Me I'm Irish" by Gaelic Storm
Hannahan: "It's an Irish jig by my buddies from a tavern in St. Paul, Minn., called Shamrocks. They're my friends from back home and they bought an Irish bar. It reminds me of home, and it's a catchy jig. It gets people going in the stands. It's an uplifting song."
Critic commentary: "'I only drink on the days of the week that end with a y'? What is this? Promote-an-Irish-stereotype Day? I'd rock some Pogues or that metal mix of House of Pain's 'Shamrocks and Shenanigans.' Or just steal Emil Brown's song, which is on the Celtic side, too." -- Ernest Jasmin, Pop music critic, Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.