06/13/2008 2:23 PM ET
@-bat music: Boston Red Sox
World Champs cover much ground with music choices
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
The Boston Red Sox have won two world championships in the last four seasons, so they're obviously doing something right. The hitters who comprise their stacked offensive attack always seem comfortable at the plate, so one wonders how they continue to excel.
Maybe it's the music. The Boston batters and their eclectic mix of walk-up songs get the ancient floorboards of Fenway Park rocking at every sold-out home game, and their multi-cultural song selections resonate to just about every corner of the world.
Some Sox don't want any music, and that's OK, too.
Slugging outfielder J.D. Drew, for example, explains his lack of a walk-up tune by saying, "It got to be one of those things where I thought, 'Well, I could keep coming up to the same song or look for another one,' and I didn't feel like putting the time or effort into it. So now I'm just silent. Just get up there and be ready to play."
Fair enough, but a bunch of the hitters have interesting and sometimes humorous explanations for the origins of their personal plate anthems.
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 world-champion walk-up tunes of the Boston Red Sox:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Song: "Cherub Rock" by Smashing Pumpkins
Ellsbury: "I don't even know what it is. I'm not one of those guys who asks for songs, and I don't really hear it when I'm coming to the plate. I'm just trying to focus on the pitcher and thinking about how he's going to pitch me and what I have to do up there."
David Ortiz, DH
Song: Numerous Dominican reggaeton selections
Ortiz: "What they say is what I am, where I come from. It gets me pumped up. I hear it. I sing to it sometimes, and it fires me up. That's why I picked it."
Manny Ramirez, LF
Song: "Que Voy Hacer Sin Ti" by Paquito Guzman
Ramirez: "I went back old school. It reminds me of when I was in New York in 1985. I went back. An old one, you know?
Critic commentary: "Let's hope Manny doesn't like this summery slice of salsa seduction too much. He might start dancing and forget to bat." --Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Song: "Push it to the Limit" by Rick Ross
Youkilis: "I'm changing mine this year. I have to come up with one. I'm still working on it. 'Push it to the Limit' has a good beat and that's what we try to do around here. We try to push it to the limit every day. Every year I change it up. I'm going to work a new one in here sooner or later. I just play one for the whole year. But it's not a big deal to me. I try to work on hitting and getting healthy."
Critic commentary: "With the MLB record for most consecutive errorless games, this Gold Glove first baseman obviously plays for keeps -- like the movie character this sizzling track samples from 'Scarface.'" --Scott Poulson-Bryant, author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Jason Varitek, C
Song: "Me and My Gang" by Rascal Flatts
Varitek: "I don't really hear it 99 percent of the time. A guy I know who pays attention to these things picked it out and he said that my song was getting old, so that's why he picked it."
Critic commentary: "'We live to ride, we ride to live' sounds sorta like the no-holds-barred, team-first playing style of this rough-and-ready catcher who practically defines lunch-pail player." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Julio Lugo, SS
Song: "Rosalia" by Juan Luis Guerra
Lugo: "It's dedicated to my wife. Sometimes I hear it, sometimes I don't. It brings me up. The message it has makes you feel like you can do it all."
Critic commentary: "If all the horns on this meringue track don't inspire you to get on your feet, you might want to put the hot dog down and check your pulse." --Whitney Pastorek, Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly
Coco Crisp, OF
Song: "Lollipop" by Lil' Wayne
Crisp: "I don't even know the name of it. I picked it, but I don't remember what it is because it was at the beginning of the season. I don't even hear my songs when I come to the plate."
Critic commentary: "Considering his name (the first part of which was legally changed) sounds like a candy bar or a sugary kid's cereal, is it any surprise this speedy outfielder's theme song celebrates the sweet delights of a candy stick?" --Scott Poulson-Bryant, author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.