08/05/2008 12:54 PM ET
@-bat music: Arizona Diamondbacks
Hot hip-hop and country play loud in the desert
By Doug Miller and Mike Ritter / MLB.com
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a young, exciting team -- one that surprised people by making it to the National League Championship Series last year and one that's in contention in the NL West this season. Their youthful swagger on the field is matched by an enthusiastic appreciation for all types of music, and those influences show up when it's time for the D-backs to stride to the plate.
The current Arizona walk-up music play list includes plenty of contemporary hip-hop, a couple of country tunes for some down-home hitters, some alt-pop and even a little metal for the masses.
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 change over the course of the 2008 campaign for various -- and often superstitious -- reasons, but rest assured that we're featuring the songs straight from the players' plate play lists at press time.
Here are the Snakes' songs:
Stephen Drew, SS
Song: "Swing" by Trace Adkins
Drew: "At one point I didn't even come out to any music. For me, I don't really care about it. The other guys were saying they wanted me to have a song, so that's how it works for me. It's country and I like country music, so it's not too bad. I'm a low-key guy. I just go out and play every day and just have fun with the guys."
Critic commentary: "Adkins, a self-described 'free-thinking roughneck' who was once shot in the chest by an ex-wife, equates taking a swing to wooing a lady in a nightclub in this hilariously trite ditty. He belts out such gems as, 'Everybody strikes out nine times out of 10 / But you've gotta step up to the plate, because every now and then...' It's worked for Drew, though, as the young shortstop is hitting nearly 40 points higher this year than last." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Orlando Hudson, 2B
Song: "Be Easy" by T.I.; "Down With the King" by Run DMC; "Tuck Ya Ice" by Trick Daddy; "I Run This" by Birdman
Hudson: "All those songs make you feel good. It gets your mind right. It kind of pumps you up. That's why we come out to those songs. It gets you going and makes you feel good when you're coming up to the plate."
Critic commentary: "TI claims to be 'outta your range' in 'Be Easy,' which just about sums up the lunging, Gold Glove-winning style of Arizona's 'O-Dawg,' who will make a play for a ball way out of most other second basemen's reaches. Apparently he's also reaching for legendary status, too. Why else would a relatively new-school kat like Hudson be down with Run-DMC?" --Scott Poulson-Bryant, Author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Conor Jackson, LF
Song: "Say Yeah" by Wiz Khalifa
Jackson: "I just like the beat. There's no particular reason. I just heard it and liked it. It's got a little techno beat in it, too. That's how I roll."
Critic commentary: "Isn't this the dude who blew off a cycle earlier this season, ending up with two triples instead of the double he needed? Either he's not a glory hound or he just wants to win. Either way, he's got good taste to go with his good game: Wiz Khalifa's the bomb." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, Author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Chad Tracy, 1B
Songs: "These Are My People" by Rodney Atkins
Tracy: "I like it. It's got a good chorus to it. It kind of plays along with, 'these are my fans.' I've been here five years now. The song goes, 'It's not always pretty, but it's real.' I guess you could read into it. It's not always pretty, but you get the job done and find a way to win. It just gives you a good feeling. It's one of those feel-good songs, for me at least."
Critic commentary: "'Ain't always pretty but it's real...' Or so goes the lyric in the country ditty that accompanies this North Carolina native to the plate. Appropriate, right? He doesn't have the prettiest game in the league -- too many strikeouts, and a bunch of errors a coupla seasons back -- but Tracy keeps the Diamondback fans happy." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, Author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Song: "Island in the Sun" by Weezer
Reynolds: "If you're not feeling good with one song, you switch it up to another, but honestly, I don't even hear it when I come up to the plate."
Critic commentary: "Possibly hoping to lull opposing pitchers into complacency, the hot-hitting Reynolds steps up to bat to the lilting pop of one of Weezer's most popular songs. It seems like more of an introspective pick than anything else, and clearly it gets Reynolds in the right frame of mind to swing away." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Justin Upton, RF
Song: "The Hand Clap" by Hurricane Chris; "Dey Know" by Shawty Lo; "Get Like Me" by David Banner; "Make Way" by Birdman
Upton: "I like the songs. They make me feel good when I come up to the plate. I mean, I like listening to music and those are just some good songs. I always listen to rap on the way to the ballpark, but it depends. Sometimes I mix it up a little bit."
Critic commentary: "The light-hitting Upton, out since July 9 with a strained oblique, has subscribed to his teammate's strategy of making ears bleed at Chase Field. 'The Hand Clap' is the pick of this litter, as Hurricane Chris solicits applause and asks you to clap for him 'like it's some sort of disease.' Indeed." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Chris Young, CF
Song: "Get Silly" by V.I.C.; "Umma Do Me" by Rocko; "A Millie" by Lil Wayne; "Life of the Party" by Snoop Dogg
Young: "It just makes you feel good when you come up to the plate. It's whatever floats your boat to get you in the flow. Obviously the game is going to give you a lot of it, but you like to feel good when you walk up to the plate. Everybody picks their style of music that they like to listen to when they're trying to have a good time. Tracy comes out to country and Stevie comes out to country, me and O come out to hip-hop and who knows what C.J. comes out to. It's different for everybody, but normally it's something that you listen to on a regular basis. It's going to be the same music that I listen to when I'm driving to the ballpark."
Critic commentary: "Unable to settle on one track to show off his atrocious taste in hip-hop, Young has opted for a quadruple dip. 'Life of the Party' wins out because it's the only one that doesn't induce some sort of uncontrollable, ear-splitting twitch." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Chris Snyder, C
Song: "Bleed It Out" by Linkin Park
Snyder: "I like the song. It's a good song. There are a couple good parts in it. There's nothing sentimental about it. I just like the song. I'm a music fan. I don't really have a certain genre. I just like good music and that's a good song."
Critic commentary: "This dude must be extra tough, considering the horrific nature of his recent injury to an extra-sensitive area -- I didn't even know fractures there were possible -- that put him on the DL earlier this season. Or is it the thrashing metal-rap of Linkin Park that provides all the energy?" --Scott Poulson-Bryant, Author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.