08/12/2008 1:13 PM ET
@-bat music: Pittsburgh Pirates
Inner rockers come out in Bucs' stadium soundtracks
By Doug Miller and Todd Krise / MLB.com
The Pittsburgh Pirates play in one of the most beautiful new stadiums in the game, PNC Park, where an upper-deck seat gives you a killer view of the Allegheny River, the bright yellow Roberto Clemente bridge and downtown. The sparkling ballpark, which opened in 2001, also has another enticing feature: a Major League stereo system.
The Bucs' batters take advantage of that every night, blasting their personalized at-bat music, which is an eclectic combination of classic-rock fare, the usual latest in hip-hop hits, a little bit of old-school and a touch of new metal, too.
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 Bucs' ballads:
Freddy Sanchez, 2B
Song: "The Way I Are" by Timbaland
Critic commentary: "Fitting enough that a Pirate would adopt this song by the super-producer-turned-MC: it's a sure way to get some booty out on the dance floor." --Kenny Herzog, freelance music writer
Doug Mientkiewicz, IF/OF
Song: "I Stand Alone" by Godsmack
Mientkiewicz: "It's just you and the [batter's] box. That's it. It's just you. No one else can help you but you. You're in the batter's box by yourself. It's a fitting term for me, so I've always liked it."
Critic commentary: "Doug Mientkiewicz, Scorpion King? The sure-handed first baseman, a consummate pro for 10 years, goes with a two-time Grammy winner that was the featured song off the soundtrack for the Rock's 2003 coming-out party as a greased-up Hollywood action hero. The track is an oft-used choice, as both Roy Oswalt and Mientkiewicz's new teammate, Craig Hansen, have used it as an entrance song." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Song: "Back in Black" by AC/DC
LaRoche: "I was a sophomore or junior in high school and I used to go to the University of Arkansas to watch them play. We took a road trip to watch them go play baseball games. I remember Ryan Lundquist used to come out to AC/DC's 'Back in Black.' The place would just go nuts. We were up in the stands. It was awesome. I remember saying that if I get somewhere that I'm coming out to music, that's going to be it. Two or three years ago, I started coming out to it. I changed it once and awhile, but I always come back to it."
Critic commentary: "At the risk of being harsh or speaking in unnecessary fiscal metaphors, LaRoche might want to work on refurbishing his stats before insinuating he's found his way out of the red." --Kenny Herzog, freelance music writer
Nate McLouth, CF
Songs: "For You" by Staind
McLouth: "No reason. I just like the song."
Critic commentary: "You don't want to read too much into these walk-up picks. Maybe McLouth just likes the punishing guitar licks or Aaron Lewis' earnest-yet-ominous voice. There's no way this fast-rising center fielder, a first-time All-Star this season, is filled with the song's sappy, angst-ridden desire to be understood and to gain more attention. Right?" --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Ryan Doumit, C
Song: "Mother" by Danzig
Doumit: "It's the first song that I had since I came [to Pittsburgh]. I just stuck with it."
Critic commentary: "Great pick -- an ominous reminder to pitchers not to mess with Doumit, from metal vets Danzig's 1988 self-titled debut. Over husky guitars and a driving hard rock beat, Glenn Danzig warns all mothers, 'If you want to find hell with me, I can show you what it's like.' Lucky for opposing teams, no Major League pitchers are also mothers." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Steve Pearce, RF
Song: "You Don't Know" by Eminem featuring 50 Cent
Pearce: "I wanted something with a good intro. That's really the main part -- something to get you pumped up."
Critic commentary: "A pretty risky song choice for someone who is, in fact, a relative obscurity to most baseball fans. Unless Pearce has an unusually self-deprecating sense of humor for a ballplayer." --Kenny Herzog, freelance music writer
Jack Wilson, SS
Song: "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones
Wilson: "[Pirates broadcaster] Greg Brown gave me that nickname Jumpin' Jack Flash probably in my second year in the big leagues. They kind of just played that one day and it makes sense, I guess. I think the fans really took to the name more than I did. People want me to sign Jumpin' Jack Flash for autographs. It works for me. It's nice not always having to think of a new song every year. I think it would only be here in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is pretty much a rock town. It makes sense to [have it]."
Critic commentary: "You simply can't argue with a classic. Amidst all the nu-metal and hip-hop fare most used for walk-ups, it's nice to see someone has a taste for the old school. Wilson and the since-traded Jason Bay have been the face of the Pirates for years. But let's see what his game is like when he's 65 years on, like Mick and Keith." --Jim Welte, freelance music writer
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. Todd Krise is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.