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08/26/2008 4:30 PM ET
@-bat music: Washington Nationals
DC hitters vote for big beats and country treats
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The Washington Nationals are having a rough year in the National League East, but they're playing hard every night under enthusiastic second-year manager Manny Acta and they're getting a a vision of their future by playing the kids.

What's playing on the Nationals Park stereo system when the Nationals go to the plate is a hodgepodge of musical influences that permeate the diverse clubhouse. From straight-up honky tonk to reggaeton to hip-hop, the Nationals have almost every genre covered.

The Bigs List

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 Nationals' anthems:

Hitters

Cristian Guzman, SS

Song:"Lean Back" by Terror Squad
Guzman: "I didn't pick it. I don't care."
Critic commentary: "If only Fat Joe's chest-thumping rhymes could help the humble shortstop lean back clear all the way to Opening Day, when the Nationals still felt like they had a shot at the playoffs. At least Guzman's 2008 All-Star Game seamless stint at third base was memorable."
--Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, People Magazine

Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

Song: "Superstar" by Lupe Fiasco featuring Matthew Santos
Zimmerman: "I didn't pick the song. It doesn't matter to me."
Critic commentary: "Lupe's chill vibe paired with Matthew Santos' plaintive, Coldplay-ish singing doesn't quite betray the tough times that the Nats third baseman and his teammates must be stuck in, even if the former Virginia Cav did tell the Baltimore Sun, 'We know what we're in for here. It's not like we have a $100 million team out there losing 12 in a row.'"
--Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, People Magazine

Austin Kearns, RF

Song: "I Go Back" by Kenny Chesney; "Johnny Cash" by Jason Aldean
Kearns: "I like country music. Switch it around, it's easy to pick any (song). There's no particular thing that sticks out."
Critic commentary: "The twangy, nostalgic ditty by Chesney, the hardest-working singer in country music, could have Kearns -- a stoic, play-through-the-pain kinda guy -- longing for a time when he didn't have post-surgery stiffness in his elbow. Meanwhile, 'Cash,' the Macon, Ga.-born Aldean's boot-stomping road-trip song, is perfect for this injury-prone right-fielder, who just may be headed out of town after the season."
--Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, People Magazine

Lastings Milledge, CF

Song: "Change Clothes" by Jay-Z
Milledge: "Just whatever sounds good. It doesn't really do too much. I don't really get into the walk-out music, it doesn't really matter."
Critic commentary: "With the playoffs out of the question for months, this talented center fielder is apparently already thinking about the after-party. This smoothed-out track is all about getting your groove on with the ladies. We'll have to wait and see if the 23-year-old Milledge has the clout to land a Beyonce-type companion."
--Jim Welte, freelance music writer

Jesus Flores, C

Song: "Na de na" by Angel and Khriz
Flores: "The song makes me get pumped up and I like to hear it. I like to listen when I'm walking to home plate -- it makes me feel more energy."
Critic commentary: "The Venezuelan goes with a reggaeton hit from the club-friendly duo of Angel and Khriz. The track -- the video for which features a Shakira look-a-like dancing in a cage -- has all the hallmarks of reggaeton: thumping bass line, bouncy synths, grating raps and a hilariously repetitive chorus."
--Jim Welte, freelance music writer

Willie Harris, LF

Song: "Dey Know" by Shawty Low
Harris: "I didn't pick it. I don't listen to that stuff. I don't care about all the music."
Critic commentary: "One of the members of the group that brought the world the ringtone hit 'Laffy Taffy' is back for more. Set to an excellent beat that features marching band-style horn breaks, Lo raises the inflection of his voice at the end of each line, holding the last word. The result is some sort of cross between gangsta lean and goo-goo-ga-ga baby talk. And awful. Harris should stick to the instrumental version."
--Jim Welte, freelance music writer

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.

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