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06/28/2005 2:52 PM ET
Arroyo previews new album to fans
Pitcher's Covering the Bases to see July 12 release
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Bronson Arroyo played at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston for charity this past January. (Robert E. Klein/AP)
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BOSTON -- Bronson Arroyo doesn't want anyone to get the wrong idea. While he loves his music, he considers himself a Major League pitcher for a world championship team -- not a rock legend.

Still, the musically inclined and vocally talented Red Sox starter, less than 24 hours removed from taking the mound against Cleveland, took time on Tuesday to host a pre-release luncheon for his upcoming album.

Covering the Bases (Asylum Records) will make its official debut on July 12, with a concert and official album release party at the Avalon Ballroom on Lansdowne Street the next day.

The luncheon, featuring a music video sneak peek and two live acoustic performances from Arroyo, was held at Fenway Park's brand-new sports bar, Game On!

"I'm more comfortable pitching in Yankee Stadium in the ALCS than I am playing for you guys right now," Arroyo told the crowd of about 100 gathered around a bar in the one-time bowling alley at the corner of Brookline and Lansdowne. "I don't mind singing, but playing guitar is a whole different thing. I'm definitely not a great guitarist. It's still a little shaky."

The video was the hit of Tuesday's event. Red Sox players Johnny Damon and Kevin Youkilis joined Lenny DiNardo in providing the back-up vocals to Arroyo's version of "Dirty Water," the classic Standells tune played immediately after every Sox win at Fenway.

"Baseball players want to be rock stars," says Damon at the beginning of the video, produced along with the album this past offseason.

The video ends with a scene from the Red Sox's world championship parade last October through the streets of Boston.

And, as is seemingly always the case, there's a link to and competition with the Yankees. Loren Harriet, who joined Arroyo on stage with emcee Greg Hill, produced "The Journey Within," a jazz album by Bernie Williams. That album reached six figures in sales volume.

"I keep saying I just want to beat Bernie," Arroyo said, generating a cheer worthy of a Fenway late-inning rally. "We can't let a Yankee beat us."

But ultimately, Arroyo is more concerned with enjoying and savoring his first formal venture into the recording business.

"It was a fun process because I'd never been in a real studio before," Arroyo said. "I started playing guitar in '99, playing for guys on the team, playing for friends, playing for my wife (Aimee) and having her yell at me because she was tired of hearing the same songs over and over again till I [got] it right."

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and it's no different with Arroyo. With the help of former John Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff and Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez, the Red Sox hurler covers artists such as Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and the Goo Goo Dolls.

"I went out to L.A. Loren put together the superstars of the music industry. It was definitely a little nerve-racking going in there, having to sing with these guys. But once we got in there, everything was smooth, and it was fun," Arroyo said.

The Avalon event on July 13 will also double as another sneak peek. ESPN's ESPY Awards will be taped that night at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, edited, then aired four days later. The Avalon Ballroom is the only venue in the country where fans will be able to watch the ESPYs live, and participate in the show.

Of course, the ESPY Awards have added meaning this year in Boston, as the Red Sox have been nominated for several awards including Best Team, Best Coach/Manager, Best Game (2004 ALCS Game 5) and Best Major League Baseball player (Curt Schilling).

A limited number of $30 tickets to this special concert will be sold and are available at www.teapartyconcerts.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Doors will open for the show at 8 p.m., with the show expected to begin about an hour later.

Mike Petraglia is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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