Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers.
In July, after returning from the DL, Mike Napoli had to settle-up on a bet made in June with FSN’s Emily Jones.
Napoli had picked the Heat to win the NBA Finals, while Jones picked the eventual champion, Dallas Mavericks.
Napoli lost the bet and Jones got to pick out the music he'd walk out to during an at-bat at the Ballpark in Arlington. Jones chose Shania Twain’s “Man I Feel like a Woman” and Right Said Fred’s “I’m too Sexy."
Napoli, who didn’t get a hit that night and jokingly blames the music, is a little sensitive about the matter.
You ever wondered what goes into the other songs that are played with the Rangers step up to the plate?
Anytime you visit the Kinsler/Young/Napoli corner of the clubhouse, you can knock out one interview in a conversation with all three.
Ian Kinsler said players like hearing a song that gets you ready to play. Kinsler said a friend of his helped him pick out his plate music, “Black Betty," but that he also rotates in a Lynyrd Skynyrd song.
When it's not being selected by Emily Jones, Napoli said he changes his music when he gets tired of it and that he prefers music that has a good beat.
That's unlike All-Star Michael Young, who, inspired by Disturbed and the Beastie Boys, has stuck with the same tunes rotating all season.
“I mean to change it, but I just never get around to it. The Beastie Boys were my favorite band when I was a kid, so I like it,” Young said. “In the off-season I worked out to Disturbed, so it just carried over.”
I asked Young if as a teen he thought about what his music would be in the majors. The 34 year-old chuckled and said there wasn’t walk-up music when he watched baseball as a kid ... and it started around the time he did.
Relief Pitcher Darren Oliver said he remembers when pitchers and batters music started as well.
Oliver was already playing several years without the between bat tunes. Oliver was a Rookie in 1993, he’s come out of the bullpen to Michael Jackson’s “Working Day and Night” for a few years now.
“I notice when they play it, but they don’t play our music very long because of all the other stuff going on in the ballpark at that time,” Oliver said.
Oliver adds the guys in the bullpen do critique other players’ music, especially on the road, and, when his team acquires a new player.
“When Mike Adams came over, we all liked his music, its DMX, they definitely don’t play it enough.”
My personal favorite music at the ballpark (Deep in the Heart of Texas excluded) is first-baseman Mitch Moreland’s tune. He’s used the same song all year. The Mississippian rocks out to “Homeboy” by Eric Church. But as much as I look forward to Mitch’s music, he looks forward to what Elvis Andrus will pick.
“Elvis changes it all the time, two or three different songs a game. I like listening, waiting to see what he’s gonna change it to,” Moreland said. Andrus has everything from Latin, rap, hip-hop ... pretty much expect everything but Taylor Swift and Britney Spears.
As much as fans and players enjoy the music, catcher Yorvit Torrealba said the music is important
“You go out there and it gets you going, you find your rhythm, you don’t pressure yourself too much. There’s no stress,” Torrealba said.
The Venezuelan walks up to one song pitcher Alexi Ogando picked out for him and salsa music he used during winter ball last year in his home country.
“It’s a good song, it really just gets me going, you get up there and I just want to dance,” he adds… as he does salsa moves in his chair by the locker.
I asked the guys, if they would ever consider “That’s the way Baseball Go”, the tribute song to Ron Washington. Maybe one night soon someone will toss it into the rotation.
What would your walk-up music be? Leave it in the comments below.