Saturday, December 29, 2012

Offseason Space-Filler Post: Top 5 At-Bat Songs

At-bat music has always been a fun part of baseball, at least for me.  Some guys have really kickass at-bat songs, like Josh Reddick of the A's coming up to the WWE Daniel Bryan version of "Ride of The Valkyries," and some guys get punked by teammates and end up strolling up for a big at-bat to "Party In The USA."  If you're like me and pay attention to this kind of thing (which may or may not make you an overgrown child), at some point you've stopped and considered what you'd like your at-bat music to be if you were a Major League Baseball player.  My youth baseball career consisted of about 5 hits in 4 years of play, so obviously I'd be the type of player whose at-bat music would undoubtedly be the best part of my at-bat.  But in my head I still like to think of myself being the coolest guy in the stadium with my music blaring for that 10-15 seconds while I take my practice swings and adjust my elbow guard.  After the jump, check out my personal top 5 songs I'd use for at-bat music.

5) "Lunatic Fringe"- Red Rider

I watched UFC religiously for a time in college, and I remember watching a Dan Henderson fight where he came out to this song.  Only being 4 years old when the 80s ended, I had never heard this song before in my life and I thought it was completely badass.  I was really into working out during this time too and I made sure this song was a part of any workout or running mix I put together.  It's got a long, quiet intro, but once it kicks in, this song brings it.  It's got a quintessentially 80s music video too.  Cue this up at the 2:14 mark for big at-bats and I'd be in the zone, at least capable of maybe fouling off a pitch or two.

4) "Them Bones"- Alice In Chains

An all-time top 5 AIC song any way you cut it, this was another song that was heavy in my workout rotation back when I gave a crap about my personal health and wellness and it remains in heavy rotation on my iPod to this day.  No slow, drawn out intro like some other great AIC songs; this song comes right out with Layne Staley yelling and guitars crunching.  Just play this from the start and any self-respecting rock fan in the crowd would be cheering and nodding their head in time to the beat.  Plus, the stadium people could cut it for the at-bat before all the gloomy, "I feel so aloooone... " stuff.

3) "N.Y. State Of Mind"- Nas

Gotta maintain my street cred, so we'll throw a little old school rap in here.  I've never been the biggest Nas fan in the world (probably doesn't help the street cred), but I absolutely love this song.  I'm very much against edited versions of anything, especially music.  It's not like every kid out there doesn't already know how to swear and hasn't had their parents say the F-word around them once or twice.  But I understand it's a PC world we live in, and so to avoid having to play an edited version while also being kid-friendly, I'd go with the instrumental.  Start it from the 25-second mark when the piano kicks in and I'd be good to go.  I'd also get bonus points from a New York crowd if I played for the Yankees or Mets.

2) "No One Knows"- Queens of the Stone Age

If you've been a regular AB4AR reader for long enough, you know by now that I love me some QOTSA.  I damn near pissed my pants with excitement when I found out Dave Grohl was coming back to drum on the new album.  In the same vein as "Them Bones," this song doesn't waste any time getting right down to business, and has a very recognizable and catchy riff.  It wouldn't take any real work from the PA people, just cue it up and press "Play."  Even the JV crew could handle it if it was an afternoon weekday game against a crummy team, and it would get me in the right frame of mind to work the count before popping out to short with runners on the corners.

1) "Even Flow"- Pearl Jam

In the land of recognizable riffs, "Even Flow" is probably on the Mt. Rushmore of 90s songs.  People who don't even like Pearl Jam know this song and deep down in places they don't talk about at parties, they admit to themselves that they like it.  Again, just a simple, straightforward, catchy riff that you can play from the opening and just let it ride 'til I step in the batter's box.  I feel like playing this song for my first couple at-bats of the game would help me settle down and get my body and swing in a good rhythm.  Maybe I'd even get on base!  But even if I didn't, at least I'd have people in the crowd commenting on my great choice of at-bat music, and in the end isn't that all that really matters?

So that's my list.  "Even Flow" and "No One Knows" would be in the rotation the most, with "Lunatic Fringe" being the choice for big moments of the game and the other 2 getting worked in sporadically.  Obviously I've spent way too much time thinking about this, but when you live the 9-5 cubicle monkey life that I do you have a lot of time to let your mind wander.  If you've ever thought about this, let me know what songs you'd pick for your hypothetical MLB at-bat music.

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