The final stage of this offseason is progressing at a painfully slow rate, and real, valuable news and talking points are at a minimum, so why not go back to the off-topic fun well with another song list? It beats breaking down Thomas Neal's Double-A contact splits, right? As everybody is now aware from my previous "Top 5 Songs" post for at-bat music, part of my mind lives in a perpetual state of 15-year-old-ness, and I've put just as much thought into my personal top 5 closer entrance songs as I did for the at-bat songs.
In my hypothetical fantasy world, the world in which I'm not only a professional baseball player but a pitcher and a good pitcher, I'd be an awesome closer. I'd rock mid-90s heat with some movement and a killer slider, I'd be more than willing to throw inside and buzz hitters' towers, and I definitely wouldn't be anything close to the polished professional that Mo is. Think like a more subdued Brian Wilson, with a less bushy beard and not trying so hard to be "weird," combined with the brutal media honesty of Chris Perez, and that'd be me. With that in mind, here are my personal top 5 songs I'd consider for my entrance music.
5) "Eminence Front"- The Who
Not the hardest-rocking tune in the world, but a song I've always thought was cool and more importantly, a song with a long musical intro. A good closer entrance song is all about building anticipation. That's why "Enter Sandman" is so great for Mo, there's that musical build up that gets the crowd amped before he's even thrown a warm-up pitch. If the stadium PA people cued this up right at the conclusion of the bottom of the 8th, I'd time my last few bullpen pitches so that I could come jogging out of right as the guitar riff kicked in. That'd be boss.
4) "New Noise"- Refused
Off the beaten path (unless you listen to good music), but another long, building intro that could get the crowd fired up for a 9th-inning save situation. Check out the reaction in the video as the song kicks in (starts at about 1:25). Those mothereffs are going nuts. Granted it's a crowd of all Refused fans, but that's the kind of reaction and atmosphere I would want in a stadium if I was coming in to close out a game. It's like a more evolved, rich man's version of "Song 2" by Blur. Simple and high-energy. Obviously I'd wait until the "Can I scream?!" part before emerging from the bullpen, probably in a Heath Bell-style full sprint. I'd probably only get 2 or 3 warm-up pitches in, but whatever.
3) "Cult Of Personality"- Living Colour
Wouldn't have to wait long to come out to this song, which is a bit of a bummer. But I could make up for it by either walking all the way from the bullpen to the mound or by stopping and doing the full CM Punk "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!!!" entrance on the warning track. That probably wouldn't go over too well if I hadn't been pitching great lately, and I'd probably have to build up some goodwill with the fans and some reputation in the media of being outspoken before going to this song, but it would fit well with my ideal closer persona.
2) "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)"- The Jimi Hendrix Experience
I wouldn't be able to do the entrance justice compared to Hulk Hogan, but for a song like this I really wouldn't have to. It's a classic, it's easily recognizable, and it's good hard rock and roll. Just the thought of throwing a pitch on a Major League mound while Hendrix's guitar solo plays is enough to get me all hot and bothered.
1) "For Whom The Bell Tolls"- Metallica
My senior year in HS, our lacrosse team had pregame music that we played over the stadium speakers at home games (because we were pretend badasses). The last song on the mix, that was usually cued up to play right before the game started, was this song. With all due respect to Mo and Billy Wagner, THIS song is the best closer entrance song I could ever think of using and blows "Enter Sandman" out of the water. Listen to that intro. It just keeps building and building and building. I'd be ready to punch the opposing hitter in the face let alone strike him out if this song was playing. I'd be out of the 'pen, on the mound, and done with my warm-up pitches before Hetfield even gets to sing a lyric, and that. Would. Be. Awesome. No other song has ever gotten me as hyped up as this one, and that's why it would have to be my entrance music.
I defy anybody out there to pick a better closer entrance song than "For Whom The Bell Tolls." I triple-dog dare you.