You’re standing in the on-deck circle, taking a few practice cuts and watching your teammate at the plate out of the corner of your eye.
Inhale. Grip tightens. Exhale.
36,000 of your closest friends are on hand to watch. Couple million more at home. And you haven’t made the highlight reel all week.
And there it is – that perfect song is blaring out over the loudspeakers.
Now you’re ready to do battle.
Let’s imagine for a moment that all of the Ladies… are major league baseball players. Yes, I know this would present a difficult quandary regarding whether we would ogle our own asses, forearms and eyeblack on this site (maybe we could spin off a “Gentlemen…” blog?). But the more important question is: What song would each of the Ladies… use as her at-bat music?
This is not a simple question- picking just one track to use as your theme music every single time you step up to the plate is tough. Do you go Classic Rock? Hip-Hop? Metal? I’m sure there are some pretty rockin’ hillbilly beats from Tennessee that Holly could use. (Holly’s note: Oh, you want hillbilly beats? I got your hillbilly beats RIGHT DAMN HERE.)
After some solo deliberation (using whatever criteria she chose), each Lady… submitted to me the piece of music that should play over the P.A. speakers when she stepped out of the on-deck circle and into the batter’s box. The other Ladies… haven’t even seen these yet. Take a gander at the lineup after the jump – and try and tell me this wouldn’t be an intimidating bunch to square off against at the plate.
(if you’re not seeing links to the tunes below each Lady’s part, update your browser to listen…)
It is a tough assignment, picking what song you’d want to hear if you were a Major League slugger. A song that speaks for you, that announces to the pitcher, “I am fucking here and I am about to light you up like my grandmama’s Christmas tree.” At the same time, you don’t want to scare the kids in the crowd and you need a song that makes them want to dance in their seats they are so excited to see you walk to the batter’s box. (Because really, who doesn’t like seeing grandmama’s Christmas tree get lit other than my Dad’s Jewish wife who’s mother became Catholic?)
My initial picks and thoughts –
“Sure Shot” “Shadrach” “Root Down” – The Beastie Boys (“Sure Shot” moves better in the middle, “Shadrach” has the great clapping sample at the beginning that would get the crowd moving, but “Root Down” rocks more.)
“What’s the Altitude” – Cut Chemist (Altitude could refer to what I was aiming for, but too funky and not intimidating.)
On further deliberation –
“Mas” – Kinky (need to start @ :20), “I Wanna Rock” – Twisted Sister (in an Avis commercial), “In the Evening” – Led Zeppelin (need to start @ :57 with crashing guitars), “Shake Me” – Cinderella (hairspray bad for ozone layer), “Bom Bom Bom” – Living Things (about war), “Here I Come” – Roots w/Malik B. and Dice Raw (already a Fox Sports bumper), “Axel F” – Harold Faltermeyer (Who wouldn’t want that as a theme?)
Final Pick –
“Arm In Arm” – The Boggs. Sure everyone is all hyped-up on the “Shy Child Mix” that is in the GTA:IV second trailer, but the original version rocks just as hard. Fuck the kids and the dancing. When I step into the box, I want it to be loud.
The Boggs – “Arm In Arm”
My pick? An upbeat song that tells you what to do. Get ready for THIS!
The Go! Team – “Grip Like A Vice”
Proof Of Youth (2007)
At-bat music has three purposes: (1) let that sonuvabitch pitcher know that you’ve arrived, and he better step the hell back, (2) hype up the hometown crowd, and (3) get your head focused on knocking the tar out of the ball.
A lot of great songs are out of the running from the get-go. Songs with a bunch of cuss words can’t be used, because of the kiddies (there goes “Move, Bitch” by Ludacris and “Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy). You also don’t want a track that is used in every ballpark around the country, because that’s boring (so long “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC or “Song 2” by Blur). And some tunes are better suited to closer’s music, rather than slugger’s music (bye bye to “Bulls On Parade” by Rage Against the Machine and “Bodies” by Drowning Pool).
So what would I use? Something with a hip-hop beat, something a little dirty, something a little violent, something with some genius lyrics right out of the gate… “Lapdance” by N.E.R.D. I can get those M-F bombs bleeped out, right?
N.E.R.D. – “Lapdance”
In Search Of… (2002)
You’re sitting in a darkened movie theater. The screen goes black, and as silver letters reading “The Audience is Listening” appear on the screen, your ears are assaulted with the sonic blast that thrums with the promise of an action-packed 90 minutes of celluloid.
Now imagine it at the ballpark. The lights dim, save for a pure white spot focused on one player striding toward the plate, popping gum, not a care in the world, as a chorus of voices rise in mechanical harmony. You may not know what’s happening, but you know it’s time to pay attention.
That ass you’re watching is mine, and those voices belong to a cappella wunderkinds The Brown Derbies, singing the THX theme.
The Brown Derbies – “THX”
My walking-to-the-plate music has to do two things: grab the crowd’s attention and scare the pitcher into giving me stuff to hit. So the opening chords of Death From Above 1979’s “Romantic Rights” would do the job very nicely, I think
Death From Above 1979 – “Romantic Rights”
You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (2004)
I’ll be honest, this question was a tough one to answer, right up there with other queries that have stumped me, like “Why don’t you have a job?”, “Do you ever fix your hair?” and “Why do you own From Justin to Kelly?” I do have a gigantic music collection but the majority of it is from 1965-1973 which explains why I’ve never slept with anyone under 40. And also why my mother cries a lot.
My favorite song of all time is “Southern Cross” by Crosby Stills & Nash and while I appreciate the poignancy of lines like “And my love is an anchor tied to you/Tied with a silver chain”, I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t exactly raise the crowd’s pulse unless David Crosby was actually in attendance and threatening to show his tits and/or donate some sperm. (I’m pretty sure at this point, he gives out vials of it in lieu of handshakes, autographs, or Halloween candy).
Obviously, I was going to have to do some research. I immediately eliminated the entire Jock Jams collection because I refuse to walk to the batters’ box accompanied by music that several of my morally-deficient high school classmates could have stripped to. I’m sorry, C&C Music Factory. Blame April Cole and her month-in-residence at Gutter Ballz Strip Club and Bowling Alley.
I also discounted any song that is frequently accompanied by non-ironic devil horns, so there goes “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, “Welcome to the Jungle”, and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”.
Long story short, I booted the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and the Clash (for cliché purposes only); anything that’s been on the soundtrack to a film rated G; any song a former boyfriend has attempted on the guitar; anything played in Abercrombie dressing rooms; any song I could’ve potentially been conceived to (this means you, Barbara Mandrell); things frequently chosen by middle managers at karaoke night; and anything turned into an instrumental and piped into Food Lion.
But, you can’t fight what you like. So I’ll be striding to the box accompanied by “You’re Gonna Miss Me” by psychedelic pioneers 13th Floor Elevators. Got that, stadium music guy? Crank that shit up. And tell your dad to call me.
13th Floor Elevators – “You’re Gonna Miss Me”
The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators (1966)
My at-bat music would be “Back in Black“. In HS I played for an AAU team and at our home tournament one girl’s dad pulled a few strings and got us each at-bat music and that was mine. The opening strains make me feel very bad-ass as I stride to the plate. In my final at-bat of the day in that tournament, once we were in the consolation bracket, I air-guitared the opening strains with my baseball bat on the way to the plate.
AC/DC – “Back In Black”
Back In Black (1980)
There’s always one in every bunch. The Billy Wagner of the group who can’t decide what his at-bat music should be, and so he leaves it up to his teammates to make the choice for him. This presents an excellent opportunity for the teammates- opportunity for humiliation. If you let your friends do the picking, they’re liable to pick a Backstreet Boys or Vanilla Ice song.
Metsy is our Billy Wagner- as she’s slaving away for the bar exam, and just couldn’t devote the time and energy it takes to figure her at-bat music out. She asked if we would pick it for her. WOULD WE EVER…
Texas Gal: Would teammates pick a “classic” song (like Rock ‘n’ Roll pt. 2) or would they pick something a little dorky and embarassing (like “Jump” by Kriss Kross).
Holly: If we’re going Kriss Kross, it’s gotta be “I Missed The Bus”. Then she can electric slide all the way to the plate.
Clare: Nothing can be dorkier than THE VENGABUS.
(YES, I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU, CHASE UTLEY.)
Texas Gal: Wait- hold up just a mo. Chutley uses VENGABOYS at his at-bat music?
Clare: He used to. I wish I were joking.
At UCLA and his first two years with the Phillies, he came to the plate to “We Like to Party” by the Vengaboys. His fan club in the stands called themselves “The Vengabus”.
As for Wanda, I think we should pay respect to her Dominican heritage with some seriously loud reggaeton.
Holly: THE GASOLINE SONG. MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Andrea: “Milkshake” by Kelis. Cause Metsy’s milkshake brings all the boys to the yard. And then she GOES yard! BOO-YAH!
SA: I was going to suggest some Daddy Yankee. Or some stereotypically New Jersey artist-Bon Jovi, Springsteen.
TheStarterWife: Does Rutgers have a theme song? Something with Knights Tale?
GordonShumway: I like Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine”. Because it has sweet guitars and Metsy could totally strut in. Also, her love is, um, like bad medicine?
Did they ever specify what made it bad medicine? Has it expired? Or did it just react poorly with his other prescriptions?
TheStarterWife: Great. Bad Medicine just came up on Sirius Total 80’s just now, and now all I can do is picture Metsy.
(Although I think I like the Milk Shake Song. Or maybe not.)
Andrea: I like the Milkshake song. But that’s only b/c my pun about “the yard” and “going yard” made me giggle for like 5 minutes straight.
What? I make my own fun.
TheStarterWife: At this point I would also vote for “Der Kommissar” because that is what is playing.
Texas Gal: So I’ve really been thinking this over. Pondering all the various factors that go into a decision like this. Weighing the pros and cons. And I think I’ve come to my ultimate conclusion…
“U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.
It is both (a) true, because no one can touch Metsy’s awesomeness, and (b) embarrassing, as well she should be for taking the Billy Wagner way out.
SA: Oh dear God I just LOL’ed very loudly after reading that Texy.
Yes, that has to be the music.
M.C. Hammer – “U Can’t Touch This”
Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em (1990)