(above : had Scott Kazmir been a closer, this would’ve been his “Enter Sandman”)
Of hitters and relievers choosing their own respective intro tunes, the Denver Post’s Troy E. Renck writes, “the game has changed. It’s more about PitBull than Danny Tartabull.” And if you think that’s cringeworthy, you oughta see the stuff I refused to excerpt.
The offseason allows time for players to become amateur DJs. That’s when they listen for a potential walk-up hit. Most like something a little loud, either with bass or a guitar. Nobody wants Air Supply sucking the oxygen out of the stadium (though Larry Walker briefly switched from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” to REO Speedwagon’s “Time for Me to Fly” with disastrous results).
Closers’ intros leave the most lasting imprint. Trevor Hoffman’s jog into the game to AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” in San Diego was straight out of a Hollywood horror flick. And Eric Gagne created fear and losing in opponents as he rambled out of the Dodgers’ bullpen to Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to The Jungle” during his record 84 consecutive-save streak. To this day, Gagne still gets goosebumps when he hears it, recalling images of the scoreboard flashing “Game Over” before he even threw a pitch. It was the perfect marriage of music, mayhem and the national pastime.
“It’s not like I have it on my Walkman or what do you call those things, iPods? But what I remember is the anticipation of the crowd,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who was the Dodgers’ boss then. “People used to think of Dodger Stadium and the taillights of those leaving early. Not with Gagne. When that song came on, and he came out, it was something else.”