Monday, May 22, 2006

How do you spell 'relief'? R-O-C-K-N-R-O-L-L

Many things vex me about relief pitching. Why do some teams insist on spending millions on "proven veterans" while others can seemingly get them to propagate like rhizomes in the minors? Why do teams use their best relievers with a three-run lead but not when the score is tied? Why are the Mets cowering from the wrath of Jobu and refusing to put Aaron Heilman in the rotation?

But those questions will be answered at another time. Probably by someone else. I'm here today to address the issue of reliever entrance music. Closers apparently refuse to enter to the sounds of anything that isn't highly commercial, full of detuned guitars and somewhere on the narrow band of the musical spectrum between Metallica and Linkin Park.

The playlist for major league closers makes the music in Duane Reade sound like college radio. This needs to stop. Of course, if I were a major league closer, shit would be all different and stuff.

Here, as promised, is the list of songs I would use as my own, personal entrance music. I'm reasonably sure that none of them overlap with my co-blogger's peerless list of 57 songs worth spending $56.43 on iTunes.

Now who needs to borrow a feeling, bitch?

I've ordered the songs by how good I'd need to be to get away with such radical choices. For example, a closer like Tyler Walker simply can't enter to anything but generic hard rock. But someone as good as Mariano Rivera (before he started sprouting a tiny growth that looks like one of those two-tined seafood forks), can enter to "Baby Elephant Walk," "Lumberjack Song" or even a spoken-word album by Kirk Van Houten.

  • "Out There" Dinosaur Jr. I love watching the umpires during a pitching change. First he scribbles on his lineup card, then he points out the changes to the official scorer. Then he stands there and signals the number of warmup pitches left, looking bored while music blasts and fans shriek when they show up on the video board. I like to think that the ump would at least enjoy the refreshing change of pace from the usual arena rock. Meanwhile, I'd be ready to uncork my sinker, get a three-pitch save and head out on the town.
  • "Connected" Stereo MCs. Impossible not to get pumped listening to this. Impossible. It blows "The Final Countdown" out of the water. (Unless you're a ... magician!) Of course, the only thing I'd be making disappear would be the heart of the order.
  • "My Iron Lung" Radiohead. Dark and forbidding, intimidating and inspiring at the same time. I imagine gray skies and knee-buckling sliders. If I could have entrance music on the road, this would be it. It's like rock and roll for Jedis who have gone to the dark side. And closers who can throw a non-Euclidean curveball.
  • "Godzilla" Blue Oyster Cult. Dude, if I can reduce Tokyo to rubble and send Mothra to a giant 50-watt in the sky, don't you think I can get a ground ball from pinch-hitter Endy Chavez? Of course I can. I'm a giant lizard with 99-mph gas.

With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound, he strikes the heart of the Brewers' order down ...

  • The start of the fourth movement in "Symphony No. 9 in E minor" by Antonin Dvorak. No, seriously. Listen. It's badass. Makes Wagner (Richard, not Billy) sound like Paul Simon. No -- Carly Simon. Also, isn't snickering at the pitcher who enters to freaking orchestral arrangements kind of like laughing at a boy named Sue? Why don't you take off that elbow guard and say that to me again?


tommy o said...

I can attest to Flop's 99-mph gas.

Flop said...

Oh, this is rich. Getting called out on this particular subject by the Rem Koolhaas of Dutch Ovens.

CrimeNotes said...

"Oh, this is rich."

When did you start talking like that? Have you been banned from wearing your smoking jacket to equestrian practice? What a dandy.

Flop said...

Ever since I began taking a snifter of Cognac in my study after supper, and dropping references to trendy architects from the Netherlands, Broseph.