04/25/2008 11:19 AM ET
@-bat music: Los Angeles Dodgers
Youth is served but old holds its own
By Doug Miller and Mike Scarr / MLB.com
The musical choices for the Dodgers present a pretty fair reflection of the team: new- and old-school. Players from the latter group stride to the plate representing a play list from your local classic rock radio station. But the younger players are true to their generation, with tastes running toward hip-hop. No tune is set in stone, however. As quickly as tastes change, so can the selection if it doesn't produce.
"It just depends on how I'm hitting," Dodgers right fielder Matt Kemp said. "If I'm hitting good to one song, then I'll keep it."
MLB.com/Entertainment will be getting to the bottom of the Major League tradition of walk-up music all season long by going from clubhouse to clubhouse and soliciting cutting-edge commentary from the players, the organizational brass, and some of the best music critics in the business. Song choices will change over the course of the 2008 campaign for various -- and often superstitious -- reasons, but rest assured that we'll feature the songs straight from the players' plate play lists at press time.
So here's the best of Chavez Ravine, new and old:
1. Rafael Furcal, SS
Song: "Los Venganza de los Pelados" by Los Lobos
Critic commentary: "Opposing teams should definitely be scared of any leadoff hitter who comes to the plate with that kind of look in his eye, backed by a song whose title begins with 'The Revenge.'" --Kenny Herzog, Editor-in-Chief, CMJ New Music Monthly
2. Russell Martin, C
Songs: "Touch the Sky" by Kanye West (alternate: "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar)
Martin: "I like a wide variety of music, but 'Touch the Sky' is probably one of my favorites just because the beginning of the song gets me amped a little bit and gets me ready to go. When it comes on (at the stadium), I hear it and it gives me a good feeling. Every time I hear it off the field, it makes me think of when I go hit."
Critic commentary: "Presumably, the once unstoppably productive catcher is hoping this Kanye cut will catalyze his ability to hit more balls toward the far reaches of Dodger Stadium." --Kenny Herzog, Editor-in-Chief, CMJ New Music Monthly
3. Matt Kemp, RF
Songs: "The Boss" by Rick Ross and "Umma Do Me" by Rocko
Kemp: "Your walk-up music is everything to you. It's your at-bat, man. It gets you ready. It gets you going, and they gotta play it loud so you can feel it and get hyped. Get hyped, boy ... it is what it is. When a new song comes out, I usually think if that would be a good walk-up song. That is how I did it in the past: 'That would be a tight walk-up song.' It always changes."
Critic commentary: "If Rick Ross is the new Biggie, does that make Matt Kemp the new Mike Marshall?" --Saul Austerlitz, freelance critic for Boston Globe and other publications
4. Jeff Kent, 2B
Song: "Oye Como Va" by Santana
Critic commentary: "A solid standby that gets you nodding happily in your seat -- kinda like No. 12 himself." --Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, PEOPLE magazine
5. James Loney, 1B
Song: "Still Will" by 50 Cent featuring Akon
Loney: "I just like the beat. It kind of gets the crowd into it and livens up the game."
Critic commentary: "The skittering, ADD beat seems to say, 'called third strike,' but the muted, gliding horns say 'base-knock to left.'" --Saul Austerlitz, freelance critic for Boston Globe and other publications
6. Andruw Jones, CF
Song: "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Critic commentary: "'Don't worry about a thing, 'cause everything's gonna be alright,' is the perfect positive message for a guy with a 50-homer season in his resume. The Caribbean roots he shares with Bob don't hurt, either." --Jennifer "J-Dog" Odell, Editor, BobMarley.com
7. Nomar Garciaparra, 1B
Song: "Low Rider" by War
Critic commentary: "Getting off the DL is definitely worth shaking some serious booty, but who knew Nomar could get this funky?" --Anne Marie Cruz, Staff Editor, PEOPLE magazine
8. Andre Ethier, OF
Song: "Still D.R.E." by Dr. Dre
Ethier: "I've had times where maybe you're not all the way locked in and pumped up for that at-bat, and you hear the music playing and you get that good feeling back. It's one of those associations where you've had success with familiar themes in a song or a similar situation and you might not be feeling so well and you hear that again and it might bring those positive thoughts back into your mind. It gets your blood flowing and that association."
Critic commentary: "You'd think he'd choose a song by the Canadian indie rocker who shares his name (and even sang the National Anthem at Dodger Stadium last year), but alas, if Dre's latter-day classic gives Ethier a 'chronic' propensity for reaching base, who are we to quibble?" --Kenny Herzog, Editor-in-Chief, CMJ New Music Monthly
9. Juan Pierre, OF
Song: "My Struggle" by Lil Boosie
Critic commentary: "The chorus goes, 'You don't know my struggle, so you can't feel my hustle,' but every Dodgers fan already knows Pierre's base-stealing hustle." --Saul Austerlitz, freelance critic for Boston Globe and other publications
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.