07/18/2008 1:33 PM ET
@-bat music: Detroit Tigers
Diverse songs get Motor City hitters pumped
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
The Detroit Tigers were picked by many baseball experts to challenge for the World Series this year, and while they suffered through a slow start, they've picked up their play lately. Is it the improved pitching? Could it be the bats are finally coming around? Or is it possibly a result of their walk-up music?
We probably will never know the real answers, but we can always sit down, listen to the songs pumping through the Comerica Park sound system and draw our own conclusions.
On a recent stroll through the Detroit clubhouse, we were able to talk to some of the Tigers and find out why they chose their music. Some guys weren't available for comment and some guys didn't have anything to say, but other players, such as center fielder Curtis Granderson, were happy to reveal this very personal information.
MLB.com/Entertainment has been 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.
Fair enough, but a bunch of the hitters have interesting and sometimes humorous explanations for the origins of their personal plate anthems.
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.
Here are the walk-up tunes of the Detroit Tigers:
Curtis Granderson, CF
Songs: "Talkin Out Da Side of Ya Neck" by Dem Franchize Boyz; "Get Like Me" by David Banner featuring Chris Brown; "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe
Granderson: "I like having that little bit of pick-me-up before you get into the box. I mean, it's only like five seconds of a three-hour game, so you might as well have some fun with it. I love looking out on the field and seeing who's dancing, who's got happy feet. I saw Derek Jeter smiling when the Bell Biv DeVoe song was on, and Coco (Crisp) was dancing to it. Stuff like that keeps the kid in you for the game."
Critic commentary: "Seems about that right that this cat blends the old skool with the new to serenade him up to the box. Bell Biv DeVoe builds off that New Edition vibe, while the Franchise Boyz channel Cameo rhythms with the quickness. Perfect for Granderson's game: a new-school dude with many old-skool-style tools, like speed. Can you say 23 triple trips in 2007?"--Scott Poulson-Bryant, author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Brandon Inge, IF
Songs: "Make It Rain" by Fat Joe featuring Lil' Wayne; "Broken Man" by Rage Against the Machine; "Coming Undone" by Korn
Inge: "I like a wide variety of music, and all three songs help get me in the right frame of mind to hit. It fires you up a little bit."
Marcus Thames, LF
Songs: "The Boss" by Rick Ross featuring T-Pain; "Who The Heck Is That?" by Dolla featuring T-Pain and Tay Dizm; "Oh Yeah (Work)" by Lil' Scrappy featuring Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz
Thames: "I'm from the South, and I just love the hip-hop guys from the South. I hear it for a minute and then get ready for my at-bat."
Critic commentary: "I've always wondered what a dude from Mississippi was doing with the same name as that big river in England. Maybe 'cause he can be just as majestic at times, with that power he can unleash when he's feeling it. No wonder ballers like Ross and T-Pain and Dolla play him to the plate -- straight Gs like these kats specialize in the straight raw." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Gary Sheffield, DH
Song: Unnamed instrumental track by The Game
Sheffield: "I don't really know what it is. I hear it sometimes, but it's not a big deal to me. It's more a big deal to other people. They always come up to me and ask me why I picked it. I tell them I didn't pick it."
Ivan Rodriguez, C
Song: "Latino Heat" (WWF entrance music for Eddie Guerrero), composed by Jim Johnston
Rodriguez: "They just play it. I don't ask for any particular song. I'm just focused in on what I'm doing, and they play whatever they play."
Critic commentary: "Apparently I-Rod envisions himself as a bat-swinging, stolen-base-robbing superhero in the mold of late Latino wrestling star Eddie Guerrero. Bringing the heat, indeed: the perennial All-Star may not be the stud he once was, but he recently tagged his 2,500th hit. Now that's hot." --Scott Poulson-Bryant, author, veteran music journalist and baseball nut
Carlos Guillen, 3B
Song: "Te Quiero" by Flex
Guillen: "My kids like it."
Ryan Raburn, IF/OF
Song: "Hicktown" by Jason Aldean
Rayburn: "It's a good song and I like it. The first part is about jacking up trucks and I drive a big truck, so I think it kind of fits me."
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.