09/09/2008 11:52 AM ET
@-bat music: St. Louis Cardinals
Bird calls offer mix of old-school classics
By Doug Miller and Lee Hurwitz / MLB.com
The St. Louis Cardinals have had a surprisingly competitive year, and fans and experts can point to a lot of things coming together at the right time. Slugger Ryan Ludwick has had a stunning breakout season, for example, and despite key injuries to the pitching staff, manager Tony La Russa has pieced together another winning club.
The hitters' walk-up music hasn't been bad, either, with more old-school sensibilities -- be it hip-hop, metal or straight-up classic rock -- than you'll find in most big-league clubhouses in this day and age.
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 have changed over the course of the 2008 campaign for various -- and often superstitious -- reasons, but rest assured that we've been featuring the songs straight from the players' plate play lists at press time.
Here are the St. Louis bird calls:
Aaron Miles, IF
Song: "Back in Black" by AC/DC
Miles: "Actually, I have nothing to do with it. I've never really cared which one I came out to and half the time it doesn't even register that it's being played. They just did it. When I do hear it, I like it. To me, I feel the crowd, I feel the intensity of the crowd and everything, but as far as the music -- it does not enter my head as pumping me up or getting me in my groove or anything. It's more like the stadium is playing this as a part of what they do at the game."
Critic commentary: "You'd figure that in honor of the Redbirds' uniform colors, Miles would have gone for 'A Whole Lotta Rosie.'" --Kenny Herzog, music/pop culture critic
Rick Ankiel, LF
Song: "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix
Ankiel: "I just liked the song. I like a lot of [Hendrix's] stuff, so there you go."
Critic commentary: "It's a good thing Ankiel wasn't a closer in his pitching days, because this would have been embarrassingly tame to emerge sprinting from the bullpen to." --Kenny Herzog, music/pop culture critic
Ryan Ludwick, RF
Song: "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys
Ludwick: "I've always been a big Beastie Boys fan. I've been pretty much coming out to that song since Double-A. So I've been coming out to it for six, seven years straight now. It's just a comfort feeling. I don't know, I kind of like the way the beat starts and it kind of fires me up a bit."
Critic commentary: "Ahh, and the torch of fratty '80s hip-hop has been passed from the Mets' David Wright onto Mr. Ludwick. May it serve you well, my son." --Kenny Herzog, music/pop culture critic
Troy Glaus, 3B
Song: "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne
Critic commentary: "Good to see Glaus, the veteran, representing the last remaining old-school metalheads in baseball, particularly with Mike Piazza riding the pine." --Kenny Herzog, music/pop culture critic
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. Lee Hurwitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.