Assuming the wet, frosty weather in New York cooperates, the 2009 World Series will kick off tonight at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees (featuring perennial All-Stars Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez) will square off against the Philadelphia Phillies (who are the defending champs) in a best-of-seven series that will decide who the best team in baseball is. Unlike in past years, these two teams match up relatively evenly, as they both have explosive lineups, solid starting pitching and deep bullpens. According to most online betting parlors, the Yankees are the slight favorite, though it’s really anybody’s Series.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t handicap the teams anyway, and there’s really only one way to really decide which squad will be truly dominant: Analyzing the at-bat music for key players on either side. A relatively new tradition at ballparks, just about every player in Major League Baseball has a song (or a series of songs) that plays when he comes up to the plate for an at-bat. It’s not unlike the songs that announce the arrival of professional wrestlers.
The Phillies have an eclectic lineup, which also means that they have a batch of at-bat songs that are sort of all over the place. Leadoff man Jimmy Rollins starts it off nicely with Clipse’s “I’m Good” (an appropriate title for a former MVP). But after that, it gets a little cagey. Shane Victorino uses Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” (a swell song, but not exactly something that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers), while Jayson Werth goes with Marilyn Manson’s “Arma-goddamn-motherf——-geddon” (a recent, tepid single for the Antichrist Superstar). Ryan Howard and Carlos Ruiz both use big swagger hip-hop tracks (Drake’s “Forever” and Soulja Boy Tell’Em’s “Turn My Swag On,” respectively), and Matt Stairs successfully bridges the world of baseball and wrestling when he comes to bat to Disturbed’s “Glass Shatters,” which was the entrance music for WWE superstar “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
But it’s the pitching staff who really have the best musical selections. Cole Hamels warms up to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” Scott Eyre uses Flo Rida’s “In the Ayer” (clever!) and closer Brad Lidge has two songs (a Linkin Park tune for non-save situations and a Drowning Pool track for saves).
We’ll take a look at the Yankees lineup later today, but for now, enjoy this musical trip through the Philadelphia lineup. Leading off: Jimmy Rollins with Clipse’s “I’m Good.”