Songs To Bat To (And Songs Not To Bat To)

A few weeks ago, during those dog days of August, I had grown tired of watching the Cardinals demolish the National League Central and I was in need of a distraction. Since I was out of vodka and there were no episodes of Night Court or Doby Gillis to be found on the TV, I decided to send out a mass e-mail survey to my friends.

I asked them two simple questions: If you were a Major League Baseball player, what would be the best possible song to have play every time you go up to bat and, conversely, what would be the worst possible song?

After much deliberation, I narrowed our findings down to what I determined were the six best and six worst songs to go up to bat to. These are the final results:

Best Songs:

"Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel - Best used if you a giant, slow, slugging first baseman or designated hitter (in the mold of Bob Horner, Cecil Fielder, or Mo Vaughn), "Sledgehammer" would be incredibly intimidating if the batter walked to the plate carrying an actual sledgehammer with him. Yes, I'm suggesting that Major League Baseball should start using props like the WWF. I'm sure I'll be getting a scathing e-mail from Bob Costas any minute now.

"Goldfinger" by Shirley Bessey - Honestly, any James Bond movie song would make for some great batting music (with the obvious exception of that horrendous Madonna song "Die Another Day") but "Goldfinger" edges out Guns 'n Roses cover of "Live and Let Die." Why? Because it's my effing list. Get your own. (Bonus points if the batter can lip-sync all of the words to "Goldfinger" while walking up to the plate. Now THAT'S awesome.)

"Hit 'Em Up" by Tupac Shakur - If any ballpark in America ever lets me in their sound booth, I will knock out the sound guy and throw a conveniently placed copy of "2Pac's Greatest Hits" into the CD player. Immediately after the next batter is announced, the crowd will hear the following: "I ain't got no mutha fuckin friends...That's why I fucked your bitch...You fat mutha-fucka." I'm sure I will be arrested shortly thereafter, but hopefully they have TiVo in prison and I'll be able to watch highlights of that moment over and over. Also, hopefully I'm not ass-raped while in prison.

"The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey - I love the 80's. Maybe not as much as Hal Sparks or Michael Ian Black, but I love them none the less. Unfortunately, many of the songs which were popular that decade simply suck now. However, some songs have done nothing but get better with age. "The H is O" is one of these songs. Something about this song just makes me want to go do some coke, lay down a perfect bunt on the AstroTurf, and start tearing up the base paths.

"Rock you like a Hurricane" by The Scorpions - I am a man who lives by few rules in life. 1) Always get at least 12 hours of sleep a night. 2) Never touch another man's french fries. 3) Every musical list ever compiled MUST include at least one song by The Scorpions. Since "Wind of Change" would be a horribly wussy batting song, "Hurricane" gets the nod here. Although it seems to be an obvious choice for any player nicknamed "Hurricane," I've been told Rex Hudler became addicted to quaaludes while trying to determine whether or not to come up to bat to The Scorps or "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan.

"Eminence Front" by The Who - "Sometimes I feel like I could run through a brick wall after listening to this song" - My buddy Sean, who sums up probably all of mankind's feeling about this song. I have nothing else to add to his description.

"Love Man" by Otis Redding - While this song would be an excellent choice for any player to walk up to the plate to, if that someone happened to be...oh...I don't know...maybe Steve Garvey...well, that would just be fucking aces. If (or should I say when) someone chooses to use this excellent choice as his batting music, it would probably be a good idea for him to stride to the plate in an extremely sexual and highly suggestive manner, ala Val Venis from the old WWF.

Worst Songs:

"All Star" by Smash Mouth - The lyrics to this song should officially be changed to "Hey now, you're a douchebag...Get your game on, away from me." And that's all I have to say about that.

"It's Raining Men" by The Weather Girls - This song should be played whenever Mike Piazza comes to the plate while the Met's are on the road. Just to annoy him. Damn him and his non threatening good looks and unbelievably white teeth.

"Party All The Time" by Eddie Murphy - As I mentioned earlier, I love the 80's. And for every song which has become "cheesily good," some have remained "fucking awful." "Party All The Time" remains in the latter of those two categories. The only time "Party" should be played is when Charlie Murphy's cell phone rings (Am I the only one that assumes that "Party" is Charlie's ring tone? Just to drive Eddie nuts.)

"Take Me Home Tonight" by Eddie Money - Any batter who selected Eddie Money to be his batting music would probably be found in the clubhouse, curled up in the fetal position after his name was announced. Hearing 40,000 people laugh at your musical taste will have that effect on some people. Especially sensitive men who love "Take Me Home Tonight."

"Milkshake" by Kelis - "Milkshake" makes it on this list by default. It is, after all, the worst song of all time (followed up closely by Eminem's "Just Lose It" and The Ying Yang Twin's "Whisper In Ya Ear", a song whose lyrics are so vulgar it actually offends a degenerate like me.)

"Angel Eyes" by The Jeff Healey Band - "Even the fact that TBS airs Roadhouse four times per month could never make The Jeff Healey Band cool." - Also my buddy Sean, again summing up a song with amazing accuracy.

(note - both "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi and "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger were left off of this list because I could not figure out if they were so bad they were sweet, or so sweet they were bad. Thank you.)

That's what we came up with. What all do you have?

No song by either Glen Frey or Don Henley should be played. Ever.

At baseball games my friends and I always joke about what sort of song we'd have played. I've always thought it'd be funny to have "Mandy" by Barry Manilow as my song should I ever step to the plate. Not the hilarious Homer Simpson-ization "Mindy"; the original sappy ballad.

See, the pitcher would be laughing so hard he'd forget how to throw strikes. Advantage: J-man.
As much as I hate Limp Bizkit, I love "Break Stuff" (I'm like a chain saw, I'll skin you ass raw...). I have yet to see my local favorite bar band play it without a fight breaking out.
My friends and I have had this discussion, and I settled on the Indiana Jones theme. Great one for getting the crowd into it.
I can't take credit for it (I originally heard it from one of the contestant's in Bill Simmon's intern contest) but the theme to Sanford and Son would be absolutely classic.
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