To some, it's just noise. To others, it's more of "that rap nonsense." Some remember it as that song they really liked in high school (/raises hand). But anytime J.D. Martinez steps up to the plate at Comerica Park these days, he is greeted by that unmistakable baritone.
"Everyday I'm hustlin' hustlin' hustle-hustlin' hustlin'..."
Walk-up music holds an interesting (and potentially controversial) place in baseball. A relatively new phenomenon now that stadiums have gotten away from the live organ music of yesteryear, athletes can pick their favorite 15 seconds of their favorite song to give them one last boost of adrenaline before stepping up to the plate.
Rather than break down the merits of every Tigers player's walk-up song -- clearly, J.D. is hustlin' everyday at this point -- we wanted to share our own ideas. If the BYB staff had a baseball team, (a) we would be awful, and (b) we would have the best walk-up music in the world. Here's what our starting lineup would jam to as they step up to the plate.
And yes, we totally stole this idea from Lookout Landing. Any differences in music taste are completely reflective of how much the Mariners have stomped on their poor little hearts over the years. And a fair warning: some of these songs contain some naughty language in them.
TomduhB: "I'm Going Down," by Bruce Springsteen
My walkup song would be Bruce Springsteen’s "I’m Going Down," for a variety of reasons. First, the song, like much of the Boss’ work, oozes overtones of summer and baseball is a summer game (except for when they play in the spring and the fall). Second, the song has a classic Springsteen theme with its attempt to recover love that is lost not to something evil or sexy, but to everyday life, leaving the listener to wonder if there is anything more sinister than simple day to day living. Our routines — driving to work in the morning, getting dressed up, going out on Friday — become the sepulchers of our dead relationships. It is possible that this type of a message could really get into opposing pitcher’s heads. Finally, I strive to be very on the nose and after recently playing summer league baseball I can assure all of the readers that there is a 0% chance that I could hit big league pitching, meaning that at the end of the at bat it is I who will be going down (unless Shane Greene walks me).
Hookslide: "Day Tripper" by The Beatles
It's a classic, it's full of both #grit and #heart, it's got that instant-hook guitar intro, and it sounds bad-ass. Also, it would accurately foreshadow the moment when, Prince Fielder-like, I fall down on the basepaths.
Cameron: "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z (Really NSFW lyrics)
Because nothing says "I'm the man" like the song Big Pimpin'. That song sends a message to the pitcher that you're not only going to hit a home run off of him, you're also going to admire it in the box and then do an epic bat flip, take 35 seconds to run around the bases, and then take his girlfriend out after the game.
Nolan: "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor
For my walkup song, I'm going with "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor. The opening hook is enough to pump anyone up and totally intimidate the opposing pitcher. Plus, the chorus says that it's 10 percent luck, which of course means that I'll have a high BABIP, and 20 percent skill (which could be a problem), and along with other things 50 percent pain -- which I'll cause Tigers fans after a full season of play for their team.
Pat Whelan: "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G.
Since the sound guy probably isn't going to cue up Wu Tang Clan's "Wu Tang Clan Ain't Nuthin' ta F' Wit," I'd go with with the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo Money Mo Problems." This song seems relatively appropriate since I would be making baseball money and my presence would represent additional problems for that inning's pitcher. Aesthetically, few rap verses get me more fired up than Biggie's in this song. Queue that thing up at the beginning of his verse and cut it after "my team supreme, stay clean, triple beam lyrical dream, I be that." Even avoids swearing.
Rob: "Ball and Biscuit" by The White Stripes
As entertaining as it might be for a white kid from the suburbs to walk up to Trick Daddy’s "I’m a Thug," I harken back to the early part of this golden age of Tigers baseball. Joel Zumaya would enter the game with Jimi Hendrix’s legendary "Voodoo Child" opening riff reverberating throughout Comerica Park. I can’t completely rip off Zoom Zoom’s style, so I’ll combine the awesome ax-work with a nod to Detroit’s rich music heritage when I walk up to the first guitar solo in The White Stripes’ "Ball and Biscuit." I may end up using my bat as an air guitar while at the plate, so expect a lot of three-pitch strikeouts.
Tom F.: "With or Without You" by U2
The ethereal beginning would create an air of mystery that would confuse the opposing pitcher. The line "you give yourself away" would be especially appropriate if I were called upon to bunt. The lyrics also reflect the unspoken feeling of many fans (and probably players as well) about living with or without baseball. I have played the song many times in various band configuration making good use of my #bassbass skills, so I would probably record my own version.
Danny: "TiP TOE WiNG iN MY JAWWDiNZ" by RiFF RAFF
i'M GOiNG FOR AS RiDiCULOUS AS POSSiBLE HERE. i FEEL LiKE RiFF RAFF HAS THE REQUiSiTE SELF-CONFiDENCE TO HiT A 100-MPH FASTBALL -- HE'S BASiCALLY THE J.R. SMiTH OF RAP. i COULD WEAR JORDAN BRAND SPiKES AND TiP TOE MY WAY UP TO THE PLATE. FRANKLY, AS A 6'0, 165-POUND 19-YEAR-OLD, MY BEST CHANCE OF GETTiNG ON BASE iS PiSSiNG THE PiTCHER OFF SO MUCH THAT HE TRiES TO THROW 110-MPH AND CAN'T FiND THE STRiKE ZONE. (Ed.: Don't watch that video. I'm already terrified. We're worried about Danny.)
CJ: "G.O.M.D." by J. Cole (Really NSFW lyrics)
The chorus is intense and get me hyped up every time I hear it. If I heard it every time I walked up, I'd be looking to mash the ball, regardless of how awful I would have been hitting at the time period.
Brandon: "Venus in Furs" by Velvet Underground
A perverse choice, I admit, but just imagine, two on, one-out, ninth inning with the game on the line. Then, this... sound starts pouring out of the speakers all around Comerica Park. The odd stately guitar, the shrieking violin, the sawing howls anchored in a beat from the time of cave painting it's so primitive. You wouldn't be able to ignore who was coming to the plate, and in a tense spot in a game, no song would strike more fear, unease and existential terror into a pitcher preparing to face me. You'd only need the first 20 seconds or so, so it'd remain kid friendly... sort of?