On The Black Side

I hate this guy.

Jealous of him, really. He still ticks me off all the same.

A good friend of mine from college, Lea, has a brother-in-law, and his full-time job is to create and run all the games and promotions for the Minnesota Twins. He also chooses and plays the music played in the Metrodome during games.

I would do that job full-time for $8 an hour. Maybe they could throw in a Dome Dog, too, I don't know. But that would be my dream job. Coming up with crazy stupid games, cheesy features for the team magazine, and be in a position to ensure the organ player never opens the "If You're Happy And You Know It" page in the song book.

For those who know the Twins and have been to games at the Metrodome in the last four years, they know when closer Joe Nathan goes to the mound. All closers have some sort of theme music, as if they are in the WWE. I think that's my favorite part of going to those games. Joe Nathan's pro-wrestling entrance music.

The last out of the bottom of the eighth is recorded, Nathan usually takes one last grab of a reisen bag, and slowly saunters his way to the mound. The PA announcer quickly highlights that Joe Nathan is in to pitch, and the crowd starts screaming. The thick vibration of the bass drum pounds through the Dome, "BOOMBOOM...BOOMBOOM...BOOMBOOM!"

There's a slight pick drag, with a quiet high-hat tap.


"YYYYEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH.....!!!!" (echoing reverb)


It's "Stand Up and Shout" by Steel Dragon, the featured band in the movie "Rock Star," with Mark Wahlberg. An absolutely fantastic movie if you're an 80s rock fan like myself. A painfully simple song, but one written for what seems like this exact situation. It fires people up, it's heavy but not obscene, and in Minnesota, it's Joe Nathan's theme song.

My friend's brother-in-law picked it. He told me Nathan is just such a mild-mannered guy, he really didn't care. So he just picked a song one day, he got the save, and it stuck.

Every team does this if they have a consistent closer, so I'm not suggesting my friend re-invented the wheel or anything. Each player has around five seconds of a song they hear after their name is called when they are up to bat, too. Some are really cool, like Justin Morneau (Back in Black), some are really funny, like Mike Redmon (some weird country song, then he had a kids song), but my personal favorite, Pat Burrell of the Phillies has "Dirty Laundry," A Don Henly classic that berates mass media, insulting its very being.

Burrell gets shredded by the local media on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. I don't think his song selection is a coincidence. But at the same time, I've never seen anything written about it. It's like the media don't even know what he's doing. This makes it all the more cool.

When I was in high school, we got four seconds of a song when they announced our name before we went to bat. I usually settled on "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, and even though I still love that song, it's been overdone to the point it's in cliche status. But it's much tougher than you think to get something that starts and finishes well in four seconds. You want something immediately recognizable, but just like any good song, it's got to have a start, a middle and an end. Otherwise, it just feels incomplete. There is seriously an art to doing this.

In college, I chose "All My Life" by Foo Fighters. While that's a great tune top to bottom, four seconds just isn't enough to define it. That song is a great example of musicianship (key and tempo changes throughout, all perfectly in rhythm with each other) so four seconds really doesn't do it justice. I dunno, I hear it, and I want to run through a wall, I get so pumped up.

So I lay it on you, FanNation. If you had four seconds after your name was announced to thousands of people, what song would you want played?


November 23, 2011  10:12 PM ET

man in the box by alice in chains plays as i step into the batters box. that would be awesome


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