News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Musical inspiration
Songs provide fans delight, insight into Tide lineup

By Josh Cooper · 340-2460

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama relief pitcher Tommy Hunter might be the most unoriginal player on the baseball team.

Whenever Hunter trots into the game in late innings the ominous guitar licks of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" start blaring on the Sewell-Thomas Stadium loud speaker.

That is the song that is played in Yankee Stadium when New York closer Mariano Rivera comes in to put the other team's bats to sleep.

"It wasn't my choice," Hunter says, pinning the blame on the Alabama marketing department. "I didn't know Enter Sandman was even on until somebody said it. I was like, 'That's cool,' but it wasn't my choice."

To Hunter's credit, he wanted to play "Here Comes the Boom" by Nelly.

Entrance music is one of those newer more untraditional baseball phenomena. A player tells the powers that be what song he wants played when he comes to bat or comes in to pitch. Then that song is played when a player gets his moment in the sun.

The song a player chooses sometimes offers a unique look into a player's mind, his superstitions or his likes and dislikes.

For example, left fielder Brandon Belcher enters to "Voodoo Chile" by Jimi Hendrix. It shows two things about him. For one, Belcher is a Hendrix fan. And two, he's not about to change the karma of his hot season by switching songs.

"You can't change it now," says Belcher, who was hitting .316 entering this past weekend's Auburn series.

For the most part, Tide players say they just pick whatever they like that comes into their mind when it's time to choose.

Catcher Kyle Moore is a Creedence Clearwater Revival fan, so he chose "Up Around the Bend" to try to get him more down to earth and ready to face a pitcher.

"It gets me more level-headed," Moore says.

Still, the aspect of the music is to entertain the fans and try to bring a festive atmosphere to the ballpark.

A lot of Alabama's baseball players don't take their music as seriously as Moore or other athletes in other sports.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis reportedly listens to "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins before every football game.

Alabama pitcher Will Stroup enters to the "In the Air Tonight" cover by Nonpoint. While Stroup says that the newer version has a little more of a rock edge to it — which gets him more amped up — overall, the music is just something to enhance the overall baseball experience.

"It pumps up the crowd," Stroup said.

"I think it's just a fun thing because I change mine every year. It's not like I have one that is important to me."

Heard at the ballpark

These are the entrance songs for most of the Alabama players on the baseball team. Player Song Artist

Emeel Salem, CF “And Then What” Young Jeezy

Brandon May, 2B “Apache” Sugarhill Gang

Alex Avila, DH “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” Lynyrd Skynyrd

Kent Matthes, RF “Jump Around” House of Pain

Ryan Rhoden, C “Meant to Live” Switchfoot

Matt Bentley, 1B “Remember the Name” Fort Minor

Brandon Belcher, LF “Voodoo Chile” Jimi Hendrix

Kyle Moore, C “Up Around the Bend” CCR

Jared Avchen, C “Walk It Out” DJ UNK

Greg Paiml, SS “Ooh Ahh” Grits

Jake Smith, 3B “Paper Cut” Linkin Park

Tommy Hunter, P “Enter Sandman” Metallica

Miers Quigley, P “Dig” Incubus

Bernard Robert, P “Zoom” Dr. Dre

Will Stroup, P “In the Air Tonight” Nonpoint

Josh Coope


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