Colgate Around the Hill – If you were a Major League Baseball close, what song would you want played as you trot in from the bullpen?

By Barry RothbardI’d like to preface this blurb by stating that if a white, Jewish kid from Livingston, New Jersey ever made it to the Major Leagues, it would most definitely not be me. I played Little League and had a decent arm, but I played predominantly first base and center field because my arm was, shall we say, erratic. Thus, if I were a Major League closer, the song that I would come out to would be, shall we say, irrelevant. I was the Little League equivalent of LaTroy Hawkins (as a Yankee) with the command of Rick Ankiel. And if by some bizarre turn of events I entered the game in a meaningful situation, the whole stadium and coaching staff would become more nervous than a 15-year-old girl trapped in a closet with R. Kelly. Thus, my song of choice would have absolutely no pump up value to it. Mo Rivera can have his Metallica, Trevor Hoffman his AC/DC but I keep it realer than real. I’m not trying to beat around the bush and pretend like I can find the strike zone, let alone get an out. My song of choice is by one of the great artists of our generation. It is a deep song, in which he professes his sorrow for his past actions. When this timeless classic begins to blare from the speakers, the stadium may know defeat is inevitable, but at least they will hear a magical, soothing, truthful tune to end their day at the ballpark. In the words of the legendary Akon, “You can put the blame on me.”

By Bill Stoklosa

If I were a Major League closer I’d have the James Bond theme play over the loud speakers when I take the mound in the ninth. This may seem a strange choice, but like James Bond I’d like to project the image of being someone who is cool under pressure and able to escape from tight situations. As a closer I want to be able to escape from ninth innings where my team is up one and I’m facing the heart of my opponents order in much the same way that Bond can escape from a shark-infested pool or a flaming elevator shaft. Furthermore, if I load up the bases with one out, my fans can rest assured that I will diffuse the seemingly helpless situation just as England’s top agent diffuses dirty bombs inside Fort Knox or destroys the control room of a space laser just before it destroys Washington D.C. Though in his last film Like a closer, Bond is called in when the stakes are highest.

Who better for a closer to emulate than James Bond? How better to instill confidence in your fans and fear in your opponents than by assuming the persona of one of one of the most ruthless, calm, collected, and determined characters ever created. In fact I recommend that new Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez have the Bond theme played when he takes the mound. It will give him the confidence to cope with the added pressure of pitching in New York. Of course if you have the pitching talent of someone like Joe Borowski, a song like “Hit Me Baby One More Time” might be more appropriate.

By Mike LeClair

Bullpen music can create a legend around a closer. When I think of “Enter Sandman,” there is absolutely no association with Metallica – the connection is instantly Mariano Rivera. The same situation applies with “Hell’s Bells,” where Trevor Hoffman instantly springs to mind. Good closer music has to have some power behind it, something that will get the crowd fired up, or the effect is completely lost. For as much as I love them, you’ll never hear a closer trot out to Third Eye Blind in the top of the ninth.

There is one artist that I feel is completely underrepresented when it comes to intro music, and that man is none other than Jimi Hendrix. Personally, I’d love to hear the Yankees closer sprint out to something from Electric Ladyland, but that’s a sight I, as a sports and music fan, have been deprived of. After perusing my Hendrix library on iTunes, I settled on All Along The Watchtower as my intro music. Sure, it’s not actually Hendrix’s work, but that’s not the point. It’s high-tempo, it’s got power behind it; it has soul. And plus, it will excite fans from their teenage years to those who are, well, getting a bit on the older side. Can you ask for anything more from intro music? I say, no. All Along The Watchtower it is.

By Mitch Waxman

There are a few quirks to a baseball game. Everyone gets to the park expecting to sing the national anthem, stand for the seventh inning stretch, and if lucky, hear their closer’s intro music. Now that’s a lot of pressure on one song. The Star Spangled Banner and Take Me Out to the Ballgame are American classics; that’s like trying to put Sloppy Joe’s in a food group with hot dogs and hamburgers. That better be a darn good Sloppy Joe, so this better be a darn good song.

That’s why this song would need to be special. It would have to quiet the crowd, making them stare at the bullpen door. It would have to appeal to fans both young and old. And most importantly it would have to pump me up. That’s why I would choose “Thunderstruck” by ACDC.

The creativity wouldn’t stop there though. I’d be a closer, so when my manager came to the mound, there would be no question he would be calling for me. That would give the guy working the soundboard at the stadium the ability to start the song as Coach slowly strolls out to the mound. While the other pitcher was exiting the field I’d be standing at the edge of the fence, banging on it each time Brian Johnson yelled “Thunder!” The tension in the park would be palpable, and when the song finally began I would burst out onto the field, ready to mow down the opponent. With an intro song like this Rivera and Hoffman better watch out.