Katy Perry’s “Roar” came on the radio as I drove to my crossfit class the other day. It took me back to last season when I’d hear it at almost every game, one of many songs that make up the Red Sox music line up. With two more weeks to go before the 2016 home opener, it’ll only be a matter of time before I hear “Roar” more often. Whether it’s the music the DJ’s play for the fans, or the walk up music the players choose, it’s easy to say that Red Sox music only adds to the Fenway Park experience.
For years baseball players have been choosing walk up music designed to motivate and excite them for their next at-bat. It might have started with. St. Louis Cardinals’ Lou Brock, who requested that the stadium’s organist play the theme from Shaft when he strolled up to the plate. Others might point to the classic baseball movie Major League when Charlie Sheen’s character Ricky Vaughn walked to the mound to the tune of “Wild Thing” at the point when walk up songs became popular. But if there’s one thing that’s for certain it’s that Red Sox music has always been interesting and fun. There’s no reason to believe 2016 will be any different.
Red Sox Music: Fans Love That Dirty Water!
Experts have long pointed to music as a prime source of motivation and positive
reinforcement, especially for athletes. When an athlete is in his or her flow at the gym, on the track, or walking up to the batters box, their choice in music allows them to visualize the success they want to achieve. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see people with headphones on at the gym, especially if they’re in the middle of a vigorous workout. For the Red Sox, many of its players choose 15 second clips from songs they have a personal connection to. Xander Bogaerts considered “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” by DMX because his first name starts with an X. Brock Holt tends to choose country music, probably because he’s from Texas. Before he left for Kansas City, Johnny Gomes picked “The Boys Are Back” by Dropkick Murphys because he felt it represented what he and the Red Sox worked to accomplish in 2013 when they won the World Series. Out of all the major league stadiums I’ve visited, Red Sox music is among the best.
Regardless of what kind of Red Sox music we hear this season, Red Sox Nation can continue to count on hearing classics like “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond in the 8th. We’ll also hear “Shipping Up to Boston” by The Dropkick Murphys (but only if we’re down going into the 9th). But let’s hope that whatever songs the Red Sox line up picks as their walk up songs this season, it’ll lead to the fans hearing “Dirty Water” by The Standells when the ballgame is over.
The future is now for the Boston Red Sox. Brandon Workman made his major league starting pitching debut on Sunday. He joins the likes of Ryan Lavarnway, Brock Holt, Brandon Snyder, Jackie Bradley Jr. who have all had their shot on the major league diamond. Never have I seen so many minor league players move around throughout the system, not come up to Boston so often and with such rapid-fire frequency. This is a testament to the depth that we have in our farm system. Workman is a perfect example as he quickly proved himself in Portland and then Pawtucket, and finally Sunday in California against Oakland.
This is what has made this year’s Red Sox team so fun to watch. You never know who will be at what position until the lineup comes out. Those from the minor league teams play with heart, feel the pressure, and rise to the occasion. Snyder proved himself useful until he was not, botching throws to first and not producing at the plate. Bradley Jr. experienced the same fate in the few occasions he made it up to the Bigs. Jose Iglesias and Holt seem to be making the most of their moment in the sun. With great plate patience and strong defensive skill they have maintained positions on the team for the longest periods of time, among their fellow brethren from Pawtucket. The future is now for these guys.
The Futures of Fenway game is scheduled on Saturday, July 27th at 12PM at Fenway Park. Fans will be able to see the other great players the Red Sox have within their farm system. A few days later the League reaches its trade deadline. Will we need to make any big trades, or will we stick with guys we have in the system? Perhaps, there are some that need to go, like Stephen Drew, to make room on the 40-man roster. And, after all, you can’t have too much of a good thing.
Well, Nick Cafardo, of the Boston Globe took the wind out of my sails today as he tweeted about Jackie Bradley Jr.’s return to the majors. He wrote the following “Debbie Downer” tweet:
“Jackie Bradley Jr. is here in Philadelphia. This should only be temporary until Shane Victorino returns next week.”
Okay, that could be true, but who knows how long Victorino will be out. Pump the brakes. Take a breather. How can the Red Sox use Bradley while Victorino is out, and perhaps (though unlikely), when he returns?
Bradley could very well be the Pedro Ciriaco of the outfield. Will fans see him in the 6th inning replacing Jacoby Ellsbury or Mike Carp, if they run out of steam in the batter’s box? The team needs run production. This kid, Bradley, has a fire in his belly at the plate. His batting average stats don’t lie; they are straight up insane at .415/520/780 even for the Triple-A minor league level. He has bounced back from the bicep tendinitis. Yes, he had a tough time initially when the Red Sox brought him right out of Spring Training. I think the trouble there was between Bradley’s two ears, and had little to do with his athletic ability. The contract chatter, the media buzz, and the bright lights got to him. Hopefully, Bradley’s jitters are gone this time.