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Yankees picked “Enter Sandman” for Mariano Rivera because they were copying Trevor Hoffman

Sep 15, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

enter sandman

Mariano Rivera would be plenty intimidating coming into a game in complete silence, but playing “Enter Sandman” by Metallica as his entrance music definitely adds to the hitters’ sense of dread.

Yet as Bryan Hoch of writes, Rivera isn’t even a fan of the song and the Yankees only stumbled into using it for his entrances because they were trying to copy the Padres’ use of “Hells Bells” for Trevor Hoffman.

According to Hoch in 1999 they initially tried “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses, but weren’t satisfied with the crowd reaction. Then a freelance member of the scoreboard production team named Mike Luzzi brought in some CDs and suggested “Enter Sandman.”

And the rest is history.

In retrospect the song’s ominous tone and lyrics are a perfect fit for Rivera coming in to close the door on opponents, but here’s what the future Hall of Famer told Hoch about being forever linked to the 1991 song:

I never said that I didn’t like it, but I didn’t care about the song. I didn’t pick the song. I don’t pay attention to the music. When I go in there, I’m going to business. I have a job to do, that’s it. It’s not part of my identity. People identify it [with me], but that’s it. I wouldn’t say that’s my identity. To tell you the truth, I have to do one thing. I go out there and pitch.

Which is of course exactly the sort of approach to things that makes Rivera so damn scary.

  1. cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

    He’s a Sith Lord of the Evil Empire and you can’t hate the guy. These Jedi mind tricks are devilish.

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      Yes! this is fact! The evil Emperor Stienbrenner recruited him long ago to work beside Darth Cashman and to spread their evil. Luckily there are Jedi knights ready to fight the dark side. We now see the Jedi fight along side Obi won Amaro and Charlie Manuel (nicknamed Yoda) to bring down the dark side.

      • cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        This worries me though. The Jedi’s seem to be employing cyborgs and androids. Never in recorded history has this policy worked out for the creators/employers of such infernal devices. I hope Yoda and Obi Wan kept their receipts and extended the warranties. If those things run amok, as those things inevitably do, they might want to speak with the manufacturer about damages.

  2. Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I like Damage inc. from the 1:20 mark. But as far as baseball is concerned, I’d say disposable heroes is best fitting. Because they really are. Just not in exactly the same sense as the song.
    I’m guessing Mo could come out to “Easy like Sunday morning” and still make batters feel silly though.

    • Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Bizarro entrance songs? I’ll bite.

      “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

      • cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:44 PM


      • b7p19 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        Would have worked well for Brandon Lyon

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

        “Ring of fire”

      • oikosjeremy - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        Puff the Magic Dragon. Particle Man. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. Hey Mickey. My Heart Will Go On. Anything by Debbie Gibson. Anything by The Shaggs. Anything by Spinal Tap. Anything by Weird Al Yankovic.

        This is too easy!

      • Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        Can You Feel The Love Tonight

      • oikosjeremy - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Like a Virgin

      • b7p19 - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        “Gone like a freight train”

      • Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM


      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:21 PM

        “Under the Boardwalk”

        “Here Comes The Flood”

        “A Thousand Miles”

      • oikosjeremy - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:22 PM

        Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight if one wanted something bizarre but also in the spirit of Enter Sandman.

      • Roger Moore - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:44 PM

        “I Fall to Pieces”

      • gammagammahey - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:48 PM

        Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      I like this one for a closer too….

  3. thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    I’ve always hoped some pitcher would choose “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”, a la Homer Simpson in his match vs Drederick Tatum.

  4. yankeesgameday - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Hell Bells is still WAY better. Said from a Yankee fan.

  5. southofheaven81 - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Walk by Pantera would be my entrance music. If I was even 1% as cool as Rivera. Which I am not.

    • yankeesgameday - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      Great tone for entrance music, but wrong omen… I mean a walk is the last thing you want.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Baseball and Metallica = best HBT post ever.

    And, does anyone else find it funny that we’re talking about this while Metallica played Yankee Stadium last night?

    • oikosjeremy - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      For the “bizarro” bit of this thread, it would’ve been funnier if Debbie Gibson or Chumbawumba had played Yankee Stadium last night.

    • DaGooch1979 - Sep 15, 2011 at 6:05 PM

      I was at The Big 4 concert yesterday. It was fantastic! I went in thinking that Enter Sandman had to be played and for sure it was. There was even a Mo chant going in the middle of it.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:46 PM

        I was there as well. Great show, although Slayer blew Metallica off the stage in my opinion.

        I was hoping James would dedicate the song to Mariano, but I don’t think he’s a big baseball fan.

  7. Kevin S. - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I still maintain “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” would be the most subtly intimidating entrance song, ever.

    • yankeesgameday - Sep 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM

      Some chick with a crush on me in high school played that song for me as her declaration of love.

      so yeah, I can attest that “dont fear the reaper” is not subtly intimidating, it pretty much does the trick outright.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 15, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        “Sweetie, just because it mentions Romeo and Juliet…”

      • cur68 - Sep 15, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        And you lived to tell the tale, nice. Says a lot for you when the apocalypse comes, ‘gameday.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Sep 15, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    Imagine if they used THIS version of Enter Sandman…

  9. 27xwschamps - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:20 PM

    Should change 2 ” are u ready “….by ACDC…

  10. Detroit Michael - Sep 16, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    “… his entrance music definitely adds to the hitters’ sense of dread.”

    I doubt it. The hitters probably tune out the music just as Rivera does. It’s all about pleasing the fans and has nothing to do with intimidating the opponents.

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