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There’s a new rule on walkup music? OK.

Mar 25, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT

World Series - Boston Red Sox v St Louis Cardinals - Game Three Getty Images

Things you can totally miss even if you do nothing but read crap about baseball all day, even in the winter: Major League Baseball has a new rule that limits batters’ walkup music to no more than 15 seconds.

I learn this by reading about Shane Victorino’s disappointment with the new rule over at WEEI. He has taken to using Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” in which the crowd booms in with “Every little things/gonna be alright!” Which comes way past the 15 second mark. Victorino thinks the rule is taking away from the fan experience and that it could impact batters’ rhythms and things.

I’ll admit: being at Game 6 of the World Series and listening to the crowd sing along with Shane and Bob was kind of cool. Maybe even chill-inducing. But (a) I imagine that effect wears off after more than a game, especially when the games aren’t last-game-of-the-World-Series intense; and (b) if everyone did that kind of stuff games would take even longer than they already do.

The lesson: go with punk rock, kids. Those songs are all short and sweet and will get things moving along while still pumping people up.

  1. stratomaticfan - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Fans love Vic and the Three Little Birds….was going on long before the World Series. Team should ignore and pay MLB whatever the fine is.

    • bigharold - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      Or, they could merely start playing it about 10-12 seconds in and still get the refrain he’s looking for.

    • kevinbnyc - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:40 PM

      The last thing Fenway needs is another godawful sign-a-long that has absolutely nothing to do with baseball.

      • professor30 - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        You mean like Cotton Eye Joe

    • snoilog - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Cool David Bowie’s “Young American” still works for my walk up ♫♫♪♪♫♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♫♫♪♪♪♫♫

  2. catparties - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Has MLB learned nothing from professional wrestling??

    • someguyinva - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:23 PM

      So which player would be most likely to use Also Sprach Zarathustra?

      • phantomspaceman - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:03 PM


      • someguyinva - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        In order for it to be legit, though, if such a batter ever faced a two-strike count, three of his teammates would immediately emerge from the dugout, bats in hand, and stand around the plate and make sure that all future pitches were put in play, or at least fouled off.

        His first base coach would also be free to tackle the first baseman on any ground ball hit by this batter.

    • infieldhit - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      I’d like to see a Cub take up Cult of Personality since it’s dormant these days.

  3. lingerie00yardsale - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Shane Victorino is powered by copious quantities of marijuana-infused Spam.

    • renaado - Mar 25, 2014 at 8:16 PM

      Change “Spam” to tacos then I’d probably agree with you XD.

      • strictlythedanks - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:57 PM


  4. nyyankeefanforever - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Gotta admit I don’t share the taste of most players’ walkup music and will be eternally grateful to our Captain for choosing to simply walk up to the recorded voice of our late great PA announcer Bob Sheppard, whose voice is the only sound he ever heard or wanted to hear as he approached the plate in the Bronx.

    • lingerie00yardsale - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      Our Captain’s little buddy is Gilligan.

  5. baseballici0us - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    ” I imagine that effect wears off after more than a game, especially when the games aren’t last-game-of-the-World-Series intense”

    Not so in Boston, Craig. If you noticed when you were there they sang “Sweet Caroline” between the top and bottom of the 8th inning. It’s a tradition unique to the Red Sox and it’s done every single night. It would not wear off on people, not in Boston anyway.

    • tfbuckfutter - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Boston: We never get tired of anything.

    • homelanddefense - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      and most of the people I know absolutely hat when its done. Its the most pink hat thing that happens at Fenway

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:52 PM


      • bobwsc - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        true statement Homeland. its all pudgy soccer moms singing and dancing to it – and Neil Diamond wrote that song when he was approaching 30 years old for a very underage Caroline Kennedy. skeevy to say the least. Paradise City or Born to Run should take its place, pronto.

      • homelanddefense - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        meant hate, but I see you get my point anyway

      • kevinbnyc - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Don’t you dare defile Born to Run by playing it at Fenway.

      • bobwsc - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        how is that defiliing it Kevin? the Boss was one of the first (or maybe the first) to play Fenway during this recent string of concerts. forget the “he belongs to the yankees cause he’s from Jersey” boloney; you can have Bon Jovi.

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      I’m from Boston and despise Sweet Caroline much like every other actual baseball fan.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    This sucks. I wanted to use the Super Mario Brothers theme when I make The Show and it is scientifically proven that it takes 2 minutes and 37 seconds of hearing that for maximum koopa crushing power.

  7. kcyeti - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    They should also require Billy Butler’s walkup music be Slow Ride by Foghat and exempted from time rule since he’s always 5 seconds behind everyone else when it comes to foot movement.

  8. blues1988 - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    dah dah, dah dah, wiiiiiiilson.

  9. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I’m came to a baseball game, not a rock concert.

    Seriously, I don’t mind music between innings, but the game is long enough, let’s get up there and bat already. While we are at it, let’s get in the box and stay in the box, and pitchers throw the damn ball already.

    • bigharold - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      At the risk of sounding like the old guy telling kids to get off his lawn, but the walk up music is a bit self indulgent. It’s as if it’s a puffed up introduction that I never really understood. I can’t even imagine a guy like Thurmond Munson or Frank Robinson doing something like that. I can imagine a guy like Bob Gibson or Nolan Ryan taking offense to it, .. that might be interesting.

      That’s not to say all old players wouldn’t have done something like it had they thought about it. Babe Ruth was a crazy SOB, .. he’d come out to “Happy Days Are Here Again” or maybe something scintillating by Cab Calloway.

      Now “Get off my lawn”!!

    • sportsdrenched - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      I’m the other way around. I could care less for music between innings. But I’m sort of on the tracking walk-up music bandwagon.

  10. paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    As a fan, the number of times a player’s walkup music has contributed positively to my experience at the ball park is zero. In contrast, the number of times this devise has detracted (in a small way) from my experience is innumerable.

    I’m generally not stodgy, but what is wrong with just enjoying the sounds of the ball park. I love music, but I could use a lot less of it blasted at me over the PA while I’m at the park.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM

      “I’m generally not stodgy” he he

      So, the self-professed headbanger hates musical noise? I love irony in the spring. 😀

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        Context. There is a time and place for everything.

        Cell phones are fine, but not on the river and not while driving.

        Music is great, but not blared over the PA at a ball game or at 4 am in an apartment building.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:24 PM

        Maybe you and Craig can start a team and call yourself the Stodgers. There’s a built-in motto about your lawn in there too. 😉

        FYI, the games I’ve been to, I thought the clips were too short and you couldn’t really get a taste of the song. Some of the music is pretty cool. Our local minor league team had a kid on it for awhile that the other guys dubbed “SpongeBob.” I guess you know what they made him walk out to. The kids in the stands loved it anyway.

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:32 PM

        At one MiLB game a kid came out to Panama, and I figured that he was from….you know….Panama. So I checked when I got home, nope, he was Colombian. That was disappointing.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        LOL I’d rather listen to walk up music than watch the dumb kiss cam or listen to “everybody clap your hands/clapclapclapclapclapclapclap.”

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        I’d rather there be nothing over the PA so you could just enjoy the sounds of the ball park, vendors hawking their wares, unclever fans heckling the opposition, general crowd noises, etc.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        I hate listening to rude, loud, drunk fans. 😦

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Go to StL. BFIB. :-)

        I can honestly say that I have very rarely been in the stands and had loud obnoxious fans within ear shot. Most of the baseball games I have been to were in StL, but I have been near annoying drunks there….didn’t see it at all at games in Seattle, Chicago, Boston, or Minnesota. At college football games in Lubbock, you couldn’t get away from the drunks….but at the MiLB or college baseball games in Lubbock there were no drunks.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM

        Don’t go to Arlington then. You can’t cuss in English but they’ll let you be loud and obnoxious and stand up during the inning there. :/

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        …and what is this spring of which you speak? It was 12F this morning (and yesterday morning as well).

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        What? It’s 52* out right now. Thursday is supposed to be 76*.

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM

        It is about 33F right now. Supposed to be in the 50s this weekend…but rainy.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        We could use some of that rain. I’m looking at some blooming redbuds right now.

      • indaburg - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        I need music at my ballpark. Otherwise, it would be the sounds of silence interrupted by the occasional crack of the bat.

        First time I went to the Trop in 1998, I hushed my mom when she started to cheer spontaneously in the silent dome. She looked at me stunned. Being loud NY’ers, we’re accustomed to, you know, cheering. “Be quiet, mom.” I whispered. “They’re trying to play baseball.”

        Calcaterra is on record for saying How Soon is Now would be his walk-up song. When did everyone become such curmudgeons? A good walk up song can add to the experience, just like a good soundtrack can add to a movie.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        You know what I think would be interesting? A history of music at ballparks. Hmmm, I might have some googling to do…

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:16 AM

        Paper: FWIW, Panama used to be part of Colombia, until we wanted to build a canal through it and the Colombians balked. So we arranged for a revolt and Panamanian “independence” in 1903. Yeah Teddy R.

  11. roadryder - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Let’s just get rid of walk up music, and between-innings music (and commercials) altogether.

    • gloccamorra - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:29 PM

      I have to agree with the walk up music. It’s the poor choices, especially from the bench players. The 15 second rule is a start, but it should be limited to the starting eight, and omebody in the club’s front office should pick ’em. Years ago, a player name Curt Bevacqua used the ending of Looney Tunes for his walk up. It was short and somehow, appropriate. You can’t depend on that kind of player’s judgement today.

  12. illuminancer - Mar 25, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    I’m very much looking forward to hearing 41,000 people trying to hit the high note in “Take On Me” when Michael Morse comes up to the plate.

    • themuddychicken - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      The still played Take On Me at Nats park every game in 2013, it’s become their Sweet Caroline (since that example has already been brought up). We’ll see if they try to go more permanent with that in 2014, but people still sang along last year anyway.

      Personally, I like testing out my falsetto, so I’ve had to refrain from any criticism.

      • hockeyflow33 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        “The still played Take On Me at Nats park every game in 2013, it’s become their Sweet Caroline ”

        I’m so very sorry

    • chadjones27 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:14 PM

      doesn’t he hit that note for at least 15 seconds as well. That one, “in a day or… ttttwwwwoooooooooooooooo” would break the 15 second rule.

  13. gothapotamus90210 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Any player who tests positive for PEDs should have to walk out to Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon for 162 games.

    • wjarvis - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      I’d be fine with making the player walk out with Bartman like headphones blaring horrible music, but don’t subject the fans to that.

  14. wjarvis - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    There’s also a rule about only allowing 12 seconds to deliver a pitch when nobody is on base, which is odd since the league average is over 20 seconds. If the league wants to shorten the games maybe they should start enforcing the rules about something that happens a few hundred times a game instead of worrying about the few seconds per inning this rule will save.

    • 18thstreet - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      I’m all in favor of anything to slice off a few empty second here or there. They should limit the time between innings, between pitching changes, between at bats, and the time between pitches.

      They could slice off tiny amounts of time. The game would not feel rushed, but it would end sooner.

      • clydeserra - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        wouldn’t sell as many commercials.

        so its not gonna happened.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        I’m not talking about the whole time between innings (though that would be GREAT), but making sure the game is ready to go when the commercial break ends.

        Watching MASN in the DC suburbs, I can attest that they are not selling all of their ads. A *huge* percentage of ads during Nats (and Orioles) games are for MASN. They could surely eliminate one per inning during Nationals (and Orioles) home games without cutting into their profits. And — this is optimism at work — they might be able to charge more for the remaining ads. But that’s a pipe dream.

      • wjarvis - Mar 25, 2014 at 6:17 PM

        I think it is possible to cut down the time between innings, without decreasing the number of ads sold. With how quickly you can edit video now, networks could easily sell more ad time than what is actually between innings at the stadium, and then slowly remove a few seconds here and there so they are showing a live feed before the end of the inning. As someone watching at home would you really miss seeing every practice swing or catcher/ump throwing the ball back to the pitcher?

        This would only cut down a few minutes per game though, so you are right that in order to have any significant effects you’d need to shave off a few seconds from every type of break.

  15. jss1330 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Play Freebird!

    • scyankee64 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      In its entirety.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM


  16. scatterbrian - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    “…and that it could impact batters’ rhythms and things.”

    I was listening until you said that.

  17. pbastille - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    The first 14 seconds of the song are instrumental and the lyrics Shane wants are over by the 25 second mark. Can’t the Sox organization pay a nine year old to edit the clip for them?

  18. zdravit - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Don’t forget to ban rap, hip hop and other ghetto filth.

    • 18thstreet - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      Also, they should ban the 1812 Overture. Too long.

    • clemente2 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      And peanuts. Ban those, too.

      • 18thstreet - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:59 PM

        The comic strip, or the legume?

  19. historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    If everyone picked Jobu Bless America or the Star Spangled Banner, I bet they’d kill this rule pretty quick. I’d like to see MLB explain to fans about cutting that off…but not really, because then it would exponentially increase the number of times I have to listen to that/roll my eyes per game.

  20. steve7921 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    If MLB would force players to stay in the batters box after each pitch instead of walking out and readjusting gloves, jockstraps, shoes, makeup, beards etc….then the players would be allowed a longer musical introduction!!

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      Blame it all on Nomah.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        My wife and I were watching a game last season and I guy stepped out of the box and started adjusting his gloves and she said “Who was the guy…” and I interrupted and said “Nomar” and she said “You don’t know what I was going to say” and I said “Adjusted his gloves and kicked his feet and did nine other OCD things between every pitch?” and she said “Yeah” and I said “Nomar.”

  21. 18thstreet - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    In an effort to compete with the NFL, they’ve also banned dunking a baseball over the backstop.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Rule 31.1.4a: Immediately following a “home run” the Player shall place the bat delicately on the ground such that it takes as little time as possible to pick up.

  22. chadjones27 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Still think the best walk up song would be Pearl Jam’s Evenflow. That beginning, “YYAEEWWHH” followed by the riff.
    But, if I were a MLB’er and had to pick, I’d instruct the guy hitting play to randomly select obscure 80’s songs, like Kajagoogoo, Wango Tango, and Wall of Voodoo. Maybe try and get Safety Dance stuck in the opposing pitcher’s head.
    Damnit, now it’s stuck in my head.

    • indaburg - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Your post is the reason why I’m kind of chuckling at this thread. If you asked most of the self-professed haters of this new tradition what their walk-up song would be, most would have an answer in under two seconds.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        I thought we’d all declared our walk up music at some point previously. Probably during a long painful off season.

  23. zzalapski - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    I was at a Twins game with a friend during Joe Mauer’s first or second year in the majors, and when Mauer came up to bat, the Metrodome speakers blared out the Gin Blossoms’ “Hey Jealousy”.

    We look at each other with an expression along the lines of “Really? Did he lose a bet or something?”

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      Sometimes it’s better not knowing what they are listening to when the cameras pan by them in the locker room.

  24. travisadamsonsports - Mar 25, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Reblogged this on Travie and Seanzie in the AM.

  25. extavernmouse - Mar 25, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Every Mariners fan knows that the second verse of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” is “Louie Louie.”

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