I was reading today about the Minnesota Twins' home opener, the inaugural game at their new ballpark Target Field, and I learned that Jon Rauch, the anointed 2010 Twins closer hustled into said role earlier this year to replace future Tommy John surgery survivor Joe Nathan, gets his act warmed up to the strains of Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam."
Well, ok. Good for him. Another closer with another generic, uninspired choice of crap metal warmup tuneage. Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera of the Brewers and Yankees respectively use the only decent heavy warmup music - "Hell's Bells" by AC/DC and "Enter Sandman" by Metallica, where the former is only particularly cool because of the bell sound effect (does anybody really want to argue that the song itself is a particularly choice cut? Nah, me neither), and the latter because, well, it's pretty much an awesome, badass tune for the greatest closer of all time to use. Further, my friend Ryan Poortenga has already identified the song "Reign In Blood" by Slayer as the ultimate closer music - thus rendering all other modern, post-NWOBH* metal song choices weak and pale in comparison (with the two exceptions I just made - and "Hell's Bells" isn't really "post-NWOBH" anyway). And as long as "Reign In Blood" goes unused, I will use this forum to suggest more appropriate into/warmup music for the professional closers of today.
For starters, Jon Rauch needs a new tune. Considering his considerable height, I think that "I Can See For Miles" by The Who is the obvious choice.
Moving on, my close(r) personal friend Bobby Jenks of the Chicago White Sox uses some piece of garbage by P.O.D. as his intro music. That is a big fat no. And since Bobby is a girth-positive individual (albeit slighly less so this year), I recommend the "Weird Al" Yankovic tune "Fat," which of course is a parody of Michael Jackson's "Bad." And he needs to use the intro dialogue, i.e. "you ain't fat! You ain't nothin'! YOU AIN'T NOTHIN'!" to set the tone and put the other team in their place before he even hits the mound.
I'm sort of impressed with Jonathan Papelbon's choice of "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by The Dropkick Murphys (written by my actual father, Woody Guthrie!). But we can do better, and we must do better! His nickname is Chucky, due to his resemblance to that terrifying doll from the "Child's Play" movies. So let's retire "Boston," but borrow the idea of a current band covering an old song. Listen to the theme music for the movie "Child's Play" - seriously, do it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhWm_uGwKAc. Now imagine the Canadian art-thrash band Fucked Up covering it, in drop-C# with a full-on roar. 9th Inning death magic at Fenway? Oh yeah!
San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson uses the song "Disciple" by Christian metal band Rise Up, which is obviously not a Beach Boys song, but upon further reflection, I'm not sure The Beach Boys ever recorded an appropriate song for a closer to use. Hey Beach Boys fans - any ideas? For now, I'll play the trump card and suggest he use "Reign In Blood" by Slayer (which as previously discussed is THE ULTIMATE CLOSER SONG), since he's such a good little Christian and all.
While not a closer, current free agent and noted redhead Seth McClung was a good pitcher for the Brewers when used properly out of the bullpen. With his mid-90's fastball and a couple other good working pitches, he strikes me as closer material down the line. His song? The music from the Saturday Night Live fake toy commercial "Big Red." I wish I could find a link for you people who are unfamiliar with it, but trust me when I say it's perfect, rollicking, rocking stuff. And very McClung-appropriate!
Allright, that'll do it for now. However, as the season progresses, I'll write one or two follow-ups to this article. For example, there is no way that Joakim Soria should be using "Welcome To The Jungle" - he's the goddamn Mexicutioner! With a nickname like that, he needs something with more of a South Of The Border flavor, or at least something by Los Crudos.
Please feel free to submit your own ideas. This ain't over.
*New Wave Of British Heavy Metal