Choosing the perfect walk-up song is like choosing the perfect beer to serve at a party. When choosing a beer to serve at a party, one must consider what that beer says about him or her as a person. Then, one must factor in the audience. Are they a Blue Moon-type crowd or do they demand a more sophisticated microbrew? Or, is it more of an “I don’t care what I drink as long as it gets me drunk” Bud Light crowd? Much like choosing a beer, there are many factors involved when deciding which song to use during a walk-up. Since MLB closers are notoriously intimidating players, their decision is even harder. Here are five songs that would get the crowd going while simultaneously striking fear into the hearts of hitters:
1. “Beat It” – Michael Jackson
With a blistering guitar lick courtesy of Eddie Van Halen and a badass message imploring the audience to get lost, “Beat It” would be the perfect walk-up song for a closer. Not only does it incite the idea of winning, but it says “I’m going to beat you, because I’m awesome, and you aren’t.” Anyone who is going to be an MLB closer needs to have that kind of confidence up on the mound. Not that we don’t all love a good pitcher meltdown every now and then, but I’d rather see Trevor Hoffman strike out the side.
2. “99 Problems” – Jay-Z
Sure it’s not exactly family-friendly fun, but “99 Problems” is everything an MLB closer should be in the ninth inning of a close game. A closer needs to be angry, confident and unflappable. Jay-Z is all of these and more in one of his hardest-rocking songs. Personally, I’d love to see an MLB closer calmly walk in from the bullpen, flash a smirk to the crowd and stare down the opposing team’s best hitter just as he’s about to launch a 99 mph fastball his way. I mean, that’s just good television.
3. “Closing Time” – Semisonic
You knew it was going to happen. It was only a matter of time. While it’s not the hardest of songs, it certainly serves its purpose. It’s basically the closer saying “and this is when you lose.” In addition to its baseball game-ending implications, it also lets the fans know they have to leave, as well. “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” So simple, yet so effective. Somebody needs to make this one happen! And no, Third Eye Blind does not sing this song. Check your 90s trivia, yo!
4. “Hard to Handle” – Black Crowes
Ah, the 90s. Oh, how I miss thee! Few bands rocked harder in the 90s than the Black Crowes, and their Otis Redding cover absolutely crushes it. Who doesn’t love that horn section in a hard rock song? “Hard to Handle” blaring over the loud speaker, plus overpowering fastballs, plus the hometown crowd taunting their most hated adversaries equals awesomeness. I’d love to hear this one as a guy like Huston Street makes his way to the center of the diamond. I get chills just thinking about it.
5. “Renegade” – Styx
Ok, so I have to admit I kind of stole this one from the genius that decided to play it during the 4th quarter of Steelers games at Heinz Field, along with an epic tackle montage. My name is Rebecca and I have a Steelers problem. But seriously, wouldn’t this be an epic walk-up song for a closer? Can’t you just picture Craig Kimbrel striding up to the mound to the sweet sounds of everyone’s favorite cheesy rock band? I totally propose Kimbrel changes his walk-up song immediately. The media crew at Turner Field better get to work on a strikeout montage to be played every time he takes the field. Ready, set, go!
Since we can’t all be Ricky Vaughn or Mariano Rivera and stride onto the field to the tune of an awesome 80s cover of “Wild Thing” or “Enter Sandman,” we have to make do with the songs at our disposal. These are just some of the tunes I think would rev up baseball fans and amp up MLB closers in the ninth inning. Plus, you know you love them. Which songs do you think would kill it at the ballparks? Hit us up on Twitter @Baconsports or Facebook with ideas![Image via]