DOIN' IT FOR THE KIDS

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by West Coast Craig

There’s a hundred and sixty two games of regular season,
And the World Series comes along just to end it,
So the players have to keep on coming up with a reason,
To pick a walk-up song and then defend it…

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…Like Nick Johnson who last week raised a few eyebrows—and perhaps assaulted a few ears—when he stepped to the plate at the New Yankee Workshop to the always inspiring strains of Miley Cyrus’s Party in the USA. He played it because his four-year-old daughter was in the crowd and it’s her favorite…and he himself admitted to being a fan, saying “it’s got a good twist to it.” Now, since I don’t have any daughters, I’ve never actually heard this song so I’m wondering what this “twist” is. Is she a man? Was she the ghost all along? Is it that she is Darth Vader’s daughter? (No, her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus, so you might’ve seen that one coming).

I happen to have a four-year old boy, and if I were a big leaguer who wanted to please him, I’d be stepping up there to We Will Rock You, which he can listen to all day—and has—but it’s still in pretty good rotation at stadiums anyway. So what else might he like to hear blasting out of the speaker towers at a game? I know my older boy was introduced to The Ramones (Hey Ho, Let’s Go!) at a Dodger game, so these are decisions not to be taken lightly (nowadays, for a good walk-up tune, he’d probably prefer the theme from Halo…which, now that I listen to the first twenty or so seconds might just be awesome)…but in the spirit of Nick the Walk’s daughter, I tried to think of songs taken from their favorite Disney/Nick/Toon shows, and just who might best incorporate them.

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Phineas and Ferb: The above bit is from there…but if you have a kid between the ages of four and eight, chances are you recognized it and now once again have that song in your head all day. Unfortunately there aren’t many big league brothers that might get away with this, apart from the Molinas…so I’m gonna try and force the image of Yadier and Bengie creating rocket cars and super-mini-golf courses, with older brother Jose constantly calling their mother to bust them. Agent P, I suppose, would have to be Gaylord Perry the Platypus.

Yo Gabba Gabba: There’s a Party In My Tummy. This might skew a little young, but Cookie mentioned it the other day and yeah, it’s crazy but shockingly entertaining. “I’m gonna eat…yeah-ahhh!” Even though he’s an avowed vegetarian, and a pleased-to-be-eaten chicken is one of the first mentions, Prince Fielder definitely looks like a guy who can put his weight behind this song as he steps to the batter’s box…and besides, it’s got an eat-your-veggies message to boot.

Batman Brave and the Bold: This is my four-year-old’s hands down favorite show, so he’d quite enjoy seeing a ballplayer swing into action to its opening chords…and damn if it wouldn’t stir the crowd as well. I’m gonna go with the J-Hey Kid, Jason Heyward. Even though this guy isn’t really old enough to have a four year old himself, he’s a Brave so that works into the title, he’s bold to be holding his own in the bigs for his hometown team without any visible nerves yet, and he’ll be their best bat man for years to come.

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Pokemon: I won’t annoy you with this Japanese-synth-pop ear bleeder, but my kids would be as thrilled to hear it in the stadium as they would to find a rare Deoxys card. This would be good for (don’t call me Andrew) Dice-K, when he hits during the interleague portion of the season…though he’s gone from the powers of a Mewtwo to the pathetic Magikarp. Do I know what I’m talking about here? No. No I don’t. But if you do, you could have a meaningful conversation with my kids.

There are more: The Simpsons theme would get a rise out of them. So would iCarly, for reasons I can’t quite understand (well, two cute girls who live in an awesome loft who make their own show and apparently have no adult supervision at all…okay, I guess I do understand). I’m sure you parents out there reading this could probably think of some others…and chances are, I would probably recognize them more readily than I recognize most of the Dodgers’ walk-on songs (though the miracle of the Shazam app helps). In the meantime, I’ll keep pushing the classics on them.

Grote’s Gripes, tomorrow.

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About the Author ()

West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.

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