Match the hitter with at-bat music

Updated: September 24, 2009, 3:11 PM ET
By Jim Wilkie | ESPN.com

Besides featuring all Seattle Mariners in this week's Batter's Hit Box at-bat music matching game, we got a pitcher's perspective on the music batters choose when they come up to the plate.

Mariners lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith is a big music fan, and he said occasionally some songs don't quite match a batter's reputation or personality.

"Sometimes [the music is] just overdone," Rowland-Smith said. "Some of the guys are trying to be tough guys and have an edgy kind of song. …

"But some of the songs I actually like, or some of the songs are fitting to the guy who's coming up to hit. And for me, obviously I'm only pitching when I'm in their ballpark, but sometimes it can pump me up a little bit if it's a song you like or it gets you in that mood, you know."

Off the top of his head, Rowland-Smith couldn't recall an opponent and song that were a perfect match, but he said two good examples were teammates Russell Branyan and Ken Griffey Jr.

"Here, Russell Branyan has -- I'm not into country music at all -- but he's got some country song ['Hillbilly Deluxe' by Brooks & Dunn] that fits him," Rowland-Smith said. "Griffey's had his song [see above matching game] he had back in the early '90s when he had it here."

What doesn't work, in Rowland-Smith's opinion, is the death metal used by some clubs, because most fans can't connect with it and "numb out when they hear that music."

"It's gotta be something, too, that the crowd can identify with, I think," Rowland-Smith said. "I know you want a song for you, that pumps you up, but I think it's great when a song that's catchy or something that the crowd can kind of catch onto as well. Because that's gonna liven up the crowd … you see people out there sort of like dancing around and stuff like that when a song comes on, or they start cheering at it because it gets you in a good mood.


Here are links to the songs featured in this week's Batter's Hit Box, if you want to download any of them from iTunes:

"DOA" by Jay-Z -- Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3 - D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)

"Hip-Hop Hooray" by Naughty By Nature -- Naughty By Nature - Greatest Hits: Naughty's Nicest - Hip Hop Hooray

"I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" by Pitbull -- Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - EP - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) [More English Radio Edit]

"Blue Orchid" by The White Stripes -- The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan - Blue Orchid

"Hey Joe" by Jimi Hendrix -- The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Are You Experienced - Hey Joe

"In the Ayer" by Flo Rida -- Flo Rida - Mail On Sunday (Deluxe Version) - In the Ayer (feat. Will.I.am)

"Me, Myself & I" by De La Soul -- De La Soul - King's Ransom: The Album - Me, Myself & I

"Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)" by Wyclef Jean (featuring Akon, Lil Wayne and Niia) -- Wyclef Jean - Carnival, Vol. II: Memoirs of an Immigrant - Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) [feat. Akon, Lil Wayne & Niia]

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