Twins, at home opener, to unleash gladiator tunes on unsuspecting opponents

Twins, at home opener, to unleash gladiator tunes on unsuspecting opponents

For the home opener, I could drone on about the new scoreboard, the new salty snacks, the lack of trees, or my take on whether or not the Twins have figured out their Target Field home run problems.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the thing that bothered me most of last season: What is that song?

As with most teams, the Twins batters get their choice of song to play when they step to the plate. A blasting beat meant to motivate the batter, get them in rhythm, to call forth the warrior... even if it is a mosh pit warrior.

Problem is, I can rarely name that tune. Last season, I could happily identify Kubel's choice of the opening guitar hook from the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage", the rest being hardcore rap or country music mysteries.

Apparently I'm not alone, since the Twins have been inundated with emails and Twitter feeds demanding a playlist.

Dan Edwards, the music director for the Minnesota Twins, is the man responsible for helping shape the musical line-up. During spring training, he sent out an email asking each player to name a few songs that best motivate them at the plate.

The key is to find a strong hook, which can be anywhere within the song, and good lyrics--clean lyrics, radio edits--that fire them up.

"The players take this very seriously," Edwards said. "Especially the younger, hipper players like Danny Valencia."

Valencia Tweets about his musical choices, asking friends and fan alike to help him settle on the appropriate song. He settled on Drake's "Over", and these lyrics, which apparently will help smooth out his already smooth swing:

I swear it feels like the last few nights We been everywhere and back But I just can't remember it all

What am I doin'? What am I doin'? Oh, yeah, that's right, I'm doin' me I'm doin me I'm livin' life right now, mine.

You'll hear that when the sophomore comes to bat this year. Here's the whole thing, in case you hadn't heard it before (this no doubt ages me, but I'd never even heard of Drake before.)

Edwards tells me that this year's model of MLB the Show (insert your trademark here, kind Playstation masters) allows you to download mp3s to play when a player comes to bat, just like in real life. Valencia is an avid fan of the game, and toys around with different music there as well.

On the other hand, there's veteran Jim Thome. The slugger appears to be the one square on a team of hipsters: he takes his swings to the theme of 300, the slick gladiator epic.

At least it's not country. Fortunately for all that is good and holy, the Minnesota Twins may actually field a lineup this season that does not, for once, have any Kenny Chesney or Toby Keith. Now if they can keep Lee Hazelwood out of the seventh inning stretch, I'll be a very happy man.

Here's my projected musical opening day lineup. The bench players tunes are at the bottom. Ostensibly, the Strib's suggesting some controversy over today's line-up. Questions remain as to whether Gardenhire's going to put Drew Butera in to catch Pavano and let Mauer rest. I'm going to assume that Gardy's going to wise up and put his star in for opening day, so this list reflects that good reasoning.

(NOTE: if there's more than one song, the list will rotate with each at bat.)

1. Denard Span CF: "Hustle Hard" by Ace Hood/"Not A Star" by Rick Ross 2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka 2B: "Spitfire" by The Prodigy 3. Joe Mauer C: "What You Know" by T.I. 4. Justin Morneau 1B: "Highway to Hell", "Stormy May Day", and "Ain't Noise Pollution", all by AC/DC 5. Jim Thome DH: The theme 300 6. Michael Cuddyer RF: "Til I Collapse" by Eminem/"H.A.M." by Kanye West and Jay Z/"One More Road to Cross" by DMX 7. Jason Kubel LF: "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys/"Bleed it Out" by Linkin Park 8. Danny Valencia 3B: >"All of the Lights" by Kanye West and Rihanna/"Over" by Drake 9. Alexi Casilla: >"Si No Le Contesto" by Plan B

The Bench: Delmon Young OF: >Poppin" by Ludacris (actually "Pussy Poppin", but you can bet those lines won't be heard in the ballpark)/>"Racks" by YC Matt Tolbert IF: >"Ghosts N Stuff" by Deadmau5 Jason Repko IF: A guitar rift by his father (how cool is that?) Drew Buterra C: >"The Show Goes On" by Lupe Fiasco

Please enjoy the rousing sounds of the gladiator as take our swings...

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