You had to be lucky to notice, it only lasted about fifteen seconds.Ã‚Â When Chris Carpenter walked to the plate to lead off the third inning Saturday night, the RedsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ stadium staff took the rare step of playing introduction music for an opponent.
The taunting of Carpenter with The Platters classic Ã¢â‚¬Å“Smoke Gets in Your EyesÃ¢â‚¬Â followed a long tradition of using music in battle.Ã‚Â George Washington had his fife and drum corps.Ã‚Â Heavy metal music was played so relentlessly as a weapon in Operation Iraqi Freedom that American soldiers referred to it as Ã¢â‚¬Å“LallaFallujah.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The inspiration for last SaturdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s song was Carpenter’s reported complaint that he was bothered by the smoke that hung over the GABP mound following a Ramon Hernandez home run on May 15.
The musical brushback on Saturday night ultimately failed.Ã‚Â Carpenter got the last laugh, pitching eight strong innings and contributing to the Cardinals’ decisive 3-run fifth by doubling on a Bronson Arroyo two-strike fastball.
As I sat in Section 130, still mystified by Dusty BakerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lineup that had Edgar Renteria, playing and batting second, and Chris Heisey batting seventh ‘to protect Scott Rolen’, a related question crossed my mind:Ã‚Â Could the music selection by the Reds staff be second-guessed?
Much like their manager, the Reds staff had chosen to play a dated rendition of Ã¢â‚¬Å“Smoke,Ã¢â‚¬Â when a newer, more athletic version, like from Sonny Rollins, was available.Ã‚Â How about the (slightly-creepy) Judy Garland take?Ã‚Â It would have highlighted CarpenterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reputation for the overly-dramatic.
After careful deliberation, my
lineup card play list would have featured The Muppets.Ã‚Â Imagine that video on the GABP scoreboard between innings before the Carpenter AB.Ã‚Â WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have won the game as surely as if Zack Cozart had played second base.
If the Reds continue to use music as a psychological weapon, shouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it be as effective as possible?Ã‚Â Maybe what their staff needs is the Nation’s help in choosing songs tailored to the upcoming home stand against the Braves, Mets and defending champion Giants.
Modern-day chin music, anyone?