Frieri searching for signature walk-up song
Angels' closer seeking right mix to amp him up, excite Angel Stadium crowd
TEMPE, Ariz. -- From Latin dance music to heavy metal to rap, Ernesto Frieri doesn't discriminate.
The Halos' closer scrolls through songs, searching for the right one to have playing as he runs out of the bullpen in the ninth inning of a ballgame.
Before a recent Spring Training game, Frieri was jamming out to several styles of music blaring from the speakers next to his locker in the Angels' clubhouse, all the while gauging his teammates' reactions to each song.
Frieri is searching for the all-important "walk-up song."
"I'm looking to get a good one, something that I really like and the fans like, too," Frieri said. "If you can get the fans pumped up, that's going to be helpful. In my role, it's all about adrenaline, and you want to turn that on right when you leave the bullpen and get to the pitching mound."
They have become a baseball tradition -- songs that play over the stadium's sound system while a pitcher heads from the bullpen to the mound or as a batter walks to the box from the on-deck circle.
As Frieri explained, the music fuels the intensity and allows the players to get into a zone. But often times, the music is more than that.
Players sometimes are defined by their walk-up songs; think Mariano Rivera and "Enter Sandman," or Trevor Hoffman and "Hells Bells."
For Frieri, he's yet to stick with just one song over his five years in the big leagues. For the last couple of seasons, the Angel Stadium speakers blasted "Volare" by the Gipsy Kings, a fan favorite. Yet, there was a slight problem for the reliever with the song.
"I have to be honest, it doesn't pump me up when I get out there," Frieri said. "I've seen in the last two years, I've been too good with the fans. I've played the song that they like, but not the one I like. I'm going to find one that I like and one that pumps me up, and hopefully it will help my performance, too."
But Frieri is not discounting the desires of fans, so this year, he is taking to Twitter (@ernasty49) for help. Once he narrows down a list of five, he'll tweet out each song and get the fans' opinions for their top choice.
So which song should I use as my walk out song??- ernesto frieri (@ernasty49) February 24, 2014
"They have been really good to me, tweeting me links of songs to look at," Frieri said. "I just want to make sure it's the right one for me this year. It has to be something that whenever I listen to it, I'm ready to pitch."
Ross Dunham is a junior majoring in journalism at Arizona State University. This story is part of a Cactus League partnership between MLB.com and Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.