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What Pros Blare: Closer Edition

The decision of what song one would choose to enter a game in a save situation is quite possibly the most important decision of one’s life.  A careless choice can make the crowd flat, a popular choice might sound too cliche, an obscure choice might just be awkward.  But the right choice, when played at a high volume in front of a lively crowd, is what makes the closer the true “rock star” of sports.

Lets take a look at today’s closers and their song choices, and see if they do, in fact, rock.

Craig Kimbrel

It’s a staple.  It gets the crowd going.  That’s really the most important thing, though at this point it falls into the cliche category as much as any hype-song going.

Jim Johnson

Soft.  I like the Foo Fighters, but it’s just not the time nor the place.

Alfredo Aceves

Santana knows how to get people moving.  He’s been doing it for over 40 years.  Not to say this is a prototypical closer song, but Aceves and Santana both have Mexican roots, and as far as Latin rock goes, there is no better.

Addison Reed

Well the theme is spot on, but I’m not a big Bruce guy—I’m sure a lot of you reading this aren’t either.  This song belongs in a AA ballpark during a visitor’s pitching change, not in Chicago for the bottom of the 9th.

Aroldis Chapman

We’ve talked about this one before—the Cuban connection.  But I’m sorry, for a guy throwing 104 mph, straight-up unSEEable stuff, you’ve gotta do better.

Chris Perez

Sure.  At least he’s got the idea.

Rafael Betancourt

Just absolutely abysmal.  As bad as the Rockies.  And that’s BAD.

 Jose Valverde

Just so contradictory to the way this doughboy prances around the hill like he’s in a Broadway show.  You’ve got Justin Verlander throwing 8 strong, walking off the mound with his lunch pail after an honest day’s work, and then this circus act comes in with choreography for every strike he throws.  The guy is a disgrace to the game.

Greg Holland

Maybe the thought of Valverde’s face has got me down, but is it just me or is everyone supremely disappointed by the choices so far?  This song is SOFT!

Ernesto Frieri

Sure, I guess the Southern Californians could get down to this, but still underwhelming.

Kenley Jansen

Finally someone that gets it.  Local act, nasty beat, head-bobber to the 10th power.  Thank you, KJ.  And that cutter—yikes.

Steve Cishek

Well shoot I had no idea that this was Christian rap, but I didn’t care.  It’s fire.  Amen.

Bobby Parnell

100 mph on the gun, and it’s no surprise this guy can’t get an out.  This is the type of choice that makes closers into set-up men.

Grant Balfour

I would imagine he starts this song near one of the breaks, a little later in the song.  Balfour is a lunatic, and this fits nicely with that image.  Metallica is evidently the popular choice among closers.

Jonathan Papelbon

Want to hate it.  Can’t.  This song is nuts.  This has the “run-through-a-wall” factor as much as anything.

Papelbon is a clown, but these are the types of songs we think of when we think of the “Rock Star Closer.”  He did a helluva job with these choices.

Joel Hanrahan

The grunginess is totally cool with me.  If I’m Hanrahan, I run out of the pen like a wild bull looking to gore anything I see.  Finally, we’re getting some attitude from these guys.  Is it any wonder that the nastier songs come from the nastier closers?

Jason Motte

I’ve said it before.  This is an exemplary choice.  Power chords and power fastballs.  They go together like apple pie & Chevrolet.

Dale Thayer

Can a song be cliche if there’s no one at the stadium to hear it?

Jeremy Affeldt

Since Casilla couldn’t keep it together, the Giants have gone to the veteran to shut the door.  A veteran choice here—not my favorite, but it’s not Pitbull, either.

Sergio Romo

This still baffles me.  I’m not sure if I’m being fed the wrong information or if Sergio is playing a trick on me.  Anyone?

Tom Wilhelmsen

ACDC is the other popular choice aside from Metallica, but I gotta side with the big guy here.  This one’s an American Classic, and if you’ve been to a bar around closing time, you know that that’s prime time for sing-a-longs (see Journey).  So I see where Wilhelmsen is coming from here—it’s late, the crowd just sat through another 1-0 yawner on a cold Seattle night—you gotta wake ’em up, get the blood flowin’ again.

Joe Nathan

I’ve never heard of it but I’m into it.

Casey Janssen

If there was such a thing as Easy Hard Rock, the Foo Fighters would be the pioneer of the genre.  It’s almost like they sound too good for me.  Dave Grohl is great and I appreciate his music, but I’d never in a million years choose this song.  The Foo Fighters would be the closer’s song in a Disney movie.

Tyler Clippard

Despite the fact that Drew Storen is just about ready to reclaim his job, Clippard has done a nice job in the closer’s role this year, and he did a even better job with his song choice.  Lauryn Hill makes anything sound good.

Mariano Rivera

The GOAT.  There’s nothing more to say.

What would your song be?

I also didn’t get a few of the closers’ songs because I couldn’t find them.  I used a great website called designatedhits.com as a reference.  You should definitely check it out.


  1. […] I missing out on Christian rap?  First Cishek, now this?  These beats are hard as […]

  2. […] I said in the Closer Edition, I had no idea it was Christian rap and it didn’t even […]

  3. […] Classic.  I’ve discussed this before. […]

  4. […] This is kind of your poor man’s version of Rivera’s Enter Sandman. […]

  5. […] did this one as part of our Closer walk-up feature.  I don’t really agree with it, honestly.  It doesn’t really pop like a closer song […]

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