Shane Victorino mad as hell over new rule limiting duration of walkup music
One of the new rules that Major League Baseball will be imposing this season is that it will limit walkup music for hitters to 15 seconds, presumably in part to speed up the average game that seems to take longer and longer to complete with each passing season.
One player who will be most affected by the rule change is Shane Victorino. The Boston Red Sox outfielder typically uses Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” as his walkup music. The trouble is that it order for the song to be truly appreciated, it requires at least 20 seconds, as it became a Fenway Park thing for fans to sing along to the last part of the line, “Don’t worry… about a thing. Because every little thing gonna be alright.” The “Don’t worry” part of the lines will play but the song will be cut off under the 15-second allotment (“Because every little thing gonna be alright” part is typically sung a cappella by the fans).
And Victorino is mad as hell about it. For that reason and for a few others.
“I just think it’s not right,” Victorino told WEEI. “It’s disappointing to hear that. I look at it this way: There was a stat of going into the box between pitch, I think mine was like six seconds, which was one of the top five fastest. So they ask me, ‘Why are you like that?’ I told them I wanted to get in the box and go. So this little stuff they want to change with music, for a guy like me of course it sucks because it’s not necessarily for me but it’s part of everything that goes on at Fenway Park when I walk up to the plate. Now you’re going to have so many disappointed fans every night because you’re changing that part of the game.
“I just feel like it shouldn’t be a designated time, Some guys take their time. Some guys that’s their rhythm. I don’t want to do just because I want to listen to the whole song. It’s because it’s the thing that’s been picked up and the way it happened toward the end of the season. That’s the only reason I let that part of the song go. If not, I don’t pay attention to that.”
In the grand scheme of things, the rule change certainly isn’t the biggest deal in the world. At the same time, Major League Baseball has to figure out some way to get the games done within a reasonable amount of time. Red Sox games often are some of the longest games in baseball, especially when the team is playing the New York Yankees. In those instances, games can last much longer than three hours. Far too long for the shortening attention spans of the typical American fan.
That doesn’t mean Victorino has to like it.
“Everybody has their own rhythm and way they go about an at-bat,” Victorino said. “If over the course of a season there’s a problem then Major League Baseball should tell Mr. So-and-So they’re taking way too long between pitches and this needs to stop or fines will come your way. I just don’t think everybody across the board has to [punished].”
Wherever an individual lines up on the debate, one thing is for certain. A lot of time sure is spent discussing and dissecting the walkup music used by various players before at-bats. It makes for amusing fodder, but seriously, it’s borderline crazy.