All-Star first baseman Joey Votto has found a new hot spot in the Cincinnati lineup, shifting from third in the order to second. With that change, he has found the power he had been missing since his injury two years ago.
The 2010 Most Valuable Player has taken on the roll of a leader for the Reds, as evidenced by his willingness to move up a spot in the batting order. In a similar change even before the season started, he made an intense effort to learn Spanish in order to better communicate with his Latin teammates.
Now is the time for him to make one more change that will improve the Reds and revive some of the enthusiasm of the fans at Great American Ball Park. He needs to change his walk up song.
“Paint It Black” is a great rock tune, but it is not a good song for sports. The sitar, while recalling the psychedelia of late 60s rock, has no place in an arena.
More troubling than the music, however, are the lyrics to the song. Its verses, as the title suggests, are dark. He wants to turn his head, and he wants “to see the sun blotted out from the sky.”
Even more troubling is that the song curses the very name of Votto’s club, as Mick Jagger sings, “I see a red door and I want it painted black.” As a guy who represents a team called the Reds, this line is close to blasphemy.
Assuming Votto wants to stay true to the Stones, there are plenty of other songs in their discography that he could choose as his new walk up song. Here are five that are much more baseball appropriate from Jagger and his gang.
“Start Me Up” from Tattoo You: Since Votto is closer to the top of the order, this songs could serve as the perfect spark the Reds need.
“Happy” from Exile on Main Street: The phenomenal guitar riff alone would invigorate the crowd as well as the team, leaving everybody in elation.
“Street Fighting Man” from Beggar’s Banquet: This tune exudes toughness, a quality the Reds seems to lack on the way to a third place finish last year.
“All Down the Line” from Exile on Main Street: Here is where Votto wants to hit all of the pitches that he doesn’t knock out of the park.
“One More Shot” from GRR!: The crowd never tires of hearing good wood off the bat, so crank up this song each time Votto steps to the plate.