It’s time the Boston Red Sox ban the practice of allowing each player to stroll to the plate with a five-second snippet of his favorite unintelligible rap song blaring over loudspeakers. In its place, I suggest we hear the disembodied voice of the official Red Sox announcer reciting a slogan or motto of the player’s choosing. Five seconds of rap or smarmy country (another option, as I recall from last season) is just enough time to irritate us fans, but not quite long enough for us to identify the offending “melody.” Contrast this with adages, which can be fully stated as the player ambles up, spits onto his gloves, and adjusts his helmet several thousand times. Just imagine the Fenway PA announcer (do they have a permanent replacement for Carl Bean yet, for crying out loud?) saying, “The abilities of man must fall short on one side or the other, like too scanty a blanket when you are abed.” This would be an apt proverb for many a professional ballplayer, who can make acrobatic catches in center field but can’t hit their own weight.
As I muse on this idea, I quickly come to see that the scheme would fall under the evil spell of American corporations, which would pay players huge sums to use their ad slogans when they do the amble/spit/helmet adjust thing. Here comes Big Papi, swaggering up, and the next thing you know Carl Bean’s replacement is saying “AT&T: Rethink Possible.”
To make the upcoming season a little more interesting, Major League Baseball could require that each player devise his own slogan; fans can then vote for their favorite during All Star balloting, with the winning slogan being cast in bronze and installed in a new "Slogan Wing" at the Baseball Hall of Fame.