For their game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday, they decided to use some very, very special walk-up music.The Los Angeles Dodgers had a clever and devious idea this weekend.
ESPN’s Doug Padilla spoke to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who revealed the originator of this brilliant idea.
“That was Chase [Utley]’s idea,” Roberts added. “We could only find six songs, though, so we had to kind of loop them. I think Joe enjoyed that.”
Umpires are people, too. Unlike baseball players, who often have their non-baseball activities publicized by their team or the public, we typically never see umpires beyond the diamond. But that doesn’t mean their lives end there, of course.
Joe West’s non-baseball life has included releasing two country albums. The first one, “Blue Cowboy,” was released in 1987 and features a mix of original West tunes and covers. Even though West’s website looks like it was designed in 1998 or so, you can listen to clips of the songs on the album’s page. In fact, it seems like that’s the only place to buy West’s albums. YouTube doesn’t even have a lot of his songs.
But they do have a few! Prepare yourself for some, uh, music.
That’s the video for the title track of West’s 1987 album, “Blue Cowboy,” and you should definitely watch it because it’s phenomenal. The song is reminiscent of Glen Campbell’s “Gentle on My Mind,” and West himself is the main character of the video, which starts with him placing a call to his beloved and singing “This life I lead has made me a drifter.” Appropriate for an umpire! West then travels on a plane (which he later calls a “silver horse”), where three women who were sitting behind him pop up and provide back-up vocals.
Below is a video of West performing live with Bobby Mackey, owner and namesake of Bobby Mackey’s Music World, a haunted nightclub and honky tonk in Wilder, Kentucky. The song is “Momma Don’t Allow No Music Playing Around Here.”
West’s second album, 2008’s “Diamond Dreams,” is a spoken word over Kent Goodson’s country songs. Sadly, there are no clips from that album on West’s website.
As for opinions on West’s music, let’s just say that he should stick to umpiring. One review summed it up well: “Blue Cowboy easily ranks with Ron Artest and Carl Lewis as one of the worst albums that a sports figure has cut… ever.” The title of another review? “As a country singer, Joe West is a good umpire.”
But West certainly has passion for music, and a good sense of humor to boot. From the ESPN article:
At one point, West could be seen on the Dodger Stadium video board laughing inside his umpire mask.
Not everyone would react that well to their obscure 29-year-old country album being trotted out in front of nearly 50,000 people. So bravo to Joe West for being a good sport. Plus, the Dodgers beat the Braves 12-6. Maybe it was the music!
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
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