Would you favor or oppose a ban on the music played before each player's at bat during a baseball game?
—Based on 797 responses; poll conducted by International Communications Research
Last week Major League Baseball executive vice president Sandy Alderson suggested that in hopes of shortening games, the commissioner's office would try to convince teams to cut down the length of the music that's used to introduce hitters in most stadiums. Each player usually selects his pre-at-bat tune (e.g., A's outfielder Terrence Long likes to have DMX blasting before his plate appearances, while Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch has Eminem trumpet his arrival). Alderson says the songs drag out games by causing a player to wait for his name to be announced and the musical snippet to be played before he steps into the box.
Problem is, player music, like dot racing and T-shirt cannons, is now part of the routine at ballparks. Of the 797 respondents who expressed an opinion on the matter in an SI-commissioned poll, 56% opposed banning such music. The numbers also suggest that the tunes help broaden the game's appeal beyond the traditional fan base: Women opposed a ban more than men did. Message to baseball: If you want to grow the game, keep the music playing.