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Headache in a Suitcase 04-05-2006 04:16 PM


from the New York Daily News
Not only should the Mets play "Enter Sandman" when closer Billy Wagner takes the mound at Shea, the manager of Metallica says they should turn up the volume.

"Frankly, they could have played it louder as far as I'm concerned," said Peter Mensch, the band's manager and a Mets season-ticket holder. "My comment is: Go Billy."

A day after Wagner closed the Mets' 3-2 Opening Day victory with Mensch in attendance, sports-talk radio erupted, with Yankee fans railing at Wagner's entry music - the same song used by Mariano Rivera in the Bronx.

For the record, Wagner used the song first, even if it's synonymous in baseball circles with Rivera's entrance.

While with Houston during Wagner's rookie season in 1996, teammate Jeff Bagwell disliked the lefty's entry music, George Strait's "They Call Me the Fireman," and persuaded Wagner to switch.

Rivera didn't begin using the song for another three years. Yankee Stadium personnel had been so struck by the crowd reaction in San Diego the previous season when Trevor Hoffman entered games to AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" that they sought to find an anthem for Rivera. Scoreboard operator Mike Luzzi brought in a bunch of CDs and the Yankees tested different tunes, including Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City." They settled on "Enter Sandman," which drew the best crowd response. Rivera didn't even know anything about the band.

"I met (Metallica's) James (Hetfield) last year, but I don't listen to that kind of music," Rivera said. "Everyone just identifies me with the song. I listen to Christian music."

The album containing "Enter Sandman" - known as "Metallica" or the "Black Album" - has sold 14.6 million copies in the U.S. alone and 20 million worldwide since its release in August of 1991. "Enter Sandman" was the first of seven Grammy winners by the band Wagner loves.

"I know Mariano's got it. Lord forbid, the Earth should crumble if two people have it," Wagner said after his first Mets save.

Rivera said he has no problem sharing.

"If the guy feels comfortable using the song, then let him be. I know Billy. He's a great guy. He has all my respect....To all the people that are fighting over this, I appreciate the loyalty."

As for Mensch, he even tried to help recruit Wagner. After learning Wagner was a Metallica fan this winter, he told Mets officials to relay to the free-agent closer that Wagner could be on stage during a concert if that would entice him to relocate to Flushing.

"I haven't quite told Metallica," Mensch said with a laugh. "He can sing backup vocals.

"Literally, I called up people I knew at Shea Stadium. That morning, when he was coming to New York, before he signed, we called up and said, 'Tell Billy Wagner, if it means anything, that the manager of Metallica is a season-ticket holder and will put him on stage the next time he's in New York. Or we will reroute the tour.'"

The Mets have long-standing ties with Metallica. Mensch recalled sending Sid Fernandez a set of band T-shirts in 1987 after learning the portly pitcher liked Anthrax.

"XXL," Mensch said.

The two struck up a relationship and Fernandez joined clubhouse attendant Vinny Greco at a Metallica concert at Nassau Coliseum. The duo hung out with the band backstage.

Not that Mensch hates the Yankees. He's tight with Randy Johnson, another Metallica fan.

"I have no beef with Mariano using it," Mensch said. "As long as he's saving games for Randy Johnson that's fine."

phanan 04-05-2006 04:20 PM

Um, yeah.

randhail 04-05-2006 05:27 PM

If this was happening in Boston, Glenn Ordway would spontaneously combust from excitement.

Chizip 04-06-2006 08:22 AM

If I was a closer my intro song would be No More Tears by Ozzy.

Numb1075 04-06-2006 09:15 AM

I think they should both have the song this year. Then, whoever has the most saves at the end of the season, gets to keep the song for next year. The loser's intro song next season will be Beck's "Loser"

speedracer 04-06-2006 09:56 AM

Get crazy with the Cheez Whiz.

Headache in a Suitcase 04-06-2006 12:25 PM


Wagner had taken a lighthearted approach to the "controversy" with Yankee fans over his shared music with Rivera. When teammates warned him during spring training that his "Enter Sandman" entrance music would rile Yankee fans, Wagner replied: "Nah, surely they're definitely brighter people than that."

"Oh, well," he concluded yesterday.

Wagner actually found the topic hysterical. He even called former teammate Jeff Bagwell, who picked the song for him in 1996, to tell the veteran Astro to check out the New York media accounts on the Internet.

"I can't wait to talk to Mariano because I know he's going to be laughing about it," Wagner said. "Honestly, this is funny. It's the funniest damn thing I've seen in my life. They said anything can happen in New York.

"Does he wear Nike or Reebok? Maybe I've got to change that, too. I think he wears black socks, too. I have to stop wearing those."

Even if Wagner would have considered changing music, he said there's no way he could now because it would seem like he's caving in to Yankee fans. Steve Trachsel joked that the Mets should play the early 1990s metal tune when each Met came to the plate.

"I might as well live up to the whole Yankee-Met rivalry," Wagner said. "Mariano doesn't care, and he knows what it's about. And I'm not making a big deal about it. So there's no use to change it. It just gives more Yankee fans ammunition to hate me, so that's great."

Once he was tagged with his first blown save as a Met, he only jokingly suggested he'd change his tune.

"Yeah, I'm thinking about it," Wagner said, tongue in cheek. "I'm sure they'll be talking about it, since Mariano's never blown a save, right?"

i don't know wether to love wagner or be frightened... i kinda like him talking shit about the yankees and all, but i kinda don't like it either... i'd prefer him to just keep his mouth shut until he actually did something in this town...

Numb1075 04-06-2006 12:40 PM

I like it. It shows balls.

Headache in a Suitcase 04-06-2006 01:18 PM

i didn't like it at first and even as a met fan i'd ahve to say that the song belongs to mariano because of all that he's done... but i've heard enough bitching and whining from talk show hosts and yankee fans that i'm friggin sick and tired of it... WHO CARES. it's a fucking song.

speedracer 04-07-2006 12:38 PM

Things could be worse. Especially if you left your hard hat at home:


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