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Major League Baseball is limiting walk-up music; Shane Victorino is not happy about it

03.25.14 at 11:01 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. –€“ Major League Baseball is going to be limiting the Fenway Park sing-a-longs this season.

Fear not, the iconic “Sweet Caroline” is still allowed to be played in the eighth inning. But the other song the Fenway faithful has come to sing in unison — Bob Marley’€™s “Three Little Birds”€ — is being cut down.

One of MLB’€™s new (and lesser known) rule changes for the 2014 season is the mandate that walk-up music for hitters lasts no more than 15 seconds. That, of course, puts a serious dent in Shane Victorino‘s signature introductory song, which became a staple throughout the latter half of ’13, with Fenway fans singing the words to begin each of the outfielder’s at-bats.

“I just think it’€™s not right,” Victorino said. “€œIt’s disappointing to hear that. I look at it this way: There was a stat of going into the box between pitch, I think mine was like six seconds, which was one of the top five fastest.  So they ask me, ‘Why are you like that?’ I told them I wanted to get in the box and go. So this little stuff they want to change with music, for a guy like me of course it sucks because it’s not necessarily for me but it’s part of everything that goes on at Fenway Park when I walk up to the plate. Now you’re going to have so many disappointed fans every night because you’re changing that part of the game.

“€œI just feel like it shouldn’t be a designated time, Some guys take their time. Some guys that’s their rhythm. I don’t want to do just because I want to listen to the whole song. It’s because it’s the thing that’s been picked up and the way it happened toward the end of the season. That’s the only reason I let that part of the song go. If not, I don’€™t pay attention to that.”

With the new 15-second rule, Victorino’s walk-up music will barely get into the best known part of what had been about a 20-second clip. “Don’€™t worry” will creep in under the allotted time, but the lyrics, ‘€œ’€about a thing. Because every little thing gonna be all right” will not make the cut. (The “Because every little thing gonna be all right” often is echoed by the fans without music.)

“Everybody has their own rhythm and way they go about an at-bat,”€ Victorino said. “If over the course of a season there’s a problem then Major League Baseball should tell Mr. So-and-So they’€™re taking way too long between pitches and this needs to stop or fines will come your way. I just don’€™t think everybody across the board has to [punished].”

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