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Duda unmoved when Braves organist plays ‘Camptown Races’

David Brown
Big League Stew

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Lucas Duda, a New York Mets player with a funny sounding name, apparently heard enough of "Camptown Races" a long time ago.

Duda also lacks appreciation for the work of Matthew Kaminski, the Atlanta Braves organist who's always looking for clever, funny and irritating ways to relate music and lyrics to players when they are mentioned at Turner Field.

As Adam Rubin of ESPN reported, Kaminski repeatedly played "Camptown" during Duda's at-bats Wednesday night. You've known how it goes since you were 3 or 4 years old.

Camptown ladies sing this song, doo-dah! doo-dah!
Camptown race-track five miles long, oh, doo-dah day!
Goin' to run all night!
Goin' to run all day!
I'll bet my money on the bob-tail nag,
Somebody bet on the bay.

The Turner Field crowd played along beautifully, too, shouting the key part — "doo-dah, doo-dah!" — at the required moments. Sounds like fun. Unless you're the "Doo-Dah Dude" himself, Lucas Duda. His response was right up there with, "Oh, it was so funny I forgot to laugh":

The reserved Duda wasn't overly amused.

"I've heard it for so long, it doesn't even matter," said Duda, who started at first base. "It stopped being funny like the 300th time I heard it."

It stopped being funny to HIM, maybe. And Duda shouldn't have said even that, because Kaminski was listening and he's the dude-a with the power to make Duda's life worse. {YSP:MORE}

From Kaminski's Twitter account:

#Braves vs. #Mets - I'm starting to feel sorry for Duda. . . . . . . maybe I should change it to . . . . . . . . "Big Girls Don't Cry" ;-)

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Now look what you did, Duda. Hey, it's probably a good thing Duda doesn't get too wrapped up in anything he hears from the stands — organ music, boos, heckles, cheers — as it indicates he is focused on the task.

And I can see how it might get tiresome to have your name mocked, even in a joking manner. For example, who wants to be called "Lucas Mucus," or hear "Duda looks like a lady" for 20 years running?

Rubin described Duda as "reserved," which means he's a chill Duda, like a Buddha. So it's not like he pulled a reporter aside to rant. He was just answering a question.

But don't you also think it would be cool to hear an organ in a major league ballpark reference your name in song? Unless it was a really mean or personal reference, it ought to be a hoot — especially for someone who hasn't seen his 50th big league game yet. "Camptown Races" isn't mean, and probably isn't personal to Duda, unless his great-great-great grandfather happened to be a degenerate gambler who lived in a tent city.

Here's a suggestion for Lucas: Good job tuning out the distractions, but remember to enjoy being in the major leagues.

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Kaminski has a job to do as well. Rubin said he has a reputation for being entertaining — he's certainly engaging via social media — and Kaminski has said crowds expect, even demand, that he come up with a musical hook for pretty much every player.

Musical comedy ain't easy, folks!

While "Camptown Races" might not be all that clever — as Duda said, it stopped being funny to him after the 300th time — the key really is getting the crowd involved. An effective organist can do that. It might not get that many (or any) people into the park, but I'll bet some stay to hear what Kaminski will play next.

Aww, yeah. Duda isn't in the Mets lineup Thursday, but R.A. Dickey is pitching. And Kaminski sounds ready.

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