Time can never mend the careless whisper of a good friend — but can playing the sexy and saxy pop classic "Careless Whisper" mend or even prevent a long-term slump?Josh Reddick of the Oakland Athletics hopes so, because it's the song he's using as intro music for his at-bats at home games.
Reddick told Rolling Stone magazine that the George Michael/Wham! tune came up randomly (mmm hmm) on the Pandora music service in the clubhouse Sunday. "A sign," Reddick said to himself at the time. The next day, Reddick made "Careless Whisper" his at-bat song. After two big games at the plate — four hits including a triple and a home run — the music won't be changed any time soon:
"Baseball players are very superstitious, so I can't imagine changing it for a while, unless something dramatic happens ... and I hope it doesn't."
Ballplayers usually pick a rock anthem, a rollicking country tune or a faster dance number — something by one of those Justin Timberlake/Pharrell Williams types.
"Careless Whisper," because of its sultry pace, is an upset. Watch the original video here.
A's fans are into it to, naturally.
"It's definitely escalated more than I thought it would," Reddick laughed. "The fans are the funniest; it comes on and they're cheering and slow-dancing in the outfield. They seem to be having more fun with my walk-up song than the actual game."
After having a breakthrough season in 2012, Reddick has struggled with injuries and finding that swinging groove of yore. If he gets on a streak with "Careless Whisper" as his soundtrack, it might prompt the world to fall in love again with Michael and Wham! — just like it did with Steve Perry and Journey with the help of A.J. Pierzynski and the 2005 Chicago White Sox. They used "Don't Stop Believin' " as a rallying cry (of sorts) on the way to the World Series.
Just hope the O.co Coliseum restrooms are functioning at full blast come playoff time for the A's. George Michael, they say, can be a little bit of a prima donna. Only the right-colored M&Ms and stuff like that. And he doesn't really like "Careless Whisper," reportedly, saying its lyrics are trite and meaningless to him personally, and he's disturbed that so many other people draw something from it he cannot. Artists.
There's no comfort in the truth, George. But is this because Andrew Ridgeley helped him write the song? Boy, if Billy Beane could fine him and George Michael for a Wham! reunion at the A's World Series, you want to talk about Armageddon?
No matter Michael's feelings about the song, that doesn't stop Reddick, or this guy:
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