“Swing and a high flyball,” Hicks said as Garver turned on Baltimore right-hander Jacob Webb’s 3-1 offering. “Deep out into left field … Hays going back … Mitch Garver, can you take me higher?! You most definitely can!”
Wait, was that a Creed reference? It most definitely was!
There’s a perfectly good reason Hicks worked lyrics from a multiplatinum hard-rock band that rose to prominence in the late 1990s (and later became a punchline) into his home run call, and the backstory potentially helps explain the postseason heater the Rangers are on. Texas, which swept Tampa Bay in the first round and took the first two games in Baltimore, all on the road, will have three chances to clinch its first trip to the AL Championship Series since 2011, beginning with Game 3 on Tuesday at Globe Life Field.
In an interview that aired before Game 2, Texas pitcher Andrew Heaney told Rangers radio pregame host Jared Sandler that the team began listening to Creed during a rough stretch in the second half of the season.
“Prior to one of the games six or eight weeks ago, someone just threw on Creed, kind of as a joke,” Sandler said Monday on Dallas’s 105.3 the Fan. “Mixed reviews, and the team won, and then it just sort of slowly became a thing. Before games over the last couple months, 15 minutes or so before, someone will trigger it by going up to someone and saying, ‘Hey, you got a need?’ And that person will respond by saying, ‘I got a need for Creed,’ and they blast Creed.”
Heaney also told Sandler that a Creed singalong by fans at Globe Life Field on Tuesday or Wednesday “would fire them up,” and that call to action stuck in Hicks’s mind as he prepared to call Sunday’s game.
“I kind of thought to myself, ‘Well, if I can maybe work in a line from a song in a call if it’s appropriate, then maybe that could do more to help the cause,’ ” Hicks, a Prince George’s County native and Maryland graduate, told 105.3 the Fan.
Creed will almost certainly be played at Globe Life Field during Game 3.
“Already added,” Chris Statzer, the Rangers’ official DJ, posted on social media, along with a photo of a monitor with “CREED” cued up.
“I don’t know a lot of their songs, to be honest,” Rangers Manager Bruce Bochy said when asked about his team’s apparent infatuation with the band that won the Grammy Award for best rock song for 2001′s “With Arms Wide Open.”
“I do know we’re playing a lot of Creed, but that’s not down my lane,” Bochy went on. “I don’t know who’s the DJ here, to be honest. It could be [backup catcher Austin] Hedges though.”
“I had heard of Creed,” Rangers rookie outfielder Evan Carter, who wasn’t yet 2 when Creed broke up in 2004, told reporters. “I know the one [song] — ‘six feet from the edge’ [actual title: ‘One Last Breath’] that’s kind of the popular song in there. That’s the one I would consider my favorite, I guess, just because we hear it, and there’s a lot of handshakes and stuff with it. So it’s fun.”
Creed, which is reuniting for the first time in 12 years to headline a couple of four-night cruises in April, acknowledged the fun on social media with a message: “Let’s go Rangers, let’s go!”
As the Palm Beach Post reported, Creed lead singer Scott Stapp was a standout high school baseball player in Florida, served as the best man at former Yankees pitcher David Wells’s wedding and sang “God Bless America” at Game 4 of the 2004 World Series. Stapp is also a Marlins fan, and in 2010 he rewrote the lyrics to “You Will Soar” from his 2005 solo album “The Great Divide” as an ode to the team.
There’s no word on whether “Marlins Will Soar” is among the songs the Rangers blast in the clubhouse when they feel the need for Creed, but with Miami out of the playoffs, the band appears to be embracing a new team this postseason with arms wide open.