For years, it was one of baseball’s most reliable traditions: Yankee closer Mariano Rivera trotting out from the bullpen to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” It was fitting theme music for a guy who, as the saying goes, put bats to sleep. During Rivera’s final season, in 2013, Metallica even showed up at Yankee Stadium to perform the 1991 hit as the pitcher’s number was retired.
On Tuesday, Rivera became the first player ever unanimously elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame, and Metallica sent along a heartfelt message of congratulations. In an interview with the MLB Network, Rivera watched the clip and responded with gratitude. “That is amazing,” he said. “I’m telling you, it’s a blessing on top of blessings. I have so much respect for those guys. I met them and they’re great people, great great people. Thank God [for] everything they have done, being there for me at the moment that I retired was amazing.”
.@Metallica dropped in to congratulate Mariano Rivera on his unanimous election to the Hall of Fame!
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 23, 2019
But it turns out that the love-fest does not extend to Rivera actually liking Metallica’s music. “With all due respect to the guys, I’ve never been to one of [their shows],” he said during the same interview, according to the New York Post. “As a Christian, with all due respect to Metallica, I don’t listen to that kind of music.”
In a different MLB Network interview, this one with his former catcher (and manager) Joe Girardi, Rivera also addressed the subject of his former walk-up music. “If that was me, I would have never picked that song,” he said of “Enter Sandman.” “It would’ve been Christian music … It should have been something that put people to sleep.”
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It wouldn’t have killed him to at least pretend to like The Black Album. Still a nice story, though.