Before we get going today, we have to start off with a disclaimer.
My good friend Davey Dunmire and I do not see eye to eye when it comes to baseball. This goes even beyond the fact that he cheers for the Yankees while I root for the Red Sox, too.
Davey thinks Derek Jeter should have received a unanimous vote while being elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. He even named his first son after the former Yankees shortstop.
I understand Jeter is the most overrated player this side of LeBron James. For a long stretch of his career, Jeter wasn’t even the best shortstop on his own team.
And Davey’s oldest son looks more like a Joey, a Steve or a Davey Jr. to me.
Davey also thinks that Yankees radio announcer John Sterling does a good job. He even likes Sterling’s home run calls, like “All rise,” for Aaron Judge and “An A-bomb from A-Rod.”
That is why I call Davey the “Saturday Night Live cheerleaders of baseball.”
While Davey grew up rooting for the Yankees, which I always saw as being like cheering for Microsoft, Standard Oil and Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon, I grew up living and dying with a team mired in a curse and smothered by heartache.
When he works as the public address announcer for the Butte Miners and Butte Muckers, I want to beat Davey’s bald head every time he plays the Yankee Stadium whistle after an opposing player strikes out.
I went off on him like a Karen at Walmart the first time I heard it last season.
So, to be clear, nothing that is written below should be construed as an endorsement of Davey as a baseball fan. Nothing should be seen as affirmation of any of his fanboy Facebook posts about the Bronx Bombers.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I contend that Davey Dunmire is great for baseball in Butte.
Davey has coached his son’s baseball team from the time little Derek could walk, but he was never one of those Little League coaches who only cared about his son.
Now that he no longer coaches, he helps out all the players as the PA announcer.
With the obvious exception of the Yankee whistle, Davey makes the Miners and Muckers games better. He makes them better for the players; he makes them better for the fans.
He gives the games a true baseball atmosphere, and he makes the players feel like they are in the big leagues.
While Jim O’Neill worked as the announcer for Miners games, Davey took over the Muckers games last season. This year, he is doing both — when his work schedule allows.
He reads off the starting lineups with both teams like a pro, and he has perfect songs for the backdrop.
He busts into and out of songs during the breaks, and he drops in some nice baseball sound effects during the game.
While he errors a little on the side of the Tampa Bay Rays, he makes sure the ballpark is never quiet. He knows how you are supposed to announce a batter, and he has carried on the tradition of O’Neill by playing walk-up songs for each Butte batter.
Davey does not pick the songs. If he did, the tone of this column would be completely different.
Players select their own songs, and they are very particular about them — even if the majority of them are, well, not good.
Not good for an old guy like me, anyway.
As bad as some of the songs are, Davey understands the Crash Davis Doctrine. If a player believes he will hit better because he hears a certain song on his way to the batter’s box, then he will.
Anthony Knott, Cayde Stajcar, Ethan “Easy” Cunningham, George Riojas, Rye Doherty and Lucas Harris-Huerta walk up to Kanye West.
Zach O’Connell heads to the plate as Metallica plays, and I would bet his average is a hundred points higher because of it. Same for Karsen McEwen and Gavin Trudgen with AC/DC, Kevin Donaldson with Mötley Crüe and Sean Ossello with Ozzy Osborne.
Crazy Train would help anybody hit. Jeter should have tried it.
Kenley Leary walking up to Big Pimpin’ by Jay-Z seems strangely fitting, but Quinn Cox should probably be suspended for choosing an Eric Church song.
Eric “Chooch” Hart is walking up to the “The Office” theme song for the third straight season. While it is hard to see how that little ditty could inspire an athlete, Hart is hitting north of .500.
You just cannot argue with that kind of success. Plus, he makes me think Dwight Schrute wearing the face of the CPR dummy like Hannibal Lecter five times a game.
So, that’s nice.
Tyler Duffy makes a strong case for having the best song with “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King.
That is Shane Victorino-level good. The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” strolled up to “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. At least he did during his years with the Red Sox.
Not only did that have to help the hitter, it made the fans feel better. It gave them belief when they needed a late-game rally.
Miner catcher Jake Starr walks up to Notorious BIG, and that is just cool. It is not quite as cool as Zach Tierney picking John Cena’s entrance music for his song, however.
It takes a special kind of attitude to go pro wrestler in a baseball game. Earlier this year, Tierney said he is thinking of switching to Hulk Hogan’s song.
Let me tell you something, brother. Tierney will hit two home runs the first game after he switches to “Real American.” At least.
Will Stepan picked Justin Timberlake, which makes Eric Church almost seem acceptable.
Apparently, Nickleback was already taken.
Cunningham, though, is one player who clearly needs a change, and that is not because the singer of his song lost his mind.
It just seems like a missed opportunity.
Just like Andrew Benintendi should walk up to Elton John singing Benny and The Jets instead of that lame LOCASH song, Cunningham should enter to “Easy” the Commodores.
It’s right in the name.
In addition to being one of the all-time great songs, the 1977 classic is fitting for Cunningham, one of the aces of the Miners pitching staff.
On the mound, Cunningham appears effortless, and he makes mowing down the competition look easy like Sunday morning.
He has been mowing down the opposition, too. Cunningham’s win to open the Keith Sell Tournament in Helena last week bumped his record to 7-0.
Cunningham told me last summer that he has been called “Easy” since he was in grade school, but he did not know why.
Even without a great origin story, the nickname is a classic. It will probably last his lifetime — especially if he drops Kanye for some good old American funk.
I suggested that Davey play the song when Cunningham comes up to bat. But, living by the Crash Davis Doctrine, Davey is not going to mess with a good thing.
The players, though, have no say over music played before and between innings. That is up to the guys in the booth.
Davey said he will play the Commodores next time Cunningham warms up to pitch on Miners Field at 3 Legends Stadium. He also agrees that a good portion of the walk-up playlist is, well, not good.
Not to an old guy like Davey, anyway.
So, after all these years, Davey and I finally see eye to eye on something involving baseball. Well, kind of.
Now, if I could only get him to cram that whistle into a dark place.
— Bill Foley, who lives his life by the Crash Davis Doctrine, writes a column that appears Tuesdays on ButteSports.com. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74.