BOSTON -- When the Tampa Bay Rays came out to take batting practice Friday afternoon, they did so to the accompaniment of music not often heard in a big-league ballpark, courtesy of the Fenway Park sound booth.
Let’s see, the roughly 10-minute set began and ended with the “Barney” theme song -- “I love you, you love me.” There was also the John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt song -- “His name is my name too. Whenever we go out, The people always shout, There goes John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt -- a bit from "She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain," and a riff from the Meow Mix cat ad.
The folks in the Fenway sound booth evidently noticed when “Sweet Caroline” came over the PA system at Tropicana Field on Sunday afternoon, after the Rays had completed a three-game sweep of the Sox. This was not the first time the Rays have done so, but after last October, when the Red Sox were introduced in the Trop to the strains of “Lady in Red,” the Sox decided to launch a musical response.
This music stuff has been going on since 2012, when the Rays, unhappy that the Sox played no music during their BP (the Sox give everybody the same treatment), provided their own accompaniment, outfielder B.J. Upton bringing a boombox to the field. The Rays have responded in kind -- there was no music when the Sox hit last weekend, which inspired Clay Buchholz to borrow a page from Upton’s act and furnish the tunes.
Just another facet of what has become one of the more entertaining rivalries in the game. But it's all in good fun, said Sox DJ T.J. Connelly, maestro of the music booth. "We started and finished with 'Barney' -- I love you -- as a nice little, 'We're all kidding but here we are,' " Connelly said.