A song that includes profanity and drug-themed lyrics was broadcast over the Fenway Park loudspeakers before Manny Ramirez's first at-bat on Sunday, forcing the Red Sox to alter their policy on allowing players to choose their own music.
Spokesman Charles Steinberg said the song "I get high," by Styles, was requested during the game by a clubhouse attendant who was apparently relaying Ramirez's wishes. When the song was checked to make sure it was appropriate, it was not played all the way through.
Ramirez refused to comment after the game.
The song starts out innocently enough, with the lyrics "I Get High, I Get High, I Get High on your memories," but it doesn't take long before it moves on to more high octane choices, such as "Every day I need an ounce and a half" and "If I'm sober dogg, I just might flip, grab my guns and hold somethin' up."
A 12-letter profanity appears 54 seconds into the song, Steinberg said, and there isn't usually that much time before the first pitch to a batter.
"To avoid that, we will no longer accommodate spontaneous requests," Steinberg said during Boston's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Asked about the repeated reference to drug themes in the song, which was also played before Ramirez's at-bats on Saturday, Steinberg said there were no plans to stop letting players choose their own music.
"Far be it for me to try to understand the psychology of what motivates a batter," Steinberg said. "The key is to avoid playing anything that's going to disturb the family atmosphere you try so hard to achieve. When it's inconsistent, the fans come first."
In 1999, a part-time worker at Yankee Stadium was fired for playing a version of the song "Tommy's Theme" by The Lox that contained several profanities when Tony Tarasco came to the plate. Tarasco said he asked for a cleaned-up version of the song to be played.