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Walk-up music links Longoria, Tantric

Walk-up music links Longoria, Tantric

ST. PETERSBURG -- Since his rookie year, a familiar electric violin riff has rocked Tropicana Field every time Evan Longoria steps to the plate. On Friday night, fans will get a chance to it hear in live in concert -- and maybe even see the All-Star third baseman as part of the band.

Tantric will play a postgame concert Friday night after the Rays' game against the D-backs, and electric violinist Marcus Ratzenboeck said Longoria might trade in his bat for drumsticks to help the band out on "Down and Out," his walk-up song since being called up to Tampa Bay in 2008.

"There was a word that he wanted to play drums with us, but apparently he's a little uneasy -- getting a little nervous, maybe," Ratzenboeck said Monday in a phone interview. "He wanted to be asked personally, which I'm attempting to do. We'll see if he can make sound check or even a rehearsal, and that'd be pretty cool."

Ratzenboeck, a Sarasota resident and Rays fan who has attended four or five games in the last few years, played the song's electric violin intro live before one of Longoria's at-bats last year when he performed the national anthem before a game.

"He grounded out, so I don't know if I'm going to do it again," Ratzenboeck said, laughing.

Longoria's use of the popular song extended Tantric's reach to a new audience. The track can be found as background music in Major League Baseball 2K10, the video game that features Longoria on its cover.

"Aside from the baseball thing, it's probably one of the most recognized songs that we have, and one of the most popular for whatever reason," Ratzenboeck said. "We got really lucky that he chose our song. It definitely gives it some notoriety in that sense. Obviously some of these video games have even put the song on there because of him. I guess it's become sort of a staple for him and for us, too."

What if Longoria decides to move away from the song that always seems to get the home crowd fired up? The band won't hold it against him -- but they're still hoping for the best.

"If he ever wants to change, that's obviously his prerogative," Ratzenboeck said. "But if he does, maybe he'd pick another one of our songs. That'd be awesome."

-- Adam Berry

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