Just an old fashioned love song

Hells Bells is the signature song that likely signifies a win in San Diego. It is the music that ignites the crowd of tykes across Friarville. The first time it is heard in the new stadium of Petco Park the crowd will rise to its feet with a hoot and holler in anticipation of one of the greatest Padres of our time, Trevor Hoffman.<br><br> But not every player has a song. In fact not all of them even want to hear a song playing…one such player just wants to play the game of baseball.

Bullpen music is generally only heard when the closer is coming out in the Majors, but in the Minors music is played when every player comes to bat. It is a way to get the smaller crowds into the game and keep it interactive.

So why would a player not want the fans in the game?

It isn't so much that but it harkens back to the old fashioned values. Remember those? The ones that earned Charlie his hustle. The same ones that created Lava Soap to clean your hands after a hard day's work.

So who is this cat? Is he too cool for the music? Why doesn't he want music playing as he heads to the plate?

"I am one of those guys that – I really don't agree with it," Todd Donovan said. "I know there is some downtime in the game, and I know they like to play some music cause there is downtime and the fans are getting a little bored, but I would rather not have music.

"I asked them if I could do that last year – be the only guy without music. I try to be as different as I can. If everyone turns right, I turn left. They were against that and they just kind of played what they wanted. At the end of the year I just had some red Hot Chili Peppers playing."

Donovan admits he trots to the beat of a different drum. He is the jokster, the guy in the dugout everyone in the dugout has to watch out for.

Some will remember those types of players when the dugout was nothing but smiles way back when. Love of the game was what drove them.

"I can talk about that for hours," Donovan confirms about his prankster ways. "I am the jokester of the club. I am usually the one sparking the stuff up. I usually start the snowball down the hill and whatever comes out of it, good or bad – well – if it is bad I usually try to hide. I am involved in the clubhouse."

These are the types of players that end up as coaches. The guys who stay involved in the program. Today it is too keep the players lose, tomorrow it is to teach them something while keeping them loose.

"If I don't play for the rest of my life, I am going to end up coaching."

Donovan has been around the game for a long time. His father was a broadcaster for years, prompting Donovan to say, "It is in my blood." He also could see himself staying close to his roots.

"As far as I can remember we have been season ticket holders for the Red Sox for thirty years and I can remember days back when I was young getting passes and being on the field, but I think it would be great. Broadcasting down the road, if it is available for me on TV or on the radio, that would be great. I have talked to a few guys that do it for the minor leagues and they mentioned after interviews, ‘you know when you are done playing, broadcasting may be something for you.'"

Broadcasting, and following in his father's footsteps – hey it happened at one time – is just one part of the equation. The dream is to continue in baseball forever.

"I enjoy the coaching side of it. I enjoy being (at America's Game), I enjoy having the camps and the clinics. I helped out at my college last offseason. I know it is in my blood when I enjoy coaching just as much, if not more, than actually playing the game. It is crazy."

"I think coaching is the best thing for me to do in the offseason. I almost expect more from my players than I do myself when I play. You see things on a different side of the ball."

Before Donovan is ready to coach, he must conclude his playing career. He is not ready to give that up. He will need to be kicked out of the fraternity before that happens.

"I am going to be a ballplayer for the rest of my life. It's in my blood, I know it is."

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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