Sox Legend Shares Feelings on Music and A-Rod With Danbury Radio Show
Bronson Arroyo was a Major League Baseball pitcher for 16 years.
Arroyo was a member of the Boston Red Sox for three years, 2003, 2004 and 2005 and in that time he became a legend in Boston. Arroyo helped the Red Sox take the Yankees to the wire in 2003 and won a World Series with Boston in 2004.
In 2017, Arroyo pitched his final season in Major League Baseball as a member of the Cincinnati Reds but he was not done with the limelight. Arroyo still takes center-stage but now he does it, as a rock star.
Arroyo is the guitarist and lead vocalist of Bronson Arroyo and the '04. Bronson Arroyo joined the I-95 Morning Show on Tuesday (2/21/23) to tell the us more about his musical journey and to promote his album "Some Might Say." We asked Arroyo how the music career got started, this is what he had to say:
"I picked up a guitar in the minor leagues with the Pirates, I was just kind of hacking my way through playing songs around a campfire. But in 2004, I met a group of these guys just because I was the resident music guy in the locker room and they were touring around with a band called American Hi-Fi. That was my one guitar player Jamie Aronson who plays for Miley Cyrus now and the drummer Eric Gardner, he was playing with American Hi-Fi on that tour as well. So, we just became fast friends, we've been hanging out for 20 years. We play the "Hot Stove, Cool Music" for Peter Gammons and Theo Epstein at "The Paradise" every offseason for charity. We always just said we were going to write a record and finally after I retired in 2018, I kind of wrote two dozen songs and 10 of them made this record. It turned out to be now Bronson Arroyo and the '04. These are just stories out of my mind with a group of guys that really made it come to life in the studio. It's just, it is something I didn't think I could do originally. I could write 10 songs very directly but I wasn't sure I could write songs I would want to hear on the radio but I've been pleasantly surprised by how this turned out and I'm having a good time with it."
Bronson highlighted a few of his favorite tracks including "Guerilla Warfare" and pointed out it is easy to hear who influenced him. Bands like Pearl Jam and STP were always top of mind for Arroyo.
In 2003 and 2004, the Yankees v. Red Sox rivalry had reached an all-time high and Arroyo was am integral part of those Boston teams. We asked Arroyo about the playoff environment with the Yankees, specifically those legendary 7-game series in '03 and '04. This is what he told us:
"If I hadn't already been seasoned by playing 8 years in the minor leagues with the Pirates and parts of the big leagues, I would have never been able to handle those types of situations. I remember being in Fenway Park, the first time I ever pitched, I get my only save against the Seattle Mariners behind Pedro Martinez, I'm warming up and nobody knew anything about me except that I'd thrown a perfect game in Pawtucket earlier in the year. And somebody is screaming at me as I'm warming up, they're like Arroyo! If you don't save this game for Pedro, you're not making it out of the stadium alive! And I'm thinking, yo, we're at home right now, what is going on? You know, I'd been playing in a quiet Three Rivers Stadium for a couple years and PNC Park in Pittsburgh but it was absolute hysteria playing there. And then, you go to Yankee Stadium in the playoffs and it just felt like you were going into a war."
"I never got beat in Yankee Stadium, it was always a no decision. I'd have a good game going or we'd lose it or we'd come back in the end. Honestly looking back on my career, you couldn't ask for anything better than to be battle test in that type of environment. I mean, going against a lineup where you've got Jorge Posada hitting 25 homers in the 7 hole, it felt like you were playing at the pinnacle of baseball. By the time I got to the National League in '06, it was why I had such a good year and got off to an All-Star, start."
Arroyo was not just a vital part of those Yankee/Red Sox clashes, he was also a participant in one of the most infamous moments in the rivalry's history. During Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS, Arroyo chased A-Rod down the line on an infield blooper and Rodriguez slapped the ball from Bronson's glove. We asked Arroyo if this added to the A-Rod hate in the Boston locker room and what the attitude was toward Alex? This is how he responded:
"Well by the time I'd hit him on July 24th and him and Varitek got into that fight, it was obviously all down hill after that. I mean, Alex is one of the greatest players to ever play the game. But if you never played with him, a lot of times people's personalities look like from across the field and what they actually, truly are, don't match up. Alex just always had a way of just seeming like a guy who was really cocky, who wasn't a great teammate, that is what it looked like. Even though, I've heard from people inside the locker room that he's an absolute baseball junkie and would hit in the 9-hole and play left-field if you asked him to, he just loves the game that much. But from our standpoint, it was kind of like who is this guy? After him and Varitek got into it, it was downhill after that."
I didn't let Bronson get away with such a politically correct answer, you can hear the rest of what Arroyo had to say about A-Rod below.
Arroyo played over a decade and a half in Major League Baseball so there are few humans more equipped to talk about "tough outs." We asked Bronson who his toughest out was, the answer was surprising, he told us it was Shin-Soo Chu.
Arroyo's love for music seems to be closely tied to his love for Pearl Jam, a band he's had the pleasure of playing with on-stage.
Bronson is not the only baseball player from that era to transition to music. Bernie Williams has become an accomplished recording artist and Arroyo has jammed with him a few times. He told us Bernie doesn't ever want to leave the stage.
As a Yankees fan, I couldn't resist the urge to tell Bronson what I used to think of him.
I'm a die hard Yankee fan so Bronson's time in Boston brought me great pain. When I went back to refresh my memory on his career, I was blown away to see he was only with Boston for three seasons. The dude was lights-out when Boston needed him the most. His time in Beantown might as well have been a decade in my mind.
My colleague Large Dave actually got the chance to see Arroyo take the stage with Pearl Jam some years back and has the photos to prove it.
Damn you Bronson Arroyo, I want to hate you but I cannot.