3/21/2008 06:04:00 PM

Meatloaf And Baseball

Posted by Mark McCray |

Doug Miller/MLB.com

In addition to being a larger-than-life rock star, an actor who appeared in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and a searing stage presence to this day, the man who calls himself "Meat" is a bona fide fantasy baseball freak and New York Yankees fanatic.

"I do so much fantasy baseball that it's ridiculous," he says. "So what I do is I root for the Yankees, and on any given night, my pitcher might be pitching against the Yankees, so I root for the Yankees to win, 1-0.

"In that situation, I don't want my starter to give up runs. I want the middle reliever to give up that run. Or I want any hitters I have going against the Yankees to get four hits but never score."

Meat Loaf's love for the Yankees began when he was a kid growing up in Dallas. The Metroplex area didn't yet have the Rangers, but CBS owned the Yankees and they were on television every Saturday.

"We didn't have any other team, so it had to be the Yankees," Meat Loaf says. "I mean, Dallas-Fort Worth had the Rangers Triple-A team, but Mickey Mantle was living in Dallas. That kind of sealed the deal for me."

When it comes to fantasy baseball, Meat Loaf offered a few opinions and tips. He said he'd much prefer to pick in the middle of a draft and not have the overall first selection.

"I prefer to be fifth or sixth in a draft of 10 teams or so because you'll get a really top guy in the first round, like a David Wright or a Matt Holliday, and then you can get a decent player coming back. Even 10th is OK. You get two picks at once.

Meat Loaf's baseball fandom goes far beyond the fantasy world, though.

He enlisted the late Yankees great Phil Rizzuto to narrate the spoken-word bridge in "Paradise By The Dashboard Light," in which Rizzuto "announces" a baseball play that metaphorically details the travails of adolescent love.

He's friends with Yogi Berra.

And he says he'll occasionally go to the ballpark when he's on the road touring - if he can find the time and it's convenient.

"Every once in a while, if we have a day off, like in Cleveland or Baltimore, somewhere where the hotel is like two blocks away, I'll do it," he says. "I love Camden Yards, just love the aesthetics of it. And you gotta love Yankee Stadium for the history.

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