With apologies to Andrew Dice Clay for the above headline, it would seem Reds starter Bronson Arroyo, long known for one of the more tortuous covers of “Wonderwall” ever performed, is not quite ready to retire from music. Barry Bonds’ former personal biographer Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com says of a recent gig in Mesa, AZ, “Arroyo sang the vocals and sounded so much like Eddie Vedder you might have thought the real band was in the front room of Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill,” (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
For those Pearl Jam aficionados, the set list included “Oceans,” “Even Flow,” “Alive” and “Given to Fly.”
“They’re my favorite group of all time,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo didn’t play guitar Thursday night. A few years ago he developed carpal tunnel syndrome in his pitching and pickin’ hand. The more he strums a guitar, with or without pick, the more sensitive his fingers become.
Numbness in the fingers of the right hand is not the greatest idea for someone who makes his living twirling a baseball. Arroyo is in the second year of a three-year $35 million contract extension. Something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be pitching. Even Arroyo admits he does these concert gigs as a lark.
“This time of year it’s hard for me to play and write,” he said. “Holding a pick and a pen for years and years has made my fingers go numb. Once the season gets going it’s hard for me to throw a breaking ball, and it’s hard for me to have command. I can play without [the pick]. I don’t know what it is, but over the years it’s not as bad, but it still does something to me. I feel like I have a tourniquet on my arm. It’s weird, man.”