February 2, 2023

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The Yankees have a DJ now (no, not that one)

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NEW YORK — The Yankees are used to having a DJ in their infield, but not like this.

The Bombers took batting practice before Tuesday’s game against the Orioles with some extra beats behind them, spun on a digital turntable by Shane O, a longtime friend of Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

“You liking it?” Stanton asked, exiting the field after his round in the cage. “It’s good, right?”

Unfortunately, DJ LeMahieu was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup with left wrist discomfort, so observers missed a chance to witness DJ hitting with a DJ.

The Yankees had a guest DJ perform on Opening Day against the Red Sox, but those tunes — spun by DJay Jung before the game and between innings — came from the stadium’s seating area beyond the center-field wall.

At Stanton’s request, Shane O was provided with prime real estate in foul territory behind first base, protected from batted or thrown balls by a screen. His pregame playlist (one snippet was Lil Wayne’s “Let the Beat Build,” going into Drake’s “Nonstop”) seemed to put some extra spring in the Yankees’ step.

“You want to get the blood going, right?” Shane O said. “It’s like a chill hype; not too rah-rah, you don’t want to expend too much energy before the game. It’s kind of like a progression to build up. Primarily hip-hop. A lot of these guys like dance music, and maybe I’ll get there down the line. I’m going with what’s safe right now, just to keep the head moving.”

Shane O and Stanton were childhood friends in the Los Angeles area; he started DJ’ing during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, learning from online academies and YouTube.

He received strong reviews after providing music at a party for some of the Yankees’ players, where the idea of getting those tunes on the field was hatched.

“I know a bunch of the guys from the last few years, and they liked what I was spinning,” he said. “Big G thought of the idea, like, ‘Hey man, we’ll try to get you into BP.’ It’s a really cool opportunity. It’s something I should have been doing a long time ago. I’m just happy it’s happening now.”

Long before he was one of the Majors’ most recognizable sluggers, Stanton was a standout at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

Asked for his favorite Stanton story from those years, Shane O said: “I’ve got a ton, but in high school after football games, Friday nights our whole team and school would go to In-N-Out Burger. Our adrenaline was high, we’re 17- or 18-year-old kids, just won, starving.

“There was no one even close who could eat the same amount of food as him. I’ve seen him put three Double-Doubles down, two fries, just insane. It makes sense, because he’s a big human. Any eating competition with him back in school — it was no competition.”

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