SAN FRANCISO -- Enter Fan Man?
It turns out that James Hetfield, the lead singer of Metallica, is a Bay Area sports junkie. Giants, A's, Sharks, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders?
To him, they all rock.
"We have some really good teams here. You turn around and all of a sudden, hey, someone else is in the playoffs," said Hetfield, who lives in the Marin area. "It's great. Year-round torture."
Hetfield was on hand as part of Metallica Night, where the sounds of "Enter Sandman" and "One" and other heavy metal classics echoed around AT&T Park as the Giants faced the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Members of the band played the national anthem, threw out the first pitch and soaked in the sights and sounds of batting practice.
Hetfield grew up a fan of Los Angeles teams. The first sporting event he remembers attending in person was a Kings hockey game. But when Hetfield and other members of the band moved north in the early 1980s, so did their allegiances.
Now, he roots for Bay Area teams. Hetfield spoke fondly about attending Sharks games in the early years.
"(We) watched them at the Cow Palace and watched them grow,'' he said. "It was really cool. I always liked hockey. Any sports team is a little tough for me to follow all the time.
"I don't know who's doing what, who's traded and blah-blah-blah. We're pretty busy ourselves. But I love it, especially when Bay Area teams are doing well. I just love what it does to people."
Of course, when it comes to sports, Metallica is most closely linked to the New York Yankees. Mariano Rivera, their future Hall of Fame closer, uses "Enter Sandman" as his entrance music.
Rivera plans to retire at the end of this season.
"We have to retire, too,'' Hetfield joked. "That's in the contract."