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Dance to the Music

A nice picture of Ricky in action, don't you think. The AP used his proper first name of Carlos to identify him in the photo. Why is that important? It isn't - it is just a hint in case you ever go image surfing for pictures of Nolasco.

Ricky Nolasco has been in the groove, so to speak, since Alfredo selected his theme music.

Marlins rookie Ricky Nolasco found himself in the bullpen at the start of the season. This morning he found himself with 11 wins, just two victories off the National League lead.

In between, he also found Los Tigres del Norte and that, he joked Sunday, is part of the reason for his turnaround.

On the days they pitch, Marlins starters are allowed to pick the pregame music. Left-hander Scott Olsen, for example, plays rap music to get himself ready to pitch.

Nolasco, however, had not decided on a genre when teammate Alfredo Amezaga popped a CD from the Mexican norteña group into the clubhouse stereo in Colorado before Nolasco's fourth start of the season. Nolasco shut out the Rockies for eight innings, striking out a career-high seven, that game and Los Tigres have been his choice ever since.

''It's just kind of like a superstition,'' said Nolasco, 11-7 with a 4.12 ERA. ``It's pretty cool.''

Let's see: Alfredo started and leads the pre-game dance sessions in the bullpen.  He can and does play any position except catcher and pitcher.  And now he selects the music for the team's pitcher with the most wins.

What can't this guy do?

If you like to know more about Los Tigres del Norte, here is their Wikipedia link: Los Tigres del Norte