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Mary J. Blige to sing anthem at Series opener

Mary J. Blige

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Mary J. Blige

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The World Series makes strange bedfellows. Major League Baseball announced Monday that R&B singer Mary J. Blige will sing the national anthem before Game 1 of the World Series at Fenway Wednesday. Why Blige, who is a native of the Bronx? Beats us. The last time she performed the anthem was at Yankee Stadium during the 2009 World Series — and she wore a Yankees jacket. Our guess is Fox, which is televising the games, has a commercial interest in Blige’s new Christmas album, “Mary Christmas,” which comes out this week. Why not someone with a connection to Boston? James Taylor, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, the Dropkick Murphys, and Neil Diamond are the obvious choices, but what about Bobby Brown’s New Edition (or at least Bell Biv DeVoe)? Or New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight, J. Geils’s woofa goofa Peter Wolf, Paula Cole, or Eli “Paperboy” Reed? Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents could give the anthem a Motown vibe, while Marissa Nadler might make it sound spooky just in time for Halloween. We’ll bet Mary Lou Lord, who used to do a lot of busking on the redbrick sidewalks of Cambridge, would like to lay her guitar case by home plate. Unsung songwriter Dennis Brennan (or his son Jake) would be good, or get Jeff “Monoman” Conolly of the Lyres to menace the crowd with a tambourine as he sings. If all else fails, there’s always actor Mike O’Malley, the Red Sox super fan who occasionally joins Buffalo Tom onstage at Hot Stove Cool Music concerts. So what if he’s not a singer — he’s on “Glee,” which should please the suits at Fox.

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