Nickelback slump busters? Well, not quite. But the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were ready to shake things up Wednesday night during their home game with the Boston Red Sox and they turned to the Canadian hitmakers to hopefully do the trick, using the band’s music as the walk-up songs for each player coming to the plate throughout the night.
It’s not surprising there was something different in play as the Angeles had just fired manager Joe Maddon earlier in the week in the midst of a lengthy losing streak that saw them fall from a tie for first place in mid-May all the way to nine games back.
With Phil Nevin taking the reins from Maddon, one of the first notable changes came as 2021 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani walked up to the plate. Instead of his usual walkup song “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack, the strains of Chad Kroeger’s vocal on “Photograph” reverberated through Angel Stadium.
ESPN reporter Alden Gonzalez then noted via Twitter, “People: I can report that every Angels player will walk up to Nickleback tonight. The coaches decided it as a way to shake things up. So, if the Angels snap their losing streak tonight, you can thank Nickleback.”
Sure enough, one by one Angels hitters came to the plate with Nickelback songs. After Ohtani, it was right fielder Jo Adell with “Rockstar,” then first baseman Jared Walsh with “How You Remind Me” and cleanup hitter and third baseman Matt Duffy with “Someday” and so on booming through the “Big A.”
Gonzalez posted the full lineup and their corresponding songs, then astutely noting one glaring omission. “It’s confusing, because what the Angels really need is a ‘Hero,'” added the reporter, though technically only singer Chad Kroeger sang on the Spider-Man soundtrack song with Saliva’s Josey Scott.
So how did the Nickelback song choices come about? During the broadcast, Ballys Sports West reporter Erica Weston singled out Angels Quality Assurance Coach Tim Buss as the likely culprit, stating that he’s a Nickelback fan who often plays their music on team excursions. Buss is also the one who hangs onto the cowboy hat that the band employs in their home run celebrations.
“I like it,” Nevin said to MLB.com. “I like Nickelback. The entire game, I’ve got songs in my head I can’t stop singing.”
Pitcher Reid Detmers added that the scheme “definitely threw us off a little bit, but that’s just to keep us loose, have some fun.”
While it may have caused a few head scratches from the crowd and thrown the players out of their routine a little, it was sadly the same result for the Angels who lost their 14th consecutive game in a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Red Sox.
The team, who started the season a promising 27-17, is now 27-31, nine-and-a-half games back of the division leading Houston Astros, though they still remain a distant second and in the middle of the Wild Card hunt.
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