Halos try to 'have some fun' with Nickelback songs amid rut

June 9th, 2022

ANAHEIM -- When a team is going through a rough stretch, they’ll try just about anything to break out of it. Perhaps that’s a change to a pregame routine, or bringing in some kind of lucky charm.

For the Angels, who entered Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox at Angel Stadium in the midst of 13 straight losses, it was the Canadian rock band Nickelback.

The strategy didn’t work, as the Angels fell to Boston, 1-0, for their 14th loss in a row, officially the longest overall losing streak in franchise history.

It certainly got people’s attention, though, with “Nickelback” trending on Twitter all throughout the evening.

“I like Nickelback,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “The entire game, I got the songs in my head, I can't stop singing, and the next guy comes up. … I don't know who it was [who decided to use the Nickelback songs], but it was neat, for a while.

When leadoff hitter Shohei Ohtani came to the plate in the first inning, it was immediately apparent that something was off. Rather than his usual walkup song -- “The Greatest Show” from the soundtrack of the movie "The Greatest Showman" -- the tune in the background was “Photograph,” one of the most-memed songs in the history of the internet.

A pattern emerged very quickly, as Jo Adell stepped into the box with “Rockstar” blaring from the speaker system. Jared Walsh followed by coming up to the strands of “How You Remind Me.”

It was a decision the Angels’ coaching staff made in order to change things up a bit, one the players didn’t know was coming. Bally Sports West reporter Erica Weston suggested during the game’s broadcast that the specific source of the idea was likely staff assistant Tim Buss, the man responsible for the cowboy hat players wear in the dugout after homering.

“It definitely threw us off guard a little bit,” said starting pitcher Reid Detmers, who delivered 4 1/3 scoreless innings. “That's just trying to keep us loose, have some fun.”

Of course, this was hardly the biggest shakeup for the Angels this week as Joe Maddon was relieved of his managerial duties on Tuesday. Neither that nor the Nickelback plan has proved to be an immediate solution to the Angels’ woes, though.

Ironically enough, the message from Maddon before he was let go, one echoed by Nevin, is that the fix might actually lie in not trying to do too much differently, as neither believes a lack of effort from the players is the problem.

“You come to the field and you keep working and keep playing,” said Nevin. “These guys all love to be here. That shows on their faces. … They want to compete. And, I mean, we'll say until we get one -- please, tomorrow -- we get one of those W's, I think we run with it.”

Here’s the full lineup of Nickelback tunes from Wednesday night:

  1. Shohei Ohtani - “Photograph”
  2. Jo Adell - “Rockstar”
  3. Jared Walsh - “How You Remind Me”
  4. Matt Duffy - “Someday”
  5. Juan Lagares - “If Today Was Your Last Day”
  6. Brandon Marsh - “When We Stand Together”
  7. Jack Mayfield - “What Are You Waiting For?”
  8. Kurt Suzuki - “This Afternoon”
  9. Tyler Wade - “Animals”