The greatest entrance music in Cleveland Indians history belongs to a fictional character.
I think that statement is unequivocally true. The music most associated with an Indians player is “Wild Thing,” played when Ricky Vaughn entered the game for the “Indians” in Major League.
I find this state of affairs disturbing because ballpark music is really fun. Not only can it set the stage for the player’s appearance, but it can also show off a bit of the player’s personality or inject some humor into the proceedings. Most of all, the music helps connects the fans to the players, and that’s what we’re all here for.
Now, not all the Indians have chosen poorly with their entrance music, but none of these guys are going to displace Ricky Vaughn as the most memorable. Hell, it may be impossible to surpass Wild Thing, but below is a ranking each player’s choice and a suggestion (or not!) for how they could improve.
[Note: All music choices listed come from MLB.com, however accurate that may be]
Best of the best, no change
Andrew Miller — “Beat It” by Michael Jackson
- This is the PERFECT song choice. I could not have done better and neither could anyone else.
Francisco Lindor — “Balenciaga” by Ozuna
- Frankie’s got the home island connection with this Puerto Rican reggaeton emcee. The song also has a pretty solid beat and Ozuna’s flow isn’t bad. Plus Frankie’s killing it right now. Change nothing.
Jose Ramirez — “Lo Que Yo Diga (Remix)” by El Alfa
- You don’t mess with the goat. (This song is decent, too, particularly El Alfa’s [I assume] flow.)
Trevor Bauer — “The Pursuit of Vikings” by Amon Amarth
- When I was in high school I had some friends who thought it was really fun to change the music at parties to metal just to hear everyone groan. Today we’d call people like that trolls. Trevor Bauer is most certainly a troll, and he’s actually a metalhead. Now, Amon Amarth is not as obnoxious as say, Job for a Cowboy, but I’m sure plenty of people groan when they hear “The Pursuit of Vikings.” Anyway, this fits for Bauer, so keep doing you, you talented weirdo.
Dan Otero — “Bridge Burning” by Foo Fighters
- This song checks all the boxes for a reliever’s entrance song and since Dave Grohl is about as outspoken as Otero’s wife about politics, it fits.
Edwin Encarnacion — “Scooby Doo Pa Pa” by dj kass
- Apparently this song is a viral hit (thanks, Google!) and dj kass is of Domincan descent. So, it’s timely, popular, tied into Edwin’s heritage, and it has the bpm and whatnot to get people up. Jam on, Eddie.
Erik Gonzalez — “Real Guerrero” by Secreto “El Famoso Biberon”
- I tried to find out more about this artist and came across his “Greatest Hits” album on Amazon, which is printed on a CD-R on demand when you order it, which is, wow. So, Gonzalez is hitting us with some deep cuts. It seems very in-character for the scrappy little utility infielder to pick some scrappy artist, so keep on keeping on here.
Mike Clevinger — “Sunshine (The Knocks remix)” by Powers
- I don’t really have any qualms with this. I love Clev’s personality, and I think it comes through here, what with Sunshine being his nickname and all. Some other good options would be “You are my Sunshine” by Morgane Stapleton, “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream, or perhaps “Boogie Shoes” by KC and the Sunshine Band. But really, Clev is doing alright here.
Jason Kipnis — “Thief” by Ookay
- There’s a discrepancy with the MLB page listing each player’s walk-up music, as it lists a song by Mystikal (the “Shake Ya Ass” dude) as his jam. That would have a been a poor choice, even if Pharell’s part on the track is alright. But, trusting our ears, we know The JK Kid is still using that sexy sax. It’s a much better choice — much better — and beloved for a reason.
Could do better
Tyler Olson — “Come Together” by Gary Clark Jr.
- This is really heavy cover of The Beatles’ classic, and it works musically, but I don’t want Olson and anyone’s bat coming together.
- Better: “When My Train Pulls In” by Gary Clark Jr. Clark is one of the best guitarists currently doing his thing, so I respect the pick by Olson, but “When My Train Pulls In” has an intro that just has a more relief pitcher vibe to it.
Cody Allen — “The Outsiders” by Eric Church
- Overall, not a bad choice. It has some heavy guitar, a little twang to connect to his southern roots, and as a 16th round draft pick you could say Allen is an outsider. But the song itself is not super memorable.
- Better: “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Allen’s from Florida, so linking him with the greatest Floridian musician is easy. Plus, the closer doesn’t back down. I mean, it’s easy.
Yonder Alonso -- “Everythang” by Jeezy
- As much as love the free agent signing picking that opens with “get money” and has a refrain “I used to have nothing, now I got a whole lot of everythang,” I’m not sure it gets to the essence of what Alonso is. It bangs pretty hard though, which is good.
- Better: “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder. Alonso was dubbed the “poster boy of the fly ball revolution” by Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron, so naturally he needs a song about going higher. Stevie Wonder is the goat, so this song is ideal.
Carlos Carrasco — “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams
- Nice choice, Cookie. This one cracks me up, but I don’t actually think it’s a good choice. I don’t get the connection, but...
- Better: “American Dream” by Jeezy feat. J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Cookie wrote about living his American dream, so this connection is easy to make. Plus, the song bangs.
Michael Brantley — “Walk Thru” by Rich Homie Quan
- No, his walk-up music should not be Santana and Rob Thomas. Shut up. Yes, he is Smooth, but we’re above cliches here. “Walk Thru” is alright, but it kind of lacks something…
- Better: “Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg. From one doctor to another, still doing their thing. The chorus with Snoop would be great for Smooth to walk up to. Plus, a little shade to everyone who doubted when his option was picked up.
Josh Tomlin — “Keep the Wolves Away” by Uncle Lucius
- I respect the little cowboy for picking a rather obscure band, and it’s a pretty good song, especially the bassy horn section. But it’s a slow burner, so the same thing I wrote about Goody’s choice applies here.
- Better: “Got to Give it Up (Pt. 1)” by Marvin Gaye. No one gives up homers like Tomlin, and no one grooves like Marvin. If this is Tomlin’s entrance song, at least I’ll be feeling funky when he tosses BP.
Nick Goody — “Desperado” by Rihanna
- Goody and Rihanna are a strange pair, and this song is also a strange choice. It’s a slow burner, which doesn’t seem like it would really pump up a guy on his short trot from the bullpen.
- Better: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” by Ennio Morricone. Something from Kendrick’s good kid, m.A.A.d city would work here, too, but this Spaghetti Western classic would be pretty damn fun to hear when Goody comes into a game.
Tyler Naquin — “Rocket” by Def Leppard
- Hair metal just totally seems like a Naquin thing, but this song? Meh.
- Better: “I Wanna Rock” by Twisted Sister. He’ll forever be known for throwing up the “rock on” hand after his inside-the-park walk-off, so he should definitely be walking up to this song.
Bradley Zimmer — “The Half” by DJ Snake
- I’m not totally opposed to this song, but let’s not think of what connection Zimmer feels to the lyrics, particularly if MLB finds a reasonable excuse to test him for marijuana.
- Better: “Pray for Me” by The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar. If Zim’s gonna go full-tilt into every wall, he’s gonna need our prayers. This song is one of the best hip-hop tracks I’ve heard in 2018, too.
Danny Salazar — “Enter Sandman” by Metallica
- Bah god, that’s Mariano Rivera’s music! Salazar could be like Mo, but first we’d have to see him pitch. Sigh.
- Better: “Hurt” by Johnny Cash. Sad face.
Lonnie Chisenhall — “Hair Up” by Justin Timberlake
- Big Lon is a proud papa, so I’m betting one of his kids suggested this song from Trolls, because I’ve heard this song roughly 600 times for the same reason. But, my dude, does this really get you pumped to go swat some dingers?
- Better: “Give up the Funk” by Parliament. The connection here is, uh, stretched. Chisenhall and George Clinton both hail from North Carolina. That’s all. I just think this song would be a lot more fun than a cartoon song.
Brandon Guyer — “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne
- This song is not bad, it has the right tempo and tenor, but is it really good for the individual person?
- Better: “Hit the Lights” by Metallica. Completely different than Weezy, but for a guy who gets hit a ton, duh. It’s also a pretty great song to get pumped to. Also considered “Better Get Hit in Your Soul” by Charles Mingus, but jazz probably isn’t going to fire many folks up. Likewise, 2Pac’s “Hit ‘em Up” was considered, but, lol, the lyrics. Baseball is a family sport.
Roberto Perez — “Bonita” by J Balvin
- Reggaeton maybe big in PR, but J Balvin is Colombian, so I’m giving Perez less latitude than I did EE and Frankie. This song is also less catchy, in my opinion, than the hits his Caribbean compatriots chose.
- Better: “Robot Rock” by Daft Punk. I think Styx sucks, so “Mr. Roboto” is out, but Daft Punk is legit, and this song is fun af, so Robo gets the robot jam. Maybe the more invigorating beat will bring his bat to life, too.
Zach McAllister — “Higher ft. Jay-Z” by Just Blaze and Baauer
- Several of the dudes on the team are into EDM, as evidenced by their social media posts. I’m here to say that EDM is garbage music, though. Plus, ZMac hasn’t been lighting it on fire when coming in to this song, so throw it away.
- Better: “The Way” by Fastball. If we’re being real, McAllister’s got one pitch. It’s a fastball. Hence, Fastball.
Rajai Davis — “Jesus” by Kirk Franklin
- No shade on Raj here for his religious convictions, and, in terms of religious music, it’s a pretty decent song. But with the role Raj plays on this team, coming in often as a pinch hitter or runner, he needs something to really get people excited to see him enter the game.
- Better: “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman. Get it, because he’s fast? This is actually a terrible choice, but it’s a great song and I hope Davis isn’t long for this roster so, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
What do you think, who’s got the best music? Who did I pick terrible songs for and how could it be improved? Leave your thoughts and share your own terrible musical preferences in the comments.