The Astros take the field on Friday night in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park against the New York Yankees, who stunned overwhelming AL favorite Cleveland by taking three games in a row to advance to the ALCS. But back to the Astros. Not only is this year's model arguably the best team in franchise history, it’s easily the most fun. The cool handshakes. The electrifying lineup. Josh Reddick celebrating an ALDS victory in a champagne-soaked Speedo. The Astros are decidedly not a boring team.
As part of showcasing their respective personalities, each Astro selects his very own walkup music for every trip to the plate throughout the season. But with the ALCS fast approaching, we decided to offer a bit of advice to several members of the team in terms of which walkup song best fits their personalities.
Kendrick Lamar, “Humble”
When you’re one of the five best baseball players on the planet – and, make no mistake, Altuve is in the conversation – it makes sense that one’s ego would swell a bit. And, yet, by all accounts, Altuve was and remains one of the most humble players in Major League Baseball, a guy who deflects praise to his teammates and actually makes time to sign autographs for kids. Not bad for a guy who’s about to (deservedly) win the AL Most Valuable Player Award.
Johnny Cash, “The Man Comes Around”
Beltran is 40. He’s on a one-year deal with the Astros, and he may be about ready to hang up his cleats for good. Hell, he wasn’t even that good during the regular season, at least by his standards. But if it’s playoff time, that means it’s Beltran’s time to shine. He batted .400 against Boston in the ALDS, including a key RBI double in Game 4 that provided a little insurance and helped propel the Astros into the ALCS. Beltran is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the best postseason players you’ll find. Like Johnny Cash, he makes for one badass of an elder statesman.
Drake and Future, “Big Rings”
Bregman is cocky, a little brash even (this is meant as a compliment, btw). He embraces the big moment, and isn’t afraid to celebrate a bit when he comes up big, as he did in the 8th inning of Game 4 against the Red Sox. So it makes sense that Bregman has already employed Drake (who is also a bit cocky and brash) on many a plate appearances season. What better Drake tune to ride to the World Series than one about a team looking for some really big rings, considering the Astros are doing the exact same thing?
The Killers, “The Man”
Correa technically isn’t even the best player on his own team, not with Altuve hitting .533 in the playoffs thus far. Give it time. At 23, Correa is only just beginning a career that, injury notwithstanding, will one day end with a Hall of Fame enshrinement in Cooperstown. Correa is the rare five-tool player and within the next few years should elevate himself into the conversation for best player in the game. He may not be “the man” just yet, but it won’t be long now.
Zac Brown Band, “Chicken Fried”
This song makes sense for two reasons, and two reasons only. 1) Gattis strikes me as someone who enjoys cold beer on a Friday night, not to mention a pair of jeans that fit just right; and 2) dude kinda looks like Zac Brown.
Sia, “You Can Do Anything”
Gonzalez isn’t the Astros’ best player, but he may very well be their most versatile. When there was a need this year, Gonzalez filled it. Very few players can play just about any position in the field, but Gonzalez can. Plus, the guy hit over .300 during the season. Contributions from stars like Altuve and Correa are a given in the quest for a championship; it’s underrated role players like Gonzalez that help bring those championships home.
Lady Gaga, “Hair”
Gaga’s ode to hair as a statement of individuality could not be more applicable to Gurriel, who has become a cult hero of sorts in Houston in part because of his mane. Hell, take a look around Minute Maid Park and be on the lookout for Yuli wigs; you won’t have to look long.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Freebird”
McCann is a throwback in Major League Baseball, a grizzled veteran whose presence and leadership are felt in a clubhouse. He also just seems like the type who would get down on a little Skynyrd from time to time.
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Ric Flair’s Entrance Theme
Nothing changes. Literally, nothing. Reddick, like Ric Flair, is an American treasure, one who already walks up to the Nature Boy’s entrance music. That should never change. Wooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
Guns N’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle”
First off, “Welcome to the Jungle” is an absolute table-setter of a song, one designed to amp up a crowd as a game begins. So it makes sense the Astros’ All-Star leadoff hitter would employ it. And secondly, Springer’s style of play can safely be described as energetic, and as songs go, they don’t get more energetic than GN'R’s signature song.