Why Guardians’ Oscar Gonzalez has ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ walk-up music

NEW YORK — Oscar Gonzalez doesn’t keep in mind which track he virtually selected that day in Class AAA in Columbus, Ohio. Much like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards enrolling on the similar number one faculty in southeast England, any choice has lengthy since grow to be unattainable.

Who can say what would have came about if the 24-year-old rookie outfielder had selected an ode to one thing instead of nautical nonsense to bring in his arrival at house plate at Progressive Field this yr. Who is aware of the place the Cleveland Guardians can be if Gonzalez had grown up staring at “Teletubbies” as a substitute — or if he have been a large “Flintstones” man. As has been stated because the days when credible alternatives for walk-up music have been restricted to Beethoven’s Fifth or a Sousa march, baseball is a recreation of inches.

But as destiny would have it, Gonzalez used to be now not a “Fairly OddParents” fan all over his adolescence within the Dominican Republic. He didn’t enjoy “Scooby-Doo.” No, Gonzalez liked “SpongeBob SquarePants.” So when he wanted to select a track, it used to be the SpongeBob theme that slid to the entrance of his thoughts.

“The song came to me,” Gonzalez stated this week thru workforce interpreter Agustin Rivero. “I thought that was something the kids would love, so that’s why I chose it.”

Two months after his arrival, Harrison Bader is having his Yankees second

Maybe, simply possibly, the track selected him, too. Because it used to be that track that performed ahead of Gonzalez delivered probably the most vital house runs within the historical past of Cleveland baseball, his Fifteenth-inning walk-off homer in Game 2 of Cleveland’s first-round win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Gonzalez didn’t start the season at the primary league roster, didn’t wreck into the massive leagues till May. He didn’t hit cleanup till June. He used to be hitting 5th Saturday when he hammered a Corey Kluber pitch deep to left box to present his upstart Guardians an not going win courtesy of an not going hero. He stated this week his existence hasn’t modified a lot on account of the homer. But he has modified others’.

Take, for instance, trustworthy Guardians fan David Hrusovsky, who began dressed in an outdated SpongeBob Halloween dress to Guardians house video games and ended up on nationwide tv simply ahead of the homer, a appearing that earned him an interview on native tv in Cleveland.

Or assume, for a second, in regards to the Guardians franchise, enduring the longest lively name drought in Major League Baseball. Gonzalez’s house run gave Cleveland a shot on the New York Yankees within the department collection, the newest stunner from a workforce that used 17 inexperienced persons this season and had the bottom moderate age of any workforce within the majors at 26 because it gained the American League Central over extra skilled groups such because the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins. They are one of the most remaining American League groups status regardless of the truth that out of doors megastar 3rd baseman José Ramírez, folks out of doors Cleveland most certainly would be capable to title extra Krusty Krab group of workers participants than Guardians starters.

Gonzalez used to be in no way destined to be part of both crew when the season started.

He hit .208 with a .585 on-base-plus-slugging proportion within the Dominican Winter League remaining yr. He used to be a free-swinging, power-first slugger who may just now not to find his method onto the Guardians’ 40-man roster remaining iciness because the workforce secure extra heralded potentialities from variety within the Rule 5 draft. Because of the lockout, MLB canceled that draft remaining yr. Because it did, Gonzalez started spring coaching within the Cleveland device. He hit .282 with an .813 OPS in 41 video games at Columbus to begin the season.

Guardians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti and General Manager Mike Chernoff made up our minds it used to be time to name him up, realizing complete smartly what the verdict intended musically, undeterred through any dignity-related penalties.

“There are lots of things we think about when we call up players,” Antonetti stated this week. “Walk-up song is not one of them. That didn’t cross the threshold for consideration.”

To be transparent, Antonetti used to be under no circumstances involved in Gonzalez’s selection. He used to be inspired when Gonzalez caught with it as a substitute of fixing to one thing extra mainstream for the massive leagues.

“I thought it was awesome,” Antonetti stated. “He’s so comfortable with who he is that he didn’t change it.”

Some of his teammates may had been extra comfy if he had modified it. Veteran catcher Austin Hedges stated lots of them, in particular the few older avid gamers who hadn’t performed with Gonzalez within the minors, concept it used to be a prank. Hedges admitted he discovered it stunning. He wasn’t the one one.

The playoffs be offering Juan Soto a possibility to plant roots with the Padres

“I thought it was terrible. I’m not going to lie. I think everyone has voiced this concern,” pitcher Triston McKenzie stated with a grin. “But it worked for him. He came up and hit .300 the first two weeks and everyone was like, well, if it works for him …”

If McKenzie concept he and his teammates have been caught with the track then, they’re surely caught with it now; it used to be that track that crammed Gonzalez’s ears on his option to the plate for one of the most greatest at-bats in his workforce’s historical past. And as corny because it sounds, the truth that Gonzalez felt comfy sufficient to select that anthem method Hedges and fellow veterans corresponding to Ramírez are facilitating the type of clubhouse they was hoping would boost up the growth of the younger avid gamers on which this workforce is predicated.

“I think it’s the culture of leadership from everybody,” McKenzie stated. “When guys come up, they may not be comfortable talking to José Ramírez, but when they see him joking, being lighthearted, talking to everybody, it makes people feel like they can be themselves, they don’t have to hide from anybody.”

At 6-foot-4, Gonzalez isn’t precisely in a position to mixing whatsoever. He stated his teammates funny story with him in regards to the track once in a while however that he doesn’t truly care in the event that they do.

“To be honest, what matters to me is that the kids like it and that I like it,” Gonzalez stated. “I don’t care what other people say.”

And but even so, Gonzalez’s march to the plate is much less about what other folks say than it’s about what they sing. And what they sing — particularly within the Guardians’ dugout a couple of occasions a recreation nowadays — is a track in regards to the resident of a pineapple underneath the ocean, absorbent, yellow, porous and completely unforgettable.

Leave a Comment