Mark Canha, who quoted “Bull Durham” in a post-game interview last week, got some national exposure Wednesday on MLB Network’s Intentional Talk.
Mark Canha came into the A’s clubhouse about three hours before Wednesday’s game started and shook his head.
“I don’t know how it went,’’ Canha said.
The Oakland rookie utility player had just been on the field taping a segment for MLB Network’s Intentional Talk. They’d been drawn in both by Canha’s hot start (11 hits in his first six games, including a homer) and by his paraphrase of some lines from Kevin Costner in “Bull Durham’’ to the media after his first game.
He’d gone three-for-five with two doubles and four RBIs last Wednesday, just barely missing a grand slam for his first big league hit. When he talked about the game afterward, he never broke stride in recreating Costner as Crash Davis giving advice to Tim Robbins’ Nuke LaLoosh character on how to be as bland as possible with the media:
“I’m just trying to help the ball club,’’ Canha said. “And, uh, I’ll give it my best shot, and the good lord willing, things will work out.”
The actual Costner lines run like this:
“We gotta play ‘em one day at a time.’’
“I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.’’
“I just wanna give it my best shot and, the good lord willing, things will work out.’’
So, not bad.
After the clip of the Canha interview was played, the first baseman/outfielder was hit with a pair of movie quotes, one from the “The Sandlot,’’ the other from “The Natural,’’ and he correctly identified both.
Canha watched his performance in the clubhouse with his teammates, got plenty of positive feedback, then headed out of the room.
“I guess that wasn’t too bad,’’ he said.
Costner was at Monday’s game in Houston, but Canha didn’t find out about it until later, so there was no chance to compare acting techniques.
–Second baseman/outfielder Ben Zobrist got his first day off of the season Wednesday thanks to some heel pain that has been dogging him for a couple of days now. Manager Bob Melvin said he liked the thought of Zobrist being able to combine Wednesday with Thursday’s scheduled off day to give the right heel time to heal.
–Josh Reddick stepped into Zobrist’s role as the No. 3 hitter. Reddick didn’t bat third last year and had just 14 games there in 2013, but in his career he’s actually batted third for 147 starts, 30 more than in any other spot in the batting order. He has a .234 average batting third.
–Sean Doolittle seems to be making some progress toward getting back on a mound after missing all spring with strained left rotator cuff. Melvin was effusive in talking about Doolittle throwing pain free from 105 feet, his best result to date.
–Melvin said the difference in lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty from last year to this is clear now that he’s fully recovered from Tommy John surgery. O’Flaherty gave the A’s 1.2 innings of relief Tuesday and was available if needed to pitch Wednesday.
–Center fielder Sam Fuld has five multiple-hit games already, second-best in that category in the Major Leagues so far.
–Billy Butler’s nine-game hitting streak coming into Wednesday ties him for the best-ever streak to start an A’s career. Alfredo Griffin also hit in nine consecutive games when he joined the A’s in 1985.
–The century club: The A’s four shutouts in the first nine games is just the fourth time in MLB history that’s been accomplished, the first time in 105 years. The 1910 White Sox were the last team to do it.