Josh Reddick, the A’s Gold Glove-winning right fielder, has a big fan in the Kansas City Royals’ Jeff Francoeur. They play the same position, they’re both from Georgia, and they both are known for having an absolute cannon for a throwing arm. Reddick and Francoeur also happened to be competing against each other for the Gold Glove award as the American League’s best defensive right fielder. It turns out that it’s quite the friendly rivalry. I talked to Francoeur yesterday but the quotes didn’t make my print story for space reasons, so I thought I’d share here. Francoeur, who won a Gold Glove in 2007, said he and Reddick traded text messages Tuesday morning, wishing each other luck. And he held absolutely no bitterness at being beaten out by Reddick for the award.
“I think he’s got by far one of the best arms in the league,” Francoeur said. “He takes great routes on the ball. With that big outfield in Oakland, you can’t really get away with having bad outfielders. … And he’s a fellow Georgia boy. I’ve gotten to know him a little bit. I was happy for him.”
It’s interesting that A’s first base coach Tye Waller, who doubles as the team’s outfield coach, also mentioned the Oakland Coliseum’s unique characteristics when he talked about Reddick’s defensive excellence.
“Our ballpark made him showcase his talents,” Waller said. “There’s so much foul territory. He would go over to that foul territory and make these plays, and you don’t get that luxury in a lot of ballparks because those balls go into the stands.”
We’ll find out soon if the A’s are shown some more love in the postseason awards. The A.L. Manager of the Year winner will be announced Nov. 13, and Bob Melvin is the co-favorite along with Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter …