A’s right fielder Josh Reddick had this coming weekend all planned out.
“I looked at the WWE schedule when they announced WrestleMania was going to be in Santa Clara,’’ he said. “It’s always the end of March. And we’re always home then for the Bay Bridge Series. It was going to work out perfect.’’
For Reddick, such a huge WWE fan that he has a championship belt given to him by his favorite wrestler, Triple-H, perfection did not come as expected.
“I looked at our spring schedule and this year we’re a week late,’’ he said Sunday morning. The A’s won’t open the season until April 6 at home against Texas, so the three-game Bay Bridge meetup with the Giants won’t happen until April 2-4, the better part of a week after WrestleMania comes to Levis Stadium on March 29.
Reddick grew up as a wrestling fan in Georgia got away from it for a while, but got back into about seven years ago. He numbers Triple-H among his friends, has gotten plenty of time behind stage at WWE events, and he had a brief “beard-off’’ with the WWE’s Daniel Bryan, Bryan winning and shaving Reddick’s beard after the 2013 season.
He’s enough of a fan that he opted for Saturday’s WWE event in Phoenix over the annual spring part thrown by the A’s owners, an event he’d not missed since coming to the club to start the 2012 season. And he’d hoped to make it Santa Clara this coming Sunday.
“WrestleMania is the Super Bowl of Wrestling,’’ Reddick said, “and I’ve never been there. It’s on my bucket list. And one of these days I will make it.’’
Reddick had idly thought of ways to get up to the Bay Area for the event Sunday night and back Monday morning, but even getting a private plane wouldn’t the job done.
“I’d get back so late that I wouldn’t be in good shape for the morning workout the next day,’’ he said in dismissing the idea.
That weekend figures to be a big one for Reddick. He hasn’t played in a game since the first days of spring training thanks to a right oblique injury and somewhere around the 29th he’ll get back into the lineup, if all goes well.
He wants to be in the lineup against the Rangers on opening day. To do that he’ll have to maximize his at-bats from that point out.
And that means no WrestleMania.
A man’s got to have priorities.
–Reddick, who has been taking swings off a tee, is likely to get in to regular batting practice in the next day or so.
–Jarrod Parker will throw two 20-pitch “innings’’ against hitter Monday as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery.
–Outfielder Sam Fuld won’t be back in the lineup until he gets a protective helmet to guard the left side of his face. He was hit there by a thrown ball Friday in a split-squad game against the Rockies. The swelling in his face has gone down, but not enough that he’s chanced shaving.