After Reddick started the season 0 for 10, some were calling for his caveman-like facial hair to be cut.
The A’s roster is filled with great human-interest stories, but it seems like all anyone wants to talk about is Josh Reddick’s beard. If you haven’t seen it, Google “Tom Hanks” and “Castaway.” It looks like that, only not as well-groomed.
Reddick said he has no plans to cut it, which means he could look like he belongs in ZZ Top by the All-Star break. Some fans were getting on him to shave the beard after he started off 0 for 10 against the Mariners. But then he hit a two-run homer against Brandon Maurer on Thursday, and his facial hair was safe.
“I think everybody’s getting a little too superstitious too early,” Reddick told reporters after the A’s 8-2 win over Seattle. “Let it go. It’s not like I’m going to go 0-for-the-whole-year. That’s just fans being fans on Twitter. I’ve just got to let it go in one ear and out the other.
“It’s my face. I’ll do what I want with it. Hopefully, people will quit telling me to shave now. Get that out of the way because it’s not going to happen.”
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Armed and ready
Yes, the pitchers are ahead of the hitters this time of year.
The Nationals became one of 12 teams in MLB history to open the season with two shutouts, both over the Marlins. And the Nats nearly joined the 1963 Cardinals as the only team ever to open with three consecutive shutouts, their 6-1 win over Miami marred only by a leadoff homer by Justin Ruggiano off Jordan Zimmerman in the top of the second.
Also, the Rangers became the first team in history to have consecutive shutouts with at least 15 strikeouts in each game. The victim was the Astros, who fanned 43 times in the series — most ever for a team in the first three games of the season.
The Padres opened their season at Citi Field playing the Mets, who moved in their fences before last season. The Padres joined the Mariners in trimming the dimensions of their home ballpark for the 2013 season. They will debut at the cozier Petco Park on Tuesday — one day after reconfigured Safeco Field is unveiled.
The Mets concluded that 46 home runs hit last year at Citi Field — 21 of them by the Mets — wouldn’t have been out under the old setup.
“I think you can expect similar (at Petco Park),” Padres manager Bud Black told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “You never know how a season’s going to play out, but if you were to look at this stadium as a model for that, I think that’s a pretty good number. Our guys, who do this sort of projections, think it might be 20-ish home runs, based on study of homers hit there over the last couple of years.”
Notes and quotes
• It’s hard to have a much better opening day than Clayton Kershaw, who threw a shutout and broke a scoreless tie by hitting a home run. But Kershaw is downplaying the comparisons to former Dodgers lefty Sandy Koufax, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the opener.
“I just don’t want to disrespect Sandy (by accepting comparisons to him),” Kershaw told reporters. “He doesn’t deserve that. He was the best left-handed pitcher ever. … Obviously I’m honored by the comparison, but I don’t put any merit into that. I’ve got a long way to go.”
• Fans who came to a public workout at Coors Field on Thursday got a little more than they expected: An on-field scuffle between Rockies teammates Juan Nicasio and Edgmer Escalona.
Each of the pitchers recorded a win in Colorado’s 2-1 start in Milwaukee. But first-year manager Walt Weiss told reporters that “clubhouse needling” got out of hand.
“They got on each other’s nerves and it escalated,” Weiss said. “It’s over with. They’re fine. They’re like brothers, and brothers fight sometimes. I wish it hadn’t happened in public, but they’re fine. I’m not making a big deal of it.”
• The Giants have been handing out big-money contracts quite liberally, befitting a team with two World Series titles in the last three years.
The latest to cash in is catcher (for now) Buster Posey, who signed a nine-year, $167 million contract last week. That broke the Giants’ record of six years and $127.5 million for the contract signed last year for pitcher Matt Cain.
Teammate Jeremy Affeldt joked about Posey and Cain each having a daughter, and Affeldt having three sons.
“And I’m not paying for the weddings,” Affeldt told the San Francisco Chronicle.