PHOENIX -- A's outfielder Josh Reddick is ready to rumble. He arrived at Phoenix Municipal stadium on Friday, promptly displayed the shirt of WWE Superstar Ryback in his clubhouse stall, then put on the entrance theme for three-time WWE Champion and former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar, and hit the weight room.
When asked about his beyond shaggy beard, he even spoke about himself in the third person like "The Rock."
"I just keep it so you can get the whole personality of Josh, and what he's going to bring," Reddick said jokingly.
With the beard talk out of the way, Reddick is ready to get down to business. He does plan on keeping it for a while, but did say he might trim it up during the season.
Reddick was one of the most important players for the A's last year. He won a gold glove for his play in right field and hit 32 home runs. On a team full of what could be considered "young veterans," Reddick's on-field success thrusts him into a leadership role at the ripe old age of 25.
"I'm honored," Reddick said. "I never thought that this early in my career I'd be considered one of the leaders in the clubhouse."
Reddick learned a lot about leadership from Jonny Gomes last season. He says he is ready to do whatever it takes to take on that role. Gomes and Reddick sat next to each other in the clubhouse last season and the two forged quite a bond.
"I learned when to keep my mouth shut and when to open it," Reddick said. "Basics of the game, how to get ready, what to do and what not to do on the field. He made it clear to me that sometimes it's best to keep my mouth shut, because sometimes in my mind there's no filter."
Gomes was the guy that gave the green light to the Pie-derman costume idea last season. It won't be happening again, though.
"Sorry, but it's not going to come back," Reddick said. "That was a one-time deal. I got some frowns put upon that in Major League Baseball. We'll just stick to the normal pies from now on."
The actual Spiderman costume that Reddick wore was given to the fans in the right field bleachers. Pie-derman wasn't the only Reddick uniform that got retired this offseason, he also had his #24 jersey retired in a ceremony at South Effingham High School in Georgia last Tuesday.
"That was a pretty cool honor," Reddick said. "They've been pushing for it for a while, that was pretty cool to get done. It was a good little ceremony. The only thing bad about it was that it was pouring down rain, so we had to do it inside."
Reddick is ready to get to work. He is a member of a very deep and talented A's outfield. With five versatile outfielders competing for playing time, Reddick hopes he will be able to focus solely on right field this season. Between Coco Crisp, Chris Young, and Yoenis Cespedes, they should have centerfield covered.
The A's are the reigning American League West Champions, but as the great Ric Flair once said: "To be the man, you've got to beat the man…. Wooo." Reddick is surely one of many A's players with that line of thinking as the team's starts working on their goal of winning a World Series.