Pat Clark

August 14, 2014

Pat Clark: “Whispers” in the ballpark when A’s Reddick comes up

While it may be true that “guilty feet have got no rhythm,” others, it turns out, are highly adept at running the bases in the major leagues.

While it may be true that “guilty feet have got no rhythm,” others, it turns out, are highly adept at running the bases in the major leagues.

At least that’s the case with the cleat-clad feet of Oakland A’s outfielder Josh Reddick, who has made the George Michael song “Careless Whisper” his walk-up music.

Batters in the MLB choose the song they want played on their home field speakers when they come up to bat. The jazzy ballad from the 1980s might be a weird choice – it’s not exactly pump-you-up music – but the A’s are at the top of the standings and Reddick is one of the batters leading the charge, so why question it?

Plus, it’s a crazy huge hit with the fans, who are being great sports (natch) about the offbeat choice.

“Careless Whisper” is a great old song. Seriously, how can you deny a lyric like the one quoted above? And the sexy-sax sound is instantly recognizable. But it’s not exactly the kind of song you’d expect to inspire a home-run performance. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Reddick’s batter-up choice was completely random:

“Somebody had Pandora on shuffle in the clubhouse, and it got thrown into the mix. I was like, ‘What would happen if I tried this?’ ” Reddick said in a May Rolling Stone story . “And baseball players are very superstitious, so I can’t imagine changing it for a while, unless something dramatic happens … and I hope it doesn’t.”

It’s August and Reddick hasn’t changed it (well, he did, but then he went back to it). In fact, it’s become a bit of a craze at Coliseum in Oakland, where some fans come prepared with saxophones – both real and fake – to air-sax along with the opening strains of “Careless Whisper” as Reddick makes his way to the batter’s box.

As a casual A’s fan, I hope General Manager Billy Beane – given the recent trade of slugger Yoenis Céspedes – is seeing the product tie-in possibilities (yellow and green fake saxes for sale next to the giant No. 1 fingers in the concession stands, perhaps?) and the buzz Reddick has created with his off-kilter song choice.

Hopefully, Beane isn’t planning any more return-to-“Moneyball” shockers, especially involving Reddick. Having Brad Pitt play you in a movie could make a guy go a little whacka-doodle, after all.

True TV confessions

I have a television confession to make. This isn’t the first embarrassing viewer admission made in this space. Nor, no doubt, will it be the last. (Oh, trust me, I have way more embarrassing viewing habits under my hat.) But it’s hard to admit that something I once was so certain about turned out to be oh so wrong.

In 2009, I declared that “Grey’s Anatomy” was dead to me. Once one of my favorite shows, the drama had become a woeful, giant bore.

Actually, I used stronger words when I wrote that I’d had it with this ABC series: “ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ is toast. Blech. Could they whine any more on that show? Could they squeeze in any more cheesy Joan Baez-esque music and oh-so-emo camera cutaways to characters starring forlornly into space? Could they just go away? I don’t like a single character on that show anymore. Even McDreamy has gotten McDreary.”

Well, it turns out it wasn’t “Grey’s Anatomy” itself that I hated so much. It was just Katherine Heigl’s character, Izzie. I knew this back in 2009 when I turned away – as did Heigl – from the show and – seriously – never looked back. Izzie tainted the entire “Grey’s” well for me. Honestly, I didn’t even realize it still was on the air.

Then I started reading at the end of last season about the departure of Sandra Oh from the series. Her character, Cristina Yang, had been my favorite, even when the show had gone south.

So, armed with my new subscription to Netflix, I decided, on a whim, to watch the first episode from the last season – Season 10. It quickly was evident that understanding what was going on in that episode meant watching the final episode from Season 9. Which, naturally, led to watching that entire season. Which – heavy sigh – became a binge-watching nightmare of watching all the seasons I’d missed.

Turns out, Meredith wasn’t nearly as whiny as I’d remembered. Izzie was, thankfully, long gone. Cristina was even more fun to watch. Derek was still McDreamy (OK, maybe a little McDreary, but the hair really does make up for it). Now, all caught up on the action, I’m actually looking forward to Season 11 this fall.

So, about that rant from 2009 … um, never mind.

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