Reddick making his mark with a Flair

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Reddick making his mark with a Flair

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA

BOSTON -- In a clubhouse lined with red folding chairs in front of the lockers, a single black seat stood out. It was, appropriately enough, placed under a replica championship belt and an ornate Ric Flair Nature Boy robe hanging from the ceiling.

Josh Reddick had been waiting weeks for this, a gift from a friend who works for the WWE. It was a Triple H-themed folding chair, memorabilia of Reddick's favorite wrestler, with the wrestler's face on the seat cushion.

Hes always been a guy -- I know they say its all fake -- but hes always someone Ive enjoyed watching because it looks like a passion more than just a job and an entertainment, Reddick said. He takes it really seriously even though the situations, they say, are fake.

The WWE became a topic of conversation in the Red Sox clubhouse this season when Reddick purchased Flairs autographed robe on eBay for his lockermate, Dustin Pedroia, a fellow WWE fan. The flashy extra-large garb, with the nickname Nature Boy bedazzled on the back, has become a mainstay in their quarters above Pedroias locker.

Reddick took his love for the WWE on to the field last month when he switched his at-bat music from Dropkick Murphys Cadence to Arms to Also Sprach Zarathustra, best known as the theme song from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is also Flairs entrance music.

I never go out there trying to be too amped up, so I try not to pick something thats going to be too intense. Everything I pick Ive enjoyed hearing, he said. It clears my head more than anything.

After a few games with the dramatic song, Reddick changed his at-bat music again. It was a song he had used in the minors leagues and had wanted to play in the majors, but was waiting for the right time -- I dont think Im ready for that yet. Its hard, its hard rock, he said earlier. With the regular season winding down, Reddick went for it and chose his wrestling idols entrance song, The Game, by Motrhead.

I like most of the wrestlers music, he said. Most of the guys that walk out in wrestling have the hard-core, head-banging kind of thing. Thats not really my taste in music, so I dont really want that to be associated with me. But thats always one that Ive enjoyed. Triple H is old fashioned and obviously hes a legend and everybody likes him, and the fans seem to get into it a little bit too.

Reddick tries to catch WWE shows whenever they come to a town nearby (he spends his offseason in Georgia) and has met a few wrestlers as well. Ive actually been like four feet away from the Undertaker, whos a big guy, he noted. While he points out differences between them and baseball players, he says they have a common objective.

They obviously can get away with being a lot bigger than the average person and apparently baby oil is a huge objective for them to come out on TV (laughs). And theyre not afraid to come out in their sliders and spandex alone, he said. But theyve got the awesome entrances with the fireworks and the videos and the music. Theyre huge entertainers and we kind of share that in common.

So if Reddick had the chance to spend a day in a wrestlers shoes, what would his persona be?

Obviously Id have to put on about 30 more pounds, he joked. I feel like Id be one of those high-flying guys that just jumps up off the ropes all the time doing all kinds of crazy flips, that kind of thing. Id be loud -- Id have to be loud. The quiet guys dont really make it a whole lot. I would probably wear the standard Speedo with kneepads and boots. Itd have to be red. Reds been my color since I dont know how long.

"But I dont think theres much room for country music in that kind of lifestyle, I havent heard anyone walk out to country music. I dont know what entrance song I would pick because usually bands make up music for wrestlers like that. I think Nickelback would be a good one.

While Reddick is focused on contributing to the Red Sox quest for a championship, he may have an opportunity to look like a pro wrestler, if only for a few hours. There is a tradition of rookies wearing costumes on their last road trip of the regular season, and the Ric Flair Nature Boy coat hanging from the ceiling in the clubhouse could be the perfect get-up.

I dont know if Im going to do it yet, but weve talked about it being my costume dress up for the last road trip, he said. I threw it out there that if I bleached my hair white, would I get to wear the robe and the belt and all that stuff? They (my teammates) said that wouldnt be a problem, so well see how that goes. At least itd be something I can have fun with and enjoy.

And its not like my first year when I wore my blue fairy outfit.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

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Pedroia leads Red Sox to 11th win in a row, 3-2 over Rays in 10

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia used nifty baserunning to score from first base on David Ortiz's double in the 10th inning and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Sunday for their 11th consecutive win.

Pedroia singled off Eddie Gamboa (0-1) to start the inning. The relay throw on Ortiz's hit to right center beat Pedroia to plate but he avoided Luke Maile's first tag. Pedroia's momentum carried him past the plate and when he went back to touch it, Maile was charged with an error when the ball dropped out his glove on another tag try.

Pedroia hit a solo homer and Mookie Betts extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single for the Red Sox, who secured at least an AL wild-card spot Saturday night. Boston's magic number to clinch the division title dropped to two.

Joe Kelly (4-0) went 2 2/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out a career-high 13 in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander and Heath Hembree combined to strikeout 11 consecutive batters to establish a major league-record. The New York Mets held the previous mark when Tom Seaver struck out 10 in a row against San Diego on Apr. 22, 1970.

Boston also set a club record by striking out 21 through nine. Kelly added two more in the 10th.

There was a moment of silence before the game for Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. Fernandez played high school baseball in nearby Tampa, Florida after defecting from Cuba.

The Rays planned to honor Ortiz before his final game at Tropicana Field but canceled the ceremony at Ortiz's request after Fernandez's death. He had three hits in five at-bats and moved past Frank Thomas for 107th place on the career list with 2,469 hits.

Ortiz has 35 homers and 90 RBIs at Tropicana Field, which is the most of any visiting player. Alex Rodriguez is next with 30 homers and 73 RBIs.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Rays 3B Evan Longoria and RHP Chris Archer informally presented Ortiz with an oil painting of his 500th home run, which he hit at Tropicana Field last season. Ortiz was also given 34 special handmade Diamond Crown Maximus cigars and $5,000 donations in his name to the Miracle League of St. Petersburg, Florida and the University of South Florida Latino scholarship program.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Ortiz will play at Yankee Stadium for the final time during a three-game series against New York that starts Tuesday night. "Playing baseball in New York is something that is very special," Ortiz said. LHP David Price (17-8) will start for the Red Sox Tuesday night.

Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (7-11) will face White Sox RHP James Shields (3-11) Monday night in the first of four games in Chicago.

© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.