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It’s been a little chilly

Reddick surprised by cool reception

By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / May 2, 2012
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The first time he came to the plate at Fenway Park as a member of the Oakland A’s Monday night, former Red Sox right fielder Josh Reddick said he was surprised by the tepid response he got from the crowd.

“I didn’t get a whole lot of love from the fans,’’ Reddick said Tuesday night after the A’s scored an adventuresome 5-3 victory over the Red Sox. “I mean, they’ve been on me pretty good the last two days. I thought I was liked a little bit more than that. But they’ve been ragging me pretty good out there.’’

Reddick sighed. He seemed resigned to the fact that as much as he loved coming back to Fenway, it seemed he no longer held sway with Red Sox fans who once cheered him. He hit .248 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 143 games with Boston from 2009-11.

“Now it’s just another ballpark where I’m getting ragged,’’ Reddick said. “It’s just the typical, ‘You [stink]’ kind of stuff. Nothing too serious.’’

Reddick shared those sentiments with Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after he reached base on a wall-ball double off Rich Hill in the seventh inning.

“I told Pedroia, ‘I thought I was liked a little bit more here; I thought I’d do a little bit better than that, get a little more credit,’ ’’ said Reddick, who went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts. “But it just shows how supportive their fans are for their team no matter who it is [they’re playing against].’’

The chilly reception, though, didn’t diminish Reddick’s first trip to Boston since going to Oakland last December in the trade that brought Andrew Bailey and Ryan Sweeney to Boston.

“I got comfortable here [in Oakland] real fast,’’ Reddick said. “Spring training was a huge step to come into this clubhouse with these guys and they welcomed me really nice.’’

One month in with Oakland, Reddick seems to have settled into his role as the everyday right fielder.

“I think the fact that he knows he’s going to be in there, he’s actually settled into the 3 spot,’’ said A’s manager Bob Melvin. “He’s handled some lefthanded pitchers from time to time, which keeps him in that spot. I think at this point in time in his career, he knows coming to the ballpark that he’s going to play, and that’s key for a younger player.’’

It probably explained why Reddick had a little pep in his step when he arrived at Fenway Monday.

“He was a little more chatty, a little quicker pace in how he’s talking about being able to go out there and try to do some things,’’ Melvin said. “[Monday] night, a couple of hits and a homer and a double [Tuesday night] . He’s played a nice right field for us. The first time you come home to the place you, so to speak, grew up, it’s special.’’

Reddick added a little drama to Monday night’s game when he tumbled into the Sox bullpen attempting to grab David Ortiz’s second homer of the night. The ball caromed off his glove.

“I’ve made that catch a ton of times in batting practice, but never had it in game situations,’’ Reddick said. “David just got enough of it to get it out of my reach and off the glove. It was little bit more off the finger than the webbing. But the short wall kind of hurt me. Once I got up it caused me to kind of jack-knife a little bit.

“I did a nice little front flip and popped up real quick.’’

Reddick’s three-run homer that ended Clay Buchholz’s night Monday rekindles memories of when he did such things for the Red Sox.

“I never really had that big home run here when I was playing for the team,’’ Reddick said. “But it brought back a little bit of memories. It was just a pleasure to come in here and get one against the old guys.’’

But it was bittersweet, too, for Reddick.

“Obviously, you’re going to be upset when you get traded from a team like that, especially when you grow up with them,’’ Reddick said. “But I realized when it did happen that it was going to be a great opportunity for me to play every day and get my name out there and make a career out of it. That’s how I’m taking it; I’m taking it in stride and making this the starting point of my career.’’

Michael Vega can be reached at vega@globe.com.

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