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Reddick, Blackley: A's camp's odd couple

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Reddick, Blackley: A's camp's odd couple play video for Reddick, Blackley: A's camp's odd couple

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A bromance is brewing between Oakland's ultimate odd couple.

There's Josh Reddick, 26, he of a Southern upbringing, with his long, flowing locks and scraggly beard, who dons cowboy boots and clings to a WWE obsession.

Then there's Travis Blackley, the quirky 30-year-old Aussie southpaw covered in tattoos. Heavy metal music comforts his ears, and his heavy accent is always running.

On Saturday night, Blackley was adding ink to his body, while Reddick made an appearance at a charity poker event. Last week the two went to a concert Blackley picked out -- heavy metal, of course -- and Sunday it was Reddick introducing Blackley to his first NASCAR race in Phoenix. Blackley is a night owl, normally hitting the pillow hours after Reddick, who is sometimes asleep as early as 9:30 p.m.

Though seemingly very different on paper, the two A's players make a likeable pair as roommates. They're sharing a two-bedroom apartment with Reddick's dogs, Backster and Murray, in Scottsdale for the duration of camp.

"We're actually very similar," Blackley said. "We just get along real well."

The pair's friendship was forged last season while living in the same apartment complex in the East Bay, where they would convene by the pool and make frequent use of the barbecue.

Blackley is not so much a cook -- "I think I could do it, I just don't have the patience," he says -- as Reddick is on occasion. His specialty is grilled chicken and veggies, which he has made twice this spring, once for Blackley.

"It wasn't bad," Blackley joked. "I didn't die."

During their first few nights as roommates, they dined out frequently, hitting a couple of sushi joints, as well as Joe's Crab Shack and Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

While sporting a Joe's Crab Shack apron, Reddick jokingly tweeted, "Next time we sit on the same side of the table!"

In the past week, they've twice placed an order for pizza delivery because they did not feel like moving. Other nights, Blackley has reached into his well-stocked collection of macaroni and cheese or soup.

"When you come home from these long days, it's usually just sitting around, taking a nap or watching TV," Reddick said.

"Yeah," Blackley said. "You're just so tired that it's nice not to do anything."

Surprisingly, Reddick said, the normally sociable Blackley retreated to his room nearly every night when they returned home during the first week of camp. But that was only because he was chatting with others -- his family and friends back in Australia -- via FaceTime, when he wasn't catching up on TV favorites "Sons of Anarchy" and "The Walking Dead."

These days, though, they're normally found together in the living room watching "NCIS" marathons or playing on a shared Xbox -- "lots of Call of Duty, like everyone else in the world is playing," Reddick said.

The A's outfielder has attempted to share his love of WWE with his new roommate during its Monday showings, but to no avail.

"The only time I need to vacate the room is when WWE comes on," Blackley said. "It's so fake, I can't stand it. I respect that he likes it. I sat through half of one once until I got a call, and then I was out of there."

"He just doesn't get it," Reddick said.

It's not the only thing they disagree on.

Ask each of them who is cleaner, and humor entails.

"I am," Reddick said. "I'm not a neat freak, but I don't like it being messy. I gotta clean up if it's getting bad. He's pretty messy. I don't think he's taken out the trash once, though I'd say most of it's mine. And his room is pretty much like a 5-year-old's. There's stuff everywhere."

"I'd say I am," Blackley responded. "He probably said he is, but if you look at the table in our living room, there's nothing I've left on it. I wouldn't say we have the cleanest apartment."

Except for maybe the fridge, which is essentially empty, if not for some cheese and meat, along with Blackley's collection of water bottles.

No one may enjoy this pairing of roommates more than Reddick's bulldogs.

"They love Travis," Reddick said. "They're pretty friendly with everybody, not taking away from him, but my little one has taken to him more than my big one. He's still in the learning phases of knowing what to chew, so when he gets in trouble he goes and sulks to Travis."

This family of four, it seems, is perfectly imperfect.

"We're definitely of a different breed," Reddick said, "but I think that's what makes it work so well."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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