NEW YORK -- Led Zeppelin's "Your Time Is Gonna Come" was an appropriate song for the occasion, the morning after a surreal 18 rookies on the Oakland A's had to do the dress-up ritual on the road. Pitcher A.J. Griffin was one of them, and during a visit with teammate Jerry Blevins to the MLB Fan Cave before Friday's opener at Yankee Stadium, he grabbed a guitar and put it to music.
No one was expecting this one -- sort of like the A's whole season.
The team came to the Big Apple tied for the first American League Wild Card spot, and maybe this video would make an appropriately viral track for where Bob Melvin's bunch are right now in this pennant race -- oblivious to what others think, written off at the outset and along the way. Even Blevins was pleasantly surprised when Griffin let loose on the stage during a standard player tour of the 15,000-foot playland at Fourth Street and Broadway in Greenwich Village.
"Man, I started playing guitar when I was about 13, I think, and I'm 24 now," said Griffin, the righty from the San Diego area who will start in the Bronx on Sunday. "I used to be a lot better. I don't have as much free time now. Led Zeppelin was one of my favorite bands growing up, even though it's kind of old; at the same time, it's classic rock, and you've gotta love it."
Has he ever recorded?
"No, no, no, I don't think ..."
"He has now," Blevins interjected, aware that MLB.com had the clip.
"I didn't know he can do that," Blevins added. "When anybody has talent like that, it's cool to see. He can sing, too, I didn't know that either."
"Aw, you don't have to be nice and say that," Griffin said.
"I'm not being nice, you can sing," Blevins said. "That was good."
Griffin can pitch, too. He was 6-0 as a starter this half until the Tigers got ahold of him in Detroit during the last series. Even then, third baseman Miguel Cabrera paid him a compliment, calling Griffin "amazing" and citing a "mistake" or two made by the rookie.
"Did [Cabrera] say that? He made me not look so amazing," Griffin said Friday. "No, he's a great hitter. You just gotta tip your cap to a guy like that. I just try to have fun and go out there and play and do the best I can and give us the best chance to win a ballgame every time they call on me to pitch.
"It's gonna happen. [Manager Bob Melvin] came up and actually told me, 'You weren't going to go 300-0.' I was like, 'Yeah, you're right, but I was going to certainly try to.'"
Blevins has been a reliable workhorse out of the 'pen, and after shooting pool and going down the giant orange tube slide in the Cave with Griffin, the pair were taken over to iconic Washington Square Park, where they taped an upcoming Fan Cave video all about the "Bernie Lean" dance craze back in the Bay Area.
The rookie hazing followed by this Cave outing was a welcome respite amid serious heat of a pennant race.
"We just take it one game at a time, as cliche as it is," Blevins said. "We know we don't have to scoreboard-watch. Our fate's in our hands, so we just try to win every ballgame individually and go from there."
"[We're] just trying to play all 27 outs and do our best every day, and if we play good baseball, we're pretty confident that we'll come out on top," Griffin said.
Who knows, this A's-Yankees matchup could be a prelude to a postseason series.
"It's obviously a big series. These guys are contending as well," Blevins said. "You look to just play every game and win a series. We're looking to win two out of three everywhere we go, or three out of four, and move on from there."
Always the same, playin' your game,
Drive me insane, trouble is gonna come to you,
One of these days and it won't be long,
You'll look for me but baby, I'll be gone.