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A's free spirit A.J. Griffin reminds Phil Garner of Catfish Hunter

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider

When you watch A.J. Griffin strumming his guitar in the clubhouse hours before he starts a game for the A's, you wonder if there's any pitcher ever you can compare him to.

Phil Garner thinks there is.

When Garner sees A.J. Griffin, he thinks of Catfish Hunter.

"Same demeanor," said Garner, who was an A's rookie the year Hunter won the Cy Young Award and now works as an A's special assistant. "Catfish was a free spirit who wasn't full of himself. He enjoyed playing the game. A.J. is the same."

Griffin beat the Rangers on Monday night for his fourth win of the season. He has a 1.74 ERA in May.

He obviously has a long way to go to match what Hunter accomplished in his career, but Garner said they go about things the same way.

"Catfish was all business on the mound," Garner said. "A.J. is the same."

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