MESA, Ariz. — By the time the Academy Awards wrapped Sunday night, A’s reliever (and movie fanatic) John Axford was content in picking 19 of 24 categories right.
Of course, Axford thought he’d nailed 20 of 24.
He was as shocked as anyone at the mass confusion surrounding the Best Picture announcement that sent the social media world bonkers.
Axford, a film major in college who’s gained attention for his spot-on Oscar predictions, picked “La La Land” to win Best Picture. He was watching the awards show at a restaurant — it had closed down, but employees saw he was so engrossed in the show they let him stay and watch — and when “La La Land” was announced as the winner, he left and didn’t give it another thought.
Not until he got home and saw a text from his agent did Axford know that “Moonlight” wound up winning. That actually sat well with the pitcher. “Moonlight” was his favorite movie of the year, he just didn’t expect the industry to give it the award.
“It was a sad and beautiful film. I absolutely loved it,” Axford said.
He was also happy to see Oakland native Mahershala Ali win Best Supporting Actor for “Moonlight,” after Ali helped arrange a screening of the movie for A’s players.
Axford took to Twitter to share an idea that struck him:
Hey @Athletics...when can we get Mahershala Ali out to the Coliseum to throw out the first pitch? Oscar in one hand, baseball in the other!
Before long, A’s president Dave Kaval had the Twitter response:
“Great idea! We are on it.”