Outfielder Boog Powell had a compelling reason for bowing out of his scheduled A’s debut Friday night: He couldn’t breathe.
Powell, acquired from Seattle in the Yonder Alonso trade on Aug. 6, started feeling dizzy as he caught flyballs during batting practice. He had been sick the previous two days, and before long his ailment turned into a full-blown asthma attack.
Powell periodically has used an inhaler since childhood, but he said this episode was his first in 10 years. He ended up in the emergency room, where he received breathing treatment.
He felt better Saturday, took a long run at the Coliseum around lunchtime and emerged in good shape. Manager Bob Melvin put Powell in Saturday night’s lineup, leading off and playing center field against the Orioles. He went 1-for-4 with a walk, run and three strikeouts.
“My asthma is normally exercise-induced, but unless I’m sick I can contain it,” Powell said before the game. “… During BP (on Friday), I honestly couldn’t breathe. I was breathing like 50 percent. I was sweating, everything.
“It was such a letdown, not to be able to make my debut with the A’s.”
Melvin seemed curious to see Powell in action. He hit only .194 in 36 at-bats for the Mariners, but he also hit .340 in 206 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma.
Melvin, asked what he wants to find out about Powell, cracked, “I want to find out he hits .500, plays center field really well and steals two bags a game.”
Powell fielded more questions about his background and unusual nickname. By now, he’s accustomed to queries on unrelated, long-ago Baltimore first baseman Boog Powell, who stood 6-foot-4, weighed 230 pounds and hit 339 career home runs.
This Boog Powell goes 5-10, 185 and seldom hits homers. He’s also looking forward to meeting the “original” Boog Powell, possibly Aug. 21-23 when the A’s visit Baltimore.
“I’m going to go out to his barbecue before or after the game, introduce myself and talk baseball,…