Don't Kill The Mellinger

Kris Medlen loves Bo Jackson, will fit into Kansas City just fine

Kansas City Royals pitcher Kris Medlen’s rehab is “right on schedule,” according to Royals general manager Dayton Moore.
Kansas City Royals pitcher Kris Medlen’s rehab is “right on schedule,” according to Royals general manager Dayton Moore. The Kansas City Star

Royals pitcher Kris Medlen was giving what must be the longest interview in the history of post-simulated-game interviews, or maybe I was just getting antsy because he was wearing a Bo Jackson T-shirt, and I needed to get to the bottom of this important story.

I didn’t want to get my hopes up, though. Sometimes guys just wear shirts because they’re clean, or convenient, so after the last question about his sim game — it seemed to go well, but whatever — I asked why he had on such a beautiful T-shirt.

“Other than he’s one of the greatest athletes ever to exist?” Medlen says.

Swoon.

We nerded out for a moment. I’ve written here before that Bo is the athlete of my youth, no exaggeration, one of the biggest reasons I love sports.^ The other day, coincidentally, I bought my favorite Bo shirt from when I was a kid.

^ So, you know. Blame him.

As it turns out, Medlen is sort of the same way. He has an autographed ball at home, one of his favorites in a nice collection, and the story behind it sounds a little like how Chris Farley might’ve asked Paul McCartney.

This was a few years ago, when Medlen was with the Braves. Bo and Tim Hudson are friends — both Auburn guys — so Bo is in the clubhouse telling old stories.

“I didn’t have the (cajones) to ask him for an autograph,” Medlen says. “So I waited for someone else to go, and then I got behind him, and just held my hand out. Yeah, I drafted the guy in front of me to get an autograph without asking. But I swear, everyone was waiting for someone to ask, and then everybody came.”

There’s a kicker to the story. The first time Medlen wore it around the clubhouse, guys kept asking about it. So he went back to the store and picked up three more, one each for Alex Gordon, Jarrod Dyson and physical therapist Jeff Blum.

Yes. Kris Medlen is going to fit in just fine.

Kansas City Royals pitcher Kris Medlen after throwing a simulated Game at Kauffman Stadium.

To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365 or send email to smellinger@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.

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