2. Astros Sent Kris Medlen Into Retirement
Plenty of ink has been spilled on Mike Bolsinger and his Astros-related lawsuit over the past few seasons, and it’s true that Houston’s bang-filled offense ended the pitcher’s marginal MLB career in illicit fashion.
Every time we talk about Bolsinger, though, we should also talk about Kris Medlen, the ex-Brave who fought for years to get back to MLB only to watch his flame get extinguished by Houston in one fell swoop.
Braves star Freddie Freeman certainly never forgot about his old buddy Medlen, and he shared the righty’s story when asked to address the Astros’ cheating scandal in the wake of the early 2020 revelations.
If that doesn’t get you, you don’t have an emotional bone in your body — or you reside in the cushy Houston suburbs, wake up at 10:30 am everyday and immediately take to Twitter to flame Joel Sherman or something equally boring.
Medlen was a force for the 2012 and 2013 Braves, posting a 10-1 record with a 1.57 ERA in ’12. Unfortunately, things sped downhill in 2014, when he left a spring training start with elbow soreness and was told he required a second Tommy John surgery, a rarity in the modern game, though something current Yankee Jameson Taillon has also dealt with.
Following the procedure, Medlen fought back to pitch solidly for the 2015 World Champion Royals, but eventually backslid, battled rotator cuff soreness, got non-tendered, and battled like hell to make the 2018 Arizona Diamondbacks call-up list, receiving one final opportunity to start against the Houston Astros.
To be fair to Houston (why), this game did not take place at Minute Maid Park. We’re still in the realm of not giving them credit for anything, though, and we still can’t endorse Medlen, after all that hard work, getting knocked around for seven runs in 4.0 innings against these bozos and then calling it a career.
Never forget the hard work other people put in between 2017-2020 that was completely undone by the Astros machine. Freeman certainly didn’t.