After being removed from Friday’s 3-1 road loss to the St. Louis Cardinals down 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen was none too happy with manager Fredi Gonzalez‘s decision to take him out.
“I got taken out with 78 pitches,” Medlen told the media on Friday. “I was just starting to have to battle. I didn’t have to battle yet. But I wasn’t given the opportunity. I guess I’m voicing the fact that I didn’t appreciate that. I don’t know what kind of mentality we’re trying to create for our starters. But I feel like I should be able to work out of some jams.”
The Braves’ 27-year-old right-hander has since apologized to Gonzalez and all is seemingly well, as both men have said that they don’t even wish to discuss the comments made by Medlen following his 12th loss of the season.
Good for them, because there was absolutely nothing wrong with what he said. After all, veteran starter Tim Hudson made some similar remarks earlier this year, and those talks certainly quieted down over his final starts before he broke his ankle and underwent season-ending surgery in late July. There was no carryover to his next start and no ongoing feud between him and his manager.
Just as there won’t be this time, given that the situation has already been nipped in the bud. As a matter of fact, Medlen himself explained it about as well as I can.
“I didn’t give myself that five-minute cool-down period after a start to where I could really think about everything,” he told Mark Bowman of MLB.com on Saturday. “Obviously I wanted to stay in the game. There is something wrong with you if you don’t want to stay in the game, whatever the situation is. But I was in a situation where I didn’t have much leeway.”
That’s all that needs to be said.
Medlen, like Hudson, is a true competitor, and if there is any starter who disagrees with what either has said, quite frankly, that guy doesn’t deserve to pitch in the major leagues.