Clint Bowyer: Royals player for a day (or a few hours, anyway)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – “What the (duck) did you get me in to?”
Those were the famous last words of Clint Bowyer before he climbed the steps into the Kansas City Royals dugout on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium. He was dressed in full uniform (sans spikes) and went through pregame rituals with the team.
But not after talking some NASCAR with Royals manager (and noted Yahoo Fantasy NASCAR player) Ned Yost, who chatted with him almost as soon as he entered the clubhouse.
The experience wasn’t entirely new to Bowyer. He took batting practice before a game a few years ago. Yes, that was the last time he swung a bat.
“I feel like a baseball player, Bowyer said. “However, I know what’s underneath is clearly not a baseball player.”
But this one involved catching fly balls during batting practice too. The last time Bowyer caught a fly ball was many moons ago. He guessed he was 7. So instead, he talked in the outfield. We weren’t sure he moved more than a few steps any time a ball was hit to where he was stationed in left field.
Before his experience, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie wanted him to stand in the batters box while he threw a few pitches. They wouldn’t be at game speed, but enough for Bowyer to see what speed outside of a race car looks like.
“So Guthrie wants me to get in the bullpen and stand in front of his pitches and screw that,” Bowyer said. “He can throw like 100 miles per hour.”
Bowyer took a couple in the dugout (begrudgingly), but he wasn’t wanting to do an experiment of the pain of crashing a car in a race versus the pain of getting hit with a baseball.
“I don’t want that experience,” Bowyer said. “I don’t even want to think about that experience. I have a helmet on, seat belts.
“When you hit a wall at 200 MPH you don’t have a ball cap on.”
This is a true statement. Bowyer is a man of wise words.
We also asked if he had gotten any advice from the team. After all, they had to have some encouragement, right?
“No, they’re baseball players,” Bowyer said. “Professional baseball players. It’d be like me trying to tell somebody to try to hold a steering wheel.”
He may not have needed the advice. While his second round of batting practice wouldn’t have made anyone in the stands mistake him for a professional, he made contact. He wasn’t the NASCAR version of 50 Cent on a baseball diamond.
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Nick Bromberg is the editor of From The Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter!