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Jarred Kelenic Is Really, Really Sorry About Kicking That Water Cooler

Jarred Kelenic #10 of the Seattle Mariners looks on before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park on July 03, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

A professional athlete can suffer no greater indignity than the self-inflicted injury. You hear about someone who broke his hand punching the wall while walking back to the locker room after a rough outing, and all there is to say about that is, "What's that clown's problem?" A few days later, when he's spotted back on the bench or in the dugout with a cast on his hand, everyone who sees him knows they are looking at a clown.

Mariners outfielder Jarred Kelenic joined this fraternity of self-defeating bozos during Wednesday night's game against the Twins. Kelenic struck out looking in the bottom of the ninth with two men on and his team trailing 6-3, which got him steamed enough to kick a water cooler upon his return to the dugout. This afternoon, the team announced that Kelenic would be going on the IL because that kick resulted in a broken bone in his foot.

Kelenic met with reporters shortly after his injury was announced, and boy was he upset. Kelenic was in tears, and according to one reporter on the scene, he was unable to answer questions for several minutes while he tried to compose himself:

When he eventually got around to speaking, Kelenic expressed remorse for letting his emotions get the best of him and for letting his team down.

And now for the important question: Does such extreme repentance offer salvation from clownhood? Does a tear-soaked utterance of the phrase, "I just ... feel terrible [sniffle] ... especially for the guys," spare one from derision in a case such as this? Can our hearts truly remain hardened in the presence of a man who both knows he's done wrong and cares for the guys?

In this case, I am willing to take the rare step of sparing Kelenic from designation as a clown. The deciding factor here is that he was originally drafted by the Mets, which means he was doomed to suffer some kind of humiliating malady at some point, and therefore none of this is really his fault.

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