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So, Mariners’ phenom Jarred Kelenic is having some trouble adjusting



Jarred Kelenic is having a rough start to his career.

Jarred Kelenic is having a rough start to his career.
Image: Getty Images

About a month ago, the Jarred Kelenic era officially began in Seattle. In his second game in the big leagues, Kelenic went 3-for-4 with three extra-base hits including a dinger, and the baseball world — including myself — went wild…like Bear Grylls wild. However, perhaps declaring Kelenic the next great Mariner was a little hasty.

This tweet is from two days ago. Kelenic has gone an additional seven at-bats without a hit since, dropping his average to .101 on the year. He’s currently on an 0-for-35 streak, the longest hitless streak in the Majors this season. He is ten at-bats without a hit away from being tied for the third-longest such streak in MLB history with Bill Bergen (1909), Dave Campbell (1973), and Craig Counsell (2011). So, what changed? Is he getting unlucky? Maybe the better question is: Was Kelenic ready for the big leagues? If we’re being honest, probably not.

Kelenic, 21, played just six games at the Triple-A level. Prior to that, he played in only 21 games at the Double-A level. Compared to other top prospects, Kelenic spent almost zero time developing at the higher levels of the minor leagues. 2015 NL Rookie of the Year and 2016 MVP Kris Bryant spent 145 games on either a Double-A or Triple-A roster prior to being called up to the Cubs. Ronald Acuna Jr. spent 134 games in those levels. Corey Seager, 163. These are all former number one overall prospects, and they all spent way more time in the minors than Kelenic did.

Now, I understand the argument of, “He’ll be fine, he just needs time.” I’m sure Kelenic will be fine — even great. He undoubtedly has the talent to succeed, but keeping him up during a streak like this doesn’t do anything for his confidence. There are some reasons the club might want to keep Kelenic at the Major League level, such as Kelenic potentially losing one of his option years should he spend 20 or more days in the Minors. Once a player has lost all of their option years, they must be designated for assignment, which would remove him from the team’s 40-man roster and send him through outright waivers. However, Kelenic has only used two of his four potential option years. Returning him to the farm system to continue his development wouldn’t become an issue until 2022 at the earliest.

At the very least, the Mariners could remove Kelenic from their everyday lineup. Since being called up, he has started all but two games for the Mariners, and played in all but one. Kelenic being limited to a pinch-hitting role for a few days out of each week would mean fewer at-bats during his current cold streak, but would still give manager Scott Servais opportunity to express confidence in his young star by having Kelenic come to the plate in late-inning, close game situations.

I like Kelenic, but this is more than just an unlucky stretch. Kelenic has a .400 batting average on balls in play thus far. That’s much, much higher than league average. He’s striking out in 28.4 percent of his at-bats. There is clearly something bigger at play than a cold streak that he can just snap out of. Something needs to be done by the Mariners organization to help Kelenic. Otherwise, he could wind up being just another great prospect who didn’t live up to the hype.


From skateboarding for fun, Margielyn Didal relishes being an Olympian



PH skater Margielyn Didal is headed to the Tokyo Olympics. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/RED BULL

MANILA, Philippines—Margielyn Didal is stepping into the biggest stage of her career when she represents the Philippines in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

But Didal never expected to be an Olympian when she started skateboarding.

Skateboarding had not been a part of the Olympics until Tokyo with the sport making its first appearance in the Summer Games.

“I mean not like till three years ago because skateboarding before was a lifestyle that I do for fun or I can do until I can earn money,” said Didal Friday in a virtual press conference.

It was only in 2016 that skateboarding was approved to be part of the 2020 Olympic program along with baseball, softball, karate, surfing, and sport climbing.

Two years later when skateboarding became an approved Olympic discipline, Didal made history after winning the gold medal in the street event of the Asian Games in Indonesia.

“I’m really happy and excited that this is happening and it’s less than a month away,” said Didal. “We’re preparing for the past three years and I’m just really excited that this is the first time that skateboarding will be in the Olympics.”


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WTC Final: “Don’t change Rishabh Pant” – Graeme Swann’s passionate plea to Indian fans



Former England off-spinner Graeme Swann has requested Indian fans to not be too critical of Rishabh Pant in the wake of his failure in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand.

Rishabh Pant was dismissed for 4 and 41 in his two innings in Southampton against the Black Caps. Both times he perished trying to take on the bowling. He was particularly criticized for his wild hoick against Trent Boult on the last day of the Test.

According to Swann though, Rishabh Pant is a match-winner because of his aggressive stroke play and India will do a disservice to themselves if they ask the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman to tone himself down.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda, Swann opined:

“India have got an absolute superstar in Rishabh Pant going in at 6 or 7. Just go back one Test mach in India’s history. That magnificent century he scored against England (in Ahmedabad) that won them that series. Never forget that. It was a counter-attacking innings, played against the grind, playing against the spin a lot of times. It was a brilliant hundred. Had he got in there and “played the situation” and tried to block it, India would not have won that game. It is as simple as that.”

“He is a match-winner. All I want to say to cricket fans in India – don’t fix what isn’t broken. You have some absolute goldmine ready to be unearthed and used well for 10 years. Don’t change Rishabh Pant. Let him fail. Let him be. He is absolutely worth it,” Swann further added.

Virat Kohli had backed Rishabh Pant after WTC loss

Rishabh Pant had come under fire over his failure to adapt to the challenging conditions in England during the WTC final. Like Swann though, Indian captain Virat Kohli too had thrown his weight behind the young cricketer after India’s defeat to New Zealand.

Speaking at a virtual press conference post the WTC final, Kohli had said about Rishabh Pant:

“Rishabh Pant is definitely going to be a very expressive player, whenever he gets an opportunity. Whenever there is a situation that needs to be understood, he assesses it really well. When things don’t come off, you can say that it was an error of judgment. That’s acceptable; it’s sport. But, we don’t want him to lose his positivity or his optimism in changing the situation for the team. That’s where his USP lies ,and we will definitely continue to back him to play that way, find ways to put pressure on the opposition and score runs, which is his natural game.”

Just 23, Rishabh Pant has featured in 21 Tests and has 1403 runs to his name at an average of 43.84 with three hundreds. He was one of India’s chief heroes in the Test triumph Down Under earlier this year. He took on the Aussie bowlers and came out on top.

Edited by Sankalp Srivastava

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Georginio Wijnaldum: Netherlands captain prepared to lead players in walk-off if racially abused in Euro 2020 match



Netherlands captain Georginio Wijnaldum has called on UEFA to take stronger action against racism and says players subjected to abuse should not have to make a decision on whether to walk off the field in protest.

Wijnaldum said he had thought long and hard about leaving the pitch if subjected to racism when the Netherlands face the Czech Republic in Sunday’s Euro 2020 last-16 tie in Budapest.

UEFA are currently investigating allegations of racist and homophobic behaviour by supporters following incidents in Hungary’s opening two Group F games at the Puskas Arena.

“I’ve thought about it very carefully,” said Wijnaldum, who will wear an armband bearing the words ‘One Love’ and a rainbow motif in a stand for diversity in Budapest.

“I previously indicated that I would walk off but that was easier to say back then because I had never really run into that problem.

“After that, I started to think very hard about it. Gini, you will play in Hungary later in the tournament, what will you do if it happens? What if you play against a weaker team and those fans know that and they antagonise you to get you to walk off the field so that you lose the match?”

Wijnaldum scored three goals as the Netherlands won all three group matches

Wijnaldum said the responsibility for action lay with the match officials and UEFA.

“I think I will go to the referee but, to be honest, I’m not sure what my reaction is going to be in the heat of the moment,” he said.

“I’ve never experienced it myself and I hope never to. But if it happens, UEFA must act. They need to realise that if they don’t, they are putting a big responsibility on the players.

“UEFA must protect the players. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the players.

“Some players have walked off in the past but if you ask them if they felt supported, I think they’ll say they weren’t.

“If the referee, or maybe the opponents, jump in, then the signal is stronger. That’s what I’m thinking right now but I’m not ruling out walking off the field if something like that happens on Sunday.”

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