Orioles rookie throws Craig Kimbrel's 422nd save ball into Kauffmann Stadium fountain, mocked by teammates

Being an MLB rookie is hard. Baltimore Orioles left fielder Colton Cowser already knew that, but he has unfortunately became the 2024 poster boy for rookie screw-ups.

Cowser's teammate, Craig Kimbrel, nailed down his 422nd career save at the end of the Orioles' 9-7 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night. That number ties Kimbrel with legendary closer Billy Wagner for seventh on the all-time saves list, so it was an important baseball.

That ball landed in Cowser's glove for the third out, and what did he do with it?

He threw it behind him and it landed in fountain at Kauffmann Stadium. There's no video of the ball after it left Cowser's glove, but there is video of Cowser throwing the ball behind him with reckless abandon.

After the game, Cowser spoke to reporters and explained what happened.

"Right when I threw it," Cowser said, recalling the exact moment when he realized he'd screwed up. "I said 'Craig has a lot of saves, that one might've been important.' I literally told Ced [center fielder Cedric Mullins] right when I did it, 'I might've messed up.' And turns out I did. We got the ball back, though. They said it was the only one in the bottom."

It's not every day something like this happens, so Cowser's teammates had a great time mocking him during the interview. Cowser is positive he's going to be ribbed about this for the rest of the season. Via Baltimore Sun beat writer Jacob Calvin Meyer:

Reporter: So you threw it directly into the fountain?

Cowser: I just yeeted it behind me. I didn't think much. I kind of messed up. I think every time Craig has a save now —

Jackson Holliday interrupts and mockingly asks: What did you do again?

Cowser: I yeeted it.

Jackson Holliday jokingly asks: What kind of ball was it?

Cowser: It was the more important ball. Billy Wagner tying career saves ball.

Gunnar Henderson chimes in and asks: Who tied it?

Cowser: Craig Kimbrel's ball. Craig, you know, I don't think he can get it authenticated anymore. But we'll be alright. It was the only one in the fountain.

Reporter: How long will it take before you live this one down?

Cowser: I won't. It's going to be the whole year. Every time I catch a ball that's the last out for him, it's staying in the glove.

Cowser fully understands how badly he screwed up, but told the media Kimbrel has been understanding.

"I don't know if he's still upset or not. I don't know if he's upset," Cowser said. "Obviously it's a pretty sick number of saves, so yeah. Pretty awesome guy. I'm glad he's understanding."

But Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn't let Cowser off the hook.

"I guess Cow just threw the ball into the stands," Hyde said via the AP. "We've got to have a little more awareness out in left field when you catch that, when the guy on the mound is that high in saves."

Being a rookie excuses Cowser from knowing where the visitor's clubhouse is when he goes to a stadium for the first time. It doesn't excuse him from knowing relevant facts about his teammates that could have some bearing on the game. But after all this publicity and an entire season of mocking from his teammates, there's zero chance anything like this will ever happen to Cowser again.

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