May 30, 2024


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Red Sox reliever Kenley Jansen criticizes 'embarrassing' quality of baseballs.

Red Sox reliever Kenley Jansen criticizes 'embarrassing' quality of baseballs.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Kenley Jansen earned his fourth save of the season on Sunday, closing out a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

It was the 424th save of Jansen's 15-year MLB career, moving him into a tie for his credit. Fifth of all time With John Franco.

However, in the post-match clubhouse, Jansen did not want to talk about his career accomplishments or rule out Mike Trout in the final. His first concern was the condition of the baseballs he and his peers played with.

“I don't know. I just wish we could get better quality balls. That's all I'm saying. It's embarrassing,” he told reporters. Including WEEI's Rob Bradford.

“Of course, pitchers can't use illegal stuff. Great, I agree with that. But beware of the balls. I understand we're trying to favor hitters more now to create offense. We all understand that. You can't pick more. We've got to play with the pitch clock, we all understand.” That, but at least they gave us some good balls, good balls, to hit.

Jansen appeared to have difficulty with control on Sunday, as he made 11 of 25 pitches. He allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base, striking out Logan Ohope, allowing a single to Mickey Moniak and a walk to Zach Nieto.

“If you play in cold, windy weather and you get pearls that haven't been rubbed well,” Jansen said. MassLive Sean McAdam“I don't know where the ball is going. I don't hit players. I don't walk with people much.”

“I started getting so frustrated and angry that at some point, I didn't care anymore. Any balls that came, I was throwing them back until I found a good ball. It's just brutality.”

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Jansen's complaint is the second public complaint about the condition of baseballs in MLB this season. Earlier this month, Tampa Bay Rays closer Pete Fairbanks decried the quality of his balls after he walked three straight batters in a loss to the Colorado Rockies.

“They were not uniform from ball to ball. They were terrible,” Fairbanks said. Denver Post Patrick Saunders. “You can mark that in capital letters for me – it's terrible.”

Baseballs used at Colorado's Coors Field have been stored in a humidor since 2002 to prevent them from drying out at Denver's higher elevations. Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt responded to Fairbanks' complaints by saying that MLB oversees the baseballs, not the team.

Jansen said his Red Sox teammates have had similar complaints, though they have not made them public.

“I feel like the league can do better. That's all I'm saying,” Jansen said. Via NESN's Sean T. McGuire. “Just rub the ball really good. It's bad. I don't want to be the guy who keeps throwing the ball. I have a unique throw – it's incisive. And if the ball feels like a pearl, there's nothing I can do.” Grab your pine bag, it's not what it used to be, that's all I'm saying.