HomeSportsRed Sox reliever Kenley Jansen criticizes the quality of 'embarrassing' baseballs

Red Sox reliever Kenley Jansen criticizes the quality of ’embarrassing’ baseballs

Boston Red Sox reliever Kenley Jansen recorded his fourth save of the season to close out a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

The save was No. 424 of Jansen’s 15-year MLB career, tying him for fifth all-time with John Franco.

However, Jansen didn’t want to talk about his career accomplishments or strike out Mike Trout for the final out of the game in the postgame clubhouse. The current condition of the baseballs he and his colleagues play with was the most important thing on his mind.

“I don’t know. I just hope we can get better quality balls. That’s all I’m saying. It’s embarrassing,” he told reporters, including WEEI’s Rob Bradford.

“Of course pitchers shouldn’t use illegal stuff. Great, I agree,” he added. “But rub the balls. I understand that now we prefer hitters to create offense. We all get it. You don’t get to choose anymore. You have to throw with the pitch clock. We all get it. But at least give us some good balls, quality balls, to throw strikes.

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Jansen seemed to struggle with his control, throwing 11 of his 25 pitches for balls. He put the first three Angels batters he faced on base, hitting Logan O’Hoppe, allowing a bloop single to Mickey Moniak and walking Zach Neto.

“When you play in cold weather, windy and you get pearls that aren’t rubbed in properly,” Jansen told MassLive’s Sean McAdam, “I don’t know where the ball is going. I don’t hit guys, I don’t run with people that much.

“I started to get so frustrated and angry that at a certain point I didn’t care anymore. Every ball that came, I just threw it back until I found a good ball. It’s just cruel.”

Jansen’s complaint is the second public complaint about the condition of MLB baseballs this season. Earlier this month, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Pete Fairbanks criticized ball quality after walking three consecutive batters in a 10-7 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

“They were not uniform from ball to ball. They were terrible,” Fairbanks told the BBC DenverPostby Patrick Saunders. “You can write that in capital letters for me, terrible.”

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

Jansen said his Red Sox teammates have similar complaints but have not expressed them publicly.

“I just feel like the league can do better. That’s all I’m saying,” Jansen said, via Sean T. McGuire of NESN. “Just rub the ball well. It sucks. I don’t want to be the guy who keeps throwing the ball away. I have a unique pitch, it’s a cutter. And if the ball feels like his pearl, then so do I.” nothing to grab. The resin bag, it’s not like it used to be.

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