Former Dodgers Closer Blasts MLB Baseball Quality as ‘Embarrassing’

While many pitchers have put Major League Baseball on blast for the pitch clock contributing to injuries, former Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen offered another gripe over the weekend: the poor quality of the baseballs.

Jansen struggled with command on Sunday night in Boston’s 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels and attributed it to the pearls.

“I got to get better, but also if you’re playing in the cold weather, windy, and you get pearls balls out there that’s not rubbed well, I don’t know where the ball’s going,” said Jansen. “I don’t hit guys, I don’t walk people this much. And I start to get frustrated. Any balls that came, I just throw it back till when I find a good ball. And it’s just brutal.”

Jansen said the balls he used in the bullpen were better than the ones he used in the game.

“It’s embarrassing. It’s been a while I’ve been playing in this league and, from the beginning of my career until now, it’s getting worse.

“It’s been an issue the whole year,” he said. “I’ve been talking to a lot of my teammates, and they feel the same way. First pitch, get out of my hand, I don’t know where it’s going. Second pitch, the same thing. Then, I tried to throw a ball down the middle, just keep going down. It’s tough trying to make an adjustment and also you have the clock ticking.”

Jansen is in his 15th MLB season and tied John Franco for fifth place all-time with his 424th save. He previously spent 12 years with the Dodgers, becoming the franchise’s all-time saves leader.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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Maren Angus

Maren Angus-Coombs was born in Los Angeles and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and has been a sports writer since 2008. Despite being raised in the South, her sports obsession has always been in Los Angeles. She is currently a staff writer for Dodgers Nation and the LA Sports Report Network.

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