Don’t get Kenley Jansen wrong. He’s convinced the Astros cheated his Dodgers out of the 2017 World Series title by stealing signs and that LA was the “true champion” that year. He’s just not going to put a cutter in someone’s ribs or back in retaliation.
The LA closer may get an opportunity to do so because of MLB’s revised 2020 regular-season schedule. The Dodgers will face West Division teams (NL and AL) exclusively over the 60-game slate, which means there will now be matchups between the teams. Jansen, though, isn’t interested in getting revenge in that manner.
“That’s not cool. I don’t wish anybody to do that, to throw at people. Just play them and try to be my best,” Jansen told ESPN LA Radio on Wednesday, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Jansen pitched in six of the seven games in that Dodgers-Astros Fall Classic, allowing three runs in 8 2/3 innings. He gave up two home runs, one each at Dodger Stadium and Minute Maid Park. Alex Bregman took him deep in Houston in Game 4.
Fans of multiple teams, starting with the Dodgers and Yankees, are hoping that other pitchers aren’t as considerate as Jansen and that hitters like Bregman, Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer receive on-field justice after being granted immunity by MLB to cooperate with baseball’s investigation of the sign-stealing scheme.
Before baseball was shut down last March because of COVID-19, one of the top storylines for the season was how often Astros hitters would be plunked. The chatter grew louder as batters were hit by pitches with frequency in spring training last March, but a lot of those pitches were breaking balls and none were deemed truly intentional.
Fast-forward about four months, and those Astros hitters will finally be digging into the box. Fans will still want their pounds of flesh, and with brawls being strongly discouraged because of transmission concerns, maybe some people will feel it’s open season on the cheaters.
Not Jansen. If he clips someone this year, he’s already on as record saying it won’t be on purpose.
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