Los Angeles — Kenley Janssen He entered the ninth inning on Tuesday to close out a game from Dodger Stadium as a member of the Atlanta Braves. It was his last out Freddy Freemannow a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jansen couldn’t help but laugh at the thought of it.
“That’s weird as hell,” Jansen said after the Braves’ 3-1 win, which came after 186 of his regular season career, at Dodger Stadium. “I’ve run into this guy so many times in every Braves series. Now it’s the other way around. Yeah, he’s crazy, man. It’s crazy how the game is going now. But it’s fun.”
Jansen had his sights set on returning to the Dodgers this season, just as Freeman had predicted a return to the Braves, but that all changed shortly after the lockdown was lifted in mid-March.
Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos reportedly dismissed an ultimatum from representing Freeman and was instead traded Matt Olson, which led the Dodgers family to sign a six-year, $162 million contract with Freeman on March 16. budget. But the Braves made Jansen a one-year offer of $16 million and needed a quick answer, leading Jansen to turn down the Dodgers to join the team he grew up for in Curacao on March 18.
Part of the crowd at the all-sold Dodger Stadium greeted Janssen with boos as he entered from the right playing field on Tuesday, but most of those who remained in attendance quickly stood and applauded. The reaction was mainly mixed, and somewhat subdued, with Jansen’s trademark entry song, “California Love,” no longer blaring from the speakers.
“It’s all about business now,” Jansen said. “I’m just happy to help my team win. That’s what I did. It’s okay. No hard feelings. I will love them. They will be in my heart forever.”
Jansen was celebrated with an honor video minutes before Monday’s first game and then walked the field with his wife and two children to receive memorabilia from his first career except for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, the third baseman. Justin Turner and chief of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
The 34-year-old right-hand man admitted his adrenaline would be unnaturally high in his first game against his longtime teammates, but was able to keep emotions in check when he finally gave in on Tuesday, retiring will SmithAnd Mocky Pets and Freeman, in order.
Jansen was working to maintain his focus.
“I’m locked up here, right now,” he said. “It helps me. Just be in the moment. Be in the moment, be in the moment. Up until this point today was a very emotional moment, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being there.”