The Dodgers will welcome a familiar face back to the Ravine tonight. Kenley Jansen spent a decade as their closer, locking down games and making a name for himself as one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. But this offseason, Kenley went out and signed a one-year deal with the Braves.
Despite that, there does not seem to be any bad blood between Kenley and the Dodgers. He has praised them many times since his departure, even noting that Andrew Friedman did tell him they wanted to bring him back. But time was not on Los Angeles’ side, and he ended up in Atlanta.
But even though the Dodgers went out and added Craig Kimbrel via trade, Jansen still has no hard feelings. In speaking with the LA Times’ Jorge Castillo, he spoke about their desire to win and what they would do to get there. He couldn’t knock that.
“I’m not mad. Why would I be mad? Knowing Andrew [Friedman], he does everything he can to help his team win a championship. Alex Anthopoulos is the same way. Andrew tried. I can’t be mad.”
But don’t be fooled, Kenley still very much wants to be the Dodgers. The bad blood may not be there, but the desire to win a championship certainly is. And Los Angeles stands in the way of that for everyone.
“Everyone wants to beat the Dodgers. Now I’m on the other side, of course I want to beat them, as much as I love them. That organization will be, for the rest of my life, in my heart. But now that you’re on the other side, you want to beat them.”
It will be interesting to see how Dodgers fans welcome Kenley into the stadium on Monday night. Sure, he gave them plenty of years and a whole lot of success. But his time in Los Angeles didn’t exactly end on a good note.
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