Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
This past offseason saw noteworthy changes in free agency for the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, and now Kenley Jansen and Freddie Freeman get to face their respective former teams in what’s also a 2021 National League Championship Series rematch.
While the Braves seemingly didn’t have interest in meeting Freeman’s contract demands, his signing with the Dodgers had a significant impact on Jansen. He had interest in remaining with L.A., who shared that sentiment, but they reportedly wanted to first shed salary.
Jansen didn’t view the uncertain timetable as a favorable situation and wound up signing a one-year contract with the Braves, the team he grew up rooting for. Now returning to Dodger Stadium, manager Dave Roberts hoped Dodgers fans welcome back the franchise’s all-time saves leader.
“Absolutely not,” Roberts answered when asked if they should boo Jansen. “He better get a very big standing ovation, because he earned it.”
Speaking in a lighthearted tone, Roberts did add fans could boo Jansen if he converted a save against the Dodgers.
Roberts regularly defended Jansen during his time with the organization, and that included taking umbrage with fans when they booed him during a rocky 2020 season.
Justin Turner texted Jansen
The 34-year-old didn’t pitch Sunday after making back-to-back appearances against the San Diego Padres the two days prior. One of those entailed Jansen exchanging words with the umpire over the number of warmup pitches he was allowed to throw.
“I was texting him a little bit this morning, telling him to stop walking from the bullpen all the way to the mound,” Justin Turner said after the Dodgers swept the Cincinnati Reds.
“When he comes in tomorrow, well hopefully he doesn’t come in at all against us, but when he comes in I told him he better run down to the mound.”
Turner added he was looking forward to seeing his former teammate. “A lot of us have faced him a lot during Spring Training and throughout, so it will be fun,” he said.
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