Braves Closer Kenley Jansen Shares ‘Love’ For Dodgers Fans

Kenley Jansen has made his way to Dodger Stadium for 13 years now, but Monday night was different. It was his first time entering the stadium as an opposing player.

Jansen spent 12 years with the Los Angeles Dodgers and became the franchise’s all-time saves leader. During that stretch he was named an All-Star three times, won two National League Trevor Hoffman Relief Pitcher of the Year Awards and became a World Series champion in 2020.

But this past offseason, Jansen was a free agent for the first time since he signed a five-year contract with the Dodgers in 2017. Although the Dodgers were open to giving him a two-year deal, the right-hander elected to sign with the Atlanta Braves.

As Jansen returned to the stadium where he spent nearly his entire career, he expected a warm welcome from fans because of all the great moments he had with the club.

“We did a lot of great things. I always will appreciate them. They were hard on me at the end. I understand that,” Jansen said. “I had such a high standard for myself, sometimes you show you’re human.

“It’s a very competitive organization, the fans want to see this team win ballgames. I expect them to give me a warm welcome. I love them and I know they love me.”

As Jansen was traveling back to Dodger Stadium prior to the game, he said “a lot of things” were going through his mind, but he is also “excited for the new opportunity” with the Braves.

“The adrenaline is definitely up, because you’re back at Dodger Stadium,” Jansen added. “Familiar faces, great fans, and it’s fun playing here. Also, a great opportunity that I’m with the Braves now. We’re going to try to do something special and repeat as champions.”

But being with the new club also brings new challenges. Although Dodger Stadium was his home for 12 years, Jansen still got lost inside his first time back with the Braves.

Jansen never made the walk into the visitor’s clubhouse before, and it left him feeling thrown off.

“Weird, man. I got lost for a second,” Jansen said. “I saw the signs for the bullpen and knew I was in the wrong place. I had to ask to see where to go. It’s weird, man. It’s weird.”

Jansen not expecting old entrance song to be played

For years, Jansen entered the game to “California Love” by 2Pac as it became nearly as synonymous with a Dodgers victory as “I Love L.A.” Last season he changed to a rendition of “California Love” that played into “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”

While the Dodgers did present Jansen with two framed photos and a video tribute before the game, he doesn’t believe the team should play his famous entrance song again if he does take the mound.

“I’m not expecting that,” Jansen said. “I don’t think it’s necessary, I don’t think it’s great for my former teammates. I’m a visiting guy now on a different team.”

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