Morning Sports Update

Kenley Jansen said he’s skipping early WBC rounds to focus on MLB pitch clock rule

Jansen signed with the Red Sox in December.

Kenley Jansen
Kenley Jansen after signing with the Red Sox in Dec. 2022. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Northeastern won the women’s edition of the Beanpot on Tuesday, defeating Boston College 2-1 in the final.

Also on Tuesday, the Bruins defeated the Stars 3-2 in overtime thanks to David Pastrnak’s winning goal:

And the Celtics battled Bucks without either Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown, falling 131-125 in overtime. Boston (41-17) and Milwaukee (40-17) are now separated by just half a game atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Kenley Jansen’s timing: Major League Baseball plans to step up enforcement of the balk rule in 2023, particularly as the league tries to improve its pace of play with a new pitch-timer rule.


Specifically, pitchers will have 15 seconds to throw when the bases are empty, and 20 seconds when runners are on. The clock starts when the pitcher receives the ball. The penalty for not throwing within the time limit is that the pitcher will be assessed a ball (and the batter will be assessed a strike if they’re not in the batter’s box and ready to hit with at least eight seconds left on the clock).

“Frankly, it’s probably the biggest change that’s been made in baseball in most of our lifetimes,” Morgan Sword, MLB’s executive vice president of operations, recently explained about the upcoming implementation.

Red Sox relief pitcher Kenley Jansen, who signed with Boston in December, has been specifically mentioned as a player who will be affected by the new rules. According to league measurements, Jansen was the third-slowest pitcher on average in 2022. He took 25.6 seconds between pitches, 7.5 seconds behind the league average.

As a result, Jansen revealed to reporters on Wednesday morning that he’s going to skip the early rounds of the World Baseball Classic in order to focus on learning the new pitch clock rules.

Jansen, a 35-year-old Curaçao native, could represent The Netherlands at the WBC, but said he will only go if the team makes it to the semifinals. WEEI’s Rob Bradford first noted earlier in February that Jansen planned to sit out unless the Dutch reach the tournament’s latter stages. Now the full picture is becoming clearer as Jansen revealed his reason for not (initially) going.

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Sam Hauser’s dramatic game-tying three to force overtime on Tuesday:

Here’s Ray Bourque singing happy birthday to Drew Bledsoe in French: Bledsoe shared the video on his birthday (Feb. 14), which took place at Tresca in the North End.

On this day: In 1988, Larry Bird’s 49 points — and Danny Ainge’s crucial pair of free throws at the end of the game — enabled the Celtics to defeat the Suns 107-106. The game included three lead changes in the final 17 seconds.

Larry Bird Celtics Boston Globe 1988

Daily highlight: Taylor Hall applied a quality finish after Hampus Lindholm fed him an outstanding pass for the assist in the Bruins win on Tuesday.


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