Harang says baseballs weren’t slick

Reds pitcher Aaron Harang didn’t notice anything unusual about
the baseballs during Cincinnati’s season opener.

St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter complained about the balls
being slick after the Cardinals’ 11-6 win on Monday.

Carpenter said some of the balls felt as if they hadn’t been
rubbed up with mud, which takes the shine off them. The job is
usually done in the umpires’ room before games.

Carpenter said the same thing about the baseballs following his
final 2009 appearance at Great American Ball Park.

Harang went five innings in the opening-day loss. He said on
Wednesday that some of the balls felt “chalky,” but that’s not
unusual when the mud dries.

“Sometimes they have a little chalky feel to them,” Harang
said. “The mud just kind of dries up and sits on the ball. It
happens everywhere. You just throw them back (to the umpire) if you
don’t like it. I’ve never had a problem with it.”

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa mentioned Carpenter’s complaint
to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, a close friend from their
days together in St. Louis. La Russa said he won’t pursue it
further.

“You alert them, and the organization will fix it if there is a
problem,” La Russa said. “I talked to Walt. I know he doesn’t
know anything (about the baseballs). Sometimes it’s a situation
where the home pitcher doesn’t want the ball rubbed up as
much.”

Carpenter allowed two runs in six innings on an
uncharacteristically warm opening day – sunny and 78 degrees at the
first pitch.

“He threw pretty good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said
Wednesday. “I’d hate to seem him pitch if he didn’t have slippery
baseballs.”