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.”