Rays Pitcher Pete Fairbanks Sounds Off on ‘Horrible’ Baseballs at Coors Field

Apr 2, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks (29) throws
Apr 2, 2024; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks (29) throws / Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Don't tell Pete Fairbanks to get a grip.

The Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher blamed his poor grip on the baseball on the Coors Field humidor after issuing a walk to all three batters he faced during Friday's 10–7 defeat to the Colorado Rockies.

Fairbanks, who was saddled with the loss after teammate Jason Adam surrendered a walk-off grand slam, was miffed by the inconsistencies of the baseballs he was given in the ninth inning, calling them "horrible" during his postgame media availability.

"They were horrible. You can mark that down in all caps for—horrible. No excuse, though," the Rays pitcher said.

Fairbanks explained that each baseball was "not uniform from ball-to-ball," adding that he'd "love to see those [baseballs] come out of the humidor tomorrow in a little better shape."

The Rockies, who play at 5,200 feet above sea level, installed a humidor, a temperature and moisture-controlled chamber that stores baseballs, in 2002 to keep baseballs at approximately 70 degrees and 50% humidity in the thin Denver air.

For what it's worth, Rockies pitcher Peter Lambert, when asked about the Coors Field baseballs, said "there's definitely a difference," according to ESPN.

The Rays, who haven't played at Coors Field in eight years, are slated to play two more contests against Colorado on Saturday and Sunday.


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Tim Capurso

TIM CAPURSO

Tim Capurso is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Previously he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the lead editor for MLB, College Football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Tim grew up just outside New York City and now lives near Philadelphia. When he's not writing, Tim enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family, including his three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is an Eagles fan.