As expected, Tuesday night’s game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros — a rematch of the 2017 World Series — was packed with tension. The Dodgers landed in Houston with plenty of resentment after finding out this offseason that the Astros implemented an illegal and elaborate sign-stealing scheme during the 2017 season.
Despite not being a member of the 2017 Dodgers, reliever Joe Kelly took the initiative to “police” the situation. Kelly nearly hit Bregman in the sixth inning with a 3-0 pitch near his head. Later in the inning he almost hit Correa with a curveball. He then taunted Correa after striking him out, saying “nice swing bitch.”
Joe Kelly vs. the Astros last night. pic.twitter.com/704pdz5USr
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 29, 2020
In a normal year the two sides would have been in an all out brawl. But considering Covid-19, the two teams opted for a bench clearing war of words. It was still a bad optic as it broke league protocol of socially distancing.
It was announced Wednesday that Kelly was suspended for 8 games, Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts for 1 game, and Astros Manager Dusty Baker was fined.
With the suspension handed down to Kelly, he has officially faced more punishment than any Houston Astros player involved in the 2017 cheating scandal. That is where the problem lies with me.
What Kelly did was terrible. Under no situation do you want to see a 98 MPH fastball fly behind another players head. It is reckless and potentially career ending if it hits the batter.
On the other side of the discussion, players across the other 29 MLB teams are furious that the Astros have cheated for the past 3 seasons and essentially got a slap on the wrist. Losing draft picks, fining the owner and firing the GM means nothing to the players on the field. They want blood, suspensions, and real consequences for the cheating done by the PLAYERS.
With the history of MLB players policing themselves for slight things like bat flipping, or bunting during a perfect game, you had to expect this type of retaliation.
But the same office who decided to give Astros full immunity, is laying down a heavy suspension on Kelly for simply doing what the rest of baseball wanted to do.
Is this MLB way of trying to deter others from throwing at the Astros all season long, maybe. An 8 game suspension in a 60 game season is equivalent to 23 game suspension in a regular 162 game season. Never has there been a suspension that hefty for the crime of throwing at a player.
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