In an already touchy subject to not only Dodger fans, but also to the rest of Major League Baseball, and it’s fans, (except Houston of course) we now add another wrinkle in this saga that is the Houston Astros. Yes, that same Houston Astros that have been found to cheat their way to winning the 2017 World Series. The same team that showed no remorse for their actions while doing so. The same team that was granted immunity during the entire investigation. UGH!
Okay, let’s get to the actions that led to this suspension. Joe Kelly came into the game against the Astros on 7/28 in the bottom of the sixth inning, up by three runs, with no runner on base. At the plate was Alex Bregman. Kelly was already on a three ball no strike count, when his next pitch was wildy thrown behind Bregman’s head (96 mph fastball), After a Michael Brantley proceeded with a force out at second. “JUST GET ON THE MOUND LITTLE!” was heard.
Is what was shouted from the Astros dugout. I chose not to put the last word since it was a derogatory expletive. Now with two outs Yuli Gurriel gets a walk after four straight pitches. This now brings up Carlos Correa. The first pitch he sees is an offspeed pitch that got away from him, and goes above his head. After a somewhat lengthy at bat Correa ends up striking out swinging on an offspeed pitch low and away. It ends the inning, but the fireworks just got started.
As Joe is walking off the mound he stares down Correa, proceeds to mock him by sticking out his tongue, and a sad crying face after what he appears to say “Nice swing, female dog!” He obviously did not say female dog, but you catch my drift. Correa proceeds with his own words, some included “Throw your fastball” and “So what you stuck me out!” By the time Carlos got his words in, the benches were spilled all over Minute Maid park, including the bullpens running in.
Despite the fact that both clubs were expressing their concerns by facing off with each other, no swinging of punches were executed, cooler heads proceeded to prevail and eventually the game resumed without any other incident. The Dodgers end up winning this game by the final of 5-2. The Dodgers also swept the second game of this brief series in Houston. I find it interesting that George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman go 0-21 during this series. Absolutely no hits!
As a result of his actions, Joe Kelly gets slapped with an eight game suspension. He is appealing (which means he can play while this is in process). In an already historically shortened 60 game season, he gets eight games. No punches thrown, hell not one batter was even hit. I can’t even begin to put into words how horrific this is! I did sense a light at the end of the tunnel when I saw other players outside these two clubs showing their support for Kelly.
I’ll be honest with you, the majority of my opinion is due to what happened in 2017, and the lack of proper punishment for the Astros cheating. Rob Manfred (MLB’S current commissioner) granted the team full immunity during the investigation. How could he not have seen any of this occurring when he granted them this. I am a fan of the unwritten rules of baseball, and believe you should not ever throw at someone purposely, especially “head hunting”. However when you’re getting feedback from other MLB players in reference to what they believe to be a crime that was not properly punished, then this will continue! I honestly feel like the ruling will not be overturned, maybe if enough player concerns continue, perhaps it may have a second look.