Joe Kelly: ‘I think I’ll be irritated forever’ about 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal

Joe Kelly and Houston Astros

Joe Kelly and Houston Astros


Joe Kelly: ‘I think I’ll be irritated forever’ about Astros sign-stealing scandal

Becasue of the Astros Sign-stealing scandal, at this point, no one across Major League Baseball likes the Houston Astros, and that’s been made pretty clear. Joe Kelly, though, is among the group that takes their hate to the next level.

The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher’s eight-game suspension was recently reduced to just five games after an appeal (The Astros get very little love since the Astros Sign-stealing scandal). His suspension came after he threw a ball near the head of Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and later taunted shortstop Carlos Correa during a July 28 game in Houston.

Astros Sign-Stealing scandal and Joe Kelly

Astros Sign-Stealing scandal and Joe Kelly

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Although Kelly wasn’t a member of the 2017 Dodgers team that lost the World Series to the Astros, he had to deal with the organization’s antics in 2018 as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

A.J. Hinch, Jeff Luhnow, Carlos Beltran and Alex Cora all lost their jobs for their involvement in the cheating scandal, though Kelly believes the players should receive much more blame than they’ve gotten to this point.

“The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense,” Kelly said on teammate Ross Stripling’s “The Big Swing” podcast, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney. “Yes, everyone is involved. But the way that (sign-stealing system) was run over there was not from coaching staff. … They’re not the head boss in charge of that thing. It’s the players. So now the players get the immunity, and all they do is go snitch like a little (expletive), and they don’t have to get fined, they don’t have to lose games.

“When you take someone’s livelihood … to save your own ass, that’s what I don’t like. Cheating? They cheated. Everyone knows they’re cheaters. They know they’re cheaters. It’s over. That’s done with. But now they mess it up by ruining other people’s lives, so they (expletive) it up twice. … When you taint someone’s name to save your own name, this is one of the worst things that you could probably do. … That really friggin’ bugs me. I think I’ll be irritated forever.”

Astros Sign-stealing scandal

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Joe Kelly‘s enduring animus toward Houston Astros players has more to do with how they handled the sign-stealing investigation than the actual cheating itself, the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher said in his first extensive interview since he sparked a benches-clearing confrontation last month in Houston.

In Kelly’s eyes, the Houston players, who received immunity from discipline in return for cooperating with a Major League Baseball investigation, sacrificed their managers, coaches and team executives, who took the hit for the players’ transgressions.

Astros Sign-stealing scandal

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Kelly made his comments as a guest on “The Big Swing,” a podcast hosted by teammate Ross Stripling.

“The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense,” Kelly said. “Yes, everyone is involved. But the way that [sign-stealing system] was run over there was not from coaching staff. … They’re not the head boss in charge of that thing. It’s the players. So now the players get the immunity, and all they do is go snitch like a little b—-, and they don’t have to get fined, they don’t have to lose games.”

Kelly was suspended for eight games and fined after throwing a ball near the head of Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and then taunting shortstop Carlos Correa, which prompted the benches to clear during a July 28 game in Houston. Kelly appealed the discipline, but MLB reduced the suspension to five games.

Kelly was not a member of the Dodgers in 2017, when the Astros beat Los Angeles to win the World Series. But in 2018, Kelly pitched for Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who had been Houston’s bench coach. Cora was implicated in the findings of the sign-stealing investigation and was suspended for the 2020 season, along with Houston manager A.J. Hinch, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and veteran slugger Carlos Beltran, who had been hired to manage the New York Mets in 2020.

Astros Sign-stealing scandal

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Astros players have been hit by pitches multiple times already this season, because, like Kelly, not many pitchers in MLB like them right now.

Houston is 8-10 on the season. The Dodgers, on the other hand, are 12-7.

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