In case you missed the drama last night, check out Brett’s post from this morning, detailing what went down between the Dodgers and Astros. In short, Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly (who wasn’t actually on the Dodgers in 2017, but was on the Red Sox who also played the Astros) threw at Alex Bregman and later taunted Carlos Correa which led to both benches clearing (a big no-no in a COVID-19 baseball world).
MLB has responded by handing an 8-game suspension to Kelly, plus a 1-game suspension to Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts. Here’s the release:
Joe Kelly and Dave Roberts suspended for Dodgers-Astros incident: pic.twitter.com/USYI2OxZKk
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 29, 2020
As the report reveals, Roberts will serve his suspension tonight, Dusty Baker will pay a fine, but Kelly will appeal. And as for myself, I’m conflicted.
On the one hand, I have been pretty vocally against retaliation in MLB, seeing as it’s extraordinarily dangerous, unnecessary, and doesn’t really solve anything. Moreover, as a fan, I would hate to see any of my team’s young stars even temporarily injured by a pitch over some two-year old beef, but I ALSO wouldn’t want to see good pitchers suspended and thus unable to help MY favorite team win because they think they’re standing up for something that, in most cases, no one else cares about (obviously, this is very different).
On the other hand … man, screw the Astros. No one is happy about COVID-19, but that cloud has provided some crazy cover for a team and scandal that had defined MLB fandom over the offseason. Moreover, an 8-game suspension, in a 60-game season, is like a 21.6 game suspension in a regular year. And as many have pointed out, if Kelly loses his appeal and serves even a single game of that suspension, he will have served more time than any of the Astros who brazenly stole a World Series and then completely failed to own it. That just doesn’t seem right.
Unfortunately, Kelly has gotten in trouble for intentionally throwing at batters before, that pitch was awfully close to Bregman’s head, and his later taunting eliminated any plausible deniability whatsoever.
Ultimately then, I think he should probably have to serve some suspension, but 8 games is probably too long. Let’s see where MLB ends up.