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Thursday, July 30, 2020

Is eight games too harsh? Breaking down Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly’s suspension

Over the past 10 years, no player has received a suspension longer than 20 games for a violation that wasn’t tied to performance-enhancing drugs, recreational drugs, substance abuse, domestic violence or, in the case of Juan Carlos Oviedo, identity fraud.

In punishing Kelly, MLB referenced the 3-0, 96 mph fastball behind the head of Alex Bregman (Astros manager Dusty Baker was certain it was intentional) and the taunts toward Carlos Correa (Baker said Kelly yelled, “Nice swing, b——”). MLB also referenced prior suspensions for “intentional throwing,” specifically an incident in April 2018, when Kelly was suspended six games for plunking and fighting New York Yankees infielder Tyler Austin. Put another way: Kelly got two fewer games then—in a season nearly three times longer—for an incident that triggered far more violence.

Another major reason wasn’t cited in MLB’s release but was obvious to practically everyone. It was about what Kelly’s actions led to: players from both teams spilling onto the field, congregating en masse, some without masks, just one day after the Miami Marlins experienced a COVID-19 outbreak that spider-webbed into a logistical nightmare for as many as five teams.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 10:10 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe kelly

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. kthejoker Posted: July 30, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5966878)
Why is everyone so naively acting like this was a lone wolf operation?

This was a "message" suspension, because it's patently obvious the Dodgers as a team (and perhaps organization) pre-approved Kelly's actions.

   2. Jose Needs an Absurd Ukulele Concert Posted: July 30, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5966882)
I think this is absolutely the right decision. As kt notes this is something we all knew was coming and more than that this needed to be a heavy suspension to discourage other teams from engaging in the same behavior. Also, the writer uses the previous incident as an example of a lighter suspension. While he's right there is also the element that Kelly is a repeat offender here.

And I'll note that I say this as someone who is a huge Joe Kelly fan and finds the whining from players and fans alike about the Astros to be tiresome.
   3. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: July 30, 2020 at 11:40 AM (#5966886)
like every headline that asks a question: the answer is no.
   4. Busted Flush Posted: July 30, 2020 at 11:51 AM (#5966890)
Headline: Has Always Extremely Stopped Beating His Wife?
   5. ramifications of an exciting 57i66135 Posted: July 30, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5966892)
Headline: Has Always Extremely Stopped Beating His Wife?

100% true.

never had a wife.

can't stopping beating her if i never started.

and she never existed.

also: happily gay.
   6. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5966893)
finds the whining from players and fans alike about the Astros to be tiresome.


Really? I think the Astros deserve every bit of it and are getting off extremely light, given the punishment itself (no players were punished and the monetary fine was ashtray money for Crane) and the Covid situation that is keeping them from getting the heck booed out of them in every other ballpark.

I'm fully in support of suspending any pitcher who deliberately throws at people; I don't think the game should tolerate that. But I also think we're far from reaching the saturation point of Astros criticism for their cheating scheme.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 12:22 PM (#5966901)
If Manfred had punished the Astros known to be involved, this issue wouldn't be so large. As long as they don't throw at their heads, I have zero problem with pitchers hitting the Astros who we know cheated.
   8. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 30, 2020 at 12:30 PM (#5966902)
As long as they don't throw at their heads, I have zero problem with pitchers hitting the Astros who we know cheated.


Joe Kelly's taunting as he left the mound were amusing more than anything else. But he threw a pitch at Alex Bregman that would have pretty much hit him right in the ear if Bregman hadn't ducked, which, yeah, is problematic.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5966910)
But he threw a pitch at Alex Bregman that would have pretty much hit him right in the ear if Bregman hadn't ducked, which, yeah, is problematic.

Correct, head hunting is bad and should be punished.
   10. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 30, 2020 at 01:05 PM (#5966913)
Kelly deserves a suspension, but this is too much. The Marlins only got six games off for being wildly irresponsible and exposing the Phillies to covid, and no one's actually getting punished. Kelly's just doing what a bunch of guys from 28 other teams were going to do.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5966932)
Correct, head hunting is bad and should be punished.

Even if you're head hunting Alex Bregman?
   12. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5966942)
Kelly deserves a suspension, but this is too much.


While I think intentionally throwing at people needs to be punished, I also agree with this. In a 60-game season, eight games seems like it's excessive.
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: July 30, 2020 at 04:13 PM (#5966966)
(no players were punished and the monetary fine was ashtray money for Crane)


Three managers lost their jobs over it.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 30, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5966973)
But he threw a pitch at Alex Bregman that would have pretty much hit him right in the ear if Bregman hadn't ducked, which, yeah, is problematic.


The only problem with that pitch is that it didn't actually hit Bregman in the ear. Other than that, it was perfect.
   15. caspian88 Posted: July 30, 2020 at 04:34 PM (#5966976)
Three managers lost their jobs over it.


That's basically what managers are there for - professional sword-fallers.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: July 30, 2020 at 05:49 PM (#5966987)
We should also be talking about the umpires who did nothing until it was all over. Further, silly pointless revenge and ensuing shoutfest is yet another thing that players have to be sufficiently grown-up to go without during the pandemic. He wants to drill an Astro in the rib, so be it ... 50 guys standing next to each other, shouting, possibly eventually shoving and punching, simply stupid.
   17. dejarouehg Posted: July 30, 2020 at 06:26 PM (#5966996)
Joe Kelly is a bit of a d.b. overall, but I'm glad he did what he did - other than throwing at Bregman's melon. That's just being an *******. Drill him in the butt and move on. Then maybe drill the next guy there as well also just to prove you can do it.

Once you actually go head-hunting, you lose the moral upper-hand.

Dusty Baker's whining is a little hard to take. This is what you signed up for and if roles were reversed, I'm guessing he'd be OK with what happened.

I still find it so galling that Jim Crane wasn't suspended. I understand that the by-laws max'ed out that fine at $5M, but owners have been suspended before.

   18. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 31, 2020 at 10:55 AM (#5967106)
The only problem with that pitch is that it didn't actually hit Bregman in the ear. Other than that, it was perfect.

Even better would be if 9 games later Kelly gets hit with a line drive in the face that ends his sorry career as a head hunter.
   19. Astroenteritis Posted: July 31, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5967111)
Further, silly pointless revenge and ensuing shoutfest is yet another thing that players have to be sufficiently grown-up to go without during the pandemic.


A very good point. The Dodgers can never do anything to change the outcome of the 2017 (or 2018, for that matter) World Series. I know that's hard to deal with, but both teams need to be smarter than to get into a bench clearing situation. It won't solve anything, and the players just look idiotic.
   20. TJ Posted: July 31, 2020 at 11:16 AM (#5967114)
As I recall, there were reports that opposing teams suspected the Astros of stealing signs while it was happening. If so, then why throw at them now when it’s over and done when you didn’t throw at them while it was going on to stop it?

   21. Buck Coats Posted: July 31, 2020 at 01:23 PM (#5967149)
Kelly's just doing what a bunch of guys from 28 other teams were going to do.


Yes but that's exactly why the punishment has to be harsh - otherwise this is going to keep happening
   22. phredbird Posted: July 31, 2020 at 03:29 PM (#5967183)

head hunting is wrong and should be punished.

but purpose pitches otherwise should be tolerated as a part of a pitchers arsenal to be used as necessary. otherwise you've just got everybody diving over the plate, swinging away.

those two thoughts don't feel incompatible to me.

but i also think kelly's punishment is appropriate for this instance, for the reasons enumerated about the potential spread of covid. i will not be surprised if we see problems on both of these teams down the road. the dodgers especially seem pretty casual about masks in the dugout, i can't remember if i've seen the astros in the dugout.

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