News broke from MLB that they would be suspending RHP Joe Kelly of the Dodgers for eight games and Dodger’s skipper Dave Roberts. This was after game-1 of the Astros-Dodgers regular season series. I believe that yes, throwing at a player should result in suspension. It’s not at all what I or others would be mad about. What’s the issue? Joe Kelly didn’t get 2 or 3 games, he got 8 games in his supsension. That’s the equivalent of 21.6 games, so 21-22 in a 162 game season. That’s quite harsh and rather uncalled for when you think about it. Now Twitter has erupted into #FreeJoeKelly and it’s not looking good for baseball. Fans have been fed up with the MLB, and this is just fuel to that fire.
Rallying Behind Joe Kelly
I don’t support 96 mph to anyone’s head, let me make that VERY clear. That doesn’t mean Joe Kelly wasn’t someone to get behind last night. Him mocking Correa with a pouting face is the face of the anti-Astro baseball world. He did something we couldn’t have seen coming like THAT. Did he deserve a suspension? Yea, but did he deserve 8 games? No, and it feels like the players are treated worse for throwing at Houston than the players who actually cheated the game.
Losing the Support of the Players
So part of the report in the suspension of Joe Kelly was that he has a history of throwing at hitters. If that’s a reason then why didn’t the Astros lose their championship after MLB sent out a memo in 2017 to remind everyone that electronic sign stealing is NOT allowed? So harsher punishments only matter when it’s convenient? When players like Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout come out to say they didn’t earn it, you take that ring. When Lebron James comes out and says they didn’t earn it, you take that ring.
Rob Manfred hasn’t the slightest clue what to do when it comes to doing what’s right. He wants to pander and pick and choose so he doesn’t set precedents. He wants to only do what people have done before, and only innovate to “speed up the game”. This plus the COVID-19 situation makes baseball look bad.
Worse part is that while the immunity granted to the Astros meant no suspensions, they are still champions, and Joe Kelly is the only one who got punished.
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