Joe Kelly’s consistent animation of Houston Astros players has more to do with how they handled the sign theft investigation than the actual fraud, the Los Angeles Dodgers headquarters said in its first extensive interview since his incident in ground on July 28 in Houston.
In the eyes of Kelly, the Houston players, who were granted immunity from discipline in exchange for cooperating with the investigation, sacrificed their managers, coaches and team leaders, who took the hit for player violations.
Kelly made his comments as a guest on “The Big Swing,” a podcast hosted by teammate Ross Stripling, which was recorded in early August, before Kelly’s call for his discipline was heard by Major League Baseball.
Kelly was suspended for eight games and fined after throwing a ball near the head of Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, then took a short step from Carlos Correa during a game on July 28 in Houston, which sparked a brawl to clear a point. Kelly appealed the discipline, but the MLB reduced the suspension to five games.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was suspended for one game and Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed sum after that game.
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 took the place of Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who had been Houston bench coach. Cora was heavily implicated in the findings of the trademark investigation and was suspended for the 2020 season, along with Houston manager AJ Hinch, Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and veteran slugger Carlos Beltran, who were hired to manage New York Mets for the 2020 season. Cora, Hinch, Luhnow and Beltran all lost their respective jobs after the findings were published.
“The people who took the plunge about what happened is pointless,” Kelly said. “Yes, everyone is involved. But the way (the sign theft system) was executed there was not by the coaching staff. … They are not the boss responsible for that. They are the players. So now the players get “Immunity, and all they do is pluck like a whore, and they should not be fined, they should not miss games.”
“When you take someone’s livelihood … to save your ass, that’s what I do not like. Cheating? They cheated. Everyone knows they are cheating. They know they are cheating. It’s over. This is done with But now they snatch it away by destroying other people’s lives, so they f —– double it …. When you tarnish someone’s name to save your name, it’s one of the worst things you can do. … This really scary “worries me. “I think I will be irritated forever.”
Kelly talked about how much she cared for Cora and how Cora’s life has been changed by the consequences. Cora would like to explain what happened, Kelly said, “but he does not, because he is a respected man. So when (Astros) lie” – removing the blame on employees – “who does not get along well with me” .
“Maybe they called AC (Cora) and said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry.’ Or called Luhnow and said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry.’ Or they were called Hinch, and (Carlos) Beltran …. If they had said, ‘Hey, I’m so scared, I didn’t know what to do. “I did not want to lose money, I had to ratify. ‘… Grow a pair of balls and say it.”
Kelly said she does not want to talk to Astros players, “because they are not respectable men to me.”
As for his suspension, Kelly said he thought he was “crazy” in the face of what happened on the field. Kelly did not hit anyone, nor was he pulled out nor warned by the Alfonso Marquez banner. “It still blows my mind,” Kelly said. “So disturbing.”
Kelly said the MLB claim that he pushed the Astros out of their stones with his actions and gestures is “completely bull —-“.
“I distanced myself from society. I left. I did not approach, and I followed all the instructions of the CDC, and the people on the other side (Astros) did not. … They left their ground, walked towards us. Carlos Correa f —— spat on our team.I do not know if it was (on) me.She spat from his mouth …. This guy walks into our cart and then spits while I follow all the rules, and I get eight games.
“They have a manager (Dusty Baker) on their side, talking, yelling at me, ‘Take your little skinny ass to the ground. So my turning words take eight games, and his deceptive words take zero? That makes perfect sense, right? Welcome to planet earth. A debut. “
In his podcast conversation with Kelly, Stripling said he works in the same place as Houston outsider George Springer in the offseason, but the two have not really interacted – and Stripling has not really decided how he wants to interact with the Players of Astros who were part of the team that was determined to cheat.
Stripling described how the apologies Astros gave in the spring training session – perceived by many players as insincere – ignited Dodgers’ feelings. “It just ignited a fire under us again,” Stripling said. “As a team that was defeated by that team, you will never overcome it. You will never overcome it.”
Kelly strongly distinguished between what the Astros were determined to do in 2017 – real-time sign-on, pitch-on-pitch – compared to what the Red Sox, Yankees and other teams did in the pre- and post-video studies the game, which he called “fair play.”
“What (Astros were doing) giving immediate feedback on the signs is not fair play,” Kelly said.
As for Kelly’s actions in the July 28 game after hitting Correa, Kelly yelled at Correa, who responded, then Kelly did what he called a “boo-hoo face” in the Astros short step. Kelly told Stripling that when he complains to his wife Ashley Parks, she will make her face, to lower his screams.
“When Carlos was pulling away from me,” Kelly said, “the bo-hoo face felt right because it just looked like he was complaining. I was like, ‘Ohhhh, boo-hoo.’ To me, it looked like a bunch of “I’m hungry and I know exactly how my wife feels.”
“He just felt in the moment. It was the stimulus of the moment; it’s not like you make a game-plan for that kind of thing. … It was my interpretation of what he was doing as a kid in that moment, and I wanted to give the face of a small child. “