Baseball fans knew that it would happen, the only questions were when and by whom.
During the off season, the Houston Astros was charged with cheating by stealing the signs of opposing teams. Stealing anything other than a base is extremely frowned upon in Major League Baseball.
The stands are empty…except for cardboard fake fans…and the noise is piped in but at least the Boys of Summer have begun to play and business is…more or less…back to normal.
That is, until Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly took the mound against the Houston Astros…and took matters into his own hands on July 28. Kelly seemed to be having trouble locating his pitches; Alex Bregman had to duck at one pitch and there was a curve ball that didn’t curve thrown at Carlos Correa. Miraculously, no one was hit.
After striking Correa out, Kelly stuck his tongue out and sneered at Correa; the resulting response was a bench clearing shouting brawl that paid little heed to social distancing rules.
On July 29, Major League Baseball suspended Kelly eight games for his actions. Dodger manager Dave Roberts was suspended for one game and Astros manager Dusty Bakes was fined; although the amount was not revealed.
Baker claimed that the fine was for letting his players violate the new Covid-19 safety protocols; adding, “It’s no big deal. I’ll just pay a fine. No problem.” Baker noted that he thought the penalties were fair.
Roberts has served his suspension; but Kelly, who denies aiming the ball at the players, is appealing the ruling. He will be allowed to play until MLB makes a determination on the appeal.
feature photo credit: By Cody Williams – Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=85904495