Joe Kelly's Suspension

Bat bleep crazy.

Jim Rome
July 30, 2020 - 10:44 am
Joe Kelly

USA Today


For the last eight or nine months, every time I’ve started a take with “major league baseball announced” it has been followed by something truly idiotic. And this time might be the most idiotic thing of all. Check this. 

Major League Baseball announced that Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly has been suspended eight games and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been suspended one game for their roles in the bench-clearing incident in Houston on Tuesday night.

And if you didn’t catch the game on Tuesday or you’ve been busy the last few days, you’re probably thinking Kelly did something pretty nasty to warrant a hammer like that being dropped on him. He must’ve hit someone and caused serious damage. He must have brained someone. Or cost them an eye. 

No and no.

As a quick refresher, this is what happened

And then after he struck out Carlos Correa, the two exchanged words and Joe Kelly made some faces. 

That’s right, Joe Kelly has been suspended eight games for…not hitting anyone. Not only did he not hit anyone, he wasn’t even ejected from the game. 

Getting suspended for 8 games in a 162 game season for that would be insane. Getting suspending 8 games in a 60 game season is bat bleep crazy. That’s the equivalent of more than 21 games in a full regular season.

For the past decade, every suspension longer than 20 games has been about PEDs, recreational drugs, domestic violence, substance abuse, and that really weird time when it was about identity fraud. 

And Joe Kelly is getting the equivalent of that.




So essentially you’re suspending him for missing a guy and making faces. Because that makes so much sense.  

As it stands now, Kelly will miss more time than the Miami Marlins. Half their roster swabbed positive, but at this point, they’ll be back on the field before Joe Kelly. You tell me – who is the bigger threat to baseball: Joe Kelly or the Miami Marlins? 

Again, and if it feels like I’m repeating this detail a lot, it’s because I cannot wrap my head around it: Joe Kelly did not hit Alex Bregman and he mildly clowned Carlos Correa. And that got him eight games, which is the equivalent of more than 20 in real life.  Something else you might keep in mind: Kelly just got 8 games more than any of the Astros who cheated their way to a world championship. Because that makes so much sense.  Go ahead and cheat, and rip at the fabric and integrity of the game: but don’t strike someone out, make a face or two at him and talk a little junk; we’re not having that. 

Can you imagine if he actually grazed Alex Bregman or Carlos Correa? Joe Kelly would be banned for life.

Again, he didn’t hit anyone and he wasn’t ejected from the game. So what exactly is he being punished for? Missing his target? Making faces at the Astros? 

He shouldn’t be fined for making faces at Carlos Correa, he should be given a plaque and a raise for it. That was awesome.

As Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling said, Kelly making faces was "one of the funnier things I’ve ever seen on a baseball field.” And they’re going to make t-shirts with his face on it. 

Hell yes. Never mind one of the funnier things I’ve ever seen on a baseball field: it’s one of the funnier things I’ve ever seen in life. Make your shirt and then retire retire this guy’s jersey. 

Hey, here’s some trivia: here’s a list of the MLB players who have been suspended for actions allegedly linked to the Astros sign stealing scandal. I’ll read the list in alphabetical order. The list is, as follows:

Kelly comma Joe. 

That’s it. A Dodgers relief pitcher is the only player who has been suspended for anything remotely associated with the Astros sign stealing scandal. The biggest cheating scandal in 100 years and it’s a Dodgers relief pitcher is the one who got wacked. How completely and utterly absurd is that?  How idiotic is that?

In other words, ask major league baseball and it will tell you Missing a guy and making faces is worse than cheating the game. 

And yes, I know the commissioner believed that he effectively had to give immunity to the Astros players in order to get them to participate in the investigation and that if he tried to suspend individual players, the players association would fight him. I know all of that.

But you cannot possibly believe that it’s a good look for Major League Baseball that the only player serving any discipline for the cheating scandal is a guy who doesn’t play for them. And who didn’t hit them.

And I know that the commissioner does not want guys going vigilante on the Astros. He doesn’t want some form of frontier justice being doled out by pitchers around the league. And I get that. I really do. 

I don’t want guys doing that either. Guys throwing rocks north of 90 miles per hour from sixty feet away is dangerous as hell.

But I’m not even 100 percent convinced Joe Kelly was actually throwing at either guy. Nobody has ever accused Joe Kelly of being Greg Maddux 2.0. 

My guy has some control issues over the course of his career. He’s kind of known for that. And he was having them on Tuesday night, even before the pitch to Bregman. 

And again, have you see the video from the offseason? The one where he was throwing in his yard and somehow hit his house?

Forget the fact that he hit his house, he missed the net. Have you seen the size of that net? It’s practically the size of the house. It’s like a circus tent. It would be harder to miss the net than to hit it. 

And that was with a changeup. And now you’re going to be hitting him infinitely harder than you hit the Astros players for not hitting Astros players and making faces? 

And according to Buster Olney, the Dodgers are also pissed because Dusty Baker was screaming at Kelly during the inning from the Astros dugout and he was only fined. If that’s true, that’s bush league too. 

Remember that clip I played yesterday of someone yelling from the Astros side?

Was that Dusty or someone else? Did that person get suspended? Nope. Apparently that’s fine, but jawing at a guy after striking him out and then making a face at him will get you ten to life. 

Was the issue that Kelly dropped a B-word on Correa? I’m pretty sure Correa expressed similar sentiments to Kelly, so where’s his suspension? 

Seems like it’s not coming. And that is just so baseball. In a week, a month, and a year where the league has puked all over itself at every turn, they’ve done it again. And this time, it might just be the dumbest projectile vomit of all.