Pitcher Joe Kelly has never been one to shy away from how he is truly feeling about an opposing hitter or team and often you can see his face. The Los Angeles Dodgers 2017 World Series rematch against the Houston Astros was another moment of Joe Kelly being Joe Kelly, when he mocked Carlos Correa and instantly became a meme.
Kelly threw a pitch very close to Alex Bregman and Correa and many thought it may have been on purpose, including Major League Baseball, which suspended Kelly and manager Dave Roberts after the incident. Correa was not thrilled after the whole thing, but Kelly didn't want to hear it.
For anyone who missed it, here's his now-viral moment.
The face is hilarious, at least if you're not an Astros fan, and his teammates loved it just as much as the internet did.
Ross Stripling called it "one of the funnier things I've ever seen on a baseball field" and the players are already drawing up t-shirt designs to commemorate the iconic moment. Stripling said the Dodgers are "all excited because we'll have new shirts to wear for BP."
Kelly was not on the 2017 Dodgers team, but his teammates knew he was a safe bet to start something.
Stripling said the #Dodgers and #Astros not having some kind of confrontation this series “was wishful thinking.”— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) July 29, 2020
“Joe is as good a candidate as anyone to stir something up even though he wasn’t on that 2017 team. You could tell he was as fired up as anyone.”
It all goes much deeper than just an in-game disagreement.
The Astros are not exactly fan or league favorites after being caught sign-stealing in an MLB investigation, and many predicted in the offseason that Houston would be facing more HBP, or close to it, scenarios this year.
Kelly maintains that he did not throw near the Astros players on purpose and says his accuracy is not always the best, referencing when he broke a window while practicing at his house during the COVI9-19 quarantine.