Heading into this week's series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros, many expected some drama. Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly provided us with just that during the sixth inning of Tuesday's game between the two teams. Kelly had Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in a 3-0 count and ended up throwing a pitch over Bregman's head. Later in the inning, Kelly taunted Carlos Correa after striking him. Both benches then cleared.
On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced that Kelly had been handed an eight-game suspension for his antics. In addition, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was suspended one game while Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount. Kelly did choose to appeal the suspension, so he was available for Wednesday's game and will likely be available for the foreseeable future.
As should come as no surprise, anything connected to the Astros' sign-stealing scandal generates quite a bit of controversy. Following the league's announcement that Kelly had been suspended eight games -- which in a 162-game season would be equivalent to just over a 21-game suspension -- there was quite a bit of chatter from current and former MLB players.
Makes zero sense Ken. He wasn’t even thrown out of the game. MLB siding with/protecting a team that openly and knowingly cheated their way to a World Series. He doesn’t deserve to be suspended at all. Hoping he wins his appeal. Looking forward to seeing you back out there JK! pic.twitter.com/Lekx8NHLRp— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) July 29, 2020
Cleveland's Mike Clevinger hinted that Astros players should know why so many people are upset with them.
A handful of other players, past and present, shared their thoughts on the matter. None defended the Astros.
Absolute joke.— Jimmy Nelson (@Jimmy_J_Nelson) July 29, 2020
YO FREE JOE KELLY💯— La llave🗝 (@since93key) July 29, 2020
The overwhelming majority wasn't in favor of Kelly being suspended for such a lengthy period of time. A lot of the outrage dates back to the fact that the Astros didn't receive any player suspensions for their role in the sign-stealing scandal.