July 30, 2020 | 10:15am
He may be facing the wrath of MLB, but Joe Kelly has plenty of players on his side.
The Dodgers reliever was handed an eight-game suspension Wednesday after throwing at Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. Kelly is typically wild, but facing the Astros for the first time since they were found to have illegally stolen signs on the way to a 2017 World Series win over the Dodgers, it hardly seemed like a coincidence.
While the Astros were granted immunity for coming clean about their cheating, Kelly was disciplined for his actions in Tuesday night’s game, which ignited a bench-clearing with only words exchanged.
“Makes zero sense Ken,” Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted in response to Ken Rosenthal tweeting news of the suspension. “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!”
“And what do the astros players deserve Jon?” Indians hurler Mike Clevinger tweeted to another tweet of the news. “Just snitch and walk free and still seem confused as to why everyone is mad?”
Kelly allegedly told Correa, “Nice swing b—h,” and walked off the field making faces at him before the benches cleared.
Kelly was not on the 2017 Dodgers, but he was on that year’s Red Sox, who lost to the Astros in the playoffs.
The Astros seemed destined for a season full of anger directed toward them — whether by fans or other players — but that changed slightly when the COVID-19 pandemic shortened the schedule, limited their number of opponents and kept fans out of the stadium.
Based on the support Kelly has received from his fellow players, though, he may not be alone in his feelings.
“Absolute joke,” Dodgers teammate Jimmy Nelson tweeted.
“YO FREE JOE KELLY💯” added Angels pitcher Kenyan Middleton.
“ 😂😂😂 8 games! What a joke.. @mlb is so soft anymore it’s kinda embarrassing.. people should just keep cheating because apparently there is 0 game suspensions for that 😂,” tweeted former Angels pitcher Jered Weaver.
Kelly is currently appealing his suspension. Until it is finalized, the tweets of support will keep on rolling in.
“Joe Kelly can pitch for me anytime!!!” former Mets pitcher Frank Viola tweeted. “Period….He gets it!!! Shame others don’t see it!!!”
“Astros players for ‘17 WS = Immunity,” tweeted former infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. “Joe Kelley doesn’t hit anyone = suspended 8 games. Justice?!? #MLB”