Astros: Joe Kelly has distorted reality on sign stealing

Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly was raving like a madman about the Houston Astros.

I think everyone in Houston had a pretty good idea that Joe Kelly was an odd fellow after he threw at the heads of Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa last month and then made a childish face while walking off the field. But after his appearance on a podcast to discuss the Astros sign stealing scandal, I think he’s created an alternate reality in his head.

Kelly, whose eight-game suspension for his antics was reduced to five games, appeared on the podcast of his Dodgers teammate Ross Stripling and discussed his feelings on the matter, and it’s fair to say he didn’t hold anything back. It’s just interesting that Kelly seems to have his own version of what happened that doesn’t really align with the facts.

It seems that Kelly’s biggest issue isn’t the cheating itself, but rather that coaches and executives took the fall while the players escaped punishment. In his distorted view, the players snitched and put the blame on other people in order to save themselves, which would be bad if it were actually true.

“They’re not the head boss in charge of that thing,” Kelly said, referring to the coaches. “It’s the players. So now the players get the immunity, and all they do is go snitch like a little b—-, and they don’t have to get fined, they don’t have to lose games.”

First of all, the players fully admitted their participation in the scheme. That was exactly what Commissioner Rob Manfred was looking for when he offered them immunity. Manfred wanted the truth and he didn’t want a fight with the Players Union, and he said from the beginning that managers and executives would be held accountable for any failures to follow the rules on this issue.

The only snitch was Mike Fiers, who ratted out his former teammates and coaches and started the scandal to begin with. The Astros admitted their involvement and didn’t hide it at all. If Kelly is angry that the coaches were punished and the players weren’t, he should take that up with Manfred instead of throwing fastballs at players’ heads.

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Astounding Hypocrisy

Of course, the ESPN article failed to mention that Kelly was on the 2017 and 2018 Red Sox teams that were also busted for illegally stealing signs. A common link between the two scandals was Alex Cora, who Kelly referred to as “a respectable man,” while saying the Astros players are not respectable men.

It’s rather interesting that the “respectable” Cora was in charge of a horde of players who cheated in Houston and then oversaw a team that did the same thing in Boston. He can’t be that respectable if he’s letting these supposedly horrible things go on under his watch.

I particularly appreciate Kelly saying, “When you taint someone’s name to save your own name, this is one of the worst things that you could probably do.” Is that not exactly what the Red Sox did? They blamed their 2018 transgressions (under Cora, mind you) on a video staffer, and here is Kelly ranting about people who “take someone’s livelihood” to save their own skin.

He also blatantly lied about the difference between what the Astros did and what the Red Sox and Yankees did, stating the Red Sox and Yankees did not use the video for in-game sign relaying. If that were true, why did Manfred see fit to punish them for their Apple Watch use in 2017? The Red Sox got busted again for violations in 2018. Kelly was on both of those teams.

The Recent Dust-Up

Kelly also sounded off on the incident that got him suspended, and honestly it’s just too funny to even take seriously. He complained that the Astros were the ones who left their dugout and that Correa apparently spit at the Dodgers, which I’m not sure actually happened. Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t. But Kelly’s social distancing quote is just gold.

“I socially distanced. I walked away. I didn’t get close, and I followed all the guidelines of the CDC, and people on the other side didn’t,” he said. “[Correa] walks over to our dugout and then spits, while I follow all the rules, and I get eight games.”

Yeah, you walked away — right after throwing fastballs at people’s heads and taunting Correa. Kelly acts like he’s completely innocent in the whole thing, which is just mind boggling to me. Couple that with the fact that his account of the sign stealing scandal is wrong and he looks like someone who is just living in his own version of reality.

So in the end, I think it’s far to say we can discount anything Kelly says. He obviously believes what he wants to believe and just goes with that, regardless of what the actual facts are. In truth, that’s similar to most of the rabid Astros haters these days.

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