Bench-clearing confrontation over simmering Astros-Dodgers feud leads to suspensions

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one week ago  •  32 comments

By:   David K. Li (NBC News)

Bench-clearing confrontation over simmering Astros-Dodgers feud leads to suspensions
The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers left their benches and exchanged heated words, in their first meeting since a sign-stealing scandal rocked the sport.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and relief pitcher Joe Kelly were suspended Wednesday, following a heated confrontation with the Houston Astros in their first meeting since a sign-stealing scandal rocked baseball earlier this year.

Major League Baseball banned Kelly for eight games in a suspension he's appealing, so he'll be in uniform when the Dodgers take the field in Houston on Wednesday.


Joe Kelly has been suspended for eight games by MLB. He is appealing and available for tonight's game. Dodger Manager Dave Roberts will serve his one-game suspension tonight and Bob Geren will serve as manager.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 29, 2020

Roberts was suspended for one game and he'll sit out Wednesday's matchup while Bob Geren takes over temporarily, the team said.

The Astros and Dodgers left their benches and exchanged angry words Tuesday after Kelly threw two pitches uncomfortably close to two Houston players — though he didn't hit them.

During this past off-season, an MLB investigation found that the Astros used cameras to steal hand signals between opposing pitchers and catchers, and then relayed that crucial information to their batters during Houston's World Series-winning 2017 season.

The Astros won the Fall Classic that year by edging the Dodgers in a full seven-game set.

And with that scandal in the backdrop Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Kelly threw high-and-tight pitches to Houston stars Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the sixth inning.

Correa would eventually strike out against Kelly, who then stuck out his tongue and made a face at the batter. Correa began walking toward Kelly and the players exchanged heated words before their benches cleared.

Order was restored in a few minutes and no punches were thrown.

Houston Astros' Carlos Correa, right, ducks from a pitch thrown by Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly on July 28, 2020, in Houston. Both benches emptied after the inning.David J. Phillip / AP

Kelly was not a member of the Dodgers in 2017, but Bregman and Correa were both key players for Houston in that championship season.

First-year Houston manager Dusty Baker, who was not with the organization during the sign-stealing operation, accused Kelly of endangering his players.

"Balls get away sometimes but not that many in the big leagues," Baker told reporters following the Dodgers' 5-2 victory on Tuesday. "When you throw a 3-0 fastball over a guy's head now you're flirting with ending his career."

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred had warned players not to retaliate against the Astros.

Kelly said those errant throws were not intentional.

"I wasn't feeling the greatest," he told reporters. "I wasn't the most comfortable. It took me a while to get into my mechanics."

Before Tuesday night, Kelly was best known for a viral video earlier this year of him trying to stay sharp during the four months pro baseball was shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Back in April, Kelly's wife posted footage of the L.A. reliever practicing a new pitch — that got away and shattered a window at their home.


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Sparty On
1  Sparty On    one week ago

It's this simple ..... enough is enough.  

A pitcher beans an Astros batter?   Throw him out.   Another pitcher beans an Astros batter?   Throw him out and so and so forth until this nonsense stops.   Zero tolerance.   You say the ball just slipped?   Too bad.   You're a major league pitcher, get a better grip on it.

This isn't baseball .... it's petulant, privileged, spoiled millionaires acting out.

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
1.1  Freedom Warrior  replied to  Sparty On @1    one week ago

It's Baseball Get Over It.

I do every time I take the field.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.1.1  Sparty On  replied to  Freedom Warrior @1.1    one week ago

Get over what?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Sparty On @1    one week ago

When I was in the Navy I coached Little League baseball for years and I can truly say the kids I coached were more mature than many professional baseball players and other adult(?) athletes these days.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.2.1  Sparty On  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.2    one week ago

Same here, that's because there were real consequences when you acted like a child.

In professional sports?   Not so much.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
1.2.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Sparty On @1.2.1    6 days ago

Actually, the parents were much worse than the players. Many of the parents were the immature ones!

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.2.3  Sparty On  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.2.2    6 days ago

BTDT Doc, I’ve had to bounce parents of grade schoolers making asses out of themselves in front of their kids.    I always felt sorry for those kids having such dumbass parents

 
 
 
Texan1211
2  Texan1211    one week ago

The baseball commissioner really screwed the pooch here.

First of all, he handed down absolutely NO punishments for ANY of the players involved in the cheating scandal.

Then, he gives an 8 game suspension for NOT hitting a batter?

WTF?

Does anyone not see how ironic this is?

 
 
 
r.t..b...
2.1  r.t..b...  replied to  Texan1211 @2    one week ago
WTF?

Manford makes Goodell seem reasonable by comparison. Totally inappropriate and hopefully the pending appeal will rectify the length of suspension. The Houston baseball team cannot be left without consequence, either from official sanctions from the league or the reactions from other teams for their bastardizing all standards of conduct of this great game.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  r.t..b... @2.1    one week ago

The Astros got clean away with cheating. The investigations are done, and no player was even admonished.

the commissioner is a doofus.

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.1    one week ago

I view this differently than most.   I played ball up through a few years of local semi-pro stuff.   No where near pro ball but "paid" organized ball just the same.

Stealing signs has been around as long MLB.   Every team does it.   As a player you took pride in TRYING to steal the others teams signs.   It's just the way it always was when i played and it remains today.    Not all of them get caught doing it.

I'm not defending the lengths that the Astros went to do it but rather pointing out the hypocrisy coming form other teams who have done exactly the same things.   In different ways perhaps but stealing signs just the same.   They simply haven't gotten caught.

I find it preposterous that some think bean balls are an apt punishment for what everyone else tries to do as well..   First of all It's dangerous as hell.   Anyone who has been hit by a 90+ MPH baseball understands what i speak of.   Second, people think a bean ball is just part of the game but stealing signs isn't?   That just preposterous imo.  

MLB has allowed both to be part of the game forever.   Now they get on their high horse when a team finds a way to take it to another level?   I don't see it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.2    one week ago

I have no problems with a guy on second trying to steal signs and communicating to the hitter. That isn't what the Astros did, though.

As far as brushback pitches or throwing AT someone, there is a big difference to me. Don't end someone's career.

But I do believe that if Kelly wanted to hit them, he would have.

He sent a message. I suspect the Astros will see some of that despite the commissioner's overblown punishment.

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.4  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.3    one week ago

Kelly started it all.   Throwing behind a batters head?   Never acceptable.

Then shortly after that taunting a batter you just struck out?   Okay but you may reap the whirlwind if you do so.   One on one, Correa would have kicked his ass.   Kelly is no Nolan Ryan that's for sure.

That said, none of this accomplishes anything positive for the game which is why i say MLB needs to start tossing pitchers who keep throwing at Astro batters.    It appears it is the only way they'll stop it.   And make no mistake.   Throwing behind a batter IS throwing at a batter imo.   No reason a professional MLB pitcher should ever be putting a ball behind a batters head.

Not in my opinion anyway.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.4    one week ago

I'm ok with taunting. hitters do it all the time. I would have even been okay if Kelly plunked someone in the ass. I dont agree with throwing at heads or knees or elbows

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.6  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.5    one week ago
I'm ok with taunting. hitters do it all the time. I would have even been okay if Kelly plunked someone in the ass. I dont agree with throwing at heads or knees or elbows

I am as well, just don’t be little bitch and hide behind your catcher or other players.    That’s why I brought up Nolan Ryan.    He didn’t need help.   He’d straight out beat your ass if you came after him.   He needed no help.

I’m all for brush back pitches if a guy is crowding the plate.    That’s the chance you take when you crowded the plate but I lose total respect for a pitcher who throws at you when you weren’t.    At that point I was try to hit line drives at their heads.    Sent more than one prick like that flailing for cover and talk about taunting.    I’d be laughing my ass off when I ran the bases after that.

I’ve never like parts of any game that intentionally hurt other players.    That’s why I liked football.    You could really get back at guys who did that.    100% legally of course.    Don’t need to be cheap shot on the gridiron to get payback.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.6    one week ago

at the Ranger games, they showed that clip op Ryan kicking ass every game for a few seasons, but stopped last year, I think.

Robin Ventura should have known not to mess with Texas and Nolan Ryan!

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.8  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @2.1.7    one week ago

Tough dude for a pitcher

 
 
 
MonsterMash
2.1.9  MonsterMash  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.6    6 days ago
At that point I was try to hit line drives at their heads.    Sent more than one prick like that flailing for cover and talk about taunting.    I’d be laughing my ass off when I ran the bases after that.

Do you think hitting line drives at an opponent's head is funny? Have you heard of Herb Score?

Score was a brilliant Cleveland Indian pitcher whose baseball career virtually was ended at age 23 when he was hit in the right eye by a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald of the New York Yankees on May 7, 1957.

 
 
 
Texan1211
2.1.10  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @2.1.8    6 days ago

Ryan is a rancher. Used to hard work.

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.1.11  Tacos!  replied to  MonsterMash @2.1.9    6 days ago
Do you think hitting line drives at an opponent's head is funny?

It's pretty hard to do that on purpose, particularly if you are playing at a high level.

 
 
 
Sparty On
2.1.12  Sparty On  replied to  MonsterMash @2.1.9    6 days ago

Hey, to use someone’s else’s line here, it’s just part of the game.     Right?  

I don’t think throwing at anyone’s head is funny but you mess with the bull, you get the horns.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3  Texan1211    one week ago

Dodger great Orel Hershiser, now an announcer, had this to say after Jose Altuve struck out:

"Guessing is harder than knowing".

LOL!!!

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    one week ago

It didn't look to me like Kelly was trying to do anything other than just pitch. It would be pretty unusual to throw a pitch to the backstop on purpose with runners on base. And the next pitch, he struck the batter out. None of that adds up to trying to bean the batter. 

Instead, the Astros set about playing victim, which is pretty disgusting considering everything they have done - especially to the Dodgers.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @4    one week ago

The Astros are a black mark on baseball, and the fact that not a single player got any punishment at all is astounding--almost unbelievable, really.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1    one week ago
the fact that not a single player got any punishment at all is astounding

That's the power of the union. Every punished player would have resulted in the union filing a lawsuit. For MLB, it was more trouble than it was worth.

It's still disgusting, though.

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.1    one week ago

The commissioner should have made examples of the Astros instead of trying to make one of Kelly.

 
 
 
Sparty On
4.1.3  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1    one week ago

Hmmmm .... Rangers fan?

jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Sparty On @4.1.3    one week ago

Actually, I have been a Dodger fan since I was about 6. I do like the Rangers as my American League team. We moved from the DC area to Irving the same year as the Senators moved to Arlington and became the Rangers.

When I have gone to see the Dodgers-Rangers, I always root for the Dodgers.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4.1.5  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @4.1.2    one week ago

Really. How is it that Kelly - who didn't even hit anybody - gets suspended for 8 days, but Astros who cheated to win the World Series get nothing?

 
 
 
Texan1211
4.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.5    one week ago

I wish I could explain 6, but I can't. wtf was the commissioner thinking,?? 

 
 
 
Release The Kraken
5  Release The Kraken    one week ago

Baseball has become too violent, I only watch Hockey now.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
5.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Release The Kraken @5    one week ago

I'll take rugby myself.

 

 
 
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