Joe Kelly’s eight-game suspension landed with a thud in the Dodgers’ clubhouse on Wednesday.
“I think we were all pretty shocked,” outfielder AJ Pollock said. “It seemed very, very harsh.”
“I think that this is an unprecedented number for a pitcher,” Manager Dave Roberts said.
Roberts wasn’t alive in August 1965 when Giants pitcher Juan Marichal clubbed Dodgers catcher John Roseboro over the head with a baseball bat. That incident left Roseboro with a gash in his head that reportedly required 14 stitches to close. Marichal’s punishment? A 10-game suspension.
The Dodgers are scheduled to play 60 games in the regular season. Kelly’s eight-game suspension is the equivalent of a 22-game ban in a 162-game season. The pitcher immediately appealed the punishment. He was available to pitch Wednesday in Houston and again Thursday in Phoenix.
The suspension was meted out by Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president who oversees on-field operations and umpires. Young and Roberts were teammates on the San Diego Padres, and Roberts exchanged text messages with Young after the discipline was announced.
“I pleaded our case,” Roberts said. “I don’t have any say in it, unfortunately.”
Roberts said that in MLB’s opinion, Kelly was throwing with intent when pitches sailed behind the shoulders of Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game. Two years ago, when Kelly pitched for the Boston Red Sox, he was suspended six games for throwing at Tyler Austin of the New York Yankees.
Austin was hit by a pitch, while Correa and Bregman were not. In the league’s opinion, that didn’t matter.
“They’re really trying to get away from balls going at players,” Roberts said.
Kelly appeared to taunt Correa as he walked off the field. Both benches cleared, and players gathered in the middle of the field. MLB’s Operations Manual for the 2020 season stipulates that players or managers “who leave their positions to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument, or engage in altercations on the field are subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions.”
Roberts was suspended one game after Tuesday’s incident, and he served the suspension Wednesday. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount. Kelly is waiting for the league to hear his appeal.
Pollock wasn’t part of the 2017 Dodgers team that lost a seven-game World Series to the Astros, but he was among many upset to …read more
Source:: Dailynews – News