Joe Kelly receives MLB suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct

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Posted on: July 30, 2020 7:00 pm EDT

The Dodgers pitcher taunted the Astros as the two teams met on the field Tuesday night

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced yesterday afternoon the punishment for the player who took part in a benches-clearing incident that occurred at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Tuesday night.
Joe Kelly, a relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, was given an eight-game suspension for his participation in this incident. A shorter suspension, just one game, was issued to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, while Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker was not suspended, but was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly threw a fastball behind Astros third baseman Alex Bregman’s head while he was at bat and, later, he also teased shortstop Carlos Correa when he was going back to the bench. The continued antics resulted in the benches clearing, but no fight ensued. Kelly said that he will appeal his suspension but, regardless of the final decision, he should be ready for the series finale. On the other hand, Roberts will serve his one-game suspension right away and handed over his duties for one game to bench coach Bob Geren.

An eight-game suspension in this shortened 60-game format season is quite significant; it counts for more than 13% of the total season. From MLB, the suspension was referred to as “intentional throwing” when deciding on Kelly’s punishment. This is not the first time he faces suspension for problems with his conduct.
Back in April 2018, he was suspended for six games for pulling and then fighting with Tyler Austin of the New York Yankees while he was playing for the Boston Red Sox. Regarding this present suspension, he said it was not intentional, explaining, “My accuracy isn’t the best.” That’s almost believable since he also threw four pitches high to Yuli Gurriel and later brushed back Correa with inside curveballs.