Joe Kelly: Houston Astros ‘Tarnished For Life’ After Cheating In 2017 World Series

Joe Kelly was not on the Los Angeles Dodgers roster when they were cheated out of the 2017 World Series by the Houston Astros, but he has been among the most outspoken players about the topic.

Kelly also involved himself in the matter when he made a pouty face after striking out Carlos Correa during a regular season game at Minute Maid Park during the 2020 season. The matchup was the first between the Dodgers and Astros since the tainted World Series.

Kelly wound up getting suspended for eight games, which he appealed down to five. The right-hander continued to speak critically of not only the Astros but MLB commissioner Rob Manfred as well.

And with the Astros back in the World Series for a matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies, Kelly explained why he believed they will never fully escape negative perception because of the cheating scandal, via the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast:

“I think so. I would say so, yeah. They could have a completely different team in a couple years, and it’s one of those things that they’re tarnished for life. It’s tough. In 10 years, 15 years, they could have a great team, and people would still in the back of their mind are not going to be authentic with their feelings. I think it’s one of those things that they’re going to be screwed forever because social media was so big. If this would’ve happened when I came up and Twitter was nothing in 2012, I think it could’ve been gone.

“But I think now with crazy memes and GIFs, podcasts, all entertainment not on TV and on the internet, it’s the old thing, the internet never forgets. You could tweet something dumb and delete it, but someone is going to screenshot it. Like I said, 10 or 15 years, people are still going to be upset at the Astros in the playoffs. And as a Major League Baseball player, the guys that are still playing, they don’t forget.

“Guys that are just coming up in the Minor Leagues, they know what happened. So it’s just one of those things you’re going to have to live with. Let’s just say the Astros end up winning the World Series this year and no cheating involved, they’re great baseball players, people still aren’t going to give them credit for it. Which sucks if I was a player on that team. But I mean it is what it is. You reap what you sow kind of thing. It’s going to be interesting to see the reaction if they do (win). It’s going to be a great World Series overall.”

Kelly additionally believes because of the Astros’ cheating that the overwhelming majority of fans are rooting for the Phillies in their World Series matchup.

Joe Kelly enjoyed contesting MLB over Astros suspension

When recently reflecting on some of the favorite moments from his career, Kelly cited battling MLB over his suspension as one of them.

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