Los Angeles Dodgers free agent Joe Kelly is one of baseball’s most explosive pitchers from both a literal and figurative standpoint. In addition to sporting a fastball that can touch triple digits, he is not afraid to retaliate when necessary.
Back in 2018 as a member of the Boston Red Sox, Kelly intentionally hit then-New York Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin with a fastball for sliding into Brock Holt earlier in the game.
More recently in 2020, Kelly was at the center of another controversy when he sailed a fastball over Alex Bregman’s head and traded jabs with Carlos Correa during a matchup against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park, prompting benches to clear.
MLB suspended Kelly for six games following the first incident and handed down an eight-game ban the second time. The right-hander appealed on both occasions, but only was able to get the eight-game suspension reduced to five.
Kelly recently revealed during an appearance on WEEI’s “Live BP Show” that fighting MLB in court twice in the last four seasons are his favorite baseball moments thus far:
“I have three favorite baseball moments. My top two are going to be the times I went to court and battled with Major League Baseball behind closed doors and argued against Joe Torre and all of MLB’s peons who say they’re lawyers. I’m going to call them dropouts; if it was a fair-court trial, my lawyers would’ve smoked them.
“So the times I got suspended, I ended up fighting those battles in front of lawyers. We had an arbitrator, and those are my top two favorite baseball moments behind closed doors.”
Kelly just completed his third season with the Dodgers, which also happened to be his most successful as he went 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA, 3.08 FIP and 0.98 WHIP in 44 innings pitched over 48 games.
L.A. declined their $12 million team option on Kelly for the 2022 season and instead opted to pay him a $4 million buyout. In doing so, the 33-year-old became a free agent for the first time since 2018.
Kelly announces ‘revolution’ to show that baseball isn’t boring
Looking to change the narrative that baseball isn’t as action-packed as the other major sports, Kelly and a group of friends created the Baseball Isn’t Boring social media brand, and are encouraging fans to share their favorite moments of the game.
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