The Houston Astros are in the World Series for the fourth time in six seasons as they face the Philadelphia Phillies, however, they have yet to overcome the shadow of their cheating scandal at the start of their run.
They previously lost in the Fall Classic to the Atlanta Braves in 2021 and the Washington Nationals in 2019 following their highly-scrutinized win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2017 World Series in which they were found guilty of electronically stealing signs.
Although the Astros have continued to have success since the incident, many around the league and fans felt the penalties issued by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred were too light.
Among them is former Dodgers reliever and current Chicago White Sox pitcher Joe Kelly, who believes the scandal will once again be on everyone’s mind with the World Series set to begin on Friday, via the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast:
“It’s going to be lingering, for sure. I don’t think there’s going to be any kind of separation. I think it’s probably going to be close to 90% of everyone wanting the Phillies to win. It is going to be a great World Series. The Astros are a phenomenal team, and everyone knows that. I mean, they just manhandled the Yankees. They’re still great, they still have great players, they have great pitching.”
Kelly has been open about his disapproval of the Astros’ scandal and secured his spot in the hearts of Dodgers fans when he made a pouting face at Carlos Correa after striking out the shortstop during the 2020 season.
While nothing more came of the incident, MLB handed Kelly an eight-game ban that was ultimately reduced to five games, which the right-hander finished serving in September.
After MLB issued their penalties for the Astros, Kelly and Justin Turner echoed the sentiments of multiple Dodgers players and said they may never get over the weak punishments dished out to the Astros.
Dodgers interested in Carlos Correa
With the Dodgers facing some uncertainty at the shortstop position, this offseason presents plenty of possibilities with Correa and Trea Turner among the notable impending free agents.
Correa has yet to technically opt out of his contract with the Minnesota Twins but already publicly stated his intention to do so. Turner just completed a final year of being eligible for salary arbitration before reaching free agency for the first time in his career.
The Dodgers have interest in re-signing Turner, but they also reportedly view Correa as one of their top options.
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