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Joe Kelly is an Embarrassment to Baseball and all Sports, not a Hero.

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Why does that even need to be said?

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros
Jul 28, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly (17) shouts at Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1, not shown) after a strikeout during the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, one of our TCB wise men, long-time commenter at Crawfish Boxes and a personal friend, informed me of this article penned at True Blue LA. In it, in the wake of the incidents of Joe Kelly headhunting Astros Tuesday night, the author called Kelly “the hero we didn’t know we needed.”

My friend asked me to write a rebuttal.

By now, everyone reading this already knows about the pitches thrown by Kelly straight to the heads of both Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa. And of the verbal taunts and childish faces made by Kelly towards Correa and the Astros dugout. The article linked above shows video of the incidents.

My friend, I must decline your request for a rebuttal. You can’t reason with hate. You can’t reason with bloodlust and the obsession for revenge. You can’t reason with people who think they need these things.

How can you argue with someone who believes it’s heroic and praiseworthy to try to inflict potentially life-threatening physical harm on another human being because...baseball revenge? What can you say to such people? Don’t hate? Hate is bad? That the objects of your hate are actually real people like you?

Hate doesn’t understand reason.

Haters are not heroes. People who call such people heroes are too unhinged to reason with.

Baseball is a game. You get your revenge in sports by playing better than the other team and winning. Not by trying to seriously hurt the other players and then acting like five-year-olds about it.

I understand that people in LA think the Astros cheated them out of a World Championship in 2017. I’m sure if I lived in Socal I’d feel the same way. I’m not going to argue about that here, except to say that Cody Bellinger’s inability to hit low inside breaking balls had more to do with the outcome of the World Series than cheating.

But that simply does not justify trying to hit, hurt, or otherwise permanently ruin the life and career of the players involved.

Of course our “hero” was not a Dodger in 2017. He likewise played on a team implicated in cheating that beat the Dodgers in the World Series.

And I understand that sometimes pitchers throw at batters because they think they are defending their players from similar behavior from the other team. But that was not the motivation of Kelly. He has a history of such behavior. He seems to enjoy it.

The article written at True Blue is the worst of sports fandom. It’s the place where the gentle word fan intersects with where the word originated; fanatic.

That people would call Joe Kelly a hero after his babyish, cowardly behavior Tuesday is just one more small example of the Orwellian, collective insanity that seems to have beset the whole world.

Oh yeah. In case you think I’m just a born-again critic of violence in baseball, I have written against it before. Nor do I make excuses for the Astros cheating. Here and here.

Get your revenge by your play on the field . Congratulations Dodgers. You swept two games at Minute Maid Park. You took a tough 13 inning game on the road. Edwin Rios was your real hero this week in this insignificant little mini-drama called baseball, not Joe Kelly.