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THIS Man Called the Astros “Little Bitches.”

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Get help Joe

Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Joe Kelly just proved he really is as unhinged as he seems.

It turns out, it’s not Astros cheating that makes him “irritated forever,” it’s that the Astros “snitch(ed) like a little bitch.”

Here’s what Kelly means by being “irritated.”

Los Angeles Dodgers v Houston Astros
Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros ducks after a pitch from Joe Kelly #17 of the Los Angeles Dodgers was thrown behind him in the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park on July 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

This and two other pitches thrown at Astros heads in his short stint on July 27th, leading to his suspension, now reduced to five games. Of course, he claims you can’t just “assume” he was trying to hit the Astros.

Thanks to the Swing Podcast, we now have in his own words, and especially in the tone of his words, his rabid and irrational hatred of the Astros, and in his own words his motive for throwing at them with the possibility of causing life-threatening physical harm. They are “rats. They are “snitches” They are “bitches.” “They are not to be “respected.” His hatred of the Astros is revealed at a visceral level. That’s why Astros players and fans reacted so strongly to his taunting faces. They were all too sincere in expressing his personal loathing.

(If you choose to believe his denials, that’s what every head-hunter says, every time. No pitcher ever throws at batters’ heads. Just ask them.)

And Kelly’s loathing is not for the Astros’ cheating so much. It’s for their “snitching.” In other words, when asked about the cheating in 2017, the Astros told the truth. That’s what bothered Kelly the most.

That’s not how he put it, of course. Kelly claimed that the Astros players all blamed management. That’s why manager AJ Hinch, General Manager Jeff Luhnow, and bench coach Alex Cora all got suspended by the league and subsequently fired by their teams. Because the Astros players blamed them to save their own skins.

“When you take someone’s livelihood ... to save your own ass, that’s what I don’t like. Cheating? They cheated. Everyone knows they’re cheaters. They know they’re cheaters. It’s over. That’s done with. But now they mess it up by ruining other people’s lives, so they f----- it up twice. ... When you taint someone’s name to save your own name, this is one of the worst things that you could probably do. ... That really friggin’ bugs me. I think I’ll be irritated forever.”

Of course, only someone blinded by an irrational hatred can blame the Astros players for the actions Major League Baseball took against Astros management. Or blame the players for telling the truth, which was not only the honorable thing to do under the circumstances, but the only thing each of them could do.

I have not heard one Astros player shirk responsibility for his actions since the investigations, not even Jose Altuve, who did not participate in the cheating scheme, but has yet to say so himself.

But more to the point, I have not heard one of them blame their manager or GM, In fact, the MLB report does not accuse Hinch or Luhnow of direct participation, and even says Hinch tried to stop it, which sounds like the players were trying to exonerate him. Management’s punishment is for not exercising proper command responsibility. No one “tainted” management’s names to “save (their) own names.” And yet Kelly said that when (the Astros) “lie” —by deflecting blame onto staffers —”that doesn’t sit right with me.”

If anything, many observers believe the MLB report tended to whitewash management.

The written report from MLB did seem to assign special guilt to Alex Cora and especially Carlos Beltran, claiming he initiated the scheme when he came to the team. Supposedly the Astros were behind other teams in sign stealing, said Beltran when he arrived. Is it possible the players were telling the truth? It had to start somewhere. Why not from the former Yankee.

Of course, Beltran was not Astros management, but one of the players.

Kelly seems to imply that the Astros engaged in a conspiracy to blame management, and should have engaged in a conspiracy of silence once MLB investigators started asking questions. That they were “rats” for not doing so. Or, failing that, should have apologized to Luhnow, Hinch, Cora and Beltran for being rats, saying, “‘Hey, I’m super-scared, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t want to lose money, I had to rat.’ ... Grow a pair of balls and say that.”

I can agree that the team didn’t have balls in a sense. They didn’t have balls when they went along with Beltran’s hare-brained scheme in the first place. It took balls to later admit to what they did (under duress, of course). Kelly calls that ratting out. To confess to and apologize for throwing team management under a bus would not have taken any balls...because that would be a lie.

What a stupid reason to hate the Astros. Not for cheating, but for confessing to it when caught. But hate usually isn’t very rational, is it?

Of course, does anyone have to say this again, the Astros spoke under conditions of immunity from punishment. And MLBPA rules shielded them from punishment as well. So they had no financial or other motive for throwing someone else under the bus (which they didn’t do anyway). Wrongly blaming management did not save any Astros player one dollar.

But when your anger confuses your brain like a whirling tornado you can’t remember simple facts.

Kelly seems especially incensed that Alex Cora, his coach on the World Champion 2018 Red Sox, (a team also implicated in cheating) seemed to get special attention in the MLB report on Astros cheating and was later fired by the Red Sox. Apparently Kelly has a special friendship with Cora and has drunk deep of the Cora cool-aid, just as the Astros did in 2017.

He seems to think that Cora was mostly innocent of the cheating. How would he know? Cora told him so, of course. To Kelly, Cora was especially victimized by the Astros players in the official MLB report, which mentioned him several times. Kelly claims that Cora hasn’t explained what happened, “because he is a respectable man,” and that the Astros “lied” about him.

Again, why would they do that? How would they all do that in unison interviewed separately.

For the record, Cora has discussed his role in the sordid affair. He did downplay his and Beltran’s role, while admitting, “We all did it. And let me be very clear that I am not denying my responsibility, because we are all responsible.”

Damn, sounds like Cora’s ratting out the players a bit.

What Kelly seems to be rankled about is that he thinks the Astros engaged in what the CIA, and Nixon during Watergate, called a limited hangout, by supposedly putting it all on management. That is, just tell part of a story, enough salacious detail to inspire interest, and then bury the rest of the scandal. Blame management and deflect attention from the players.

It’s my opinion that it is baseball that is guilty of the limited hangout when they decided to only investigate the Astros. I find it a little hard to believe that the Astros alone were involved in illegal sign-stealing, but regardless, MLB decided to do a limited hangout, and hang the Astros out to take the full responsibility.

That is not to say I am condoning what the Astros did. I have condemned their actions repeatedly. Of course we know about it mainly because they confessed, what Joe Kelly calls ratting, for which he throws at their heads. But it has caused me, and everyone at the TCB staff, to feel ashamed to a degree of our beloved team.

And it is totally understandable that other players and fans across MLB are angered that the Astros players were not personally and directly punished for their actions. The limited power MLB had to do so does not slake their desire for justice.

But I would argue that the Astros have been very sharply punished in ways that hurt more than suspensions. They are forever hated wherever they go. Their reputations will never be restored. They are the new Black Sox, even Jose Altuve, who, like Shoeless Joe Jackson, apparently did not participate in the scandalous behavior. And the team punishment affects the individual players on long term contract. The Astros will probably not be competitive at the same level as they have been with the loss of four top draft picks.

But regardless of whether you think the Astros have been adequately punished or not, hitting Astros in the head with hardballs thrown at high velocity is not justice. It could be deadly, or cause permanent eye or even brain damage. In an earlier column I accused those who believed that Kelly’s actions were heroic to be blinded by hate. Kelly himself, by his unhinged actions, likewise appeared to be blinded by hate.

Now we have his own words to prove it.

Get help Joe.