Red Sox

Joe Kelly still has major bone to pick with sign-stealing Astros players

Red Sox

Joe Kelly isn't done taking aim at the Houston Astros.

The Los Angeles Dodgers reliever recently earned an eight-game suspension (reportedly reduced to five games upon appeal) for throwing at multiple Houston Astros players during the teams' late-July matchup.

And in case you were unclear how Kelly feels about Houston's players stealing signs back in 2017, the former Boston Red Sox pitcher left little doubt during an appearance on teammate Ross Stripling's "Big Swing" podcast.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

"The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense," Kelly told Stripling. "Yes, everyone is involved. But the way that [sign-stealing system] was run over there was not from coaching staff. ... They're not the head boss in charge of that thing. It's the players.

"So now the players get the immunity, and all they do is go snitch like a little b----, and they don't have to get fined, they don't have to lose games."

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, manager A.J. Hinch and bench coach Alex Cora all lost their jobs as a result of Major League Baseball's investigation, while the players were granted immunity and weren't punished.

Kelly believes the players played a central role in the sign-stealing operation, though, and left their bosses out to dry by refusing to take responsibility for their actions.

"When you take someone's livelihood ... to save your own ass, that's what I don't like," Kelly said. "Cheating? They cheated. Everyone knows they're cheaters. They know they're cheaters. It's over. That's been there, done that. But now they mess it up by ruining other people's lives, so they f---ed 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."

Kelly earned a 2018 World Series ring under Cora in Boston and seemed particularly irked by Cora getting punished while his Astros players skated free.

"Maybe they have called [Cora] and said, 'Hey, I'm sorry,' " Kelly said. "... If they had said, '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."

The Dodgers host the Astros for two more games on Sept. 12 and 13. If Kelly's comments are any indication, it sounds like he won't be over this by then.