Major League Baseball should thank the Houston Astros, at least today. Because after relief pitcher Joe Kelly of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw behind Alex Bregman and mocked Carlos Correa, the Astros are back in the spotlight, which means, for the moment, the situation with the Miami Marlins isn't.
And while in a different time, MLB being reminded of a cheating scandal may not have been exactly ideal, the reaction to the Astros certainly put the attention back on the field. Look, I’m not one to celebrate Kelly hurling a 90 something mile per hour fastball near any player’s head, no matter what they did.
I’d be cheating the audience like the Astros did the game if I was that much of a hypocrite considering what I’ve said about that aspect of baseball culture in the past. However, these sort of skirmishes always seem to generate conversation and there was something almost nostalgic about the reaction to it all.
As even if Kelly denied intent, his actions made things contentious.
And I gotta be honest, it felt good to see a little old fashioned sports hate. I mean at this point I had almost forgotten the whole Astros thing even happened.
Right now, baseball should probably be glad it did. Because the signs we’d seen thus far had the MLB season headed for one of Houston's trash cans.
However, at least temporarily, the Dodgers and Joe Kelly put the high heat back on the Astros, and off of commissioner Rob Manfred.