Joe Kelly’s time with Dodgers teammate Ross Stripling and the other guy on Stripling’s “Big Swing Podcast” has gone viral for all the right reasons. The guest spot featured insight on MLB’s process of suspension appeals and where Kelly stands, but it also featured plenty of not-so-family-friendly language when it came to his feelings on the convicted cheaters in Houston.
Of course, the episode came after Joe and the Dodgers got into a bench-clearing altercation in late July. While MLB chose to point the finger squarely at Kelly as the person that escalated things against Astros batter, he confirmed that he too was a victim in the fracas.
A victim of body shaming.
The reliever explained that Houston’s manager wasn’t very nice to him earlier in the inning.
They have a manager on their side, verbatim, yelling at me saying, ‘Get your little skinny ass on the mound.’ So my cuss words get eight games and his cuss words get zero? He’s cussing me at me and he’s body shaming me. He’s a bully. He’s calling me skinny. Imagine if he was calling me fat. I take offense to that. Dusty, that hurts my feelings, you’re calling me skinny. That’s not nice. Don’t do that. That’s not very Major League Baseball-like of you to do that.
Spill the tea, JK.
Fans may remember a moment where Joe was covering first base on a ground out in the inning. In that sequence, Michael Brantley of the Astros stepped on Kelly at the bag and Joe was slow to get back to the mound. Well, Houston manager Dusty Baker took exception and opted to be rude.
And that, for the greater part, seemed to be about the only thing Dusty did. He didn’t stop his team from clearing their bench and approaching the Dodgers’ side of the field amid a pandemic of all times. He also didn’t receive punishment for his role in escalating the situation between two teams with bad blood.
Kelly had his eight game suspension reduced to five after an appeal hearing — a hearing that was, in fact, held back as MLB officials awaited the release of this episode of the podcast. Still, Joe feels the system failed. And he feels strongly about being called skinny.