Joe Kelly has only played three seasons for the Dodgers thus far. In those three years, the quirky Kelly quickly became a Dodgers fan favorite. The reliever explained his approach to the game, and the media that covers it, in an appearance on AM570’s Dodger Talk.
“Baseball has a stigma of ‘Yes sir. No sir.’ Giving the boring answers. Not giving details about an injury. I’ve always been myself. It’s got me into trouble, it’s got me out of trouble. Being organic is what people want to see. I happen to be a regular person like everybody else.”
Kelly has a few memorable moments in Dodger blue, but two in particular, really standout.
First, it was his infamous heckling of Houston shortstop Carlos Correa in 2020 in the wake of the Asterisks sign-stealing scandal. Kelly became a hero for intentionally or not, throwing at Correa, striking him out, and then talking trash on his way to the Dodgers dugout. The exchange was immortalized on the internet.
This one did get Kelly in trouble. MLB suspended him for eight games, but the reliever appealed the suspension down to five games.
Second, Kelly sported a mariachi jacket for the Dodgers championship visit to the White House last summer. Kelly had acquired the jacket via a trade with a mariachi band member whose group was at Dodger Stadium at the bequest of closer Kenley Jansen.
Joe Kelly is wearing the jacket of a Mariachi band member with whom he swapped a jersey with in LA…
Joe is at the White House.
Joe is a damn legend. pic.twitter.com/iXvUKB2Jxr
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) July 2, 2021
Kelly also revealed during the interview that there’s “mutual” interest in the reliever returning to LA.
On the field, Kelly posted a 2.86 ERA in 44 IP last year. He missed the entirety of April due to a shoulder injury and left Game 5 of the 2021 NLCS with a bicep injury.
If the ever-vibrant Kelly does re-sign with the Dodgers, the reliever says he’ll “definitely” be ready for Opening Day.
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