MLB Issues Suspensions for Bench-Clearing Incident in Houston

(Photo: Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle/Staff photographer)

After Tuesday evening’s bench-clearing incident in Houston, Major League Baseball has issued several suspensions which will affect the Dodgers as early as Wednesday’s finale.

Joe Kelly has been suspended for eight games for his involvement in the incident. The right-handed reliever is appealing the ruling and will be available to throw out of the bullpen Wednesday.

Los Angeles Manager Dave Roberts was issued a one game suspension. He decided to serve  the punishment immediately and will miss Wednesday’s finale. Bench Coach Bob Geren will serve as manager in Roberts’ absence.

Houston skipper Dusty Baker was issued an undisclosed fine.

According to Ken Gurnick of, Roberts said that MLB officials “weren’t pleased” with players and staff not observing distancing protocols during Tuesday night’s incident.

Both benches cleared after Kelly struck out Carlos Correa for the final out of the sixth inning. Consequently, Kelly apparently mocked the shortstop on his trip back to the Dodger Dugout. Three batters prior, Kelly threw a 96 MPH fastball behind the head of third baseman Alex Bregman, causing the pre-existing tensions between the two squads to escalate.

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reported on Wednesday morning that what enraged Baker’s players was when Kelly told Correa, “Nice swing, bitch,” upon striking him out.

Nightengale added that Baker doesn’t expect any retaliation on Wednesday by the Astros.

“Probably not. I don’t have a crystal ball. How do I know? We didn’t start it last night,” Baker said to Nightengale.

According to ESPN, the MLB, in reaching its conclusion, cited that Kelly had previously been suspended for “intentional throwing” at a hitter. Kelly was suspended for six games in April 2018 after hitting Tyler Austin of the Yankees.

Kelly was not a member of the Dodgers when the initial sign stealing incidents took place during the 2017 World Series.

Gurnick added that Roberts believed the incident released some tensions after a buildup since January. He also reported that Roberts had a brief discussion with his team about leaving the bench, stating that “if Houston retaliates (on Wednesday), he believes the umpires will handle it.”


9 thoughts on “MLB Issues Suspensions for Bench-Clearing Incident in Houston

  1. MLB just made it very clear that cheating is ok and will be swept under the rug and given immunity but throwing at a batter in retaliation for said cheating will be given “example” suspensions. They made an example of Joe Kelly, plain and simple. MLB wants the cheating scandal and their complete non-action against it to disappear so they don’t get bad press and that can’t happen if the players still take offense to what Houston did on the field. Plain and simple it’s a Nazi style cover-up.


      1. He was very impressive tonight. No reason to just pick on Barnes.The entire offense sucked with men in scoring position including Turner who left 3 runners on base and popped out on the first pitch with runners at 1st and 3rd in the 11th inning. Seager twice failed to move the runner over in extra’s when he was the first hitter up. Learn to bunt, or take the ball the other way.


    1. You sure have it in for Barnes Yet the top of the lineup went a combined 3-30, including the 6 hitter Taylor. Only Seager’s homer in the second, a scratch single by Muncy in the 9th and Betts double in the 11th. But behind the plate, Barnes defense saved numerous balls in the dirt. Hey, it is ok to rag on the guy, but you picked on the wrong player this game.


  2. Nice job by the pen. Santana was very impressive and the kid pitched in a very high pressure situation. MLBPA has petitioned the league to keep the 30 man roster the entire season due to the uncertainty of the virus. Makes sense to me. 4 more Marlins came down with it. Guess who leads the Dodgers in hitting??? Gee, AJ Pollock. Got a pinch hit double for Beaty last night. Geren is 2-0 when managing the Dodgers! Fire Roberts! Kelly appealed his suspension, so is available until a decision is made. Punishment was totally unjustified.


    1. At this rate, Pollock might work himself into consideration for NL Player of the Week honors. Let’s see what he can do this weekend at a park that is historically hitter-friendly. With the DH in effect, there’s pretty much no reason not to play him, especially considering how hot he is at the dish.

      Liked by 1 person

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