The Los Angeles Dodgers reliever saw his eight-game suspension for throwing at Astros batters reduced to five Wednesday. Before he appealed, he made an appearance on teammate Ross Stripling's "Big Swing Podcast" where he sounded off on the lack of punishment that Houston players received for stealing signs during the 2017 season.
"The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense," Kelly said. "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."
Players received immunity from Major League Baseball during the investigation into the sign-stealing allegations over the winter, as commissioner Rob Manfred assured no player would be punished. Instead, former Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and skipper AJ Hinch were suspended for one year and subsequently fired.
The Boston Red Sox parted ways with manager Alex Cora as well since he was an Astros bench coach at the time of the cheating and was involved with its implementation. Kelly played under Cora in Boston and said it was unfair that he was punished when the players weren't.
"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 argued his punishment for throwing near Astros players was unfounded, especially compared to the six-game suspension he received for getting into a brawl with former New York Yankees infielder Tyler Austin. When asked what he thinks would have happened had he actually hit Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, he referenced one of baseball's greatest pariahs.
"I'd be banned from baseball. It'd be me and Pete Rose. I'd be doing a podcast with Pete Rose right now."