Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly says 2018 Red Sox would have won the World Series in four if they were cheating.
Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly has been making his way into the headlines lately.
After a video went viral earlier this week of him breaking a window while practicing his change-up in his backyard, the former Red Sox had strong words to say about the pending investigation of the 2018 club that beat the Dodgers in the World Series.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred recently said the investigation on whether the Red Sox illegally stole signs during their most recent championship season is complete, but there’s been a delay in writing the final report due to the distraction created by the coronavirus.
Kelly called the investigation and lag in releasing the results a “debacle” and dismissed the idea that the Red Sox did anything to give them an unfair advantage in 2018, saying they would have swept through the playoffs and beaten the Dodgers in four games in the World Series had they cheated.
“If there is cheating involved with how good our team was, we should have won every single out,” Kelly said with Mike Mutnansky on WEEI’s replay of Game 3 of the 2018 World Series. “We should have not even lost an inning if there was some good cheating involved, which would have been a lot more fun because we would have won [the World Series] in four. We would have swept through the playoffs and made it really, really fast and been able to go to Hawaii or go to Mexico and go on vacation a lot sooner than we did.”
The Anaheim native had a pedestrian 4.39 ERA out of the bullpen for the Sox during the regular season leading up to their championship run. He saved his best work for the postseason, where he allowed only one earned run in 11.1 innings of work. In the World Series against the Dodgers, he appeared in all five games, striking out ten of the 22 batters he faced and didn’t allow a single run.
Kelly is the second player this week to express frustration about the MLB’s investigation into the Sox. 2018 World Series MVP Steve Pierce, who also announced his retirement, called the investigation a “joke.”
Boston beat the Dodgers in five games in 2018, so Kelly’s prediction of a sweep had they been cheating doesn’t change the results too much. But as a player who now plays in Los Angeles for a franchise that has been victimized by the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal in 2017, and possibly impacted again, this time, by the Red Sox in 2018, his comments come off a little tone deaf.
That said, if he truly believes the team didn’t do anything wrong, as a competitive athlete who reached his apex during the 2018 postseason, I could see why he doesn’t want a lingering investigation tainting what he accomplished with his team.