Whether you think Joe Kelly’s contract is worthwhile for the Los Angeles Dodgers from a performance standpoint, it doesn’t really matter.
Because he’s earned every penny with his energy and trash talk. And you never know … he could return to form after injuries have derailed him the last two years.
He’s allowed an earned run just once in his last eight appearances. Maybe he’s starting to find his groove.
But more importantly, back to the trash talk.
You’ve heard him hurl barbs at the Houston Astros, which he did last year and this year, but that’s old news. The Dodgers have bigger fish to fry in their own division. They don’t have to worry about the Astros again until the World Series.
Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly doesn’t seem to think there’s a rivalry with the Padres.
Those are some serious shots especially with the Dodgers down 3-5 in the series so far in 2021. At the same time, though, he has a point. LA has arguably been the best team in MLB over the last decade in terms of consistency and the Padres have done absolutely nothing.
It’ll become a rivalry once San Diego is able to dethrone the Dodgers in some way, whether it’s actually winning the NL West or knocking them out of the postseason. The Pads are no doubt a talented team, but how many times have we seen a scenario similar to theirs in MLB?
An aggressive general manager goes out and signs/trades for a bunch of big names in an effort to make some noise and shake things up. Sometimes it works. Most times it fails. The Padres don’t look like they’ll fail, but they’ll need to do something in order to make this a “thing.”
Leave it to Kelly, though, to say those words at this juncture. The Pads’ last two games against the Dodgers before his comments were a convincing 6-2 win after they knocked around Julio Urias on Monday night and an epic six-run comeback on Sunday Night Baseball to win in extras and steal the four-game series at Dodger Stadium back in late April.
The right-hander doesn’t care when or where. He’s speaking his mind even if it causes tensions to rise. Now he’ll have to deal with the Petco Park crowd, but something tells us he won’t really be fazed by that.