L.A. Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly has never been one to mince his words, and in a recent appearance on teammate Ross Stripling's Big Swing podcast, he tore into the Houston Astros, calling them "cheaters," "snitches," and "little bitches" when reflecting on the sign-stealing scandal that rocked baseball.
During the interview——which was recorded just after he got hit with an 8-game suspension for inciting a bench-clearing brawl with the Astros after throwing a ball at the head of third baseman Alex Bregman and then taunting shortstop Carlos Correa—Kelly expressed why he felt the Astros players were the most guilty in the scandal, yet punished the least.
"The people who took the fall for what happened is nonsense," he 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 bitch, and they don't have to get fined, they don't have to lose games."
Kelly went on to express empathy for the Astros front office and coaching staff who took most of the heat for the scandal, with several being suspended or fired.
"When you take someone's livelihood ... to save your own ass, that's what I don't like," Kelly continued. "Cheating? They cheated. Everyone knows they're cheaters. They know they're cheaters. It's over. That's been there, done that. But now they mess it up by ruining other people's lives, so they fucked it up twice. ... 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 pitched under coach Alex Cora while playing with the Boston Red Sox, and since Cora was one of the coaches who got penalized, Kelly defended him.
"Maybe they have called [Cora] and said, 'Hey, I'm sorry.' Or called Luhnow and said, 'Hey, I'm sorry.' Or called Hinch, and Beltran. If they had said, 'Hey, I'm super-scared, I didn't know what to do, I didn't want to lose money, I had to rat.' Grow a pair of balls and say that," he said.
You can listen to the entire episode of the Big Swing podcast here.