Yes, other teams still don’t like Astros very much.
Baseball did indeed return on Tuesday in Houston with the first sweep on the bench, which included the usual biting and posing, but did not throw any blows.
It was the first game between the Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers since it was discovered that Houston had stolen signs using an illegal video stream and reported them to the slaughters by hammering them into a garbage can. This scheme was used in the 2017 World Series, which the Astros won the Dodgers in seven games, which gave Los Angeles an additional incentive to restrain.
“I think it’s a pretty safe assumption that if they hadn’t cheated, we would have won the World Series,” said spring pitcher Alex Wood.
In the sixth inning, the Dodgers were ahead 5-2, and their stopper Joe Kelly was on the mound. He seemed to have control problems and fell behind Alex Bregman, 3-0, with very poor innings. Pitch four was the worst, fastball that flew behind Bregman’s head. Bregman bent sharply to avoid this, but it was an obvious bullet four.
The tension was in the air after the field, but the players remained on the benches. Kelly’s previous savagery may have benefited him from doubt, and he noted that the field may be unintentional.
It was a little harder to name the next one unintentionally. After grounding and another walk, Kelly rushed high and inside again to Carlos Correa, who also had to bend out of the way. There were some looks, but the at-bat continued, and Korea came to naught.
Then the constriction really lit up, and Kelly was seen making a face on Correa. Astros later said he said “Good swing” after the strike.
Finally, the teams could not resist and poured on the field. No blows or blows were seen, but there was a lot of arguing and shouting when dozens of players and coaches came on the field.
At the center of the action was Astros manager Dusty Baker, who did not give him a mask to prevent him from giving an extended corner of the mind to the judges. “The balls sometimes go away, but not so much in the big leagues,” Baker told reporters after the game.
While some of those in the scrum wore masks, most did not, and efforts took place at distances far from social. Health and safety protocols for this season state, “Players must not come into contact with other people for any reason unless it occurs in normal and permissible gaming activities,” and players have at least crossed that line.
Things calmed down after the confrontation, and the game ended, 5-2, for the Dodgers.
Kelly was in the Boston Red Sox in 2017, not the Dodgers, but he is known as something of a fighting player. After the game, he refused to throw any Astros player and said that his facial expressions were just an imitation of Korea.
While the Astros suffered fines and lost regular voters due to a fraud scandal, and their manager AJ Hinch and CEO Jeff Lunov were fired after the fraud was exposed, many in the league would like to see even harsher penalties. Perhaps few have decided to decide for themselves these punishments through internal or two steps.
Teams other than the Dodgers have expressed dissatisfaction with Houston over the fraud scandal. It is possible that Tuesday’s tailcoats are not the last in this short season.