Boos won’t effect the Red Sox reliever, but don’t throw anything at him.
Bring on the boos at Yankee Stadium, Joe Kelly doesn’t mind. Just don’t hurl anything at him.
According to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com, the Red Sox setup man is ready to hear the worst from Yankee fans, but he hopes his trip to New York doesn’t get out of hand.
"“Maybe I’ll need an umbrella,” Kelly said, via the report. “I hope nothing gets thrown or poured on us.”"
The Red Sox open a three-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx beginning Tuesday night. This is the first time the teams have met since the benches-clearing brawl at Fenway Park on April 11.
The brawl was caused by a dirty slide from Tyler Austin into second base that nearly spiked Brock Holt. After Holt expressed his disapproval to the Yankees first baseman, Kelly intentionally plunked Austin in the arm with a fastball during his next at-bat.
Austin slammed his bat like a child, threw a tantrum and then walked toward Kelly for a confrontation.
However, Kelly was in no mood for conversation. The righty shouted “Let’s go!” The bells rang and the Fenway faithful were treated to a free boxing match, as both benches cleared.
Players were disgusted, coaches spat words at each other and the field was finally cleared after the delay. Kelly was handed a six-game suspension for his actions and Austin was given five games.
Major League Baseball’s chief baseball officer and former Yankees manager Joe Torre denied Kelly’s suspension, and dropped Austin’s suspension from five to four after his appeal. Of course the former Yankees manager played both appeals out that way. Torre helping the Yankees and hurting the Red Sox? Shocker.
Austin doesn’t expect any retaliation nor fireworks between he and Kelly in this series.
"“If I face him,” Austin said Sunday at Yankee Stadium, “I expect it to be a normal at-bat. I don’t expect any more controversy, I should say. So I think it should be business as usual.”"
Kelly expects chirping from fans, but is hopeful fans won’t throw anything at him.
"“I just hope people don’t throw stuff in the bullpen. Say whatever you want and be loud. That’ll be fine,” Kelly said, according to the report. “If I get booed, so what? There are worse things in life.”"
Kelly has a point. The rivalry between the Sox and Yanks is the most lively its been in years. Shout, chant and boo anything that comes to mind. Just don’t turn this into a repeat of the Malice at the Palace.
With both teams battling for first place in the AL East, there should be high intensity, drama and chaos throughout the series. The battle in the Bronx will certainly produce memorable moments, but let’s not create moments for the wrong reasons.