Former Boston Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly recently gave his thoughts on the ongoing investigation into the 2018 World Series winning squad.
As another day goes by, Red Sox Nation has to continue waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. The investigation that began in January still has yet to deliver any findings and we’re mid-way through April. To put things into perspective, the MLB’s look into Boston’s 2018 championship season has lasted longer than their investigation of the Houston Astros.
It’s taken the league longer to complete an investigation into a team that may or may not have used an MLB provided replay room improperly than it did for them to figure out the Astros had been cheating for years. As a member of Red Sox Nation and someone that writes about this team daily, nothing has gotten my blood pressure spiked more than this investigation.
Throughout the entire offseason, we’ve seen numerous members of the Red Sox step up and deny the allegations, something we didn’t see from the Astros AT ALL. From J.D. Martinez and Andrew Benintendi to recently retired former infielder Steve Pearce, Boston’s stars have been shutting this thing down from day one. Now we can add Joe Kelly‘s name to the list of naysayers.
Per Rob Bradford of WEEI, Fightin’ Joe recently visited Mike Mutnansky of WEEI as the station was replaying Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, and the topic came up. Kelly will forever be loved by Red Sox Nation not only for what he did on the mound but also for his ride or die mentality for this team. His fight against Tyler Austin in 2018 was a spark and a shot in the arm for the team to dominate that year.
Even though he’s a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers now, he still received a fantastic ovation from the Fenway Faithful upon his return last season. Kelly gave his all while in Boston and more than earned the World Series ring on his finger and the adoration of Red Sox Nation. He also didn’t mince words when speaking on the investigation and shared the same sentiment as his former teammates.
"“The whole thing is a debacle to me,” Kelly said when appearing with Mike Mutnansky on WEEI’s replay of Game 3 of the 2018 World Series. “Now sitting at this point with no baseball being played and no results on an investigation, I just feel like was I dreaming? Is there actually an investigation? It’s like the Boogeyman series, what’s the deal with this thing?”"
Kelly is far from the first member of the 2018 Red Sox to speak out against Commissioner Manfred’s investigation, and I doubt he’ll be the last. I have been incredibly critical of the commissioner during this entire mess and will continue to do so. Yes, there is something far larger than all of us taking over the world right now, but this is something that should’ve been completed far before we got to this point.
Then to come out recently and say the investigation is completed but simply needs to be typed up and that there isn’t enough time to do that is laughable. There is no way that Manfred is working 24 hours a day, he can find an hour to get his findings wrapped up with a nice little bow.
By prolonging this entire thing he basically held the Red Sox hostage and you can’t tell me the looming result didn’t play some part in the organization’s offseason, because it did.
Even with Kelly being a member of the Dodgers and having been removed from Boston for a full season, he’s still very much a member of Red Sox Nation. He played a massive part in that World Series squad that added their fourth banner since 2004 to Fenway Park. A season that saw the fireballer fluctuate with each outing also saw him lock-in and become unhittable in October.
I was one of many that clamored for the Red Sox to re-sign Kelly during the offseason ahead of last season, unfortunately, they short-changed him on an offer and he made his way to Hollywood. When LA made their way back to Boston in a World Series rematch in 2019, Kelly was met with nothing but cheers and fanfare, he’ll always be one of us.
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While talking with Mutnansky, he brought up a great point, if the Red Sox were cheating so heavily, why didn’t they win more games? Yeah, they set a franchise record with 108 wins in 2018, but if they were doing things behind the scenes then why weren’t they able to run that win total more? Why didn’t they then alter their nefarious scheme once the replay rooms were monitored in the postseason to sweep the playoffs?
"“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 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.”"
I’m remaining as positive as I can be with this entire situation. If there was some seriously damning evidence then we would’ve had the results by now. Players would’ve talked and the dirty laundry would be out there for everyone to see.
With things still pretty silent on the league’s front, I just can’t imagine that they have some massive case against the Red Sox. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But at this point, it feels like Manfred is chasing a ghost that isn’t there.
As far as Joe Kelly is concerned, barring a move to the Bronx, he’ll always be a fan favorite to the Fenway Faithful. He more than lived up to expectations when he was traded from the Cardinals and entrenched himself with this organization. Jimmy B will always have his place in Red Sox history and in the hearts of the Nation.