Joe Kelly appeal bodes well for Ramon Laureano
By David Hill
As Ramon Laureano waits to have his appeal heard, the Oakland A’s outfielder may have received welcome news with Joe Kelly’s own suspension.
Over the last few weeks, Joe Kelly and Ramon Laureano have become fan favorites for their interactions with the Houston Astros. Kelly threw at several Astros hitters before mocking Carlos Correa following a strikeout, prompting a benches clearing incident. Laureano charged the Astros dugout after jawing with hitting coach Alex Cintron following the third time the Oakland A’s outfielder was hit by a pitch.
Naturally, both players were suspended. Kelly received an eight game ban, while Laureano was suspended for six games. Both players appealed that decision, hoping to get that time frame reduced.
On Wednesday, Kelly received the results of his appeal. His eight game suspension was decreased to five games, a significant reduction for the Dodgers’ reliever. The previously mentioned concerns over Kelly being a repeat offender did not have as much weight through the appeal process.
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Laureano, meanwhile, has a different scenario than Kelly. He had been hit three times in the series, including twice on Sunday. Cintron had definitely provoked Laureano prior to his charging the Astros’ dugout, including his making an aggressive move towards the A’s outfielder before hiding behind the players. His 20 game suspension certainly shows how seriously the league took his actions.
Yes, Laureano’s actions were the manifestation of MLB’s biggest fear – that a benches clearing incident and fighting would happen during the pandemic. But the fact that he was clearly goaded, and does not have a history of disciplinary action, needs to be factored in.
Based on the reduction of Kelly’s suspension, Laureano is likely looking at getting back for the A’s sooner. His appeal still needs to be heard, and then there will be a couple of days until a determination is made. But it would not be a surprise to see Laureano’s suspension reduced to four games due to his appeal.
The reduction of Joe Kelly’s suspension is a good sign for Ramon Laureano. Considering that he did not have a history of requiring disciplinary action prior to Sunday, there is a good chance that he will be back sooner than anticipated.