Houston Astros: Dusty Baker shouldn’t have been fined for bench incident

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount for his role in the bench-clearing incident against the Dodgers. Why? Let’s talk.

The Houston Astros’ first game of a two-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers had plenty of drama and it was everything that we expected and more.  The only exception is that the Houston Astros fell to Dodgers 5-2 but all that happened in between was great to watch.

This was the first time the teams faced each other a Minute Maid Park since the World Series, to which our team went on to win it in seven games.

As you know, tempers have flared since the tidbits about their sign-stealing scandal were revealed this past January and many teams — if not all — have some sort of animosity toward them because of them being labeled by their detractors as cheaters.

Although Rob Manfred has said in the past that Houston Astros’ players up to bat aren’t sitting ducks for target practice, it has happened with multiple players such as Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel and George Springer among others.

But things got way out of control at the bottom of the 6th when Joe Kelly came in for relief for Brusdar Graterol.  After a pop-out by Jose Altuve, an Alex Bregman walk, and forceout grounded by Michael Brantley, Kelly squared up with Correa.

It’s what happened after Kelly struck Correa out is what the sports world is talking about — he turned to his foe with a pout-lipped, faux-sympathetic smirk on his face and said “nice swing, b&@ch,” which caused quite a stir and both dugouts emptied.  Tempers escalated but not to the point of contact being made.

Kelly had already thrown pitches that were way to close to Correa’s head, especially during a 3-0 count plus tried to trip up Brantley when he was on the way to first base on the forceout so obviously the proverbial punches had been thrown.

Kelly has been suspended eight games for escalating the situation — he will appeal the suspension and is in uniform tonight — and manager Dave Roberts has been suspended one game for enabling his behavior and not keeping him reined in.

But the surprising penalty was that Dusty Baker was fined because all he was doing was trying to back up his player plus keep things de-escalated.

However, in the press conference, he clearly stated where he stood with his team when he said at

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last night’s presser thatwe don’t start nothing … but we don’t take nothing either, you know what I’m saying?

He was doing what any fellow human being would do to help one another and I’m guessing the MLB had to fine somebody on the Houston Astros to make it look like they were sticking it to the Dodgers.

I’m sure this is Manfred’s way of thinking on how to handle this issue so I’m not surprised one bit about the decision.

I can safely assert that the fine is unjust and I’m sure Baker will just pay it, especially if it’s a minute amount.

If this type of strong, disdainful energy is what they’ve already gotten from the Dodgers, you can only imagine what it would’ve been like had the Houston Astros gotten the New York Yankees on the 60-game schedule.  MLB was too scared to schedule it because it’s doubtful that those games would’ve been able to finish.  Too much bad blood!

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By the way, I’m glad baseball is back and let’s all enjoy something we took for granted and appreciated more during the four-month shutdown.

Let’s go ‘Stros!