MLB schedule release
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Baseball insiders don’t think the game is back until at least May

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Yesterday Major League Baseball said that the start of the 2020 season would be delayed “at least two weeks.”

Emphasis on the “at least.”

This morning Jeff Passan reported that an Opening Day of April 9 — two weeks after the originally scheduled March 26 Opening Day — is highly unlikely. Passan, on TV this morning, after being asked if April 9 was likely:

“From everybody that I speak to, players, executives, officials, people at the union, the answer is no. And if there is baseball on April 9, something went really, really well across the country . . .  the expectation at this point among almost everybody, is that we’re not going to see baseball until May.”

Passan correctly noted, however, that things can turn on a dime. Indeed, at dinnertime on Wednesday everything was proceeding as normal. Before we went to bed an NBA player tested positive for coronavirus, the NBA canceled it season and all Hell was breaking loose. As Passan said, “the news cycle here and the decision-making matrix is moving so quickly that the idea that we know what’s going on two hours from now, let alone two weeks from now, just is not the case.”

 

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.

“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re disappointed by the decision,” the union said. “It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented.”

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty that was first reported by Barstool Sports.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.