Lance McCullers fires back at Joe Kelly’s Astros criticisms
The war of words between Joe Kelly and Houston Astros players continues unabated.
Kelly recently blasted the Astros in an appearance on “The Big Swing” podcast with teammate Ross Stripling, criticizing Houston’s players for letting coaches take the fall for their sign-stealing system. Kelly said that bothered him more than the cheating itself.
Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. appeared on Jayson Stark’s “Starkville” podcast and criticized Kelly, both for his characterization of the Astros as snitches, and for calling them out despite being a member of the 2018 Boston Red Sox team that was also accused of stealing signs electronically.
McCullers said he and his teammates never asked for immunity, and that MLB offered it from the outset in exchange for honest testimony.
“These (opposing) players have no idea what this investigation was like. They have no idea the lengths that the MLB went to beyond speaking to players.” McCullers told Stark. “Actually, speaking to players was probably the least part of their whole investigation. I can’t go into it because I don’t know how much I am or am not allowed to say. But I’ll say that … the notion that, oh, players negotiated immunity, players then were interviewed and rolled on everyone just to save themselves, isn’t the case. And that’s as much as I can say. That’s not what happened. That’s not how this went down. So if that’s what people are upset about, then I guess we can all move on because that’s not how it happened.”
McCullers also said that the only “snitch” was “the person who spoke to ‘The Athletic,'” a shot at former teammate Mike Fiers.
The Astros pitcher was also critical of Kelly for going after the Astros when he was not a member of the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers team that lost the World Series to Houston, as well as the fact that Kelly’s 2018 Red Sox were also investigated and punished for electronically stealing signs.
“I made the (statement) that Joe wasn’t on that (2017 Dodgers) team (that lost to Houston in the World Series). Joe was actually on a different team that was also investigated for the same thing,” McCullers said of the 2018 Boston team. “And their (video-room operator was) penalized. And he was on that team. So baseball got it right? I don’t know.”
While MLB did find that there were rules violations committed by the 2018 Red Sox, they were less severe than what the 2017 Astros did, and MLB’s report absolved the majority of Boston’s players.
McCullers has openly spoken out against Kelly regarding the Dodgers pitcher’s role in the late July incident between the two teams. He appears ready to continue doing so as long as Kelly keeps speaking out.