USA Today Sports

Joe Kelly hoping to hear loud noises at Yankee Stadium

Rob Bradford
May 07, 2018 - 12:16 pm

NEW YORK -- The question to Joe Kelly was just a bit outside the box: "Have you ever been booed by any other crowd other than your own?"

It seemed like a fair inquiry considering pitchers, particularly relievers, don't stir the emotion of the opposition's fans like some others. And certainly few have put themselves in the position Kelly finds himself as the Red Sox head into Yankee Stadium Tuesday night, having been in at the epicenter his team's April 11 brawl with New York.

"Yes, I have been booed," Kelly said in between chuckles. "Dodger Stadium after I broke Hanley Ramirez’s ribs. Every time I would go there they would have some guy saying they were going to stab me. They wanted to legit kill me. On the internet. There. People telling me when they see me in the streets of LA."

The incident Kelly referenced came during the 2013 postseason when the pitcher broke Ramirez's ribs, helping alter the National League Championship Series between the pitcher's Cardinals and the Dodgers, who the hitter was playing for at the time.

So, having been the one who lit the fuse to the latest animosity between the feud between the Red Sox and Yankees thanks to a 97 mph fastball to Tyler Austin's ribs, what is Kelly expecting upon his arrival in the Bronx this time around?

"It will probably be loud and I like loud. Hopefully it gets loud. I like a lot of noises. It gets my blood going," Kelly said. "It makes me laugh. It’s so much fun. I love it. We’ll see."

The fallout from the brawl is one of the storylines for the upcoming three-game series, which, as Kelly notes, has a different feel than some of the other semi-manufactured showdowns between the teams. It's a notion that is backed up by the fact that this will mark the first time the two clubs play each other with the two best records in Major League Baseball since June 2, 2002 (according to Elias Sports).

"That’s good for local fans. I think it’s good fans nationwide. As a player you want all eyes on as many games as possible," Kelly said. "If the Red Sox and Yankees rivalry can turn into Monday Night Football — which it never will — if you can get ratings like that it will be awesome. I think it’s better for the game. It grows the game. It’s good for future players. Future owners. The future of baseball. I think it’s awesome. It’s good that it’s back and it’s good that two good teams are going up against each other. Hopefully we’ll be fighting throughout the whole season, metaphorically. It’s going to be a fun series."