USA Today Sports

Joe Kelly: MLB officials have been checking on cheating

Rob Bradford
October 21, 2018 - 8:24 am

The Houston Astros' excuse for why they sent a person affiliated with the organization next to the Red Sox dugout in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series -- suggesting they were trying to catch the Red Sox cheating -- is made to look even worse considering the protocol Major League Baseball had already evidently put into play.

Why take it upon yourselves to police any cheating suspicions when MLB was already evidently on the case?

Speaking on WEEI with Rob Bradford and Alex Reimer Saturday, Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly detailed how the presence of MLB officials monitoring potential suspect behavior throughout the postseason has been extremely noticeable.

"There’s always fishy stuff here and there. I think it’s great Major League Baseball is trying to do the best that they can at this moment," Kelly said. "They might be making changes in the offseason. But I think it’s great that there have been people in the clubhouse from Pitch 1 to Pitch Whatever, guys that I haven’t seen who are MLB credentialed, officials. There’s one in the video room. I mean there was a guy in our bullpen the whole series in Houston sitting right behind us the whole entire game, every single pitch. Obviously he went to the bathroom. But there was an MLB official sitting in our bullpen the whole game just to make sure we aren’t doing anything in the bullpen, which I think is a little much. But they’re taking the initiative. MLB has heard this stuff. Players have heard this stuff. Teams have heard this stuff. And MLB is doing the best they can to make sure none of this fishy stuff goes on. So I’ve seen it throughout the playoffs. There has been some truth to some of this stuff or MLB wouldn’t be stepping in and trying to keep eyes on everything that is going on.

"MLB has done their job placing multiple personnel wherever there is an outlet or where there is fishy stuff to be done. Before any of this happened MLB was doing this before the end of the year, before the playoffs even started. Not to the extent of having a guy in the bullpen or a guy everywhere. There were times throughout the year where you would see randomly an MLB guy walk through the clubhouse, not stay there the whole time, and I assume that was going on with every team. I just think they were trying to clean up … Technology is so crazy nowadays, I just think they are trying to take the initiative to make everything a fair playing field."

Following the report in the Boston Metro initially surfacing the Astros' clandestine maneuvers, MLB released the following statement:

"Before the Postseason began, a number of Clubs called the Commissioner's Office about sign stealing and the inappropriate use of video equipment. The concerns expressed related to a number of Clubs, not any one specific Club. In response to these calls, the Commissioner's Office reinforced the existing rules with all playoff Clubs and undertook proactive measures, including instituting a new prohibition on the use of certain in-stadium cameras, increasing the presence of operations and security personnel from Major League Baseball at all Postseason games and instituting a program of monitoring Club video rooms.

 "With respect to both incidents regarding a Houston Astros employee, security identified an issue, addressed it and turned the matter over to the Department of Investigations. A thorough investigation concluded that an Astros employee was monitoring the field to ensure that the opposing Club was not violating any rules. All Clubs remaining in the playoffs have been notified to refrain from these types of efforts and to direct complaints about any in-stadium rules violations to MLB staff for investigation and resolution. We consider the matter closed."

Related: