Joe Kelly's eight-game suspension for throwing at the Houston Astros on Tuesday caused outrage.
How could the Los Angeles Dodgers reliever be held out of more games than any member of the team that electronically stole signs on its way to a World Series?
Major League Baseball granted members of the Astros and Boston Red Sox, involved in their own electronic scheme in 2018 (the year they won the World Series), immunity during their investigations. That acquiescence had a twofold purpose: to gain the truth, but any player punishments would have likely been challenged by the Players Association.
No more. According to a document obtained by The Athletic, Manfred and the league now have the power to issue suspensions for electronic sign stealing, per an agreement between MLB and the Players Association. Appeals will go to an independent arbitrator, rather than Manfred's office.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrates with left fielder Yordan Alvarez in a game in 2019. (Photo: Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports)
Additionally, the memo institutes strict rules teams must abide by this season. Video replay rooms are to remain on lockdown during games, and MLB has hired a security firm to watch clubhouses and entrances to video replay rooms.
Televisions in the clubhouse must either show a view of the field in which signs aren't visible or is on a 15-second delay, per The Athletic. Handheld cameras in the stands in possession of any team employee is prohibited.
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