Change — it’s never easy, yet so often in baseball, it’s necessary. Change was definitely necessary for the 2014 Cardinals with the way this season has gone, and I found myself agreeing with Joe Strauss’s use of the words “complacency and entitlement” at the end of his column today.
So, John Mozeliak made changes. Welcome, John Lackey, and goodbye to Allen Craig and Joe Kelly. Allen and Joe are great guys, obviously, who’ve done much for the Cardinals and were definite favorites — I’ve watched Joe since his days with the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2010. But, as fans, we’ll always have our many memories. Here’s a look back to some of those Joe memories in an article I wrote for the 2013 United Cardinal Bloggers publication (still available for only $2.99 at Amazon).
Joe Kelly: Team Clown, Yet Serious On The Mound
Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Joe Kelly?
Is it the post-National Anthem standoff with Scott VanSlyke just before Game Six of the National League Championship Series that garnered him plenty of national attention?
Or the ever-popular gif of his dance moves in the outfield during batting practice?
Maybe the video bomb of him doing the worm behind Shelby Miller’s interview with Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest? The photobombs in the Fox Sports Midwest girls pictures?
Perhaps the letter from his childhood that surfaced this summer, which Joe entertainingly discussed on MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk” during the World Series — the letter in which he predicted he’d be a pitcher when he grew up … and a handsome boy?
Possibly that time he donned an old man mask and interviewed Nelly?
Of course it actually could be his pitching that comes to mind, especially the way Kelly was such a stopper for a stretch midway through the season when he became part of the rotation in early July after losing out to Shelby Miller during a spring training battle for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Because, obviously, were it not for his pitching, we wouldn’t know about Joe Kelly The Entertainer at all.
Joe Kelly The Pitcher does take things seriously when he’s on the mound. At least he appears to take it seriously. No funny faces, no winks to the camera. Just throwing, and throwing hard, with a fastball that averaged 95 mph. And his final numbers for 2013 reflect the seriousness. Continue reading