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What I Learned – Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly is MLB’s premier instigator

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Joe Kelly can’t stop hitting peopleThere was certain to be some bad blood brewing when the Astros hosted the Dodgers this week, but Los Angeles reliever Joe Kelly rose tensions to a whole other level on Tuesday night.Kelly nearly hit Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the head in the sixth inning on Tuesday, and the true fireworks came after Kelly struck out Correa. Both benches emptied to a degree after Kelly fanned—and subsequently taunted—Correa, leading to as close to a fight as you’ll see in the social distancing era. Perhaps we’ll see more bad blood on Wednesday.Tuesday night didn’t mark Kelly’s first moment of controversy. The righthander incited a brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox in 2018 after he hit New York DH Tyler Austin. Kelly’s reputation as the game’s biggest pest is no secret.The ethics of throwing at players is murky, and Kelly was certainly out of line for brining his pitch against Bregman up near the helmet. But it’s hard to see Kelly having  significant remorse over Tuesday night’s incident. The reliever is now public enemy No. 1 in Houston, a role he’ll likely embrace in 2020. Kelly is far from being one of baseball’s best pitchers. But he’s unmatched as an instigator. The best of SINFL players shouldn’t be criticized for prioritizing their health amid the COVID-19 crisis. … Veteran referee Wes McCauley details his unique experience in the NHL bubble. … Lou Williams’s trip to Magic City could prove costly to the Clippers.Around the sports worldPatriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower is the latest player to opt out of the 2020 season. … Sylvia Fowles is the WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder. … Eric Gordon will likely miss a week after injuring his ankle in a scrimmage. … . The Pelicans and Jazz plan to kneel together during the national anthem on Thursday.Nice gesture from the TwinsLook out, LukaTom Brady is fired upAnthony Rendon gets comfortableGood luck, Austin RiversNot sports18 former Deadspin staffers will launch the site Defector. … Ozark and Succession led the Emmy nominations on Tuesday. … Three nations are racing to Mars with separate missions this summer. …CNN and Food Network cofounder Maurice (Reese) Schonfeld died at 88.A good songEmail dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.

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