Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was suspended for eight games after triggering a bench-clearing incident earlier this week against the Astros, a team with which Los Angeles has a bit of history, in case you haven’t heard.
Kelly’s teammates in LA apparently appreciate what Kelly has done. What better, more red-blooded American way for the Dodgers to support and honor their teammate than with some cold, capitalist merchandising? At least that’s the plan with the Dodgers making shirts with Kelly’s pouty face.
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Ross Stripling about Joe Kelly’s performance last night: “The face he made is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on a baseball field.”
Stripling said the #Dodgers will have made t-shirts with Kelly’s face on them.
– Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) July 29, 2020
Kelly attempted to do some cowboy justice in 2017 for the Astros’ foul offenses and came close to plundering third baseman Alex Bregman and then Carlos Correa during Tuesday-evening’s game. Kelly retired Correa for the second out of the inning, taunted Correa, and said a few mean things that raised the buzz.
The ever-meme-capable, gif-able Kelly pulled off this instant classic look after taking out Correa, which led to memes on the internet.
The face may or may not have caused Correa and the Astros. Houston manager Dusty Baker insisted that three little words after the strikeout – “Nice swing, b—” – were really what pushed Houston off the deep end. There are also plenty of shirts.
The Dodgers aren’t the only ones who support Kelly. The longtime veteran reliever received support from a number of current and former players and many online baseball fans on Wednesday when they got the hashtags #FreeKelly and #FreeJoeKelly trending.
No sense Ken. He was not even thrown out of the game. MLB chooses / protects a team that openly and knowingly makes its way to a World Series. He doesn’t deserve to be suspended at all. Hoping to win his job. I look forward to seeing you again JK! pic.twitter.com/Lekx8NHLRp
– Marcus Stroman (@ STR0) July 29, 2020
Whether you believe the suspension is justified is one thing, but Kelly, a baseball cult figure, has the support of his Dodgers teammates. While Kelly’s look isn’t quite Magnum or Blue Steel, it’s still effective.