Major League Baseball has issued Trevor Bauer a warning: Do not wear “Free Joe Kelly” cleats unless you want to be punished.
The Cincinnati Reds starter has been told he could be subject to discipline should he don cleats bearing the phrase in question, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Kelly, as you likely know, is serving a five-game suspension for throwing at and taunting Astros players during the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over Houston on July 29.
The phrase “Free Joe Kelly” is printed on one shoe, and an illustration of a pouty Kelly is on the other.
Kelly initially was handed an eight-game suspension, the equivalent to a 22-game suspension in a typical 162-game season. And even though it’s been reduced, some players (like Bauer) still aren’t happy with the decision.
Bauer could be removed from the game should he wear the cleats on field, per Passan’s report. MLB reportedly told the Reds his footwear violated an agreement made between the league and the Players’ Association which gives the league and clubs “discretionary rights to deny any proposed design.”
Umpires could eject Bauer if they see him wearing the shoes.