Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly was suspended eight games after inciting a benches-clearing incident versus the Astros earlier in the week, a team with which Los Angeles has a bit of history, in case you haven't heard.
Kelly's LA teammates are appreciative of what Kelly did, apparently. What better, more red-blooded American way for the Dodgers to support and honor their teammate than with some cold, capitalistic merchandising? That's the plan, at least, with the Dodgers making shirts that feature Kelly's pouty-lipped face.
Ross Stripling on Joe Kelly’s performance last night: “The face that he made is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on a baseball field.”— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) July 29, 2020
Stripling said the #Dodgers will have t-shirts made with Kelly’s face on them.
Kelly attempted to enact some cowboy justice for the Astros' cheating transgressions in 2017, and came close to plunking third baseman Alex Bregman and then Carlos Correa during Tuesday night's game. Kelly struck out Correa for the second out of the inning, mocked Correa and said some mean things, inciting the hubbub.
The ever meme-able, gif-able Kelly pulled off this instant-classic look after striking out Correa, leading to memes internet-wide.
The face may or may not have set off Correa and the Astros, however. Houston manager Dusty Baker maintained that three little words after the strikeout — "Nice swing, b—" — were really what pushed Houston off the deep end. There are plenty of shirts featuring that, too.
The Dodgers aren't the only ones supporting Kelly. The longtime veteran reliever gained support from some current and former players, and from plenty of baseball fans around the internet on Wednesday when they got the hashtags #FreeKelly and #FreeJoeKelly trending.
Makes zero sense Ken. He wasn’t even thrown out of the game. MLB siding with/protecting a team that openly and knowingly cheated their way to a World Series. He doesn’t deserve to be suspended at all. Hoping he wins his appeal. Looking forward to seeing you back out there JK! pic.twitter.com/Lekx8NHLRp— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) July 29, 2020
Whether you believe the suspension is warranted is one thing, but Kelly, a cult figure in baseball, has the support of his Dodgers teammates. While Kelly's look isn't quite Magnum or Blue Steel, it's effective all the same.