Trevor Bauer threatened with MLB discipline over ‘Free Joe Kelly’ cleats
Trevor Bauer’s plan to wear a pair of cleats in support of Joe Kelly is off after the league threatened discipline.
Bauer told ESPN’s Jeff Passan that MLB reached out to the Cincinnati Reds and said that the shoes were against league regulations. MLB added that Bauer could be removed from the game or face further discipline for wearing them.
Bauer said he believed that the shoes fell within MLB guidelines. Per league rules, cleats “may contain writings, illustrations, and messages.” However, the league and clubs have the right to reject any design, and wearing any non-approved design in a game could result in discipline.
The Reds pitcher planned to wear the cleats in support of Kelly, who was suspended for five games for throwing at Houston Astros players in July.
The chances of Bauer’s design ever being approved by MLB were always low. The shoes are essentially protesting a suspension the league itself handed down. MLB wasn’t going to do anything that could be seen as endorsing that message.
Even though MLB didn’t approve, Bauer probably would’ve been supported by some of his fellow players had he been able to wear the shoes.