Washington Nationals reliever Shawn Kelley didn’t last long with the team after his glove-throwing tantrum. A day after his outburst, Kelley was designated for assignment by the team.
The move came as a surprise. Kelley had been an effective pitcher. And while you would expect a team to discipline a player after that, completely getting rid of Kelley seemed extreme.
We might have an answer for why the Nationals decided to act drastically with Kelley. The reliever reportedly got into a shouting match with general manager Mike Rizzo, according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman.
In the aftermath of that game and scene, the glove-tossing reliever Shawn Kelley and Rizzo staged quite a scene near the team’s clubhouse, and according to onlookers, things got heated between the pair. According to people aware of the incident, Rizzo, apparently quite upset after witnessing the glove-throwing incident, engaged in a shouting match with Kelley before a trio of players got between the GM and reliever.
Kelley’s glove-throwing incident came during a 25-4 blowout win by the Nationals. He was called upon to pitch in the ninth inning of that game and gave up three runs. After allowing a two-run homer, Kelley threw his glove and appeared to glare into the Nats dugout. Kelley claims he was upset about the umpire, but the glare made it look like he was calling out manager Dave Martinez.
The two getting into a shouting match would explain why Rizzo had some harsh words about Kelley the day the team DFA’d the reliever. He told reporters Kelley’s act was a sign of “disrespect” and that it was “selfish.”
While the shouting match may have been the final nail in Kelley’s coffin, Rizzo may have felt it was necessary to send a message with the move. Kelley’s outburst came just after the trade deadline, when Rizzo dealt reliever Brandon Kintzler because he thought Kintzler was leaking clubhouse information. Rizzo wasn’t in the mood to deal with players he believed were contentious, especially with the Nationals struggling in the first half.
Since the altercation, both sides appear to have moved on. Kelley was sent to the Oakland Athletics, where he’ll try to help the team remain in the wild-card race. The Nationals are still looking to get back into the playoff hunt, but the team has played better of late.
– – – – – – –
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Dan Wetzel: Don’t let NCAA fool you with its rule changes
• LeBron shows off Lakers uniform while giving Kobe a shoe shoutout
• Ump pulls giant bug out of ear during MLB game
• Terez Paylor: Bears bring ‘fun-n-gun’ offense to NFL