No Respect

Should Nationals pitcher Shawn Kelley earn a lifetime ban from baseball? Let's debate

August 1, 2018
Shawn Kelley
Icon Sportswire

On Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals absolutely pummeled the New York Mets by the score of 25-4, handing the Mets the worst loss in franchise history and putting the entire organization's ass in the jackpot. The Mets pitched Jose Reyes, who beaned Nats first baseman Ryan Zimmerman with a vicious 54-MPH ... curveball(?), to which Zimmerman jokingly pretended to charge the mound, further embarrassing the Mess that is the Mets.

Apparently, we've all gotten fatigue from making fun of the Mets futility, because somehow, it's the Nationals, who, remember, won the game 25-4, that are grabbing all the headlines on Wednesday, and not for winning by 21 runs. Why is that, you ask? Well, Nationals pitcher Shawn Kelley was designated for assignment on Wednesday for what the team's GM Mike Rizzo called a "disrespectful" and "selfish" act. Let's have a look at what he was referring to:

Upon first viewing, most level-headed folks would say "why is he throwing his glove down? who cares, they're still up 20+ runs. Weird move." and you'd be right. It is an odd move, but with a little further examination, Kelley can be seen immediately staring toward the dugout, which some have implied his way of "showing up" manager Dave Martinez, who put Kelley in with a 24-run lead. Kelley, who has had a strong year, especially of late, may have felt it was disrespectful to him to even be put in the game. These are both fine opinions to hold.

Just kidding, you must only have ONE opinion in 2018, and you MUST defend it to the death. Take for example that Braves broadcaster who ripped the Dodgers to shreds for wearing whatever they wanted during batting practice last week:

Honestly, the conviction in Joe Simpson's voice makes his case a strong one, despite it being extremely over-the-top and even more extremely wrong. He most definitely thinks Shawn Kelley should have been DFA'd, and possibly banned from the sport entirely. His rant, and now the Kelley situation gave us a fun idea to have a debate between an OLD BASEBALL CURMUDGEON and a DISRESPECTFUL MILLENNIAL BASEBALL NERD about this whole thing. Let's dive in.

First off, with a 25-1 lead, should manager Dave Martinez put Shawn Kelley, who has been one of Washington's most reliable pitchers of late, in the game? Couldn't that spot be better served for a struggling reliever in need of some work?

OLD BASEBALL CURMUDGEON

The manager, NOT THE GM, calls the shots, and what he says goes. How dare Shawn Kelley even think a 24-run lead wasn't worth his time. Every pitch matters, and when the manager rings the bullpen and calls for you to get up, you get up with a smile on your face. Back in my day, Billy Martin would have had a field day with this disrespectful clown. You know, he called out Reggie Jackson that one time.

DISRESPECTFUL MILLENNIAL BASEBALL NERD

Are you serious? The only guy getting disrespected here is Kelley, who, in 35 innings pitched this year, was 1-0 with a 3.34 ERA and 0.96 WHIP !! This was a waste of his time against a waste of a team. Frankly, my feelings would be hurt too.

OLD BASEBALL CURMUDGEON

Feelings!?!? What are you, a SNOWFL-

Guys, guys, please, my time is limited here. Let's move on. It's fair to say that after giving up a home run in a game long over already, that Kelley probably shouldn't have thrown a tantrum, and he said as much in the post game. Childish, sure. But worthy of being DFA'd?

DISRESPECTFUL MILLENNIAL BASEBALL NERD

DFA'd? Did I not mention that WHIP? I mean, what a joke. Ohhh the horror! He disrespected the game! He showed up his manager! GASP! I show up adults all the time, because I have absolutely no respect for them. Kelley will get picked up in heartbeat by an actual, forward-thinking organization who properly treats their players.

OLD BASEBALL CURMUDGEON

Yeah, treats their players with kid gloves. Not only should he be DFA'd, but I think a suspension is in order. Let's call it .. 50 games? Showing up the manager, check. Disrespecting his teammates, check. Disrespecting the baseball field, stadium and the fans in it, triple check. Hey Kelley, here's an idea, why don't you get the three outs and man up instead of throwing your glove to the ground like a petulant child. Sandy Koufax, who I covered, wouldn't dare even consider such a move.

DISRESPECTFUL MILLENNIAL BASEBALL NERD

Sandy Koufax? Never heard of him. Kelley had every right to be pissed. Not only was this not worth his time, like baseball games are in general for me, a millennial who has better things to do, but he gave up a homer to THE METS. I'd throw my toys if I got embarrassed by that embarrassment of a team in a game I should never have been put in in the first place. Personally, I think the team should launch an investigation into the treatment of its bullpen pitchers. But first I'd like to see a fluff apology by the PR team that solves absolutely nothing but makes me feel better.

Ok, this has been a worthy debate, and by worthy I mean I want to crawl in a hole and never return. Let's finish it off with this. Following the game, Kelley insisted he was frustrated with a number of things, including giving up the homer and the home plate umpire telling him to slow down, while the second base umpire was telling him he wasn't coming set. Do you believe him?

OLD BASEBALL CURMUDGEON

Damage control at its finest. The guy is a liar, plain and simple. The video clearly shows him staring into the dugout right after slamming the glove. Were the poor umpires in his poor little head? Way to be mentally tough Shawn! How could any team even consider picking this guy up?

DISRESPECTFUL MILLENNIAL BASEBALL NERD

Of course I believe him. To paraphrase Mets manager Mickey Callaway's opening press conference, teams need to listen to their players, they need to love their players, they need to talk to their players, they need to spend time with their players. Clearly, none of this got done with Shawn on Tuesday night, as he was left out on an island out there, alone with his thoughts. Umps screaming at him two different things, pitching in a blowout game and wasting innings on his arm, then giving up the homer. Way too much pressure in a hectic environment. Dave Martinez should be fired.

OLD BASEBALL CURMUDGEON

Fired? Whatever happened to continuity? Oh, that's right, it doesn't exist in your little bubble. Just press a button and all the problems will go away. How's that working for the Nats? They've fired three great baseball men in Davey Johnson, Matt Williams and Dusty Baker in the last five years alone. We're talking baseball LIFERS here. And what are you? An analytical nerd who can't stay off their phone and pay attention to and appreciate the poetry that is a 5-hour, 2-1, 13-inning pitcher's duel.

DISRESPECTFUL MILLENNIAL BASEBALL NERD

What's that? I can't hear you over my streaming devices that I'm watching only home runs on. Is there any other reason to watch baseball?

(old baseball curmudgeon grabs nearest glove, ferociously tosses it at millennial like a child)

End scene.

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