Reds’ Trevor Bauer sports ‘Free Joe Kelly’ cleats, pledges to give them away

If anyone wants to know where Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer stands on the subject of the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal, just look at his feet.

Or, in this case, his cleats. 

Bauer took the mound for his start in Kansas City Wednesday night in a pair of cleats expressing support for Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly, who received an eight-game suspension (later reduced to five games) for throwing at Astros hitters Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa on July 29.

The cleats have the words "Free Joe Kelly" and a picture of Kelly making what Bauer calls "the pouty face that broke the Internet" as he was walking off the mound against Houston. 

Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer has a picture of Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly on his cleats for Wednesday's start in Kansas City. (Photo: Jamie Squire, Getty Images)

Bauer has promised to give away the game-worn cleats in a random drawing of people who purchase a T-shirt from his personal website in support of Kelly. He says proceeds from the sale of the shirts — which have a caricature of Kelly as a goat and includes the phrase "Deal with it" — will go to the charity of Kelly's choice.

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for…’s a look at my cleats for tonight’s start. FREE JOE KELLY! If you want to be eligible for a chance to win these, see next tweet for details.

The incident continues to be a flashpoint in the discussion of whether Astros players should have been punished for their roles in the scandal. 

On a podcast last week, Kelly called the Astros "cheaters" and said, "I think I'll be irritated forever" — even though he wasn't even a member of the Dodgers when they lost to Houston in the 2017 World Series.

As for his suspension, Kelly called it "crazy" and thought it was excessive. 

Carlos Correa and Joe Kelly exchanged words after Kelly struck out Correa. Benches cleared following the exchange.

Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. addressed the July 29 incident on another podcast this week, saying Kelly was the instigator and was "scared" of Correa and the rest of the Astros.

"Throwing 97 mph fastballs at guys’ heads isn’t the way it’s done," McCullers said.

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