Shawn Kelley’s agent claims umpires inspired mound meltdown
The agent for Shawn Kelley claims the actions of umpires on Tuesday night inspired the pitcher’s mound meltdown and had nothing to do with the Washington Nationals.
The meltdown occurred after Kelley entered the game with the Nationals annihilating the New York Mets by a score of 25-1 in a game the team won 25-4. Kelley threw his glove down in disgust after surrendering a two-run homer.
Shawn Kelley clearly thrilled to be closing out a 24 run lead… pic.twitter.com/I88bKNbmS8
— Tim Murray (@1TimMurray) August 1, 2018
The speculation was that Kelley was upset over being forced to enter such a lopsided game. Kelley’s agent, Mike McCann, insists that’s not the case..
McCann said Kelley grew frustrated when home plate umpire Adrian Johnson implored him to work more quickly, while second base umpire Tripp Gibson simultaneously told him to slow down or be called for a balk, via ESPN.
Kelley looked into the dugout for help because he didn’t want to argue further with the umpires, be ejected from the game and force the Nationals’ to use another reliever, the agent said.
Kelley was promptly designated for assignment by the Nationals on Wednesday morning in the wake of the incident. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo called Kelley’s antics “selfish” while manager Dave Martinez referred to the tantrum as “disrespectful to the organization.”
After the game, Kelley apologized for his behavior, saying, “In retrospect, I should not have thrown my glove. You should never throw your glove. We should act like adults.” He also mentioned the umps’ role in his meltdown, something that jibes with his agent’s explanation, saying he was receiving “mixed messages” from the umpiring crew.
Kelley declined to respond to Rizzo’s comments through McCann, but the agent did issue a statement on his client’s behalf.
“He knows throwing the glove was wrong,” McCann said. “It was unfortunate, but it had absolutely nothing to do with frustration with the Nationals. He wishes the Nationals and his teammates the best of luck the rest of the way.”