Trevor Bauer is still banging the drum for Joe Kelly -- which led to him pointing the finger at Justin Verlander.
In the wake of Kelly's eight-game suspension (which was later reduced to five games) after his run-in with the Astros, Bauer has been vouching for the Dodgers reliever to get back on the field.
He even designed a pair of 'Free Joe Kelly' cleats he intended to wear when he took the mound Wednesday, until Major League Baseball caught wind of the idea and shut it down. Bauer explained the situation Thursday on Twitter.
This prompted Justin Verlander's younger brother and former Tigers prospect Ben Verlander to jump in the fray.
"'Free Joe Kelly'. Who intentionally threw a heater at someone’s head almost 100mph. Which can in fact kill someone. But yea. Go ahead and support that. Kudos. So noble and powerful of you," Verlander said.
Eventually, Verlander framed Bauer as a hypocrite by sharing an old tweet in which Bauer said 'there's no place in baseball' for throwing at a hitter's head. Bauer responded by calling out Justin Verlander for railing against sign-stealing only to win a World Series with a team guilty of that very offense.
Interestingly, Bauer was asked earlier this season in an interview with 97.1 The Ticket whether he considers Verlander a cheater for benefiting from the illegal actions of his teammates. His response was much more diplomatic.
"It's hard to say that pitchers specifically were implicated," he said. "That's why it's a team punishment, that's why no individual players were specifically punished. It had to be an organizational thing, because how do you say which person was involved and wasn't involved and how much and all that different stuff?
"So just a bad situation for baseball in general. I think the individual players will be accepted back into the game as they disperse to different teams in free agency and all that different stuff over the next couple years, but just a bad situation overall."
Justin Verlander, for his part, admitted this spring that he wishes he 'had said more' about Houston's sign-stealing operation during the 2017 season.
"I can't go back and reverse my decision," he said. "I wish I had said more and I didn't, and for that I’m sorry."