Kelley's frustration with a three-run homer he gave up in a 25-4 win rubbed his teammates and general manager the wrong way.
Washington National general manager Mike Rizzo and Shawn Kelley nearly got into a physical confrontation inside the team's clubhouse, according to the Washington Post's Chelsea Janes.
"The argument became heated, including raised voices, and eventually it almost became physical, according to people familiar with the exchange," Janes wrote. "Adam Eaton got between the two of them and separated them before things could advance further, but Rizzo’s frustration was not isolated."
Following Rizzo and Kelley's encounter, Kelley was also confronted by pitchers Max Scherzer and Ryan Madson, who expressed their displeasure with Kelley's action on the mound.
Kelley was designated for assignment and traded to the Oakland Athletics. The hot run by the A's has catapulted them into contention with the Houston Astros for the top spot in the American League West. Kelley has yet to allow a run through four appearances with the A's in 3 1/3 innings.
Washington's season has not gone according to plan. The Nationals entered Monday 6 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East. A team many tabbed as a potential World Series contender was struggling by early July. Now, in August, it seems their chances are further dwindling.
However, aside from deliberation over what the club should have done with star outfielder Bryce Harper, the emergence of teenage rookie phenom Juan Soto, and beef between Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer, the incident that prompted reliever's Shawn Kelley's abrupt release is one of the Nats' most defining moments of the campaign.