Nick Castellanos was hit by a pitch in the 4th inning by Jake Woodford. Later in the inning Woodford threw a wild pitch and Castellanos, then on third, raced home to beat the throw from Yadier Molina and the tag from Woodford.

On the play, Woodford wound up sitting on Castellanos for a brief second at the two met at the plate on the play. The Reds outfielder got up, while Woodford was still on the ground and screamed over him “Let’s (bleeping) go!” and then began to walk towards his dugout. That’s when Molina came rushing in and shoved/pushed Castellanos from behind and from there the benches cleared. In the end, no punches were thrown, and the aggressive move from Molina was likely the biggest physical confrontation of the entire event.

The result, however, was that Nick Castellanos was ejected from the game. No other players were ejected. After the game Jim Reynolds, the crew chief of the umpires on the field for the game that day said that Castellanos was ejected “because we felt that he was, after sliding into home, he re-engaged the pitcher in unnecessary fashion and that’s why he was ejected.”

That certainly makes sense if we are following the 2021 health and safety protocols – specifically the unsportsmanlike conduct part that states:

Prohibitions against unsportsmanlike conduct will be strictly enforced to prevent unnecessary physical contact and support physical distancing between individuals on the playing field. In this respect, players and managers should maintain physical distancing from all umpires and opposing players on the playing field whenever possible. Players or managers who leave their positions to argue with umpires, come within six feet of an umpire or opposing player or manager for the purpose of argument, or engage in altercations on the field are subject to immediate ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions.

Reynolds was also asked why Molina wasn’t ejected. His response, via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic: “Because sometimes contact happens between players and umpires that is not aggressive. That is why he was not ejected.”

I’m not an umpire. I haven’t been one in over two decades and I never made it out of knothole umpiring. But I’m also not blind and I can read. Players that leave their positions to engage in altercations on the field are subject to immediate ejection. That’s what the rule says. Yadier Molina ran after Nick Castellanos and put his hands on him as Castellanos was walking to his dugout. And yet it was Castellanos who was ejected from the game for shouting “Let’s (bleeping) go!” to another player, while the player who initiated physical contact with him was not.

Should Nick Castellanos have been ejected? Debatable, but one can understand how the rules could be read in a manner in which it makes sense to eject Castellanos there. However there is no possible way that one can debate that Yadier Molina should have been ejected for placing his hands on Castellanos. It violated the rules, and anyone who watched the situation unfold could see that Molina was indeed aggressive in his contact with Castellanos.

The rule cited above notes that the players could be subject to ejection and discipline, including fines and suspensions. We’ll see how that latter part goes for Yadier Molina in the next few days.

28 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I want The Flex on a poster.
    And not only should Molina have been ejected if Castellanos was ejected, but Hicks should’ve been ejected for the shove on Suarez after everyone was heading back to their caves. Had we lost that game, I would’ve been a lot more upset about it.

    • Andrew

      This writer needs to watch the video again yadi never shoved him he put his hand on his shoulder but never shoved him.

      • Doug Gray

        Shoulder. Neck.

        But I’d suggest you watch the video again. After Molina does the “shoulder and neck” thing, he then lowers that same hand and shoves him a little bit.

    • Mitch

      I blew that pic up on my phone and made it my profile pic on FB for the weekend. Love the passion. I truly hope Castellanos complete LSI the 4 yr contract he signed with us. Worth every penny.
      GO REDS!!!!!!!!’

  2. Tom Reeves

    St Louis hit two more batters after the dust up. That can’t be tolerated.

  3. MK

    How things change, I think Nick really brought the team attitude down after his little melt down about a pinch runner/ defensive replacement after a positive emotional opening day victory. Then there was the positive aspects of today. Nothing like a little brouhaha to bring a team together.

  4. Grand Salami

    Good call Doug. Brantley said it. We want emotion and energy in this game, how’s it any different than a bat flip or a contortion when you get out #3 on a swinging strike?

    Yadi moved faster after Nick than he has to 1st base in three years.

  5. ClevelandRedsFan

    Molina not being ejected is a joke. The worst part is I believe MLB will give equal punishment going forward. So if Molina and Hicks get a 1-game suspension, Castellanos likely will too.

    Also, can we finally get over the personal offense of bat flips. Sheeeeeesh. Let’s not pretend that this wasn’t about Castellanos’ bat flip on Opening Day. Get over it. This isn’t the 80s anymore when guys follow this sacred rules. Let baseball be fun.

    • MK

      He also was getting the called strike low and outside because he is Yadier Molina but when the same pitch was called on him I thought he was going to cry.

    • 2020ball

      The Cards chose to play beanball over a HR celebration in a game they were leading and eventually won. That and it ended up costing them in a close game. So ridiculous I can’t even explain it. WLBs will W and B I guess.

  6. Matt WI

    Doug… temporary relief from the ban on cursing so we can all say how we really feel about Yadi and the Cardinals?

    • Doug Gray


      But if it makes you feel better some Cardinals fan did try to make a very angry reply to you that went into moderation that I am in no way approving.

      • Matt WI

        That does make me feel a little better. Thanks!

  7. Kevin Patrick

    Do not trade Castellanos…he now forever owns that up and coming Cardinals pitcher. Woodford will have a hard time getting today out of his head. …in other concerns…I know the Reds gave up six runs today, but I thought Romano did his job throwing strikes in that situation. I think the starting and pen looked pretty good today. Really slick play by India on the short side of second and Aquino’s homer looked very nice too.

    • MK

      They do need to work with Double A on techniques for playing a sun field. He missed the same kind of ball in Arizona having trouble with sun. Would think the sun would be worse in the Dominican. Don’t think he has played left in early evening in GABP much.

      • Kevin Patrick

        I think he had his glasses on but yeah… his throw to the infield was a bit panicked as well. I’m pleased for both he and Naquin today.

      • 2020ball

        AA has a tendency to go in first on balls, something that should have been worked on long ago but obviously needs addressed. It cost him yesterday.

  8. RojoBenjy

    It’s Teflon Yadi and MLB’s Golden Haired Crudinals

    However, because Castellanos has played in big markets and was a media darling of sorts, and because he hasn’t been on the Reds long enough for the media to completely change their tune on that, perhaps we’ll see some media outlets taking MLB to task?

    Ok—I hope no one laughed until milk came out of their nose—that’s never gonna happen

    • Kevin Patrick

      The guys on MLB radio on Sirius XM are calling it a “taunting penalty”….and that they kind of like seeing the emotion from players.

      • MBS

        It was for taunting. Sports have become very pc. I’d much rather the Reds be the taunter than the reactor. Neither are great, but it’s definitely worse to let someone get in your head. If you watched the Jordan documentary last year, you’ll see when Jordan talked about the how the bulls needed to overcome their reacting to the pistons bullying. Once they did, they surpassed them.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Saying “let’s f’ing go!” is not taunting. Goodness some of these people would have never survived the neighborhood games and would’ve gone running home to their mommas.

  9. DaveCT

    Molina doesn’t bother me one bit. I like the way he plays. I like that he protected his pitcher. And I don’t mind Castellano playing with a fairly large chip on his shoulder

  10. Hotto4Votto

    No, absolutely not should Castellanos have been ejected. There may be a case for Yadi being ejected, but I can also see it as the catcher’s responsibility to protect his pitcher in that moment.
    Baseball is it’s own worst enemy. It’s largely a boring game most of the time. Then when we get a moment of excitement they want to suck even that out of the game. Can you imagine if basketball ejected every player that celebrated after a dunk or trash talked a bit? Or if football had a similar rule for player celebration after scoring? Part of the reason those sports are more popular and watchable.
    Get out of your own way baseball.

    • 2020ball

      I have no issues with Castellanos being ejected. What makes no sense to me is that no one on the Cardinals side was ejected, especially after being the only team to shove anyone on the opposing team. Really weird arbitrary application of the rules by the umps.

  11. Jimbo44CN

    It’s hard to describe how much I hate the Cardinals and Molina. Sorry, but I think he gets his way more often than not. And to say he was not an agressor is ridiculous. Castellanos got up and walked away, Molina came charging after him after he was already 10 feet from Woofdork. What a great win, I hope that dinger gives AA some confidence, believe that is all he really needs. He may have heard me screaming from 30 miles away!

  12. MK

    I got one would like to see what the bottom feeder Cardinal fans have to say. Maybe DatDude can pour them some more whine.

  13. vegastypo

    It doesn’t take much imagination to picture what the umpires were saying to each other when they met to decide what was going to happen after that altercation.

    “Gee, we need to do something, so we can get Castellanos on a Covid thing. They can’t argue with that.”

    Which is ridiculous in and of itself, because the benches did not empty until Molina decided to defend his pitcher by charging after a guy who was already walking away. Any attempt at logic there defies me.