Major League Baseball announced that Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos has been suspended for two games for his involvement in the bench clearing situation against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. Castellanos will be appealing the suspension.

The suspension announcement states the following:

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos has received a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his aggressive actions and for instigating a benches-clearing incident in the bottom of the fourth inning of Saturday afternoon’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Also fined, but not suspended: Eugenio Suárez, Jesse Winker, Jordan Hicks, and Yadier Molina.

This begs the question of how? Nick Castellanos did not touch a single person. Jordan Hicks shoved someone in the outfield on the way back to the bullpen. Yadier Molina put his hands on Nick Castellanos, first when he grabbed him by the shoulder/neck area, and then when he lowered the same hand and gave him a little shove in the back.

Take a look at this photo by photographer Emilee Chinn who shot this one for Getty Sports on Saturday. One of these players was suspended and it’s not the one grabbing another player in his general neck area.

If someone would like to explain how Nick Castellanos yelling “LET’S GO!” is an aggressive action, but actually putting hands on the opponent is not an aggressive action, I’m listening. Good luck trying to make some sense of that, though. As we wrote all about on Saturday, trying to understand how Castellanos was ejected from the game but no one else was – we’re just incredibly confused by the reasoning and rationale here.

With Nick Castellanos appealing the suspension he won’t have to begin serving any suspension that may remain until after he has his hearing with MLB’s disciplinarian. That meeting has no set date yet.

Update: 2:50pm ET

Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said this of the suspension:

I am disappointed that Nick was suspended even though he did not initiate physical contact. I am hopeful that when baseball is played with emotion, the players will be protected from dangerous and unnecessary retaliation.

55 Responses

  1. Daytonnati

    Doug – I think your cursing policy will be tested today 🙂

    • Doug Gray

      To quote my favorite sponge that lives in a pineapple under the sea: I’m Ready.

    • Tom Reeves

      Castellanos should file assault charges against Molina and the Ump for touching him. That’s battery and it’s all on video. It’s after the play so they can’t claim incidental contact from the game – it’s assault. I’d love to see the ump and Molina have to make a special trip back to the Hamilton County Courthouse to answer those charges.

      Castellanos can also use “workplace violence” in the defense during his appeal.

      Of course, Castellanos won’t do anything of those things because he doesn’t strike me as that sort of dude. He strikes me as a “leave on the field” kinda guy. The only problem is that MLB has picked a side and they definitely didn’t leave it on the field.

  2. Rednat

    great picture Doug. this picture says 1,000 words. Mainly, Molina needs a 2 game suspension as well

    • RojoBenjy

      I hope Cincy Shirts does a cool meme with this photo like they did with Puig’s “Guerrero Rojo “

  3. RedsFan11

    I am NOT surprised by this move by the MLB which is an indictment of how out of touch Manfred and co. are.

    BDN and the Reds just need to use this as fuel to fire for the year. They can survive 2 of 162 without him.

    • Westfester

      That’s the cheer we need to hear tonight..

      Moderator: Only warning that’s going to be issued: No swearing or avoiding the swear filter with asterisks or other like symbols.

      • Westfester

        My apologies. Got a little sugared up on Easter candy…

    • doofus

      Being “Manfredniacal,” it is what the commish does.

  4. trainradio

    Manfred, et al. must simply hate the Reds. And love the Cardinals. There’s certainly no logical explanation for the suspension.

  5. docproc

    Molina needs a suspension and Nick needs none.
    Nick already paid his dues by getting ejected from yesterday’s game. He didn’t touch anyone, including the pitcher who plunked him in the ribs and sat on him at the plate.
    Molina bumped an ump and put his hands on Nick twice. That’s your suspension right there.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Good point. The ejection already cost Nick most of a game.

  6. Optimist

    Mo’s parenthetical is a nice summary.

  7. J

    To add insult to injury (literally), Woodford started the entire thing by hitting Castellanos with a pitch, which certainly appeared to be intentional.

    So, to summarize:
    1) Deliberately hit a guy with a pitch who’s done nothing to you = no penalty
    2) Grab a guy by the neck who’s done nothing to you = $ penalty
    3) Shove a guy who’s done nothing to you = $ penalty
    4) Yell at a guy who deliberately hit you with a pitch = two game suspension because you’re instigating things

  8. Bred

    Bauer’s assessment of Manfred is on target. He is a … , oh well, Doug said he was Ready, and I don’t want to make him work harder than he already does, so I will end my post now.

  9. SultanofSwaff

    I hope once the dust settles someone tells Nick never to dive headfirst into home again. That could’ve cost the team more than 2 games.

    • Randy in Chatt

      feet first, spikes high ala Ty Cobb….. 🙂

  10. Mark Moore

    Load of 100% Rob Manfred grade Bravo Sierra!!!

    Barely a fine for Nick C. Suspension is completely punitive and overkill. He’ll appeal, it will get knocked down to to more than 1 game. It should get knocked down to just a fine, same as the others.

    As for The Neck Tattoo, I wish him all the best. I hope he achieves all his wildest dreams. I hope he finds self-fulfillment. I hope I never have to see him play again.

    Hope in one hand, spit in the other … see what happens first.

  11. RojoBenjy

    Breaking News:

    The fans at Redleg Nation fully support Nick’s right to freedom of expression. As such, the deplorable suppression of Nick is intolerable, and RLN has hereby taken away the privilege of the office of MLB Commissioner from Rob Manfred. We will announce later to whom it will be given.

    This is doing the right thing—in solidarity with suppressed players everywhere.

    • DaveCT

      Silver lining. The Reds now have their anthem for 2021: Let’s (bleeping) Go!

  12. David M

    This is a huge joke just like Rob Manfred. He has just jumped Roger GODdell on my list of idiot commissioners. No reason that Castellanos should be suspended. I hope that he wins his appeal.

    • Pablo

      Being dumber than Goodell is quite the achievement!

  13. MBS

    Disappointed, but not surprised. Soooo glad Molina came back for another season.

    I was looking at Forbes newest MLB franchise values today. St Louis was #7 at just over twice the value of the Reds. They are 2 very similar cities, the real difference is the Cards have been consistent winners. Bob you need to spend money to make money. You’ll have bigger crowds, better TV contracts, better merchandising, and in stadium revenues.

    If the Reds want to keep crying poor, and always be a “small market team” then don’t expect to get any protection from the league.

  14. Scott C

    The quote from Bell was right on point. Just because someone celebrates something they did well does not denigrate the other player. Let the players celebrate and stop the retaliation. Make Baseball fun.

    Good post Doug and the picture speaks a thousand words. I hope Nick takes it to his meeting with Manford.

  15. DaveCT

    This whole “Cardinals as innocent victims” thing would be comical if said choirboys didn’t bite their lips, pout and embrace it so much. At least the Clint Hurdle Pirates owned it, when they weren’t threatening people’s lives and livelihoods throwing at their heads.

    That said, i don’t believe the kid threw at Nick, as he was throwing them to the backstop his whole time out there. And I have no problem with Yadi protecting the pitcher. But if this were the NBA, Nick would have gotten a technical foul for taunting; especially for standing over a guy, because that’s the penalty that the athletes want. Flagrant fouls are such that physical contact risks some degree of injury. Because that’s what the players want. They can also be ejected. Celebrate like crazy just don’t taunt another guy’s dignity or risk hurting him. There are going to a great many ticked off players if some random ump doesn’t like the way a guy tosses his bat or yells let’s go. This policy is already unworkable.

    Silver lining. The Reds now have their anthem for 2021: Let’s (bleeping) Go!

    • RojoBenjy

      Let’s not forget that Nick was standing over him because the man fell on his back. So when Nick stood up the guy just happened to be at his feet.

      • DaveCT

        Incidental is what I thought, too. There’s just no way to definitely say one way of the other (though I have big doubts Nick was trying to do anything but fire up his team). Even so, ejected and suspended and fined for something that just looks bad is a new form of Manfredization.

  16. Steven Schoenbaechler

    This was outright wrong.

    I will say this. If you consider “solely” Nick, I can understand suspending him. However, everyone else that was involved, and they only get fined, not suspended? Absolutely wrong. Molina made contact with an ump for crying out loud. Nick looked to stay away from everyone and everything. And, Nick is the one who got suspended? Definitely not equivalent.

  17. Melvin

    I guess my comment was taken away because I brought up the All Star game huh? Sorry 🙂 lol

    • Doug Gray

      It wasn’t against any stated policy or anything, but I certainly can see where *some* could have gone with it and I’m just not wanting to deal with the regulation of all of that stuff right now. I’ve got enough “first timers” coming into the comments the last three days who found the site through google that are going nuts with stuff over Castellanos/Molina (they are going into the moderation queue before they go public, so at least there’s that – but there are a lot of them).

  18. RedsDownUnderer

    ESPN article says that Castellanos “slid and bumped into Woodford,” and that Yadi “tapped [Castellanos] from behind.” Hm.

  19. Roger Garrett

    Lets see Big Nick get hit in the ribs.Meets the guy that hits him as he scores sliding in to home.Gets up says something and walks away.Molina runs in to the ump who I assume is trying to get in between the players even though Nick is walking away and doesn’t see him.Molina is hollering at Nick as is the pitcher and Nick gets two games for what.Taunting? Talking?Celebrating?Players chirp all game long at the opposing players.Close pitches,hard slides,hit batters always start the players hollering.When you touch or grab or bump or shove has always been the suspending offense and it should be.

  20. Jimbo44CN

    St Louis is a perennial favorite and loved by all(yeah right) Mr. Neck Tatoo is a bully and most of the rest of that team act like they can do no wrong. Trying really hard Doug not to say bad words. This is just typical lack of respect for the team, our city and our players. Gollee, I want to say more!!!!!

  21. Sanantonefan

    Can we get Manfred suspended…for life???

    • Doug Gray

      While I would have no problem with that because I think he’s very bad for the game, two things: The next guy is going to be just as bad because he’ll also just do what the majority of the owners want him to do, but maybe he won’t look like a robot while doing it. And two, Manfred isn’t in charge of suspensions, Michael Hill is.

  22. Sanantonefan

    Good points. Just venting. All will be well. ?

    • Doug Gray

      Let’s hope all will be well in the end.

  23. Redsfan4life

    Which Reds pitcher will drill Molina in the ribs before the season ends? I will say Garrett.

    • MBS

      Let’s not start a new Pirates Reds like beef. Plus catcher get hit by baseballs all the time, it wouldn’t be effective. Let’s just Win. That’s what will pour the salt into the wound.

  24. Klugo

    Absolute BS. This looks like an example of MLB saving face for a bad call to begin with. Hopefully it just helps swell the chip on these guys’ shoulders.

  25. AllTheHype

    Per MLB COVID protocol last year, “Fighting or instigating fights will be strictly prohibited.”

    I like what Castellanos did. The Reds need more fire this year. But it is also clear he was guilty of instigation, both with the bat flip and then separately yelling in the face of an opponent.

    Now why Yadi did not get something as he also breached said rule is not really fair.

    • 44Reds

      MLB is going to have to get more consistent messaging then. All of their promos feature guys flipping bats and celebrating. It seems they like, and want to promote, this kind of expression. So Nick’s bat flip is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he was almost certainly thrown at for the bat flip, which MLB supposedly doesn’t want to encourage. Also, anyone that has ever competed understands that after being drilled in the ribs and given a hard tag you would react emotionally to such a moment. Finally, did NC find out about the suspension just prior to the Jim Day interview? Dude seemed mad at Jim.

    • DaveCT

      My take is the bat flip had zero to do with anything. That kid pitching couldn’t hit the backstop that inning.

      The issue is, I think the perception of Nick standing over the guy was deemed unacceptable. So WHO decides what isn’t acceptable? Rob Manfred, a guy indentured to the owners and who never competed for anything? That’s why I say this policy is already unworkable. What’s next, fines for dudes in the dugout yelling, “We want a pitcher, not a belly pitcher?”

      This isn’t your grandpas’s baseball game anymore. The ‘don’t show up the pitcher’ era is done. Guys celebrate and show emotion, like basketball and football. Just don’t taunt somebody or endanger anybody.

  26. Lockersocks79

    -Gets beaned by a fastball.
    -Gets kneed from an aggressive play at the plate.
    -Does a chest pump and yells at the pitcher.
    -Neck tattoo shoves him from
    -Nick calmly stands there while things get sorted out.
    -gets kicked out of the game and suspended.

    I totally disagree with this. Personally, no one should be suspended.

    • DaveCT

      Exactly. In basketball Nick gets whistled for a T.

  27. CFD3000

    If you really twist yourself into a knot you can maybe justify the two and a half game suspension for Castellanos. But there’s no way if you take the strictest possible interpretation of the rules that you somehow also decide that Molina gets off with no missed time. Zero. Fines are fine, but they only punish the player. Ejections and suspensions punish the team. There’s no scenario where the Reds deserve punishing but the Cardinals do not. Castellanos should serve his one game (reduced) suspension sitting in a lawn chair on top of the center field wall the next time St. Louis is in town, and the Reds video screen should show only a giant live feed of Castellanos scowling through the whole game.

  28. BZ

    That pitcher may have been a little wild all inning but no major league pitcher alive misses that badly with a fastball. I’d buy that it wasn’t on purpose if it was an off-speed pitch. Those get away from even the best pitchers. A fastball to the ribs (or middle of his back if he turned) of a batter not crowding the plate is intentional by any MLB-level pitcher.

    • Doug Gray

      Counterpoint: A Tigers pitcher had a fastball sail 4 feet over the standing catcher today.

      I saw Sal Romano almost kill a teammate once in a bullpen session. The teammate stepped into “the box” (this was in the bullpen, so there was no actual box) and was pretty much standing at the very back of where the edge of the box would be away from the plate, and with no helmet on…. Romano almost hit him in the head. Thank God he didn’t. But that same day, 20 minutes later, Romano was throwing 98 MPH fastballs to the Jumbo Shrimp.

      I was never anywhere near the kind of athlete those guys are. But I pitched for a long time until my arm finally gave out. I was only a pitcher because I could pound the strikezone. My stuff was mediocre at best, but I could throw tons of strikes. Every so often the ball would get away from me. It happens. Sometimes it’s the mound. Sometimes it’s the mechanics. Sometimes it’s the grip.

      I have no idea what happened with Castellanos. I’d venture to bet it was more than “it got away”. But sometimes big leaguers do indeed miss that badly with a fastball.

  29. Rob K

    So just to clarify: If a team overreacts to an opposing player’s show of emotion by rushing him and putting their hands on him, that player is to be held responsible? Wow. At best this sets a really bad precedent. At worst it’s, well … I probably should stop there.