It was announced today that Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos did not win his appeal with Major League Baseball over his 2-game suspension and he will have to serve those games when the Reds begin their series against Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now, if you are sitting down and reading this, that’s good. If you are still standing up, find a place to sit down because you are about to fall over in anger and a state of confusion. Nick Castellanos was suspended for two games for “aggressive actions and for instigating a benches-clearing incident”. His aggressive action was yelling “Let’s *effing* Go!” after scoring a run at the plate while standing over a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who had hit him earlier in the inning with a pitch and then sat on him at the plate as he attempted to make the tag. Castellanos walked away after his yell.

That’s when things actually got out of hand. Yadier Molina and pitcher Jake Woodruff both came after Castellanos, who had his back turned. Molina even grabbed Castellanos by the neck/shoulder area before quickly letting go and giving him a little shove in the back.

Take a look at this photo by photographer Emilee Chinn who shot this one for Getty Sports during the game.

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 the day it happened, 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. How he was then suspended is more confusing when no one else was even though multiple Cardinals shoved Cincinnati Reds players.

It’s never going to make sense how this entire situation was handled my Michael Hill, who is in charge of suspensions in Major League Baseball. Nick Castellanos said some words. Yadier Molina ran at him from behind and grabbed him by the neck. One of those players was suspended for aggressive actions and it was the one who said some words.

I’ll just leave one word: What?

63 Responses

    • Tod Held

      Castellanos spoke about respect and at know time initiated contact or agression . He had an authentic response to being hit. Actions speak louder than words. He showed courage, under fire. The St. LOUIS, not so much, Cardinals did no show respect or what it takes to compete in the moment. Major league basebaal failed to make an impartial call. Inste they lacked poise, and professional appiitude without meaningful application. Shameon them, kids deserve mire

  1. AllTheHype

    I am a Castellanos fan, but agree with the decision. He started it with the bat flip, then ended it yelling in the face of an opponent at the plate. He was over the top and needs to tone that down a notch.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Oh come on. His only crime was that he got a bit over excited. The Thug Molina definitely tried to do more but was stopped. Give me a break.

      • Tomn

        Started it with the bat flip? Are you serious? The bat hurt no one. It landed safely along the 1st base line. Castellan’s slid into home and the Cardinals pitch dive on top of him trying to make the tag. No wonder castellan’s was upset and got up, towering Over the Cardinal pitcher. And then Castellan’s walked away like the good sportsman he is. And yet Molina saw fit to grab him by the collar or neck or whatever. And Molina gets off scot-free as though the Cards are Gods gift to the NL. This is completely wrong. Did the Reds management and front office speak up for Castellanis? I honestly don’t know. I would like to think so.

      • Doug Gray

        David Bell certainly did after the game.

    • Sliotar


      Agree on Castellanos … initially.

      Standing over the opposing pitcher, who was on the ground, roaring at him was always going to get punishment from MLB. Especially in 2021 and with extended safety protocals in place.

      Letting Molina and even the home plate umpire off for their follow-up actions … reeks. Badly.

      • J

        If the Cardinals don’t respond to him and just let him walk to the dugout, he’s not even going to get thrown out of the game. Possibly a fine, but maybe not even that. Molina got him suspended by turning it into a physical altercation instead of letting him walk back to the dugout in peace. In real life, if someone yells at you and starts walking away, you don’t have the right to run after them and grab them by the neck. The courts would be more likely to find YOU guilty of a crime than the guy who yelled at you. And that’s a good thing. Why should baseball be any different?

    • J

      So, if a Cardinals player flips a bat and yells something toward Castellanos, is Castellanos justified if he grabs that guy by the neck as he’s walking away? And the Cardinals player should be suspended two games for making Castellanos grab him? Is that really how you think this should work?

      • Sliotar

        Mate … you have got a lot of twists, turns and what ifs in your reply.

        I watched the incident live and have seen the replays at least a dozen times.

        Every time I see Castellanos roar (profanely) at an opposing player on the ground … I think the same thing, “he is getting something for that.”

        I am as passionate about the Reds as anyone else posting here … but, wrong actions are wrong actions.

        Where we are at in 2021 … Castellanos did a wrong action.

        Excusing things after that is a joke by MLB.

      • VaRedsFan

        I agree with Sliotar here… Casto deserved some punishment, but everything after the taunt, they let slide, which shows a bias

    • Hotto4Votto

      Wow, this is about as bad a take as Manfred’s. Bat flips and yelling aren’t “starting” anything other than getting our guys fired up. It’s a competitive spirit that we need. I hope he keeps it up.

    • RandyS

      Ok…so the grownups (Cardinals) got upset about a BAT FLIP?!?!

      Sigh. Talk about the need to growup!

  2. Gonzo Reds

    We’re not allowed to cuss on here… so I can’t make a proper reaction…

    When I’m asked which team I hate the most in pro sports it’s (after the Patriots) the St Louis Cardinals. If I’m asked which player I hate the most in baseball it’s Molina and it’s not even close… this preferential treatment by the league just adds to how I already feel about him!

    • RojoBenjy

      Right on–to say, “there are no words” is not true!

      We got words–just not the venue for them

  3. docproc

    An absolute joke.
    As a reminder, Castellanos already got punished by being thrown out of the game. No one else got tossed. He (and his team) missed at least a couple of ABs.
    That’s all the punishment that was necessary for a non-contact foul.

  4. Mark Moore


    And The Neck Tattoo walks free.

    Nothing can be done now but serve it and move forward.

  5. MBS

    He shouldn’t have been ejected much less suspended. I’m Glad it’s happening at home, where our offense is the hottest. Really wish Molina would have got an equal suspension if not more. Benefits of being a Cardinal, I guess.

    • RojoBenjy

      St. Yadier’s will must be done

  6. Wayne Nabors

    I thought at the least it would have been reduced to 1 game,but man this is definitely a lopsided decision, shows which team get the most respect

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    I think a bat flip and say some *cking words are not agressive actions literally. Rather they are part of the baseball game battle and that should not be enough for suspending a player. But making physical contact is obviously agressive so Molina should also have been included in the sentence.

  8. CFD3000

    Embarrassing. But Castellanos and the Reds need to accept the suspension, serve it, and take it as motivation to keep winning. Don’t let the (bums) get you down!

    • RojoBenjy

      Castellanos needs a new agent and/or the Reds have terrible lawyers.

      That, or the MLB is tainted beyond recovery

      Is there really a reasonable alternate explanation? I said reasonable.

      • Trainradio

        Your second sentence. Yep, that’s it. Absolutely.

  9. Kevin Patrick

    Did Castellanos instigate that?…no…did he exasperate the situation?…yes…did the Cardinals deserve his reaction?…perhaps Did any Cardinals get suspended?…no…What rule did Castellanos break that the Cardinals didn’t?

  10. RojoBenjy

    MLB is forbidden from obstructing anything pertaining to the St. Yadier Cardinals, and is obligated to punish anyone or anything that St. Yadier does not like.

  11. Kevin Patrick

    …its as if the Reds got in trouble while being on double secret probation. Did we give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor!

  12. JB

    I just read the article by WLWT Cincinnati and this is what they said ,” As Castellanos began walking away, Molina rushed up and tapped him from behind, and the benches and bullpens emptied in a wild scene.”
    Lol Molina tapped him from behind!!! Look at the picture up above in Doug’s post and tell me that’s a tap.

  13. Redsfan4life

    Senzel gets his chance for a couple games. I hope he tears it up and takes back the CF job from Naquin. Seems like a platoon now. I don’t disagree with the platoon as Senzel is ice cold. But long term I would like to see Senzel over Naquin.

  14. Bred

    The Reds as a team and Nick personally got hosed. I’m really looking forward to this weekend series vs them. It is going to be tense, and I hope Nick and the boys quit feeling like their catcher is a “boss” and deserves respect. Not to plug Bauer, but his video on the incident revealed that the Reds have an inferior complex toward them. I guess that could be difficult to change when the commissioner is star struck.

  15. e2n2

    This is beyond ridiculous. The fact that NO Cardinal players got ejected from this game or suspended is ludicrous. Even if you can accept a decision that Castellanos’ action instigated the brawl and were therefore unacceptable, Molina and one of the other Cardinals’ players (Jordan Hicks?) put their hands on Reds’ players/took aggressive action – that is equally unacceptable (if not more so). Rules should be applied consistently, not preferentially.

  16. Tom Reeves

    Castellanos should file…

    Assault charges against Molina and the umpire.

    He won’t. But he should.

    Under Ohio assault laws, pushing or shoving someone would be considered a simple (misdemeanor) assault. Both the umpire and Molina grabbed shoved Castellanos as he was walking away. It was after the play so there’s no defense of incidental contact that’s part of the game. It wasn’t in defense of the pitcher because Castellanos was walking away. Bottom line, they both touched him as he was leaving.

    • VaRedsFan

      That would be the most winiest, snowflake move ever.

  17. centerfield

    Let’s face it, we’re not one of the prime TV teams for ESPN League Baseball. St. Louis currently is. ESPN probably told Manfred not to suspend Molina.

    • TR

      It’s obviously a decision based on MLB politics, not the reality of what happened.

  18. docproc

    Saying that Castellanos was guilty of “instigating a benches-clearing incident” suggests that he called for and caused the benches to empty. He did nothing of the sort. Every player and coach who rushed on the field was responsible for making that choice.

  19. Hotto4Votto

    Just pure silliness by MLB, complete clown show. My favorite part about Mo’s tweet is when he called Manfred not a baseball fan. Funny (sad) cause it’s true.

    • TR

      It has been reported that Manfred is a Yankee fan.

  20. DaveCT

    Another bad joke from MLB.

    If this were the NBA, Nick would have gotten a technical foul for standing over the guy and yelling (perceived as taunting). If he escalated, he’d be bounced. This is the way NBA players want it. It’s straight forward and clear. If Nick, or an NBA player, had actually done harm, he’d have been bounced with the initial incident, and probably paid a stiffer fine (other than getting t’d up).

    The Rob Manfred bad sport policy is already a joke and will be a disaster . The problem? Just who decides what is bad sportsmanship? Whose norms get adhered to, and whose don’t? How about a pitcher’s glare at a hitter? How about a a hitter jawing with a 2nd baseman after a rough tag? This is a bottomless pit. Just stoopid

  21. J

    I just keep returning to the fact that the only reason Castellanos was even kicked out of the game is that he was grabbed while walking to the dugout, which led to benches clearing. If Molina just stays out of it, or yells back at him, Castellanos goes back to the dugout and the game continues. MAYBE there would have been a fine after the fact, but nobody is getting tossed, and certainly nobody is getting suspended. The suspension is based 100% on the way the Cardinals decided to respond.

    So, in effect, what MLB has done here is to say “if you feel verbally provoked by an opponent, make sure you chase that guy down and put your hands on him, because that’s the way to get him suspended.” Maybe nobody will take advantage of this new loophole, but Castellanos now has a strong defense if he ever physically attacks someone who’s said something mean to him.

  22. B

    Whether he deserves the suspension or not a 2 game rest probably isn’t that bad of a thing for Castellanos right now to be honest. The last 8 games he’s something like 6-33 with 1 double, 1 home run, and 8-9 strike outs.

    The two games he’s missing are with Castillo and Mahle on the mound, and the lineup is going to be ok with moose back and the deep group of OF on the team.

    He can clear his mind, get some rest, and be back to hopefully help sweep Arizona on Thursday.

  23. Scott C

    Manfred is a joke as a commissioner. That is all that needs to be said.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Kinda wish Commissioner Bauer was still around to comment on this. He would have ripped Manfred and his Cardinal loving cronies a new one! Not hearing anything of the sort coming out of the Reds camp otherwise which is a shame. Speak up and be heard… otherwise the inequities will be perceived as being just fine and dandy.

      • Doug Gray

        This was announced on an off day. I’m sure the players and manager will be asked about it today and we’ll hear from them.

    • Doug Gray

      Rob Manfred had absolutely nothing to do with this. He doesn’t deal with disciplinary actions of this sort.

      • Grand Salami

        Agreed, it’s not technically his decision. But he’s the boss. The buck stops there and all that.

        Plus he hires the guy who makes the decision. That’s a bit more than nothing.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s very easy to blame Rob Manfred for a billion things. This isn’t one of them. He had no say in this. Zero. Zilch. He’s as culpable in this as Bob Castellini is.

      • Joe Atkinson

        So what I’m hearing is that I can blame Castellini for this, too? 🙂

      • RandyS


        OK. Who was it decided by? And how? From what I hear, Castellanos’s agent was lobbying for him. Were there any representatives from the Reds and Cardinals?

      • Doug Gray

        Michael Hill is in charge of on-field disciplinary action. He’s from Cincinnati, worked for the Miami Marlins as recently as last year. This is his first year working for Major League Baseball and his first year, of course, in charge of disciplinary action.

        I don’t know who all was present, but I feel quite comfortable that no one from the Cardinals was involved – why would they be? They weren’t the ones facing suspension.

    • Scott C

      So Doug, who makes these decisions. It is the NL President, a committee or who (what) Even if I was not a Reds fan it should be obvious of who the aggressor was in this incident.

  24. RedFuture

    I imagine the Cardinals lobbied hard to have it upheld. Seems to be another example of being afraid of the criticism for acting fairly. The response must be overexaggerated to be accepted by the in-crowd in this day and time. Hopefully the good news will be having Winker & Naquin in the lineup at the same time leading to wins over the Dbacks.

    • RojoBenjy

      Do other teams get to lobby to have another guy’s suspension upheld?

      Or are you saying unofficially they brought pressure to bear?

  25. MK

    If they are upset about the bat flip and take old school retaliation then the Reds will probably get another suspension when they take out a couple of Molina’s ribs when he comes to the plate the next time up. That would definitely be the old school approach.

  26. Daytonian

    Everything is okay even if not quite fair. He can use the days off (and one might have come anyway) and the Reds rotate in another player. And it’s against AZ, an out-of-division foe. So, even if not a principled decision, nonetheless it’s a suspension that should not have that much effect. (So “B” got it right in his views, above).

  27. Grand Salami

    Different take: upholding the suspension is bad news for the Cards. They know that they got away with it.

    The Reds frustration from the incident may have been sated with a successful appeal. Now it’s back in their faces as they watch their teammate ride the pine for two games. Guess which team will feel that they have a ‘score to settle’ next time they meet?

    Very excited to see the motivation in the next Reds/WLB series!

    • RojoBenjy

      I hope the donor with brooms (ie sweeping them) rather than bean balls.

      No reason to stoop to their level.

      Marketing idea though—who’s up for making “Yadi hands” that clip onto the side of the neck—could be a GABP giveaway for fans at an upcoming Cardinals visit

      • Grand Salami

        I love that idea. At least t-shirt with hands printed
        Around the collar that reads, “Don’t suspend me bro”

        Also would like a Reds fathead promo of Nick flexing at next series

  28. Matt WI

    Amir Garrett had a great take on all of this a year or two ago- I couldn’t find the article, but to paraphrase, he basically pointed out that if baseball players had to play basketball (or just about any other sport), they couldn’t cut it… learn to deal with a little bit of fun and talking, but that there should be a line when it comes to taunting.

    In that respect, Castellanos certainly could be found guilty of taunting, but not to the extent that he deserved significantly more punishment than Yadi. Big over reach. Fine everyone some cash and move on. If we as Reds fans can recognize Castellanos was wrong to directly spout off on the pitcher, surely even the “best fans in baseball” can’t condone the man who actually laid hands on the other and cranked it up several notches.

    To say it started with a bat flip is to clutch pearls in a way that there really isn’t room for in this day in age of the game.