By Hal McCoy
Nick Castellanos lost the appeal of his two-game suspension and is befuddled by it.
In fact, he was befuddled by the suspension in the first place, believing he was doing nothing more than celebrating, showing emotion, trying to fire up his teammates.
It was an incident at home plate after Castellanos was hit by a pitch by Jake Woodford of the St. Louis Cardinals, probably a message after a prodigious bat flip the previous day when he hit a home run.
After he was hit by a pitch, he scored on a wild pitch and Woodford landed on his back covering home plate. Castellanos made some celebratory gestures and a scrum ensued.
Castellanos was suspended for two games and after losing the appeal he had to sit out the first two games of the current series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Asked what league officials told him about denying his appeal, Castellanos said, “They kept on saying safety and health protocols and super spreader of events. Then a lot of legal stuff. And I’m very happy that I’m not a lawyer because it was exhausting.”
To Castellanos, it is a mixed message, especially MLB came out last year with a motto, “Let Them Play.” And bat flips were encouraged.
So what does this mean to Castellanos? Does he have to shut down the emotions that we wears on the wishbone-C of his cap?
“That’s a tough question because I really take pride in being myself,” he said. “I also do not like to be fined and suspended. So I guess, like in anything, there needs to be a balance.
Castellanos said he was at dinner two days ago and a waiter showed him the background of his cell phone.
“It was that every incident that I got suspended for,” he said. “That showed me that these fans love their Reds. They like the energy and enthusiasm, playing for nothing else but to win for this team and the city.”
Castellanos was not born during the days of the Big Red Machine, nor was he alive when Kirk Gibson came off the bench and hit a big pinch-hit home run for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1988 World Series.
But he showed a sense of historical perspective talking about the BRM and Gibson.
“The Big Red Machine (players) were exactly gentlemanly on the field,” he said. “But no one cares about that, because at the end of the day they got a ring for their city.”
Asked if the bat flip was the genesis of him getting hit by the pitch, he said, “Old school or new school, Kirk Gibson was pretty fired up hitting that walk-off.
“It wasn’t like I was trying to show anybody up,” he added. “It wasn’t like a, ‘Look at me, look how good I am’ moment. That was, ‘Hey, we’re within four. Look to the dugout and say let’s go.’ That’s. It was nothing more than, ‘C’mon, guys, let’s go.’ I felt like I’ve said this a hundred times and maybe IU’m lthe only one who understands this.”
There is one person at least partially happy Castellanos is grounded for two days.
“My wife (Jess) is very excited to get to watch a baseball game with me,” he said. “So Jess is pretty excited about it.”
“It sucks,” he said. “No way around any other way to describe it. It sucks.”