Reds: Umpire’s explanation makes Nick Castellanos’ ejection even worse

CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals grabs Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds after he slides safely into home base. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - APRIL 03: Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals grabs Nick Castellanos #2 of the Cincinnati Reds after he slides safely into home base. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic caught up with crew chief Jim Reynolds after yesterday’s game. Reynolds’ explanation for ejecting Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos following a bench-clearing incident during Saturday’s game only fuels the idea that Major League Baseball and its umpires protect St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina.

We’ve seen this before, Molina is consistently in the middle of arguments, on field altercations, and bench-clearing brawls. Usually, he’s an instigator. For some reason, MLB lets him get away with it while punishing players like Castellanos for doing nothing wrong.

Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos should never have been ejected.

After being hit in the ribs by a 93-MPH fastball from Cardinals’ pitcher Jake Woodford in the fourth inning of yesterday’s game, Nick Castellanos picked up the ball, tossed it to the dugout, and took his base. Eventually, Castellanos ended up at third base, and on a wild pitch, charged home and slid safely into the base.

Excited, Castellanos jumped to his feet, flexed and screamed in the direction of Woodford. As he walked towards the dugout, Molina took exception to Castellanos’ exuberance, grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved him in the back. At the same time, Molina also made contact with the home plate umpire.

After cooler heads prevailed, and no punches were thrown, the game resumed and the Cincinnati Reds ended the inning with an 8-2 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, Castellanos was not on the field to begin the fifth inning after being ejected from the game. It bears repeating, Nick Castellanos was the only player ejected from the game.

So why wasn’t Yadier Molina ejected? I’m glad you asked. According to Reynolds, via a tweet from 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.”

Excuse me? The contact was not aggressive? He went right after Castellanos, put his hand around the Reds’ right fielder’s shoulder and neck area and shoved him. In the process, he made contact with Reynolds. So while the contact with Reynolds may have been accidental, his actions toward Castellanos were certainly aggressive.

Okay, so let’s agree to disagree as to why Molina was not ejected. What was Reynolds’ reasoning for throwing Nick Castellanos out of the game. Again, via a tweet from Rosecrans of The Athletic, “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.”

What in the world is that? He re-engaged in an unnecessary fashion. Is that umpire-speak for he showed up the pitcher? Doesn’t every single major league batter re-engage with a pitcher when he stares him down and flips his bat? C’mon!

The explanation from the crew chief is further proof that Major League Baseball is filled with hypocrisy. You can’t say “Let the kids play,” and proceed to eject Castellanos. You can’t eject Castellanos for “re-engaging” with the pitcher and not eject Yadier Molina for “engaging” in an unnecessary manner with the Reds’ slugger.

Castellanos' ejection is an embarrassment. Next

The bottom line is, Cincinnati won the game, and showed St. Louis that if they want to win the division, the Reds aren’t just going to roll over and hand it to them. We’ve still got 160 games to go. It’s going to be a fun season.