Nicholas Castellanos was angry about being hit by a pitch from Cardinals right-hander Jake Woodford, so when the Reds’ right fielder came in to score on a Woodford wild pitch, sliding into Woodford in the process, he made his feelings known.
That should have been that. Castellanos got his words in — ball don’t lie, that’s what you get, karma, etc. — and then started stomping off to the dugout.
Only, Yadier Molina decided he had to be some kind of tough guy and get up in Castellanos’ face about it. Call it protecting a teammate if you want, but what it accomplished was to inflame the situation, because Mike Moustakas saw Molina coming and intercepted him before he could get to Castellanos, and then, well, then benches were already clearing.
Had Molina not gotten involved, Castellanos would’ve just gone back to the dugout. It’s plain to see as much in the video. But instead, MLB had its first benches-clearing incident of the season, and somehow, Castellanos was the only player ejected.
That’s not how it’s supposed to be. According to MLB’s updated COVID-19 guidelines for this season, “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.”
Molina should have been tossed, and even though he was trying to do the right thing, so should Moustakas. And what’s Jack Flaherty doing there in the middle of it on a day when he’s not even in the game? And Nolan Arenado, trying all he could do to get to Castellanos? And all of the Reds who came spilling out of the dugout?
This isn’t supposed to happen, and the umpiring crew in Cincinnati ejected the one person who handled the situation correctly, using his words and nothing else to express his feelings.