You might not have followed along with the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers so much early on this season, but I’ll give you a quick rundown of what they’ve been up to with each other so far in 2021. Willson Contreras got hit a trio of times, was fined $7,500 for inciting a bench-clearing incident, and Cubs pitcher Ryan Tepera eventually got suspended three games for throwing a pitch behind Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff altogether.
To further summarize, that’s a meager fine for inciting a benches-clearing incident and a suspension for throwing at someone, as our friends at Brew Crew Ball detailed.
I lay that out to get back to the Cincinnati Reds, who you’ll remember got into a fracas with the St. Louis Cardinals in the season’s second game. Nick Castellanos was plunked by a Jake Woodford pitch, one that sure as hell seemed aimed at the Reds RF after he celebrated an Opening Day 2-run homer two days prior. Castellanos obviously did not like it, went so far as to pick up the ball and offer it back, and eventually took his base, scoring a few batters later on an epic slide that beat the tag/tackle of Woodford at home plate.
Castellanos flexed on him, gave the world a LET’S FUCKING GOOOOO, the benches cleared, and said fracas ensued.
So, if we walk that back, we have a) a pitcher throwing at a hitter and b) an incident where one player did enough to incite a benches-clearing situation. Per the Cubs/Brewers protocol, that’d be a three-game suspension for Woodford and a fine for Castellanos, right?
That would imply rationality, unfortunately, something that is sorely lacking in MLB’s discipline department. Castellanos was the only player to get suspended at all, and on Monday MLB announced his two-game suspension was upheld, meaning he’ll serve it when the Reds get back on the field this week.
Of course that’s all that warranted a suspension. It’s not as if - during a pandemic - any other player made contact with an umpire and reached out to grab an opponent, or anything. Surely there’s zero documentation of such an event, much less a perfectly clear picture of it out on the interwebs for a baseball blog to use as a header picture...
Look, MLB can and will and should suspend Castellanos for what he did if they want to. That’s their prerogative, one that admittedly flies in the face of their Let the Kids Play campaign that, last I checked, is still “a thing.”
You remember that one, right? The one where they flaunt the Houston Astros in the wake of their cheating scandal and have MLB stars talk shit to one another for their own damn commercial?!
Suspend Castellanos in spite of that rhetoric, but do so taking down the other parties involved, too. Jake Woodford, even though he’s already been optioned, deserves something. Yadier Molina does, too, if that’s the course that’s going to be taken.
Otherwise, it’s nothing but a big, stinkin’ pile of hypocrisy.