MLB punishes Nick Castellanos with puzzling suspension for Cards-Reds drama

Major League Baseball singled out Nick Castellanos with a two-game suspension for his role in the Cards-Reds benches-clearing drama.

Castellanos was in the trenches all weekend, with the Cardinals the clear enemy on the other side. This included a hit by pitch on Saturday, of which Castellanos eventually turned into a run in dramatic fashion.

MLB deemed Castellanos’ actions more severe than the likes of Yadier Molina, who escalated the conflict, and Jake Woodford, who plunked the Reds outfielder in the first place. Rob Manfred’s punishment is anything but consistent, as MLB is hoping to dissuade players from on-field conflict that creates close proximity in the middle of a pandemic. It’s understandable to punish players as a deterrent, but to do so unevenly is odd to say the least.

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Woodford, Molina and Nolan Arenado were among the players to receive fines on the Cardinals’ side. However, Castellanos received the most severe punishment and it’s not even close.

Per MLB rules agreed to with the players’ association as a result of COVID-19, any player who unnecessarily comes within six feet of an umpire to argue or to challenge an opposing player should be subject to an immediate ejection. It’s safe to say that wasn’t enforced by umpires on Saturday afternoon.

Such a rule is tough to enforce in the moment, especially after a benches-clearing incident — there wouldn’t be enough players left to finish out the game. However, the likes of Molina, Castellanos and Arenado should’ve been ejected immediately. Castellanos was the only player sent packing.

I’m not trying to claim bias against the Cincinnati Reds, but it is odd to see Castellanos receiving a suspension while the rest of the players who helped create the conflict in the first place got a slap on the wrist.

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