One in every of baseball’s strangest on-field incidents in recent times has resulted in a one-game suspension — no less than for now.
Rodolfo Castro, the Pittsburgh Pirates infielder who had his cellphone slip out of his pocket as he slid into third base during a game last week, has been suspended for one game by Major League Baseball for a violation of the league’s electronic device policy. He has appealed the suspension and will likely be allowed to play until his appeal is set.
He was also fined an undisclosed amount.
“I just actually need M.L.B. to listen to my version of the story and make sure that they understand my heart behind all the things,” Castro, 23, told reporters through a Spanish-language interpreter before Tuesday’s home game against the Boston Red Sox. “None of this was intentional, I didn’t mean for any of this to occur.”
The play in query happened within the fourth inning of a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 9, the identical day Castro had been called up from Class AAA. Castro, an infielder in his second season with Pittsburgh, slid headfirst into third and had his iPhone slide out of his pocket and onto the infield dirt in Phoenix.
While the play drew a variety of laughs, it also raised the likelihood that the phone might have been getting used for some illicit reason. Castro insisted on the time that nothing like that had occurred.
“I don’t think there’s any skilled ballplayer that will ever go on the market with any intentions of taking a cellphone,” he told reporters on the time. “It’s horrible it happened to me. Obviously, it was very unintentional.”
M.L.B. has worked to observe technology use in the sport after high-profile incidents during which the Houston Astros had an elaborate sign-stealing scheme that involved use of the video replay room and the Boston Red Sox had a sign-stealing system that used Apple Watches.
Not one of the Astros or Red Sox players involved in those incidents were suspended for his or her use of technology because they got immunity in exchange for his or her cooperation within the investigations.
While M.L.B. has issued suspensions of varied lengths this season, including an 80-game ban of Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres over a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs; a three-game ban for Tommy Pham, then of the Cincinnati Reds, over his having slapped an opponent; and a one-game ban of the Yankees’ Josh Donaldson for disrespectful comments he made to Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox, the Castro suspension is somewhat unique because it appears he didn’t do anything intentionally fallacious.
“You stay across the game and also you see stuff you haven’t seen before,” Pirates Manager Derek Shelton told reporters after the incident. “This was just a child who made a mistake. It’s just considered one of those things we move forward from and tell him, ‘You possibly can’t try this.’”
Asked in regards to the suspension on Tuesday, Shelton told reporters “we respect M.L.B.’s decision” and didn’t comment further.