Nick Castellanos is an excellent baseball player.
The 30-year-old Philadelphia Phillies outfielder made his first MLB All-Star team last year and finished his season with a Silver Slugger award. Through no fault of his own, he's perhaps better known as a bit player in one of baseball broadcasting's most infamous moments.
He added to that legend on Sunday — again, through no fault of his own.
Castellanos hit interrupts DUI arrest discussion
Castellanos signed with the Phillies this offseason after two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. On Sunday, he logged his first spring training hit with the Phillies. The backdrop to the moment? An on-air statement about a DUI arrest.
Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker was arrested on Thursday on a DUI charge in Florida. With the Phillies playing the Blue Jays on Sunday, Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez read a statement from Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo addressing the incident. Meanwhile, cameras lingered on Walker in the Toronto dugout while Castellanos was at the plate.
“The Blue Jays and I are aware of what happened — the incident involving Pete Walker," Martinez said, quoting Montoyo." But we’re still gathering information. Out of respect for the process, that’s all we’re going to say right now.
"And the Blue Jays as an organization have taken the same path. So, unfortunately, a very significant situation with Pete Walker. A very highly respected pitching coach. But the Blue Jays and the organization are going to wait until all the information is gathered.
"So he is continuing to serve as the pitching coach and he’s been here today watching these Blue Jays pitchers, so far three pitchers today, and we’re scheduled to see Thomas Hatch, Julian Merryweather, and maybe Anthony Castro throughout the course of this game.”
Then it happened. Castellanos dropped a base hit into shallow right field. Martinez, of course, is obligated to call the action, which he did.
"Little looper, that's gonna drop for a base hit," Martinez continued. "Castellanos reached out and poked it into right field."
While the awkward call's not likely to inspire memes, it certainly recalls one that did. In 2020, then-Cincinnati Reds broadcaster uttered an anti-glay slur that was picked up on air via hot mic. As he issued his on-air apology, Castellanos hit a home run, and "a drive into deep left field by Castellanos" became the stuff of internet legend.
This is now officially a trend for Castellanos. Maybe broadcasters should check for his spot in the lineup next time they have something serious to discuss. Better yet, carve out some time away from live game action to talk about it.