Luis Castillo Ejected for First Time in Career: Was It Done on Purpose?

Wendy AdairAnalyst IJuly 23, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 12:  Luis Castillo #1 and Alex Cora #3 of the New York Mets look on against the Cincinnati Reds on July 12, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Last night with one out in the second inning against the Washington Nationals, Luis Castillo was ejected from a game for the first time in his 13-year career.

Much has been said about Castillo being a changed person this year and when he dropped Alex Rodriguez's pop fly in Yankee Stadium last month, he seemed sincerely grief stricken and embarrassed that he cost his team the game.

As upset as he was, he knew he was wrong and was a man about admitting it, that's how it should be done by adults.  He said "this is not on the team, this is on me, I dropped the ball, it should not have happened."

Last night, Castillo was absolutely livid that a runner was called safe at second base when it was clear to all that he did not have possession of a strong throw made by David Wright.

Wright made a valiant effort to stop the ball hit by Ronnie Belliard that bounced fair before going into foul territory, and threw to second base to try for the force out on the lead runner in Josh Willingham.

It was clearly not a throwing error on Wright's part. 

Willingham did reach second base the same time as the ball, but the tie typically goes to the runner and besides, Castillo let the ball drop out of his glove.

The throw was low and to the front side of the bag and the ball went in and out of  Castillo's glove but he picked it up to show the umpire, obviously trying to prove that he always had possession, which he did not as shown on the numerous replays.

The replay clearly showed the ball roll out of the glove and then the umpire giving Castillo a warning of some sorts for his words, and Castillo said, "I don't care" and then Angel Berroa who was playing shortstop last night did try to step in the middle of Castillo and the umpire, but it was too late.

Jerry Manuel did come out to defend his player, but the damage had already been done.  Castillo was ejected and Fernando Tatis came in to play second base for the remainder of the game.

With the injuries that the Mets have suffered throughout the year, Mets' players do not need to be arguing with the umpires on plays like this one, where it was clear that it was a dropped ball.

If he had possession and the runner reached at the same time, the case could be made that it was simply an infield hit and the force was not made, it would have ended right there. 

The runner did not score so it was not a costly error but Castillo's actions were costly to the Mets.

The ball was very catchable, Castillo did not get it done and tried to make the umpire look like he had missed the call, showing him the ball in the glove after he was seen picking the ball off the ground.

Castillo and his teammates who are playing every day are visibly worn and frustrated, but that does not excuse them arguing and getting ejected when they are obviously in the wrong and do not want to admit their errors or mistakes in judgement.