Nick Castellanos gave his bat to a fan in the stands last night after hitting a grand slam against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The bat was inspected by umpires after Cardinals manager Mike Shildt asked them to take a look and crew chief Phil Cuzzi had the bat removed from play citing a potential safety hazard, according to a pool report.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt asked umpires to check Nick Castellanos' bat after he hit a grand slam in the second inning Wednesday at Great American Ball Park.
The four umpires huddled together next to home plate, then chatted with Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell. Castellanos walked out of the dugout with his bat and immediately handed it to crew chief Phil Cuzzi. There was a large chip at the top of the bat.
"It’s really just more of a dangerous thing because ... if he gets a ball off the end of the bat, it could shatter and who knows?" Cuzzi told a pool reporter afterward. "It goes in somebody’s eyes, in somebody’s face. It was more of a safety thing, but it had nothing to do with the home run. The home run was never in question about not counting it."
After chatting with the umpires, Castellanos handed the chipped bat to a young boy, Arlis, sitting behind the Reds' dugout. Arlis, who saw his favorite player, Eugenio Suárez, homer later in the game, took the bat home with the handle wrapped in plastic.
"My view is that was my second homer and I drove in six," said Castellanos, who hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat. "All of a sudden, there was an issue. There was no issue when (Jon) Lester absolutely carved me up. And there was no issue in the first game. But then there was an issue.
"My feelings of it are kind of irrelevant. It’s what he chose to do. I decided to give the dangerous piece of lumber to some lucky kid that was sitting above the dugout, so at the end of the day, everybody wins.”