Check out the face, the expression. That’s the scariest thing. That’s why Julio Castillo should never play pro baseball again. Or, if decision-makers are feeling particularly magnanimous, at least not for a very, very, very long time.
The act was one thing. At beginning of what would be yet another bench-clearing basebrawl (15 players and both managers were ultimately ejected), Castillo, a 21-year-old right-hander for the Class A Peoria Chiefs, tried to hurl a baseball into the dugout of the opposing Dayton Dragons with serious ill intent. That much is clear. Just by the face, the expression.
He hurled it, then he stared. Stared long and hard. Stared with anger, scary anger.
He seemed unfazed that the ball came nowhere near the dugout. (With a 4.79 ERA in a four-year minor-league career, it is not surprising Castillo missed his target by plenty.) Instead the ball hit a fan named Chris McCarthy. The ball hit him in the forehead and, according to reports, McCarthy, 44, was incoherent. He was taken to the hospital.
But Castillo simply stared.
That’s why he should never play baseball again. Or at least not for a very long time.
As quick as it was, the moment reminded me of that iconic, yet still frightening moment nearly 43 years ago in San Francisco when Giants pitcher Juan Marichal, while at bat, attacked Los Angeles Dodgers catcher John Roseboro with a bat. The incident precipitated a 15-minute brawl. Marichal, one of the best pitchers of his era and a Hall-of-Famer, was suspended nine days and fined $1,750, according to a report.
Had Castillo’s “pitch” simply beaned a Dragon, we might not be having this chat, unfortunately. In sports, what happens within the bounds of play is often, though not always (See: Kermit Washington/Rudy Tomjanovich), treated differently than when the “game” spills into Fan World (See: Ron Artest).
This time it did, and the Dominican-born Castillo should regret it for a long time. If not forever.
He was jailed Thursday night, not long after the incident, charged with felonious assault and released from Montgomery County (Ohio) jail on Saturday after a $50,000 bond was posted.
This time, he was expressionless.