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Nick Castellanos talks supporting Alec Bohm after 3-error game: ‘I didn’t want him to feel alone’


Phillies slugger Nick Castellanos knows what it’s like to struggle as an infielder. After Bryson Stott committed two errors on Opening Day, he told Stott in the clubhouse afterwards that when he played third base for the Tigers, he would keep himself up at night looking at opposing team’s lineups and figuring out which hitters were likely to hit a ground ball to him.

Nick Castellanos supported both Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott after multi-error games. (Cheryl Pursell)

In a way, he prepared for failure before giving himself a chance to succeed. By sharing his own struggles as a third baseman, Castellanos hopes Stott avoids falling into the same trap.

“He told me to relax,” Stott told Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He said, ‘I didn’t relax, obviously, and that’s why I’m in left field.’”

A few days later, Alec Bohm one-upped Stott by committing three errors at third base in three innings. The television broadcast caught Bohm uttering the words, “I fucking hate this place,” when the Citizens Bank Park crowd sarcastically cheered after he made a play at third.

The media in the clubhouse asked him about those comments. There was some ambiguity surrounding what he uttered at the time, but he confirmed he said what he said and owned up to it. Philly fans loved him for that. Since then, Bohm, who received sporadic at-bats in the days after the three-error game, is 7-for-18 with seven RBIs and looks better on defense.

Castellanos made sure he was there for Bohm after his rough game. The topic came up on a recent appearance by Castellanos on “The Chris Rose Rotation” podcast.

“I sat right next to him. I made it a point,” Castellanos said. “But that’s just because I didn’t want him to feel alone. Guess who has made three errors at third? Guess who has played the position like ‘Man, don’t hit it at me because I don’t want to fuck this up because I don’t want these accomplished veteran pitchers mad at me.’ I’ve played the game like that.”

In his last season as a third baseman, Castellanos had a three-error game against the White Sox in April 2017. The latter two errors happened on back-to-back plays and led directly to a four-run eighth-inning rally by Chicago, who won the game 7-3. Knowing the end-result of Bohm’s three-error game, you can argue that Castellanos had a worse night than Bohm.

“That’s a lonely way to play the game, you know,” Castellanos said. “I told him, I said ‘Hey, it might not seem like this now, but your career has only been this big. But when you’re 15 years in, you’re going to look back on today and you’re going to recognize that today is a really good day.’ And honestly, so far it has been. It’s been the best day of the year for him.”

Castellanos was neither cheered nor booed when he came up to the plate in Detroit the next day, but just like everyone else, he was surprised to see the fans react positively when Alec Bohm entered the game as a pinch hitter the next day.

“I’m still learning about the city. The way the media asks you questions about it, it’s like ‘Oh, are you ready for the fans. They boo you. They’re tough.’ And all I’ve seen is a bunch of people who really get it and are compassionate,” Castellanos said. “For them to say that ‘Oh, Phillies fans, they’re so rigid and this and that — sure, but it doesn’t meant that they’re not good people. The fact that he said that and they empathized with him and were able to give him a standing ovation, maybe the city just wants people that are real that don’t bullshit with trying to be who they are.”

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