MLB Player Who Dropped Phone Faces Fine, Suspension

Pittsburgh Pirates' Rodolfo Castro is appealing the decision
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2022 7:55 PM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2022 7:19 PM CDT

Update: Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Rodolfo Castro has been hit with a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for having a iPhone in his pocket during a game last week, a violation of the league's strict ban on electronic devices on the field. The suspension would have kept him out Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox but Castro has appealed and can play while the process is underway, CBS Sports reports. "I just really want MLB to hear my version of the story and make sure they understand my heart behind everything," Castro said before the game, per the AP. "None of this was intentional, I didn’t mean for any of this to happen." The phone fell out of his pocket as he slid headfirst into third base during last Tuesday's game against the Diamondbacks. Our story from Aug. 10 follows:

Losing your phone is a pain at the best of times—and for Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Rodolfo Castro, Tuesday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks was definitely not the best of times. With TV cameras on him, an iPhone slipped out of Castro's left back pocket as he slid headfirst into third base in the fourth inning of the Pirates' 6-4 loss in Phoenix, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. He wasn't immediately aware that he had lost the smartphone, but he picked it up and handed it to third base coach Mike Rabelo after third base umpire Adam Hamari pointed to the banned item.

Major League Baseball cracked down hard on on-field technology use after the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal, reports the AP. Tuesday was Castro's first game back in the big leagues after being called up from Triple-A Indianapolis. Through an interpreter, he said he keeps his sliding mitt in his back pocket and had forgotten his phone was in there as well. "I don’t think there’s any professional ballplayer that would ever even go out there with any intentions of taking a cellphone," he said. "Obviously, it was very unintentional. I didn't do this at all in any way or form. It’s something I didn’t even know I had on me, and to be completely honest with you, I feel horrible."

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It's not clear whether MLB will punish Castro for having the phone. Pittsburgh has the second-worst record in the National League, and manager Derek Shelton had to "explain that no, the woeful Pirates aren't running the world's worst cheating scheme," per SFGate. "I'm sure we'll hear from the league, but I feel like everybody, including the umpires—which, again, they handled it great—it was a young kid who made a mistake and put his phone in his pocket,” Shelton said. "There was no intent to use it or do anything with it." (More Major League Baseball stories.)

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