It’s been a disappointing postseason for Nick Castellanos, who has gone ice cold at the plate, batting .150 (3-for-20) with eight strikeouts in the World Series. Notably, he made the final out of Thursday’s Game 5 at Citizens Bank Park, a loss that has the Phillies on the brink of elimination. In spite of his improved defensive play (which he attributes to the adrenaline rush of postseason baseball), Castellanos has drawn the ire of fans with his inconsistent hitting, bearing little resemblance to the dominant force who slugged his way to career-highs in home runs (34), OPS (.939) and batting average (.301) during his breakout 2021.
Fans have grown increasingly impatient amid the right-fielder’s recent struggles (he hasn’t homered since late August), taking out their frustration on members of Castellanos’ family including his mother, Michelle, who had this to say after being heckled Thursday night.
Castellanos’ wife, Jess, was similarly disgusted, lamenting the hostility displayed by fans on a night that saw the Phillies squander countless opportunities, stranding 12 base-runners while hitting a combined 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
As discouraging as his early Phillies tenure has been, batting a tepid .263/.305/.389 after being brought in as a priority free agent last offseason (five years, $100 million), Castellanos’ family should never be subjected to verbal abuse and bullying, particularly in their home park among fellow Phillies fans. That extends to social media, a cesspool of toxicity where trolls have been emboldened to hurl venom at their sports heroes without fear of consequence.
No player should ever have to fear for their family’s health and safety because they didn’t perform up to fans’ expectations. That’s not to say Castellanos can never be criticized or held accountable for what he does on the field, though sports fandom should never come at the expense of basic human decency.
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