Nicholas Castellanos could've just dropped his bat and rounded the bases after his second home run Friday afternoon.
But that wouldn't be the Nicholas Castellanos Cubs fans have grown to love over the last month.
Instead of a muted reaction, Castellanos shouted at the Cubs dugout in celebration and smashed his bat to the ground as he helped lift his team to a 7-1 win over the Brewers:
Legend is, you could feel the ground shake in Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/0L0EHqDKXf— Cubs Talk (@NBCSCubs) August 30, 2019
After the game, Castellanos was almost apologetic about the bat-smash. That's silly considering most everybody loved the reaction, but such is life in the world of baseball, where the unwritten rules still permeate the game.
"Having an idea that he was going to come in and wanting to do exactly what I did and just looking to the boys and getting fired up," Castellanos said. "I don't really have an explanation. I didn't mean to do that or anything. It just came out.
"I dunno, that's just how I felt like expressing myself in that moment. I was looking to the guys and doing what I did."
Castellanos' teammates and coaches loved it, and it certainly gave the Cubs a lift. That put them up 5-0 in the second inning, tacking on after he hit another 2-run homer in the first inning.
That makes 11 homers for him now in 27 games with the Cubs. He had just 11 homers in 100 games with the Tigers to begin the 2019 campaign. He also has 6 of those longballs in the first inning to give his team an immediate spark.
The last time a Cubs player had 11 home runs in August was 2002, when Sammy Sosa accomplished the feat.
And Castellanos is doing it all with an infectious enthusiasm that has become a GIF-maker's dream.
"He plays the game the right way," Joe Maddon said. "The word is joy. He's got a joy for the game. I think he's just got a joy for the day. You watch him around his kid and his girlfriend/wife, they're always upbeat. He's just always upbeat. I can't wait to meet the rest of the family. This is a reality show in the making - a much more productive one. He's like that all the time."
Maddon may be on to something with a reality show on Castellanos' family, as his brother, Ryan, made headlines of his own Friday with a funny reaction to his mistaking Bill Murray for Tom Hanks.
Castellanos' big game Friday was a nice lift for the Cubs in the standings, as they came into the afternoon 1.5 games behind the Cardinals in the division. But it was all the more important because the Cubs had just played in New York Thursday night and got in late before having to play a day game at Wrigley Friday. As a result, Maddon opted to give Kris Bryant and Jason Heyward the day off and Anthony Rizzo is still dealing with his back injury, so the Cubs were down three of their top hitters.
Asked if he's given much thought to giving Castellanos a day off to rest, Maddon shook his head.
"I haven't," the Cubs manager said. "When you talk to him, he's the same dude every day. I don't know if he sleeps or not. He's always the same person. He's always energetic. His conversations are always upbeat. He's never morose about anything. I mean, this is just who this guy is. He likes to play and I don't see a stitch of fatigue right now."
After that second home run, Castellanos jogged out to take his position in right field and the Wrigley Field bleacher bums gave him a standing ovation - to which he responded with a hat tip and a quick bow.
On a personal level, Castellanos is enjoying his time in a Cubs uniform as much as the fans love him.
"Oh, it's awesome," he said. "Not just because of me, but just because of where I'm at and who I'm playing with and where we're at in the standings and what these two months are. That's what's rewarding about it."