When Phillies youngster Alec Bohm had a no good, very bad evening earlier this month and committed three errors in one game at third base, it could've absolutely destroyed his mojo for the entire year. The guy was caught on camera saying he "f***ing hated" Philadelphia. It was a crazy night!
But Bohm owned up to what he said, explained why he said it, and earned the respect of Phillies fans everywhere. And since that nightmarish game he's been absolutely tearing it up; the sample size is small but his OPS is 1.197 and he has seven RBI in 21 at-bats.
Oh, and in 27 innings at third base since April 11 he hasn't committed a single error.
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A huge part of his ability to bounce back from that disaster falls squarely on Bohm and the way he responded. That takes a level of maturity and focus that not everyone possesses.
But it also helps that Bohm had Nick Castellanos in his corner.
In an interview with Jomboy Media podcaster Chris Rose this week, Castellanos detailed what he told Bohm as that night unfurled:
"CASTELLANOS: Look what [Phillies fans] did with Alec Bohm, you know? For them to say that, 'Phillies fans, they're so rigid,' this and that, like - sure, but it doesn't mean they're not good people. The fact that he said [I f***ing hate this place] and they just empathized with him and were able to give him a standing ovation? I don't know. Maybe this city just wants people that are real, that don't bulls**t with who exactly they are. You know?
"ROSE: I thought it was a really great teaching moment for fans, and for players. Because Alec Bohm is still a young kid, he's had some success, now he's kind of dialed it back in. I was so proud of him.
"CASTELLANOS: That's because he's a really good kid, and a genuine kid. He was honest and genuine with how he felt about it. What else could fans want than just the truth?
"ROSE: Nothing. But there also has to be some mentoring. I can't imagine he went through that by himself. Did you -
"CASTELLANOS: I sat right next to him. I made it a point. That's because I just didn't want him to feel alone. Guess who's made three errors at third? [raises hand] Guess who's played the position like, 'Man, don't hit it to me because I don't want to f**k this up, because I don't want these accomplished veteran pitchers mad at me'? [raises hand] That's a lonely way to play the game.
"And I told him, I said, 'Hey, it might not seem like this now but your career's only been this big. When you're 15 years in, you're going to look back on today and you're going to recognize that today's a really good day. And honestly, so far it has been. It's been the best day of the year for him."
That rocks. Just the perfect message from a guy who clearly gets the game in Castellanos. It's cool that he was able to enter the locker room and immediately start having an impact off the field as well as on the field.
For those who don't remember Castellanos' early-career days, he played third base from 2014 to 2017 with the Tigers and made his share of mistakes. He committed 54 errors in 527 career games at third base in Detroit, or one every 9.75 games. Third base is a tough position. It happens!
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Bohm has committed 22 errors in 147 games at third base, or one every 6.68 games, which is rough. If you take out that three-error night he'd be at one error every 7.68 games. That's still not great, but his career is young. He can improve that number if buckles down the rest of the season. (Or maybe he'll just switch positions eventually!)
Elsewhere during the pod Castellanos confirmed he's living in Ben Simmons' old South Jersey place, and said while there is a basketball hoop there is not a three-point line. Makes sense.
Castellanos also said the Reds never even called him (!) after he opted out of his contract in order to become a free agent. He said it was disappointing.
The whole conversation was fantastic and is worth a listen. Castellanos gives great, no-BS answers every time he talks. He's awesome.