Pittsburgh Pirates player loses iPhone mid-slide against Arizona Diamondbacks

Theo Mackie
Arizona Republic
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In the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game between the Diamondbacks and Pirates, the Pirates’ Rodolfo Castro dove head first into third base, taking two bases on an Oneil Cruz single.

Happens countless times every season, right? Not quite.

On the slide, Castro’s iPhone came flying out of his back left pocket. When he stood on the base and turned around, third base umpire Adam Hamari pointed to the phone.

“I looked at him like, ‘What?’ And then when I looked at where he was pointing, I saw my phone and I was shocked,” Castro said through a translator. “I was completely surprised. The first thing that crossed my mind is like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me right now.’ I felt embarrassed.”

Pirates manager Derek Shelton explained afterward that Castro carries his sliding mitt in his back pocket at all times, even when he’s on the field. Because of that, he never felt the sensation of his phone there.

“I don’t think there’s any professional ball player that would ever even go out there with any intentions of taking a cell phone,” Castro said.

Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas, who was standing beside the play, wasn’t so sure.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Rojas said. “Not even the first inning, it was the fourth inning, which means he had to have sat on it, right? You’ve got to know that’s in there.”

Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro's phone begins to slide out of his pocket as he slides into third base.

In both clubhouses and on social media, nobody could remember a similar incident. The closest thing came in 2015, when Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was discovered to have been using Instagram during games.

Both actions are illegal, per MLB rules, which state that uniformed personnel are prohibited from using phones on the field once batting practice has begun or in the clubhouse within 30 minutes of the start of the game.

“I'm sure we'll hear from the league,” Shelton said. “But (the umpires) handled it great, realized that it was a young kid that made a mistake and had his phone in his pocket and there was no intent to use it or do anything with it.”

When the play first happened, Pirates third base coach Mike Rabelo told Castro, “It’s alright, I think only me and you know about it,” according to Rojas.

Only Rabelo, Castro and the 1.4 million who watched it on Twitter as of Tuesday night.

Theo Mackie covers Arizona high school sports, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Rising FC. He can be reached by email at theo.mackie@gannett.com and on Twitter @theo_mackie.

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