Although yesterday was the official Spring Training report date for positional players, all but a handful of Chicago Cubs were already in camp long before Friday. Included in that handful were annual laggards Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez, and second year shortstop Starlin Castro. Soriano missed Friday’s workout, but arrived last evening.

Unfortunately Ramirez and Castro have yet to arrive.

In an earlier post, I noted that, while guys who arrive early really get me excited, I try not to be down on those who merely report on the last possible day, because usually they’re working out/training on their own in the offseason. So while I’d prefer that every Cub arrive early, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I don’t think ill of those who come on the reporting date.

But guys who arrive late? Short of extenuating circumstances, that kind of pisses me off. Ramirez and Castro, in particular, annoy me for separate reasons. On Ramirez’s side, he’s entering what amounts to a contract year, and is coming off a wildly disappointing campaign where he disappeared for months at a time. And he’s a guy whose dedication and effort have been questioned in the past. Hopefully there’s a good reason, because otherwise, this is just poor form – and sadly – par for the course.

As for Castro, he gets a little more slack, as he participated in Winter Ball, but when you’re a young guy, there’s a right way to do things. Showing up late when you’re coming off a great rookie year feels like entitlement – a bad sign. Hopefully that’s an unfair characterization and we don’t see regression in 2011 based on laurel-resting.

I should note that manager Mike Quade is not concerned, so long as the guys show up for the first workout tomorrow.



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