Late last season, while serving as the team’s interim manager, Mike Quade decided to bench rookie Starlin Castro.
Castro had lost track of the number of outs late in the September 5, 2010 matchup with the Mets, a dogged it on a grounder that turned into an easy double play. Quade gave the kid an earful and benched him the following day.
Quade caught a little bit of heat for the move – not because benching a player for taking a play off was unacceptable, but because some felt Quade’s tough love approach wasn’t being applied equally to some of the lazier veterans. That is an issue that has carried forward to this season. Obviously we don’t know exactly what goes on a player’s mind or what happens in the clubhouse, but how many times have you heard about Quade taking Aramis Ramirez to task for loafing?
Well, Quade is busting Castro’s chops again, this time for failing to pursue a ball into the outfield after a diving attempt at a grounder up the middle yesterday. The failure allowed a couple runners to grab an extra base.
Quade let Castro know that a lack of hustle will not be tolerated.
“It better not happen again, and he knows it,’’ Quade said. ‘‘He gets frustrated. He wants to make the play, [but] doesn’t make the play and just has a letdown. I’m sorry he didn’t make the play. It would have been a great play. But stay involved. That bothered me.”
To be clear, Quade isn’t wrong to let Castro know that this kind of taking plays off or refusing to hustle in selective situations is not acceptable. Especially because of Castro’s age and relative success, it’s important to nip these bad habits in the bud.
But where are these stories for other players who aren’t giving 100% on every play?
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