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Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum was a hard-working middle infielder for much of his playing career, so you can understand why he would develop a special relationship with young Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro. Well, there’s also the whole “superstar, face of the franchise” bit. Managers tend to spend extra time with them.

Because of that developing relationship, Sveum feels comfortable holding Castro to a high standard when it comes to Castro’s work on the field. Sveum has been demanding all Spring, but both he and Castro feel the 22-year-old will be better for it. From Cubs.com:

Sveum has been watching Castro since the first day position players reported to Fitch Park and working with him almost daily, including video sessions. What Sveum also has done is asked Castro to grade himself each day.

“Now I’ve got him doing that every day, and he’s coming up and saying, ‘I was a 10 today,’ and I’m like, ‘Nah,'” Sveum said. “I’m thinking, I was watching and there was that one little throw. I said, ’10 is perfect.’ [On Friday], he actually had a 10.

“He’ll be honest. He’ll say, ‘Eight today.’ I’ll say, ‘Eight — c’mon. Two balls out of 20? That’s not an eight.’ When you give guys little goals like that, I think they have fun with it, too.”

Those demands are paying off, if not yet in results (it’s still the Spring, so “results” aren’t really available yet), certainly in confidence.

“Gold Glove — that’s what I want,” Castro said. “That’s what I’m working on. I’m going to try to get a Gold Glove this year for sure.”

It’s possible.

“The work ethic is better, the quality is better, the quantity is getting there,” Sveum said. “You have to get the quality first as much as anything.”

One of the goals is to get Castro to slow down a notch after he catches the ball so he can make more accurate throws.

“He’s got a great arm,” Sveum said. “You don’t need to speed that arm up with feet being too fast. That gets a lot of young guys in trouble. He’s been very, very receptive of everything I’ve asked him to do.”

Castro started his defensive drills this offseason in his native Dominican Republic. The Cubs provided a house for him and his family to stay in near the team’s academy in Boca Chica, and he worked on his throws, his footwork. He appreciates Sveum’s input.

“He told me, ‘Slow down, you need to know who’s running, know if they hit a ground ball in the hole, know who’s running, so you know how much time you have,'” Castro said. “Last year, that kind of ground ball, I’d throw the ball too hard and make an error.”

Castro’s upside as a defender is absolutely Gold Glove-caliber. Kids his age are typically busy putting up huge error totals in the middle to low Minor Leagues. He has tremendous range and athleticism, a powerful arm, and a smooth glove. He just needs to improve his approach and his decision-making. It sounds like he’s been hard at work on those very things.

As for Castro’s bat, while there aren’t the same concerns as with his glove, Sveum is still giving Castro special attention. Specifically, Sveum is ready to stand behind Castro’s as the team’s number three hitter, no matter what. From the Sun-Times:

Manager Dale Sveum has made Castro the No. 3 hitter, so the Cubs can start to build their lineup around him for years to come.

‘‘Yeah, I know the stats,’’ said Sveum, referring to Castro’s .225 average and .571 OPS in 187 career plate appearances in the 3-hole — all last season. ‘‘It’s a commitment I made. He’s still the best hitter on the team, and sometimes for the future of the team, too, you have to do it. Like I said early in camp, when do you do it to a good young hitter? Does anybody really know that answer?

‘‘It’s just something I committed to, and he’s been committed to it.’’ …

‘‘Rome wasn’t built in a day,’’ Sveum said, ‘‘but I think just this last week, even though he hasn’t gotten any hits, he’s gotten a lot better pitches to hit, and he’s looking more to the middle of the field.

‘‘I think it’s just time, and I think for the future of the franchise, it’s just best to get him there now.’’

I don’t disagree with Sveum that Castro’s future is in a “production” spot in the lineup, and I also don’t think last year’s stats are necessarily indicative of more than the fact that small sample sizes can be misleading. That said, just watching him last year in those games where he batted third, his approach appeared to change, with him jerking his body a bit more to generate power (Ryan Theriot Syndrome). Hopefully he just sticks to what has always worked for him, and the power will come naturally.

  • Noah

    My only problem with Castro batting 3rd (and I’ve said this several times now), is that it just adds to this mythology that the 3rd spot in the line up is the most important, and modern analytics show that’s just not true. It’s essentially tied for 4th with the 5th spot in the lineup. Castro should be batting 2nd.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Agreed.

    • Can’t think of a cool name

      Noah, where did you get the information that the 4 and 5 hitter are most important? No doubting you, I’d just want to read the analysis.

      Thanks.

      • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

        The 4th and 5th aren’t most important, they are just more important than the 3 spot in the lineup. I can’t find a link but it was a study by Tom Tango and MGL who wrote “The Book”.
        The 2nd spot is supposedly most important.
        Then the 1st spot, 4th spot, and then I think the 5th and 3rd are next.

        The thinking being that the #3 spot comes up too often with no men on, 2 men out….that’s the situation you want to come up as few times as possible with your best hitter.

        • DocWimsey

          I think that I read the same study, and it showed that some basic paradigms about who should bat #2 and who should bat #3 were backwards. However, that made the #2 hole the one where you wanted to stick your “best overall hitter” (whatever that means!).

        • MaxM1908

          Thanks Norm. That makes sense to me. I agree that Castro should probably be in the 2 hole, then. Who would make the best #3?

          • DocWimsey

            For estimating the expected output of lineups, play with: http://www.baseballmusings.com/cgi-bin/LineupAnalysis.py. It’s a little outdated, but the results do correlate well with real data. (That’s almost a tautology, since the results are based on correlations from real data….)

            You can get ZIPs projections for the Cubs at a variety of sites. The big lesson is that if you want to really increase expected runs, then there is not much you can do with any one lineup. Instead, you have to replace the low OPS guys in the lineup with better OPS guys.

      • BeyondFukudome

        Noah didn’t say that the 4 and 5 hitters are the most important. He said that the 3 and 5 hitters tie for being only the fourth most important.

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          Yeah, looks like I read too quickly. I wan’t trying to refute Noah, I was just interested in reading the information. Thanks to all who provided information.

          • Can’t think of a cool name

            That should be “wasn’t trying”

      • MaxM1908

        I don’t think he was saying that the 4 and 5 hitter are the most important. He said the third spot is TIED with the fifth spot as the fourth most important position. Noah, I’m curious about the pecking order for all the batting positions if you’d be willing to share.

        • Noah

          I’m quite sure Norm knows it as well as I do (if not better), and I’m not a master on it… but my understanding is it goes like this: 2, 1, 4, 5, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9.

          Now, there are caveats to all that. If your best overall hitter is Albert Pujols/Miguel Cabrera/Prince Fielder and you don’t have nother big power hitter in the line up, you’d want him batting 4th because that’s when he’ll see the most men on base. The basic idea is to focus the best on base guys at the top of the line up, and have them followed by your best power hitter.

          A better example for how this would have worked than last year’s Cubs team is last year’s Brewers team (they just had a more clear pecking order of best to worst hitters). If I recall correctly, the Brewers’ standard lineup was along the lines of: Morgan, Hart, Braun, Fielder, Weeks, Random Terrible 3rd Baseman, Lucroy, Betancourt. Ranking those hitters in order of best to worst, you could at least make a strong argument for Braun, Fielder, Weeks, Hart, Morgan, Lucroy, Random Terrible 3rd Baseman, Betancourt. So if they followed “The Book”, the optimal lineup would probably have been:

          Weeks
          Braun
          Morgan
          Fielder
          Hart
          Lucroy
          Random Terrible 3B
          Betancourt

          Although “The Book” also actually says that you’ll gain a few runs a season in the NL by having the pitcher bat 8th. It’s actually logical if you think of it. What you’re doing is taking some RBI situations away from the 8th batter, who will frequently be pitched around to get to the pitcher, and giving them to your number 1-3 hitters.

          But what is clear is the Cubs have put their worst overall hitter in their most important slot. If I were Dale Sveum, my lineup vs. RHPs would be: DeJesus, Castro, LaHair, Soriano, Stewart, Soto, Byrd, Barney, Pitcher (or Pitcher, Barney). Although I can’t disagree with Norm’s put Castro 2nd, the pitcher 9th, and draw everyone else out of a hat strategy either.

          • DocWimsey

            The other thing to add to this is that the way to really change run production is not from shuffling the lineup, but from changing the players. You cannot turn this into a 700 run lineup by finding the “right” slot for Darwin Barney. You do it by replacing Darwin Barney with (at least) a Neil Walker or a Ryan Roberts (both about middle of the pack) or (better still!) with a Pedroia or Cano.

            That being said, batting Barney 2nd probably is the single worst spot: he really should be 9th (for reasons given above).

            • Noah

              This is completely true. The number of runs you can add by having an “optimal” lineup is fairly minimal. It is, at most, one win. Now, for the Cubs this season that’s likely to be the difference between winning 72 or 73 games. But it may have made a difference for the Braves last season, who reportedly regularly trotted out a pretty viciously illogical lineup.

              • Can’t think of a cool name

                Good stuff, thanks Noah and Doc.

    • Deez

      Co-sign.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    I am really big on Castro. I definitely think he will win a few gold glove in his career once he slows down the game. Offensively, he can turn into one of the most feared hitters in the league. I can see his ceiling as a .320/30/110 type of guy with 30/30 potential and MVP type seasons. Heres hoping it all comes together.

    • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

      .320/30/110 type of guy with 30/30 potential….WOW. Yeah, that would be nice.

    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

      Wow, that would make him as, if not more, valuable as Pujols.

    • DocWimsey

      Good grief, nobody uses that slash line anymore. In particular, nobody becomes an “X RBI” guy and nobody every has: RBI are a team stat influence most heavily by the OBP of the two guys in front of you.

      Now, what Castro could become is a 0.300/0.360/0.470 guy. That would be a typical OPS of 0.830, which is outstanding from your SS. (For comparison, that is very close to “prime time” Derek Jeter level for comparison).

      Castro might steal some bases, too, which will delight fantasy league owners but not really affect MLB games very much….

      • Noah

        Yeah, if Castro stole 30 bases it would probably mean he was also caught 15 times, which would be a net loss. I expect that in his peak he’ll actually steal less bases. I’d expect somewhere like 20 HRs, 15 SBs (but with a high success rate) regularly during his peak.

        • Jay Anderson Jr

          Never said he would put up those numbers, just that his ceiling could possibly produce those numbers. He still has a lot of hard work and learning to do to get there. Hopefully he does.

          • Noah

            But you also expect him to get faster as he gets bigger. That’s a very rare occurrence.

            • Jay Anderson Jr

              Speed or lack there is only one element of base stealing. I don’t expect him.to become faster or slower, just a better base runner.

              • MichiganGoat

                Base stealing and base running are two different things. A guy like John Kruk could be a better base runner than Campana (not saying this is true just an extreme example). Effective base running is about maximizing the bases one can reach while minimizing errors. Speed is helpful but it does not equal good base running.

                • Jay Anderson Jr

                  I agree 100%. Look at a guy like Bobby Abreu. While he had pretty good speed, he was never extremely fast. He stole bases with good reading, good timing and great reflexes and an even better burst out the box. It barely took him more then one step to reach full speed. Also, he did it while being a bigger guy then Castro. Castro can learn, and while he may never steal 30 bases, he definitely has the potential to.

      • Jay Anderson Jr

        You are so f*cking analytical. I wasn’t using that as a slash line or for debate about analytics, justing stating possible numbers. And no matter how many different slash lines and analytics you use, it is Ave/HR/RBI that’s gets a player signed and paid. The rest if for people to debate on blog sites.

        • Noah

          I’d strongly disagree with that statement. The vast majority of front offices don’t consider RBIs any more. I think if you told Theo or Jed that they were considering RBIs in any signing they ever made, they’d either be offended or have a good guffaw.

          • DocWimsey

            Another way to put it is that guys like Epstein, Cashman, Friedman, Amaro, Schuerholz, etc., consider RBI a team stat, not an individual stat. Guys like Jim Hendry consider RBI to be an individual stat.

            But this even gets into the general philosophies preached to the players. Most of the good teams do not talk about different spots in the order being for “run scorers” and “run producers.” The good offensive teams stress getting on base and scoring: and if there is a guy on base in front of you,then that means he (probably) scores, too. Yay team!

            Oh, and thanks for the compliment: indeed, I am effin’ analytical! :cool:

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              I never use RBI when evaluating a player, but, for what it’s worth, I do like to discuss them in-season, while reflecting on hot streaks and things like that. Not because I think RBI are important, but because it’s just kind of interesting. I wonder if that perpetuates a bad idea, though.

              • Noah

                I’m fine with people using RBIs as what I like to call a descriptive stat (a stat that merely tells you something that happened in the past, instead of something that can be used for any sort of projection for the future), as long as its someone who understands that RBIs are largely a product of place in order and quality of the hitters in front of a batter (which I know you do, Brett).

            • MaxM1908

              Well said, Doc. There’s nothing wrong with being analytical. My concern, however, with statistical analysis is that essentially places human in the role of predictable machines. I don’t like that, and I don’t think that it should be the only consideration when it comes to baseball. The human mind is complex and I think that translates to performance. That’s why clubhouse culture is important. It’s why curses are important. The psyche of a player can be affected by many factors–negative elements will cause them to perform worse than they are capable of, and positive elements will cause them to perform better. I think that X factor is important, and I think the Cubs will need that X factor to overcome past failures. I don’t necessarily want the guys with the best stats filing every position (though it would be ideal), I want the guys on the field who play best as a team and raise everyone to a higher level of play. It may be improbable according to statistical analysis, but I think putting the right TEAM together may cause individuals to exceed their statistical limitations. I don’t want to ignore statistical analysis, I just want to recognize that we’re dealing with human beings, and humans can always surprise under the right set of circumstances.

              • Noah

                But it’s difficult to build a team on those sort of positive influences. If that was the case, then by all accounts adding Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena should have shown up in the win column.

                I also think that saying that proponents of analytics view a baseball team as predictable machines that can be put together is a misunderstanding. Baseball management has been doing what modern analytics has been doing forever: looking at players’ statistics and determining their value based on that. What modern analytics merely says is that the statistics they were looking at weren’t the best indicators of positive effect on the team. One of the things that those of us who like analytics the most enjoy about the sport is that it’s this perfect combination of set facts and pure randomness. You can put all the pieces in place to win, but you can never guarantee it. All the modern analytics does is tell us that people weren’t moving those pieces in the most efficient manner for a long time.

                • MaxM1908

                  Right, and that’s what I like about it too. I’m trying to learn more about modern analytics so I can converse with you all that have a solid background in it. I just don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater in the process. A guy that hits .220 through the season is still capable of hitting a game winning home run in a critical game. A manager who spends every day with him and his teammates may recognize that an opt for him as the pinch hitter in that situation. Statistical analysis may say not to trust him with that at-bat, but the X-factors, intangible as they may be, may trump statistical analysis in any given situation. I think both are very important, and I’m positive about this team because I think we have the right leadership in place to balance those considerations.

              • Cubbie Blues

                “negative elements will cause them to perform worse than they are capable of” People are always capable of doing worse.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Give me enough beer and I will prove that hypothesis.

        • MichiganGoat

          I agree that the triple crown stats get attention and will get players MVP, All-Star, fan favorite prestige but those stats are not what the elite teams value when grading a player. However often those triple crown stats gel with the more advanced stats a Theo team is interested in seeing. These triple crown stats are similar to wins for pitchers, neat to read but are the results of many factors outsider of players control.

  • Eric

    At age 21 Castro committed 29 errors in the bigs.

    At age 21 Jeter committed 29 errors in AAA + 2 in the bigs.

    I wouldn’t count out Castro’s fielding.

    • DocWimsey

      Also, errors are not the things to compare. What is most important is range, and Castro’s range is better than Jeters was. (By now, I think that pigeons roost on Jete’s cap…. :cool:) The difference really is from media hype: the NY Media played up every “spectacular” play Jeter made (never mentioning that every other SS turned the same balls into routine plays) whereas the Chicago media seems to play up every error that Castro makes.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Sportcenter’s Top Plays were the death of fan defense analysis. A diving catch is NOT an indicator that someone is a great defensive player.

        • DocWimsey

          The discerning fan could tell: whenever Omar Vizquel made a spectacular play in the hole, the 3Bman was on the screen; whenever Jeter made a spectacular play in the hole, the 3Bman was nowhere to be seen!

          But, yeah, Web Gems really emphasized *spectacular* over *good*: and I think that it eludes fans that many spectacular plays are not particularly good ones.

          • Eric

            While both you two make very valid points. I do believe that Web Gems has done alot in helping kids focus more on the defensive side of the game.

            • MichiganGoat

              Gotta disagree, as the dunk in basketball confuses kids about what a quality basketball looks like, a diving catch or diving SS does not equal quality play. It equals a highlight and a stupid ESPN catch phrase. A player that never makes the highlight reel and fields an excellent position is of greater value and who the youth should be watching.

              This is why ESPN and it’s clones have confused so many about what a good play looks like.

      • Eric

        Yeah, I cringe a little to compare to Jeter as it is somewhat controversial to call him a “great” defensive shortstop – at least in terms of modern analytics, but we all know the difficulties in gauging defensive statistics.

        My point wasn’t so much that he was like Jeter as much as it was “all kids struggle with errors, especially at SS”.

        • DocWimsey

          Well, if Castro can bat close to as well as Jeter did, then he can make all the errors he wants! (I don’t think that Castro will ever take enough walks to quite post Jeter’s OPS, however.)

          Ultimately, the real point is that balls hit in Castro’s vicinity have a slightly higher chance of being turned into outs than were balls hit into Jeter’s vicinity. However, that never stopped the Yankees from going to post-season.

          (And lest it seem like I’m praising Jeter’s bat overmuch, I am a Sox fan as well as a Cubs fan and thus conceding more than praising! :cool:)

      • JulioZuleta

        Who doesn’t love the catch-the-foul-ball-in-play-run/dive-into-the-stands play. Only saw that 1,000,000 times. A good defensive SS would have been fast enough to get there with time to spare and not have to do the New York dive into the stands. Do NOT get me started with Jeter. Most overrated athlete in my lifetime in any sport.

        • DocWimsey

          Aren’t you forgetting the part where he leaves an autographed ball? Or was that something else?

          Actually, supposedly Jeter’s range on popups is (or was) pretty good. That is part of the reason why people suggested that he might make a good CFer. It’s his range on grounders that is abysmal.

          Of course, as there are several grounders for every popup, Cap’n Clutch’s fielding strength wasn’t all that important.

  • Dave

    30 homers seems optimistic. I would think at his best he could be a 20 homer guy.

  • Karen P

    When I read the initial interview with Sveum yesterday, I was soooooo happy with everything about. Let’s be honest, we would have NEVER seen Quade, Piniella or (Lord help us all) Baker taking this approach with a guy like Castro. I just hope that he stays injury free; I’m just a year older than Castro and am already starting to feel the affects of a lifetime of intense sports. It would break my heart if nagging injuries stifle his career.

  • DocWimsey

    “That said, just watching him last year in those games where he batted third, his approach appeared to change, with him jerking his body a bit more to generate power (Ryan Theriot Syndrome).”

    The only difference between Castro batting #3 and Castro batting #1 & #2 last year was that only 18% of the balls that he hit became singles when he batted 3rd whereas about 29% of the balls that he hit became singles when he batted 1st or 2nd (about 29%). The proportion of balls that he hit for extra bases, as well as the proportion of PAs where he K’ed or walked were essentially the same. (The difference in slugging reflects more doubles and triples but fewer HR while batting 3rd; however, all of those represent well-hitt balls.)

    The good news is that it is highly improbable that he’ll get singles only 18% of the time while batting #3 (or anywhere else) in 2012. The bad news is that it’s also improbable that he’ll get singles 29% of the time! (He probably will continue to get extra base hits about 8% of the times he hits the ball and K 14% of his ABs; however, he’ll do better than walk 5% of the time….)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      “The only difference between Castro batting #3 and Castro batting #1 & #2 last year was that only 18% of the balls that he hit became singles when he batted 3rd whereas about 29% of the balls that he hit became singles when he batted 1st or 2nd (about 29%). The proportion of balls that he hit for extra bases, as well as the proportion of PAs where he K’ed or walked were essentially the same. ”

      I’m assuming I don’t need to point out why that’s precisely consistent with what I said, right?

      • DocWimsey

        I’m not sure that it is. Singles are far and away the base hits with the biggest “luck” factor. Most of them are grounders, flairs, liners, etc., that hit a couple of feet to the left or right are outs. It gets back to the BABiP issue and why things like power, batting eye, are essentially uncorrelated BABiP (but not BA given contact!).

        Conversely, extra base hits reflect how frequently a guy is hitting the ball solidly. Now, #3 Castro did hit fewer HR than did #1/#2 Castro, but #3 also hit more doubles/triples than did #1/#2. The “luck” factor with extra-base is probably the type of pitch that the batter hit well: after all, the difference between a screaming liner and an HR is the trajectory from the bat, and that typically reflects where the pitch was.

        Two other expectations I have if a batter really is altering his approach is: 1) his K rate to increase; 2) his walk rate to drop. The former should happen because he should make contact less frequently. The latter should happen because altering stances will alter how well a guy picks up the ball out of the pitcher’s hand. However, neither of those happened.

        So, in the end, the things that I expect if Castro really had a bad approach batting #3 are not there.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’d expect a guy to get a lot fewer hits if his approach at the plate suddenly turned to shit. That’s what happened. It’s a small sample, and I’m not saying it’s anything more than anecdotal. But that’s what happened.

          I think you make a nice point on the lack of change in K and BB rates, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Castro’s uncanny contact ability plays a part in those remaining unchanged, regardless of his approach (because he always stays within a certain range of “approaches”).

  • terencem

    If Castro ever goes 30-30, he will definitely win a GG regardless of his stats because it’s a popularity contest and has nothing to do with actual skill.

  • Leo L

    I have joined the bat Castro second bandwagon. The number of bats lost and the Analytical importance of 2nd vs 3rd changed my mind. With the new Regime so hihg on statitics why do you think they have him batting third. really jsut old school thinking? didnt seem like that is the way they would do things anymore

    • drew

      I agree Castro should be batting 2nd, but remember, even if the entire lineup is constructed using Tango’s approach, its still only a difference of around 5-10 runs a season. Therefore im not sure its as big of a deal as some may think.

      To Doc’s point, the way for this to make a bigger difference is not to shuffle the order, but to replace low OBP with high OBP in the lineup altogether.

  • Cubs505050

    Castro’s will be great if he continues to put work in.

  • clark addison

    Through most of his career, Ryne Sandberg hit in the #2 hole for the Cubs.

    I think he did all right there.

    • mister_rob

      ….and Mark Grace (who is more similar to CAstro offensively) mostly hit 3rd

  • FromFenwayPahk

    Castro kinda reminds me of young Wade Boggs, too. All that bat. All that schoolin’-up fielding.

  • JK

    Brett, I’ve been following your site for quite awhile now. Thanks for providing me with information AND entertainment. When I saw your picture for this article, I could no longer contain my angst…or my silence within your posts. Last year, when I saw a still picture of Starlin Castro throwing, my eyes bugged out. I’m not sure what the coaches are seeing, but Castro’s form is problematic to the nth degree. I have studied Ozzie Smith and Derek Jeter’s mechanics and there is nothing in their form that shows the odd angles that Castro’s mechanics conjure. For Castro to move forward from the still picture in this article, he needs to recalibrate. And to recalibrate, he needs to move in directions that are completely unnecessary. I am flabbergasted that this young phenom continues to bend his elbow and wrist in ways that are completely contrary to sound mechanics. Ted Williams had a huge hitch in his swing. In the game of basketball, Larry Bird’s shot was ugly at best. But these men excelled in their field. If it aint broke, don’t fix it. The problem here is…Castro’s mechanics are broke. He makes a ton of errors. Someone needs to fix it! Please tell me a Little League pitching instructor is not the only man who recognizes a still picture speaks volumes of this young player’s MAJOR mechanic flaws!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think we’ll have to see what he looks like this year in full-game action. I know it’s been worked on.

      (and thanks)

  • Jeff L

    CUBS TICKETS ARE THE HIGHEST TICKET PRICES IN BASEBALL NOW SURPASSING THE YANKEES… COME ON PUT A PRODUCT ON THE FIELD RICKETTS IF YOUR GOING TO MAKE THESE TICKET PRICES MORON!

  • JK

    With a fraction of Castro’s talent, I was throwing bee bees to the plate from left field because I was taught to throw a ball correctly. That’s what I was doing at 22. What were you doing at 22?

  • Jeff L

    better I’m surprised that Ricketts is that greedy that he made ticket prices higher than the Boston and the Yanks… Those two are supposed to have high ticket prices with the payroll of the team but the Cubs don’t even have a top 5 payroll and have the highest ticket prices. Also, they expect us to pay it on a year that they are calling a “rebuilding” year. The fans really need to let Ricketts know what he is doing is completely insane.

    • Cubbie Blues

      “they expect us to pay it on a year that they are calling a “rebuilding” year”

      They have never called it a “rebuilding year”. They have always called it a “building” year. How is building a 71 win team from the bottom up completely insane?

  • Jeff L

    I think that is apples and oranges there buddy. You can understand gas prices by understanding what is going on in the foreign countries supplying the oil… When it comes to the Cubs the only reasoning I’m thinking is Ricketts is actually thinking that he can save money in payroll and still have the highest ticket prices in baseball. I got to say COMPLETELY INSANE…

  • Jeff L

    I don’t at all. I think the that Ricketts had to go after at least one big free agent to even have a chance to explain having the highest ticket prices in baseball. He should have gone after either Darvish or Fielder… Especially now that Votto has signed a 10 year extension with the Reds. If Rizzo doesn’t work out there really aren’t any free agents on the horizon. Also, Darvish could turn out to be one of the top pitchers in the game. Getting both would have been a huge boost to a division title this year. I’m going to keep saying this but you can’t have HIGHEST TICKET PRICES IN BASEBALL.. IF YOU DONT PLAN ON REALLY COMPETING!!!

    • Cubbie Blues

      They did bid on Darvish. By most reports the Cubs bid was the 2nd highest. It was a blind bid. They put in a bid that they thought would win.

  • JK

    Better News – don’t know if you’re kidding. Throwing BB’s is a term for throwing a baseball with high velocity and with pinpoint accuracy. With a fraction of a fraction of the talent of Castro, I simply don’t understand why someone is not informing this young man that his mechanics involve unnecessary/superfluous movements that create all kinds of opportunities for throwing errors.

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