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The Cubs were shut out by the Cardinals today, marking the fifth time in seven games at Wrigley Field that the Cubs failed to score.

But that all played second fiddle to Dale Sveum benching Starlin Castro, mid-game, for a serious mental lapse with the bases loaded. Castro appeared to forget how many outs there were or was distracted/confused by the infield fly rule on a pop up to short, and Jon Jay tagged from third and scored.

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  • Cheese Chad

    What’s going on in that head of his……

    • dying cubs fan’s last request

      Well… his girlfriend is pregnant.

  • Baseball24/7

    Ok please don’t compare the Soriano contract to the Castro contract. Soriano was 30 and Castro is 23. Its for less money at a much more premium position.

    Trust me I am not making any excuses for the guy, but there is still a heck of a lot of upside for the guy and he hasn’t even entered his technical “Prime Years.” (Age: 27-29). If I had my way I send him down to Iowa and leave him there to send a message to him.

    Make him ride the buses and sleep in motels. Make him earn his right to be back on this team. Have him strictly focus on approach and fielding. Have coaches in Iowa sit him down and say “I don’t care if you think you can hit the tough pitch low and away outside of the strikezone. Don’t swing at it!” Take pitches and wait for your pitch. I get thats what they are telling him up in Chicago but its a lot more humbling and you take it to heart when you’re doing what ever you can to get back in the bigs.

    Castro needs to be humbled. He can’t get away with just natural ability anymore because pitchers have figured him out. He should be getting to the ballpark in Iowa at 8am taking BP and doing fielding drills till the sun comes down. And throw in some doctor prescribed adderall to get him to stop looking at the clouds during the game.

    • Geo

      Couldn’t agree more, or trade him now while his value is kind of high. And it won’t cut it sitting him down for a day or two cause we’ve seen that movie before!

    • JOE

      You are spot on, sir, spot on.

    • Kyle

      You can’t send him down. In order to be sent down. He has enough service time that he’d have to clear optional assignment waivers in order to be sent down. If you tried, someone would claim him and get him for free.

      • Eternal Pessimist

        Maybe ‘fake’ injury plus some rehab time is the way to go…Maybe he just has ADD and this is who he is/will be, but I’m no ready to dismiss the last two superior years he has had. Maybe some bench time in the majors…or just send him to observe/take notes on Baez in AAA. Maybe that will restart his belly-fire.

  • dying cubs fan’s last request

    I think if the Cubs wants to send a message to Starlin just straight send him to Iowa to work at his stuff. Pulling him out in the middle of the game like will just mess up his head even more.

    • dying cubs fan’s last request

      like that*

  • Rebuilding

    I’m sure I’ll catch a lot of flak for this, but I was really disappointed by what Sveum did today. I’m not sure why he would go out of his way to add embarrassment to a core piece or trading block of this organization. I’ve said it before – I think there is something personal between Sveum and Castro and I think it’s affected Castro this year. I totally disagree that he forgot how many outs there were – it seemed to me he was confused by the infield fly rule, which is understandable since everyone including umpires get confused by it. If Castro had obviously dogged it a few times lately then I would understand sitting him tomorrow. Pulling a kid like that in the middle of the game just seems like something deeper. Castro has struggled at the plate, but his defense and concentration have seemed much better the last 50 games. Flame away

    • dying cubs fan’s last request

      Agreed.

    • BABIP (MichCubFan)

      I agree, I wasn’t huge on it either. You can handle it behind closed doors, or maybe bench him next game. But now we have another major mental lapse by Castro on national TV to be overblown.

      He needs to make fewer stupid mistakes, but I would have dealt with it differently.

      • MichiganGoat

        The fact it was on national TV makes it so much worse. Now will ESPN make this into something big or will they just do it in passing?

        • caryatid62

          ESPN is busying perpetuating the narrative about how much Soriano’s turned it on since he put a Yankee uniform on. That’s all they have time for.

    • Bt

      If he wanted to embarrass him, he would have yanked him in the middle of the inning. I’m not sure how else he was supposed to send a message

      • nkniacc13

        bobby cox did before on a bone head play

      • Rebuilding

        The play was embarrassing. Pulling him after the inning was embarrassing + and I guess pulling him in the middle of the inning would have been embarrassing +++. Sit him tomorrow, bench him the next three days, whatever. But now you’ve nationally humiliated a 23 year old kid, hurt his trade value and further eroded his confidence. Why? Because he doesn’t know the infield fly rule?

        • caryatid62

          Any time fans try to play armchair psychologist (either defending a player or a manager), it delves into dangerous territory.

          We have no idea what is going on in Castro’s head or if it was good or bad for him. We have no idea what impact this has on his confidence. It might be good for him, it might be bad for him, but Sveum, through his personal relationship with both Castro and the rest of the team, surely made a more informed decision than any of us could have made. I have a hard time criticizing that with any level of confidence.

          • Rebuilding

            Sorry, but if you’ve ever heard Sveum talk or be interviewed he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s not Bobby Cox, show up players like that and he will be done really quick

            • caryatid62

              You have no idea what Sveum’s intelligence level is. Your criticism is ignorant (in the most literal form of the term “ignorant”)–you are trying to get in the heads of people you don’t even know. You have absolutely no informed sense of what is in their heads, yet you’re trying to claim you do.

              • Rebuilding

                Actually you can get a pretty good idea of someone’s intelligence level by listening to them speak. Have you ever listened to Sveum’s postgames?

                • caryatid62

                  No, you can’t, actually. Verbal expression does not necessarily have any relationship to intelligence. People who are articulate aren’t necessarily smart, and people who are inarticulate aren’t necessarily dumb.

                  • Pat

                    And you are basing this on what, exactly. Part 2 of your statement is correct, but I would love to see anything peer reviewed to back up the first part.

                    • caryatid62

                      The two sentences are one-in-the-same. The second merely explains the first. As I wrote, verbal expression doesn’t NECESSARILY have any relationship to intelligence. It doesn’t mean it absolutely does not–it simply means you can’t tell if a person is smart just by hearing them talk.

                      If you want articles on that, here are a few:
                      Neisser’s “Intelligence: Knowns and unknowns.”
                      Cattell’s “Personality traits associated with abilities. II: With verbal and mathematical abilities.”

                  • Rebuilding

                    That is true if you are talking about articulation. Not if you are talking about the actual ideas expressed

                    • caryatid62

                      The actual ideas are only discernible based upon the manner in which they are articulated.

                    • Rebuilding

                      That’s ridiculous. So someone using sign language could never have a good idea? Yes, articulation is an important component in getting your idea understood, but when you can articulate it in any basic way the idea can be judged on its own. Sveum seems to be lacking in both components

                    • caryatid62

                      How, exactly, is sign language NOT an articulation of an idea?

                      You’re confusing fluency with intelligence.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Actually I’m not confusing anything. I said listen to his press conferences because he sounds dumb as a rock. I didn’t just say he had poor articulation (which he does), but listen to what he says – its the same old tired baseball lingo, mumbo jumbo. Sveum has no experience outside if baseball – he started in Pikeville when he was 18 years old – and I think it’s to his detriment

                    • caryatid62

                      You’re still confused.

                      The only way you have any idea of what’s in his head is through his verbal articulation. You don’t know what is in his head, you only know what he chooses to say, which is filtered by any number of things within his brain, and then further filtered through his verbal fluency.

                      That message then filters through two more media (your ears and your brain) and then you try to assess it. That’s three filters that impact how it’s being perceived.

                      So, once again, you don’t speak from a place of understanding.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Since I doubt we’ll be seeing any scholarly papers from him, we can go by what he says, how he says it and what he does. I think he does a poor job communicating his ideas, has poor ideas that he does communicate and does a poor job at his vocation in life. Most people call that dumb, but call it what you wish

                    • caryatid62

                      And I think that conclusion is silly and ignorant.

                      Moving on.

                • Pat

                  You can get a pretty good idea of someone’s intelligence by listening to them speak honestly. That’s not a luxury Sveum has. He has to find a way to put a relatively positive spin on the shit sandwich he’s been handed the last two years. I’d be willing to bet you wouldn’t be able to do that very well either in a live interview with follow up questions.

        • D.G.Lang

          Let me start out by saying that I am A Castro fan HOWEVA, he is not a KID, he is a young man more than mature enough that he should be in control of his own thoughts and how he directs them.

          Our young troops going into battle are often still in their late teens and yet they are required to make life and death decisions which may very well cost them or their fellow troops their lives or severe injury under much harsher conditions than Starlin can even imagine.

          Castro simply needs to control his own thoughts and be responsible not only for himself but also for his teammates and the fans who pay so much to watch him play.

          I have a grandson who always has an excuse for everything and simply can’t understand that he must take responsibility and that is unacceptable for him to constantly say that he can’t do whatever is required from him for whatever stupid reason he can invent to cover his laziness and lack of effort.

          My grandson does have ADHD but he seems to milk it for every failure to complete his assigned tasks. He would rather sit around and play video games all day long than do his very few assigned chores. This a simply gross immaturity and I fear that he will suffer much as an adult when he has to earn his living rather than live off others efforts.

          Unfortunately in Starlin’s case he does have job security and can most likely live the rest of his life on the money he has already received and therefore he does need some very STRONG encouragement to remove his head from his rear end so he can see what is going on around him. Either that or he should get a glass stomach installed and invest in sever bulk boxes of windex before he hurts himself.

        • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

          1) He’s not a kid. He’s A 23 year old man – able to buy beer, vote, sign contracts, party, have babies, and oh, serve whatever country he wants.
          2) He’s a 4th year big leaguer, who’s been underwhelming after getting a pretty nice contract.
          3) If he was in the NFL, he’d be benched quickly too. Be glad he does not play for Billy Martin or Steinbrenner, it would have been a fight in the dugout.
          4) As shortstop, it is job 1 to be aware of the situation – outs, pitch, positioning of infield and outfield, runner speed, etc. Lot’s to do – but yeah he’s suppose to be aware 100%. And this was not some ball running away from the infield into foul ground play, but a very easy play.

          Brain cramps are not going to win championships; Cubs have cramped for over a century on the field. Stop making excuses for this – it helps neither Castro or the Cubs.

          • Johnny B Good

            I would love to see George Steinbrenner of 70’s be Castro boss. Castro would get the message loud and clear to get his head in the game. He would publicly crush him and embarrass him so bad he’d never be lackadaisical again in the field

            • Sean T

              Yep Castro would never have a mental lapse if Steinbrenner was the owner. Would be comical to see. He would rip castro a new one

              • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

                Don’t necessarily like THE BOSS, but the players today – here’s one of those back in my day arguments I’ll start – are spoiled and coddled to no end.

                Reggie Jackson was yanked right off the field by Billy Martin, who was crazy too, but also a very respectable, if a hard ass manager, before he got to New York as the manager.

        • waittilthisyear

          i saw you posted that your interpretation of his actions were that he didn’t fully understand the infield fly rule. i saw it differently, and i assume sveum saw it the same as i did; he is often very cavalier with pop-ups, and i think he assumed that all he had to do was catch the ball and no one would dare run on him. even if he is not fully aware of the infield fly rule, instinct should tell you, catch the ball, fire it in.

          that being said, i agree that it seems there is something personal between sveum and him

    • Lucky

      Got disagree with you. He should be embarrassed. Most high school shortstops wouldn’t make that mistake. Loved what Sveum did

    • Johnny

      Castro can’t be the entitled child forever. Needs to be a man about it and learn from his mistake

      • Rebuilding

        You don’t know anything about Starlin Castro. He has played hard all year

        • Charley

          I order to play hard you must focused in on the game. Fully support Sveum

          • caryatid62

            You have absolutely no idea what was happening in his head. Absolutely none.

            • Bobby Johnson

              My god ppl fall in love and make so many damn excuses for not wanting ppls feelings to be hurt these days. Society is soft.

              Boo-hoo, he got taken out of the game for lack of mental focus

              • Bobby Johnson

                People need to grow a set and just accept it. He got taken out for not having his head in the game. If his psyche is that soft that getting taken out of the game will hurt him or hurts his feelings then he shouldn’t be a big leaguer.

                • Sean T

                  Agree 100%

                  • Eternal Pessimist

                    It was just one game. Hopefully, this will help him ‘reset’ his brain. He can (I think he will) be a solid SS in the future. Hopefully he will accept, learn, adapt and be a better SS from here on out.

                    If not, he, and others, will need to occasionally sit, and think about the mistake(s). I don’t think this is equivalent to rubbing his nose in it, but some consequence is necessary to remind him that this is not acceptable performance. Also, it is not the ‘Cub’s Way’. This is a systemwide transformation, attempting to rid of a myriad of player/manager issues that have plagued the Cubs for decades – no consequence for failure.

            • Josh

              Neither do you

              • caryatid62

                I didn’t claim to.

                • Johnny B Good

                  Then don’t claim another person doesn’t know you hypocrite

                  • Caryatid62

                    I don’t think you know ht the word hypocrite means.

                • Jason

                  caryatid: Your name is a play on carotid but having participated in several hundred carotid endarterectomy procedures–a stubborn blockage–and do not remember a psychologist assisting.

    • Pat

      So, apparently there is something personal between Castro and Sveum. If I remember correctly, supposedly Quade also had it out for Castro. And Lou.

      Just throwing it out there, but maybe it’s not the manager.

      Castro is still a very young, mostly good player. But it’s way to early (and he’s not nearly good enough) to start giving him passes because “It’s just Manny being Manny”.

      • MichiganGoat

        If Quade had it out for him why did he keep playing him in his first full year to get him to 200 hits?

        • Pat

          Maybe because the front office thought it would be a good selling point for tickets the next year? I have no idea. but he also called him out publicly on more than one occasion, causing people to say he was picking on him.

    • JOE

      Maybe Sveum sees things with Castro that we don’t. Like maybe Sveum sees him making these same kinds of mistakes in drills and warm-ups on a daily basis. If I were a manager and I saw a guy making mental lapses like this, even if they didn’t necessarily show up in games on a regular basis, I could certainly see how he’d become frustrated enough to bench a guy mid-game like what happened today. I like Castro a lot and think he has a bright future, but I also believe Sveum wants the game played the right way, and Castro doesn’t always measure up in that regard.

  • scott

    I’m not defending Castro or the decision by Dale, but no one should be confused by the infield fly rule.

    • Rebuilding

      In a perfect world yes. Do you remember the 2 or 3 games last year where the umpires got it wrong or there was a question whether it should have even been called? There’s a big difference between not knowing the rule book and dogging it

      • Pat

        Just stop. What exactly was he supposed to be confused by? Is there a single rule in MLB where an out, being the second out or less, causes a stop in play and a dead ball? What rule was he confusing this with?

        Look, over the course of his career so far, the offensive output has more than made up for the defensive lapses. But by no means does it eliminate or justify them. Physical errors are forgivable, mental errors aren’t. There are times his head is not in the game. Ignoring that is unlikely to improve the situation.

        • willis

          Well and now that the offensive output is about as good as any of us at the plate, the defensive criticism/staying focused in the field is going to get scrutinized even more. As it should be. His asset was his offense. Now that has disappeared, the defense will grab more focus.

  • Jason

    I am not going to flame away. Pretty good comment. He will throw the young guys under the bus. He has show improvement lately. High school mistake by a player and a rookie mgr. playing up to the press and fans. Not a good day for the organization and both parties will suffer.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Mickey mouse move by svuem. Castro has played great shortstop for two months. He has hustled and had his head in the game, playing every inning. Really does make you wonder if there is a personality conflict. Showing up your players like sveum did is very dangerous, can lose a team real quick.

    • Geo

      And how many times must he coddle him after a mental lapse? He had it coming , you can only pull a player to the side so many times but when it happens ever 15 games or so enough is enough. I commend dale sveum for his actions, Starlin needs to be shocked into straightening out , send him down . We need to convey a winning attitude & image. And they must send a message to all the players of look we won’t tolerate this & if it continues I’m sorry but this is what will happen. Unless your content with being lovable losers!

      • Rebuilding

        When was the last time he had a mental lapse?

        • Pat

          When he took his eyes off the ball a few weeks ago and allowed a liner to drop scoring the winning run.

          • Rebuilding

            Watch that play again. He should have made it, but that was not laziness

            • Pat

              I never contended it was laziness. Professional athletes, as a rule, aren’t particularly lazy, despite what some sports columnists might opine. I said he took his eye off the ball, which is a mental lapse.

              • Hansman1982

                If that’s a mental lapse then every player in the history of sports was prone to mental lapses.

                • Rizastro

                  Agreed hansman. Every player makes mistakes like this. I’m starting to wonder how many people on this topic have ever played truly competitive sports

                  • Rebuilding

                    Very few I would guess. Unlike Word or Excel there is no Undo button. Especially when you’re standing in front of 35,000 people. I would venture to guess that almost every MLB player has had at least 2 mental blunders this year

                    • Rizastro

                      I agree and kindly disagree with you rebuild. Every player despite the sport makes mental mistakes and every manager or coach handles it their way. It is how the player handles the adversity that determines who and what they are. I speak on this from experience. So with that said I agree with what Dale did today only because it creates adversity for starin. So now does he curl up in a corner and feel sorry for himself or does he overcome this. Do the ordinary things well and extraordinary things will happen.

                • Pat

                  As are all humans. It’s the frequency and importance of them that differentiates. He asked for the most recent example and I gave it.

  • Johnny

    Rebuild: how else are you suppose to get through to a kid. You can’t just keep talking to him after the game and saying to the guy you can’t do that. He need a good slap on th wrist

    • Rebuilding

      Get what through to him? He wasn’t dogging it. He obviously didnt realize or forgot the runner could tag after an infield fly. That’s a brain fart that you talk to the kid about and maybe sit him tomorrow

      • Tom

        How many times does he need to F up to realize he need to stop staring at clouds and picking his nose out in the field. I’ve seen little leaguers with more concentration the him. It’s not about dogging it, it’s about learning to get his head in the game.

        • Rebuilding

          He has messed up 3 times I can think of in 3 years. Not bad for a kid that came up at 20

          • Geo

            Dude, lay of the old style that 3 times in about 2 months.

            • Rebuilding

              I drink PBR. Name them

        • caryatid62

          In the same way that Rebuilding doesn’t know anything about what’s in Castro’s head, neither do you.

          • Rebuilding

            What does me knowing what’s in his head have anything to do with anything. It’s common sense that that you better have a damn good reason to humiliate anyone like that. I see what I see, he plays hard which is all you can ask. Has he had a few concentration lapses, yes, but who hasn’t on this team?

            • caryatid62

              You have no idea whether or not he was humiliated. You have no idea how Sveum’s move impacted his thought process or his emotions. Because it might have humiliated you (if you were Castro), it doesn’t mean it did to Castro. What is 100% true is that the manager was making a much more informed decision than you would be able to make.

              Hence, you are writing from ignorance.

              • Rebuilding

                I guess no one should write about anything then because no one really knows anything for sure. So, you think having that play played over and over on Sportscenter, and then pictures showing him sitting alone in the dugout the next inning isn’t humiliating? Right

                • caryatid62

                  No, I don’t, actually. You have no idea what individual people consider humiliating. None.

                  Ditch the strawman argument about no one writing anything. That has nothing to do with my point.

                  Evaluate and comment on things you’re able to comment on: what you actually see and experience. Simple as that. When fans start to play psychologist, silly narratives get perpetuated and everybody looks dumb.

                  • Rebuilding

                    Thanks, I’ll post whatever I want within the board rules. If you think being pulled in the middle of a game isn’t humiliating than no reason to discuss it with you further.

                    • caryatid62

                      Post whatever you want. Just don’t get upset when I use the same freedom to call your opinion ignorant or stupid. God Bless America.

                    • Rebuilding

                      Coming from you it doesn’t upset me. You’ve proven your own in this thread

                    • caryatid62

                      I have literally no idea what your second sentence means (I’ve apparently proven my own….something(?)), so I’m just going to move on.

                    • Rebuilding

                      It meant you had proven your own ignorance or stupidity…but maybe I didn’t articulate it well

                    • caryatid62

                      Nope, you didn’t.

                      But you gave the old ad hominem a nice try.

          • Bobby Johnson

            Yes I don’t know what’s in Castros head but his manager does much more then us. Sveum is a manager for a reason. He knows what he’s doing and I trust his opinion more then yours or mine. Sveum made the right decision

            • caryatid62

              That’s fine–I don’t necessarily have a problem with what Sveum did. But pontificating about what’s in Castro’s head is a pointless exercise.

            • Rebuilding

              Is this serious? Is your boss always right?

              • Baseball24/7

                Come on Sveum knows him better then us has multiple meetings with him about this stuff ass he said in his press conference and finally enough was enough. It was time to take off the kid gloves and publicly shame him and make an example of him

                • Rebuilding

                  Enough was enough? When was the last time Castro did anything like this?

                  • Baseball24/7

                    Please. You claim to watch the game (I don’t doubt you there), but you have lost touch with reality.

                • Rebuilding

                  What reality is that? How many other players have been removed in the middle of a game like that. Watch any MLB game and you are likely to see a mental error. How many times has the manager done what Sveum did today?

                  • Jason

                    Old Charley at Phil. pulled Jimmy Rollins not long ago–of course he was terminated yesterday.

        • Jim L

          How many little leaguers do you know that had 200+ hits in a season at age 21?

      • fortyonenorth

        Didn’t see the play but listened to the call. Sounds like Castro thought infield fly=ball is dead. Barney played it that way, too, so Castro wasn’t alone in his confusion. Agree that Sveum overreacted. It’s like parenting. A decision to discipline made in the heat of the moment is seldom the right one.

        • Lapdawg

          Even if he wasn’t sure if the ball was live or dead, that’s not a reasonable excuse. The intelligent decision would be to assume it was live and make the play then let the umps sort it out.

          Kind of like a batter legging out a fly ball in case it’s dropped-nothing to lose by hustling.

          Or a football player picking up a loose ball on a qb sack play-assume its a fumble not a forward pass.

      • Geo

        Kid, kid blah blah blah. My friend he’s a paid professional making how many millions a year?? You are talking & defending him as if he’s in AA working his way up to the majors. Stop with the coddling!

        • caryatid62

          A mistake is a mistake whether or not you’re making $7.50 an hour or $7.5 million. How much he makes has no bearing on the conversation.

          • Pat

            I would disagree. At 7.50 an hour, people expect you to make some mistakes. People who don’t make many mistakes aren’t available for that rate. If you’re making seven figures plus, the expectation is, and should be, a little higher.

            • caryatid62

              A person who makes a mistake is going to make it no matter how much he’s making. He should be judged against his peers of all salaries in MLB, and if found lacking, be held accountable. His salary shouldn’t bear on that.

              • Pat

                So, essentially, a mistake by a CEO is no worse than a mistake from a mail clerk? If he’s being paid more than his peers, then he should have more accountability. Teams don’t want to pay nine million a year for a guy who makes avoidable mistakes. They can get that at a 1500% savings, or about 6.5 percent of the cost.

                As far as judged against his peers, you do know he has lead the league in errors by a shortstop for three years running, right?

                All that said, I like Castro. I think this is an anomaly year for him. But he doesn’t get a free pass just because he is relatively young.

                • Eternal Pessimist

                  When the McDonalds clerk forgets to put a straw in the bag I generally let it slide. When my highly paid lawyer F’s up something serious from a similar mistake I don’t let it slide. It is not the same.

                  In both cases, the effort of the player/clerk still matters though.

                • waittilthisyear

                  when the hooker i pick up forgets to….ah never mind

                  • willis

                    Go on….

            • Geo

              Exactly pat, thank you

  • Tom

    I’m glad Sveum did what he did on national Television. Kid should be embarrassed. Managers back in the day wouldn’t put up with his shit. Needed some good old fashion embarrassment to wake up his ass and learn he isn’t above other players. He plays lazy and has no control in the batters box

    • Rebuilding

      When does he play lazy or act above other players? Just because he’s not hitting this year doesn’t mean those things. Not to mention that part of the reason he has struggled so much this year is because he has been trying to follow the FO edict to be more patient at the plate, which is completely contrary to how he had success before

      • Jason P

        I agree. I don’t think he’s lazy, I just think he’s prone to lapses in concentration. What happened today had absolutely nothing to do with laziness.

        • Jimmy James

          Not as bad as I was expecting…honestly think he just didnT expect him to go due to where he was catching the ball

  • Dustin S

    I have a feeling that Sveum/Hoyer/Theo will have a meeting to discuss what to do with Castro. It’s a tough situation because they’ve threatened to bench or send down players that continue to make mental mistakes repeatedly (thinly aimed at him), so if they don’t follow through they lose credibility. If it helps Castro refocus and bring the effort level back where it needs to be I’d be all for sending him to Iowa. The problem is that Castro is going to make ~$30k a game this year whether he’s at Iowa or Chicago. Bus rides and econo hotels might not be fun, but it’s hard to say if it will really have much effect.

    As for trading Castro, I know it’s a popular idea but it’s awfully unlikely. His contract and performance this year make him almost untradeable as a bad contract. But more than that, the last 3 years his WAR has been 1.4, 3.0, and 3.6. This year it’s -.5. As frustrating as he’s been selling that low on him even if they could somehow find a buyer goes so far against Theo’s buy-low/sell-high strategy that there’s not much chance of it happening. They’ve just got to figure out some way to get him refocused, whether it’s a trip to Iowa, different coaching approach, or ?

    • willis

      Here’s their meeting/plan/idea-hope like hell Baez develops into a great fielding (or hell, really good) SS. That’s it, that’s the plan. Once it’s proven Castro is expendable, he’ll be traded for pitching.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Teams would be ringing the phone off the hook if the cubs started shopping him. A plus defender at a premium position, who had 200 hits as a 21 year old. He would have a ton of trade value.

    • Jason

      Yes!

    • Jason P

      Except all the teams calling would be looking to “buy low” after his down year. We’d have no problem moving him, but the return would probably be worse than we got for Garza.

  • Jason

    Sandberg and Allan Trammell wanted Castro at second just before he made the club. Lou and Hendry negated that move I believe. Guessing Lou felt kid was hitting so well in spring that switch to strange position would mess with that. But second is a busy position and he might have had problems there too. Our best fielding shortstop is Barney but Gold Glove at second has taken that out of picture–that is until he becomes utility with another club.

  • Fastball

    What a blow up over a mistake. Ever make a mistake at work? I think it’s over. He got benched and that’s fine. If your the boss you unpopular decisions at times. Everybody comes back to work tomorrow and gets back after it. Only bad managers hold a grudge or keep on someone after they have made a mistake. If he repeatedly mad the same mistake you coach them to improve. If Sveum doesnt like Castro he better learn real quick to let that go. The commitment of this franchise is long term to Castro not Sveum. I don’t think he will be around when this team is built to win anyway. He is a 3 year interim chair filler. A top flight guy will be running things in 2015. Sveum doesn’t have any experience leading before Chicago. Maybe he needs some training in this area. He doesn’t impress, he is a fraction better than Quade was. What has done to improve this team? Hold a bunting tournament! This team hits worse than last years team. The pitching from other organizations now in Chicago are the bright spots except for Wood. If I’m Theo all these boys meet in my office and the riot act gets read! After I chewed ass everyone would be on notice.

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Brett, you need one of those fan polls, like ESPN has.

    Let me start one here.

    Do you want Dale Sveum to be the Cubs manager when the first wave of prospects hits the majors?

    Yes —–

    No——

    • bill

      I say…NO

      • Jason

        No and I am the son of an alderman and I get 400 votes.

        • dying cubs fan’s last request

          no.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’m not sure I understand the question. The first wave of prospects has already arrived.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        The top 10 guys. The guys we are hoping to be the core for the next 10 years.
        Baez, Almora, Soler and Bryant, to start. Olt, Alcantara and P. Johnson, also.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          So W. Castillo – who looks like he could be part of that core as the catcher – doesn’t count? What about Lake?

          The arrival of talent, even core talent, from the minors is not something that is going to happen down the road, one day, eventually. It is already well underway.

          • Mr. B. Patient

            Yes, they count, but they were never going to be the guys to lead the Cubs to the promised land. To be honest, I’m not thrilled Lake and Castillo are playing under Sveum.

            If you feel Sveum will be good for the younger guy’s development, vote Yes.
            We’ll just disagree.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Has he been bad for Castillo’s development?

              • Mr. B. Patient

                That is something I can not answer. Can you?
                Like I said, if you think Dale is good for the young players development, fine. We’ll just disagree.

    • willis

      HELL NO.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    The shortstop makes a mental mistake, the manager overreacts and shows him up.
    The real issue is a team shutout 5 times in 7 home games. And a historical low .224 average with runners in scoring position. Cubs need some better hitters.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      That’s the real issue through the larger prism of your arch rival getting to look good beating you on National TV. They did the same a few weeks ago on Sunday night, when the bullpen blew up badly – Gregg I think blew that with a ding-dong HR to Molina???

      And the lauded 18 rookies the Cardinals have used this year.

      And the fact Castro has regressed in all ways, including defense (Castro’s UZR/150 is horrible; RF is at 4.05; meanwhile Baez is at 4.95 RF/G in AA with 31 total HRs.)
      And Castro is in year one of a long extended contract which was not warranted – given the Baez option coming up.

      And Barney’s batting woes are not making this more tolerable.

      The key to winning championships is up the middle – catcher, shortstop, second and center plus the bump. Ask the Yankees – always had a great catcher and HOF CF, usually a top DP combo at SS/2B to boot. And dominating pitching.

      Big Red Machine – 2B, C, CF, SS – 2 HOFers and Concepcion and Cesar Geronimo.

      Oakland – Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson (72-played CF), C Gene Tenace (OBP high), Dick Green and others at 2B…probably the weakest example.

      All the other positions are easier to find on the market, but you can’t get enough pitching, a talented backstop, a go get em CF that can hit and run like a deer, a shortstop paired well with a 2B, either or both having offensive skills enough.

  • Kyle

    I’m less concerned with the mental mistakes and more concerned by the fact that we’re almost at a full season and Castro still can’t hit.

    • bill

      Castro hit just fine before svuem and company

      • Pat

        I hope this isn’t a correlation = causation thing. Because if so, you’re making some pretty big leaps in logic. Beware the crushing fist.

      • Kyle

        Which was fun then. But it’s not now. He can’t hit now.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    All you Castro defenders need to understand something which appears very clearly to me and the competition – Castro is prone to making mental mistakes and if we observe him as he is playing the game we can take advantage of him.
    This results in the opposition paying even closer attention than they might normally. It also results in putting more pressure on the rest of our team, especially the pitchers who have to overcome these mistakes.
    In my opinion , after close observation, I would recommend moving him out of the infield to the outfield where he is most likely not going to cost you as much defensively. He is above average on balls in the air, has the speed and the arm to play OF.

    • Jason

      That may be the answer to all of this. I did not think Lake, his best bud, could make the transition, but he is hanging.

    • Rebuilding

      I’ll say again – he made this mistake based on a misunderstanding of the infield fly rule. A rule that has tripped up MLB umpires and players since it was adopted. It was not a lack of effort. Other than that he has played a very respectable SS all year and has improved each year in the majors at the toughest position on the field. Other than this play, the only other “lack of concentration” I can remember was that play on ESPN where his back was turned to the infield. Honestly, I still don’t know what that was about, but lack of concentration hasn’t been the pattern people make it out to be

      • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

        How about all the times he has been late with throws to first base on routine ground balls because he taps his glove before he throws the ball and also does not know the speed of the batter who hit the ball. I’ve seen him do this probably 100 times in three years of watching him. Where have your eyes been ?

        • Rebuilding

          Well, I’ve watched pretty much every game over the last 3 years. And considering that would be scored an error I’m guessing you’re wrong

          • Kyle

            I’m not going to be able to cite chapter and verse for you, but Castro has seemed to me to have an uncanny knack this year for botching plays in ways that don’t count as errors.

            • Rebuilding

              Not you, Kyle. Please don’t go for this lunacy of get Castro. He has regressed at the plate, but not in the field. I’ll criticize his hitting approach all day, but the whole mental lapse thing is just not supported by the facts

              • Kyle

                I’m not talking about mental lapses specifically. I’m simply talking about botched plays where an extra base is taken or an out is not made, but in a way that doesn’t get recorded as an official “error” because of either scoring rules or practices.

                Both UZR and DRS think Castro’s defense has taken a pretty big dump this year.

                • Rebuilding

                  I thought you found those defensive metrics dubious at best?

                  • Rebuilding

                    Especially with a team that shifts as much as the Cubs, leaving Castro standing behind 2nd base with darn near every lefthanded hitter

                    • Kyle

                      They’re dubious enough that I can’t claim it as universal truth, but I believe them in this case.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Pretty much every defensive metric worth talking about agrees that Castro has regressed in the field.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            A late throw to first would not necessarily be scored an error. Taking too much time because the shortstop did not realize the speed of the runner would not be given an E.

            • Rebuilding

              Depends on the play. If he leaves his feet, generally yes. If not, it depends on where the ball was hit. Like I said, I’ve watched every game and haven’t noticed a large number of late throws to first

              • Rebuilding

                And assuming he was “tapping his glove” he’s on his feet and has a play. So more often than not that would be an error

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  No.

                  A late throw to first on an otherwise clean play is not an error.

                  “Rule 10.12(a)(1) Comment: Slow handling of the ball that does not involve mechanical misplay shall not be construed as an error. For example, the official scorer shall not charge a fielder with an error if such fielder fields a ground ball cleanly but does not throw to first base in time to retire the batter. ”

                  http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/official_scorer_10.jsp

                  • Rebuilding

                    I understand what the rule book says. The poster specifically said “taps his glove” which would be a motion in addition to the clean fielding of the play. Those plays are called errors all of the time. I have never seen a ground ball hit to a fielder that has plenty of time to make a play, who then taps his glove or “can’t get it out” be called a hit. It may have happened but I’ve never seen it. Not to mention I can’t remember such a play involving Castro this year

        • Drew7

          100 times? I think that may be a *small* exaggeration.

      • Baseball24/7

        Yes lets put the blame on the umpires… classy move pal. Umps have made plenty of mistakes in the past but not this time.

        • Rebuilding

          Where did I blame the umpires? I said it has been a confusing rule to a lot of people over the years.

          • Baseball24/7

            I’m sorry, I stand correct you didn’t blame the umpires but you use them as an example in this weak argument. I’m sorry

  • Jason

    He was a bad ball slash hitter who set most hit records for his age. We tried to power him up and it has been a disaster. Roberto Clemente , both right handed hitters, and both like to swing at balls just off the plate and use gaps. Thank goodness they left H.O.F. Clemente alone.

    • Rebuilding

      And it should be noted that he has changed his approach based in what the FO and Sveum asked him to do. Not the sign of a bad attitude

      • bill

        Castro was doing just fine under the old regime. I think he has too many ppl in his ear right now. Should have left him do what he was successful doing

  • Corey

    Anyone that thinks sending castro down is even an option doesn’t understand Baseball and shouldn’t comment here.

  • Baseball24/7

    What Sveum did sends a message to everyone through out the organization, down to even rookie league ball that you can’t do what Castro has been doing. He made a statement. Don’t think the young guys in the minors won’t hear about it or know about it

    • Rebuilding

      What has he “been doing” other than not hitting

  • Justin

    Here is what I think. First I believe sveum did the right thing by pulling Castro. Doesn’t matter that the game was on national television, it needed to be done. As for Castro, I really like how he has improved his defense this year, but consequently his average has dropped 50 points. I feel like when he was 20 and 21 he was going out there trying to prove himself every single game. Now that he is a 23 year old 2 time all star on a team that is out of the hunt in August for the 4th straight year, he just doesn’t have the drive he use to have. He doesn’t feel like he has to prove himself to anyone. He has established himself as one of the best hitters on this team. Maybe he needs more people around him to challenge him. I’ve seen people on here say the same things about Rizzo. If javy keeps tearing it up maybe starlin will feel the pressure and turn it on. I think he goes on a hot streak starting now

    • Baseball24/7

      I wish aramis ramirez didn’t “take him under his wing.” He taught him to be cool, instead of instilling values.

      Yes Soriano was there, but everyone knows when Castro first came up his first and main mentor was Ramirez and that was highly publicized. Ramirez was a terrible role model for the kid and I have heard multiple knowledgeable people say the same thing. Example: Bob Brenly, David Kaplan, Rick Morrissey, Gordon Wittenmyer, etc…

      Not putting all the blame on Ramirez but its just food for thought. He was just brought up to early in my opinion. I wish teams didn’t just bring up young players because they can hit. They should at least just have some feel for fielding their own position and knowledge of the game. Castro did not and has not made many strides…

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        At some point, Castro is responsible for his game 100%. No blaming A-Ram, as he was not there today, and hasn’t been in 2 seasons. Castro has to be a man – today, might of been the day to do that. Grow up, be the guy who gets it.

        He’s paid 5million to be a professional. Professional in the game, know the rules, know situations, play smarter than the guy who may take his job. QBs in college have similar responsibilities – call plays, make things happen on the run, run hurry up – and they are not paid…according to NCAA rules.

        So learn Castro, and accept responsibility. Let your actions speak louder for your game.

        • Sean T

          Amen

  • cubbiehawkeye

    Why would you move him to the outfield? In a couple of years you might consider it if he can’t cut the errors down but to do it now when you don’t have a clear replacement for him is just silly. I’m also a lot more concerned about the hitting. How does a dude who is easily on the road to a 3,000 hit career just forget how to hit? I can’t believe firing Rowson hasn’t been suggested yet. What has he done to keep his job?

    • Mr. B. Patient

      “I can’t believe firing Rowson hasn’t been suggested yet. What has he done to keep his job?”

      Answer: He was hired by Theo.

  • Werner

    Castro had, has and probably will continue to have attention issues. He apologized after the game for the mistake. And I agree the most troubling thing is that he can’t hit (at least this year) a fairly regular fastball. But his other partner in the core Rizzo is also having his own troubles.

  • Deacon

    Fully agree on firing Rowson. He was never qualified for the job in the first place and nothing he’s done since getting the job suggests he should keep it.

    • Sean T

      Why fire Rowson? What do expect him to do, miracles? If hand a guy a pile shit, you expect him to make it into daisy’s? A bad line up is a bad line up. Not say Rowson is great but don’t be quick to blame the hitting instructor.

      This is a terrible roster. I think Rudy Jaramillo was a great fit for Castro because he was a very aggressive hitting instructor that didn’t preach walks or the importance of patience which does not fit the mold of this organization at all. Castro has that aggressive nature of wanting to swing at everything that fit well with what Jaramillo preached.

      • Jason

        Are you saying this organization will not accept a bad ball 200 hits a yr 22 yr old and younger with the other 400hits. Forget org molds–Enjoy what you have–

        • Sean T

          I’m not saying the organization won’t accept Castro but he is not the mold of the style of player they prefer.

          Catsro is a shell of what he was right now. He has not made many adjustments or at least not very well to this point

      • Justin

        Seriously? A pile of shit? A two time all star and 23 year old kid isn’t a pile of shit. Neither is Rizzo and they both aren’t producing like they should. That’s why you fire rowson

        • Sean T

          I meant most of the rest of the roster. I meant the roster as whole. Plus those guys have no lineup protection which you can’t blame Rowson on either

      • cubbiehawkeye

        Are those serious questions? I’m all about seeing more pitches and you’re right it’s not the greatest line up but you’ve had all year to dissect these batters and I really don’t see a single improvement from one player. It’s not just Castro and his free swing nature fitting well with jarimillo and his aggressive style. Our two “core” guys are struggling to hit. That’s a problem.

      • Mr. B. Patient

        If they preach taking walks, you will lose. If walks are a by product of a good at bat, where you don’t get a good pitch to hit, great. A hitters goal is to wait for a good pitch and drive it.

      • willis

        Um, you expect him not to take two very good hitters and turn them into shit bags at the plate. And that has happened. Hell yes get rid of him.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Two?

          Who is the second? Surely not Rizzo – that guy has a wRC+ of 107 (vs 116 last season) despite seeing his BABIP drop nearly fifty points. Rizzo, this year, is probably the victim of some unsustainably bad luck and not much else. The K% is fine (18.3%), the walk rate is quite good actually (11.2%).

          The Cubs have a lot of problems right now, but Rizzo’s bat is not one of them. I’d take a lineup full of Rizzos quite happily.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The Cubs, with a pretty unimpressive lineup, are second in the league in doubles, third in home runs, and fifth in overall SLG. The Cubs finished in the bottom half of the league in all those categories last season.

      Rowson may not deserve all (or any) of the credit for that turnaround, but credit should go to someone(s). If this team was getting on base at a halfway decent clip the Cubs would be alright offensively.

      • Sean T

        Thank you Luke. We can’t put all the blame on Rowson. He has done some good things. I’m not excluding him from blame but I’m calling for his job

      • cubbiehawkeye

        …and last with runners in scoring position. I realize a lot of that is on the player themselves being clutch but the approach is on the hitting coach.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        You forgot the most important contribution to Runs Scored: OBP which the Cubs are 14th….28th in all of baseball.

        I know half full guy…

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Oh, I didn’t forget it. And I’m not for a minute saying that the Cubs do not have a lot of work to do on that offense.

          I’m just saying that when we step back and look at the whole picture that it might be accurate to blame Rowson for the Cubs’ batting woes. I’d like to see what he can do with another year or two to work with.

          That OBP is practically the same as it was last year.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Edit grumble grumble…

            Read that fourth line as “might not be accurate”.

  • Werner

    Did we win the year that Aramis let the pop fly hit him in the head? Or was that before?

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Please read the interview with Beth Murphy in the trib, and tell me how anyone can think the cubs will be spending one dime renovating Wrigley.

  • BlameHendry

    I personally am done with Castro. Put out or get out. I considered last season to be the beginning of his decline. I know he’s young but he will always be a bimbo, even at age 35. He’s still embarrassing our hitting coaches by repeatedly flailing at dirt balls that could almost be considered wild pitches, ending up late on 90mph fastballs right down the middle (or just blankly staring at them), and he still looks bafoon out there at SS. If I were in charge I’d send him down to Iowa and tell him he’s there to stay until his performance forces me to reconsider. He’s quickly becoming another Corey Patterson.

    I’ll be saying the same thing with Rizzo if he doesn’t put it back together by his 4th season in the bigs. He hasn’t struggled quite as bad but he’s definitely not putting up the kind of production that a “core piece” should. We have too many blossoming prospects waiting in the wings to be counting on these 2 guys.

    • cubbiehawkeye

      I’m glad you aren’t the GM.

    • turn two

      The backup qb always seems best on a Monday after a Sunday loss. Everyone on here needs to calm down and let some of the young guys make their adjustments. You act like you’ve never seen a young player develop before. It doesn’t happen overnight its a series of failure and adjustment.

      • BlameHendry

        no it doesn’t happen overnight but it usually doesn’t take 3.5 years to see an ounce of progress either

        • Mr. B. Patient

          Actually, 3.5 years is overstating it. He was progressing until about June/July of 2012. Right about the time Rowson joined the big league team. Then…crash….

    • waittilthisyear

      “put out or get out.” thats what i tell these slags when i offer them a ride home.

  • Kramden

    Bryant is crushing things at A+ even more than he did at Boise.

    At what level do you put this guy so it becomes a challenge for him?

    • Drew7

      Small sample, but he has K’d in 8 of his 22 PA’s.

      I think he’s where he needs to be for the rest of the year. I’m thinking some AFL experience, followed by ST, then AA to start the year.

      • turn two

        Finally a rational statement today on cubs minor league development. Reading these posts today you’d think our minor league guys are gold and the guys trying to hit major league pitching are waiver bait.

  • http://Bleachernation Lou Brock

    Just saw Castro on Comcast after the game and he seemed very sincere with his apologies. However, nowhere did I hear this theory about him being confused about the infield fly rule. Where did that come from about his confusion, people on this site or from Castro himself ?
    By the way there should be no confusion about the rule anyway. Both fielders and base runners only need know one thing – the batter is out and runners can advance at their own risk. Wow, that’s really tough to understand.

    • Drew7

      I don’t know if he was confused or not. Either way, you certainly can’t expect him to use an excuse like that in a post-game interview.

    • spearman

      If he was confused, he wouldn’t have through home. End of story.

      • Rebuilding

        Your natural instinct is going to be to throw him when people are yelling at you and someone is running there. That really doesn’t prove anything

        • Rebuilding

          *home*

    • Mr. B. Patient

      The ‘not knowing the rules’ theory was put out there on this site.
      you’re right, there is no excuse for that play. He didn’t finish the play. That’s all it was. If Dale thought the right thing to do was bench him, fine, bench him. But the people that want him put in the stockade may be going a bit overboard. If he was hitting like he did a few years ago, this would be no big deal. If Castro were a Theo guy, nothing would have happened.

  • Jason P

    Alfonso Soriano has a 5-game multi-hit streak with 7 HR and 18 RBI in that stretch. Pretty darn impressive.

    • Eternal Pessimist

      I wish he would sign a nice $19 million contract with the Cubs???

    • BlameHendry

      and steinbrenner was complaining about having to give up a lowly prospect like Corey Black to get this kind of performance… what a schmuck.

      • Jason P

        Wasn’t that Cashman, not Steinbrenner? Either way I don’t like it. If Soriano does well, no one’s gonna complain about what they gave up (not much anyway), and if he doesn’t, he can just turn around and say “well, I wasn’t for the deal anyway”. Basically he set himself up to avoid being blamed.

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