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starlin-castro-batThanks to various family visits and travels over the last few days, all writing has necessarily been harried and surrounded by screaming children. It’s fun and all that, but you’ll have to forgive any analytical or grammatical oversights.

  • Following up on the Starlin Castro lawsuit story, which involved a school in the Dominican Republic suing Castro for failing to pay an agreed percentage of his big extension with the Cubs, based on a contract his father allegedly signed with the school, Paul Sullivan reports that Castro’s countersuit includes allegations that the whole drama affected his performance last year with the Cubs. Apparently this has all been playing out since last offseason. The operative language in Castro’s complaint, according to Sullivan, is that the lawsuit and the seizure of $3.6 million of Castro’s money have had a “direct impact on his duties as a professional ballplayer, leading to one of his worst-ever statistical performances.”
  • I want to be clear about two things: (1) Good work by Sullivan in reporting the allegations in the countersuit – they are highly interesting, and merit a read; (2) the allegations are, for our purposes, nearly meaningless. I’m thinking that Castro saying that the lawsuit negatively impacted his performance in 2013 is going to get a whole lot of play in opposite directions (apologists will say, “See! Now he’ll rebound!”, while Castro haters will say, “See! He’s a mental midget!”). It’s rare that I can bring a little bit of the past-life lawyering experience to bear on a situation involving the Cubs, but here’s one where I feel very confident in saying that if you take yourself in either of those directions, you’re going way too far. The allegations in a lawsuit are, for one thing, tailored to the specific legal claims you’re making – thus, you might describe something in a way that, outside of the legal process, you would describe entirely differently. For another thing, every “bad thing” the other side did was the worst possible kind of “bad thing” imaginable, causing the worst, most extensive injury in the history of the world. This is not to be confused with “lying,” however – in a complaint, you have to stretch things to their furthest possible limit to protect yourself later in the case. If you give an inch in the complaint, you’re never getting that inch back later in the case.
  • How do we apply that background knowledge here? Well, I’m sure that Castro had the lawsuit on his mind last season – having virtually all of your money (the first real, big money you’ve ever had) seized is going to weigh on you. And I’m sure it’s possible that, on any given day, he may have been distracted by those financial troubles. So, would he have performed better in the 2013 MLB season if he’d had no money seized or no lawsuit to worry about? Probably. But the phrasing “direct impact on his duties as a professional ballplayer, leading to one of his worst-ever statistical performances” is the kind of logical extreme you’d see only in a lawsuit complaint. Castro’s lawyers have left open that argument should they want or need to make it later on in the case. They are, in essence, saying, “hey, Judge, Castro was dealing with this bogus lawsuit all year, we know it impacted his performance at times, and he wound up having one of his worst seasons ever. We’re not sayin’ … we’re just sayin’.”* In the end, the point here is: it’s very interesting to know that Castro was dealing with this issue all of last year, and it likely did impact his focus in some ways. But were his numbers so bad because of it? Not exclusively, if at all. (The change in plate approach, which was well documented and supported by statistical analysis, probably played the biggest role; together with natural regression and variance.)
  • *(And I’ve got to imagine that saying that the lawsuit hurt the performance/reputation of an otherwise popular local player is a pretty good pressure point in the DR.)
  • The Tribune has additional details about the suit and countersuit here.
  • The Vine Line Blog has been recapping Cubs performances in the various Caribbean offseason leagues this year.
  • Jeff Passan digs into the spending this year, which could wind up a record for MLB.
  • It’s a big, big football day for the Bears, and Jay’s got your preview Bullets up here.
  • DocPeterWimsey

    heh, so long as Castro doesn’t get a jury of sabermetricians, I suspect that people will buy the suggestion that the lawsuit hurt his performance!

    • YourResidentJag

      Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. Appropriate call.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I feel for the guy. Everybody wants to bash him, but a couple of years go it was a love story. I hope the court resolves the issue before the season starts. Castro has stated that he comes from a poor family and it is obvious that his father was duped when he signed that contract. I think the stress of playing a 162 game season alone is enough for a kid his age. To have your money tied up and litigation threats coming from the DR would certainly be stressful.

    • YourResidentJag

      It’s not that everyone wants to bash him. It’s that the framework, the lens, if you will that Cubs fans see their team changed. Theo brought with him a deeper understanding of metric analysis. Given that Castro was a favorite of the past regime, I can understand how people’s thoughts on Castro and his overall significance to the Cubs changed. That’s not to say that his skill set isn’t important. I think you may find that if Castro is traded (who knows if he will be), that Baez will have to shoulder more criticism if Castro is gone. Just my projection, there.

  • Blackhawks1963

    It is increasingly difficult for me to tolerate or support Castro and his apparent handlers. The disinterested lackadaisical play after he got the big payday sent me to the ledge. The excuse making and rationalization has gone to new heights. Sveum gets blamed for welt wrecking him, the woman who accused him of sexual assault gets the blame and he gets a free pass for, at a minimum, not being very smart and using good judgement, and now the people who took a dirt poor kid and significantly enabled the launch of his professional career in the US are being painted as extortionists and criminals for wanting to be paid.

    Yes, I’m sick if Castro. If he has another lousy season then time to start making excuses and time to dump him in deference to Javy Baez or somebody else.

    Yuck

    • max

      Yea because you were there right? You apparently know the true story about everything somehow

      • Canadian Cubs Fan

        Bingo.

      • Kevin B

        Well said Max

    • Chase S.

      Yawn

    • Chet Masterson

      Have you ever changed your opinion on something you’d made your mind up on previously because of something you read in a forum post?

      Is that your goal in posting – to change someone else’s mind? If not that, then what is the goal?

    • auggie55

      Hey Blackhawks1963, did you ever stop to realize that it just does take some young guys a little longer to mature? I know that’s an excuse that everyone is getting tired of, but I’ll give you an example you should understand because of your name. Remember what a douche Patrick Kane always used to be? Remember the incident with taxi driver? Or the picture of him in a car with his shirt off drinking? Or the picture of him passed out at some bar in Wisconsin? You don’t see that now cause Kane has finally matured and is a much better hockey player.

      I wish Castro would mature like Kane, but because of Kane I give Starlin hope. I see Castro a lot during season when the Cubs are home because I work at a grocery store where he stops after night games with his parents, cousins or girlfriend. I get the impression of him being family orientated. So I still leave hope for Castro to mature, but it does has to begin to start this season.

      • Kevin B

        I love the analogy. Plus Castro is away in a foriegn land in a different culture and foreign language

  • Bill

    What a load of crap! Everybody in life has a certain amount of pressure to deal with in life but we perform and for Castro to use that has an excuse for not performing is pathetic.

    • Bkackhawks1963

      It’s never ever Castro’s fault for some of you. It’s always the situation or Sveum or somebody else to blame for him. He’s always the victim and gets a free pass. So when he’s out there at shortstop for the 5th consecutive season picking his nose and day dreaming en route to making another terrible play, we are all supposed to shrug our shoulders and feel sorry for the guy.

      • baldtaxguy

        I doubt there is such an extreme view, that Castro is 100% blameless for his mistakes. I take the view that he is 100% responsible for his mistakes, knowing that he’s got circumstances in his life that are not the norm. Not all of us have this situation to deal with, so its difficult to assume that we would always still work at 100% effectiveness in our jobs with litigation involving a significant amount of our earnings happening. And maybe he is a “victim” simply here in this situation in the sense this litigation was not based on his own actions, but a family member or handler. But otherwise getting a pass always on his on-field performance as a “victim” seems to be a very outlier viewpoint. It (the litigation) s not an excuse, but it explain why its happening last season, vs. 2-3 years ago.

      • Rebuilding

        Wow, Blackhawks. That is just incredibly harsh. I’ve seen some of the most successful and also just everyday people in Chicago and elsewhere absolutely wrecked for a few years by divorce, custody battle, litigation or criminal proceedings. To the point that they ended up losing much more than their spouse, money, kids or freedom. These guys aren’t machines. It seems by all accounts Prince Fielder went through the same thing last year due to his ugly divorce

        • YourResidentJag

          Yeah, apparently Blackhawks would take Brandon Marshall to task as well. After having extreme difficulties coping with mental illness a couple of years ago, he’s now part of the top receiving tandem in the NFL.

      • max

        Yea because you were there right? You apparently know the true story about everything somehow

        • max

          Wrong person sorry

      • Stinky Pete

        Not me, Buster!! No more free passes to these bozos. If I EVER see crap like that again, I’m going to write to the Ricketts themselves. Then I’m going to write to my congressperson and we are going to get to the bottom of this if it has to be me, Tom AND Laura Ricketts, my congressperson and Bobby Valentine all locked into a room together. See, I’m a better fan than some of you and this means more to me and I’m not going to take it anymore.

        *satire

      • frank

        Did you read the post at all? Castro himself isn’t saying these things–the lawyers are, and basically because they have to if they want to preserve the argument for later in the case, should it be necessary. And no one is saying Castro himself is blameless for the year he had last year. First, read what the post actually says, rather than what you want it to say. Second, I’m sure that at 23 years old, there weren’t many of us mature enough to handle the seizure of that much money, a bogus sexual assault allegation (no charges brought) that may have landed you in prison, etc. Even now, I’m sure that were any of us to face these kinds of things, it would certainly affect our performance at work, regardless of our ages. Remember that many of these guys are just kids.

    • Chase S.

      Clearly you guys missed #2 of Brett’s (who’s a former lawyer, by the way) reasoning for Castro’s claim.

      • DocPeter Wimsey

        Indeed, it is the duty of Castro’s lawyers to suggest this scenario. Whether it is true is moot (as well as unknowable): all that is important is that it might be true.

    • Kevin B

      So everyone has pressure and everyone performs? In life you really think everyone handles it with no effect? And everyone has pressure and everyone has it played out in public in a foreign land? I do not see the correlation nor do I agree that everyone handles it

    • roz

      Did you read Brett’s post at all?

  • Jon

    Castro is becoming as good at making excuses as Theo

    • roz

      Did you not read the post at all?

      • Bbmoney

        It’s Jon. He don’t care.

  • Bill

    excuses the cub way.

  • http://BN Sacko

    I think it would have an affect on a very young player just coming into that kind of money. Having that kind of money at that age is an affect. The social immaturity from where he came from in addition to be under educated, yea it had to be an affect.
    In addition to play on such a terrible team the last 3 years would be difficult for this youngster to even want to show up knowing the chances of winning. Sori really took off after his trade.
    Castro’s talent deserves better people to play around him and apparently that isn’t going to happen again.this year. It is a disgusting shame on how this team is being dismantled. It could ruin a player like Castro.

  • Rebuilding

    Good point, Brett. The other point I would make is that often the countersuit is just a tool to get the other side to drop their original lawsuit. It may have had no effect on his performance last year, but the other side now has to weigh not only the chances their suit fails, but also that he is awarded damages

  • Fastball

    Well Brett was 100% correct. The extremists woke up early today. If someone was suing you $3.6MM you would sleep just fine every night. Think. When you were his age if someone was suing you how would you have handled it. He is an adult and he owns all of this cap like it or not. He is dealing with it like a man. He isn’t doing interviews in newspapers saying whoa is me. He has lawyers handling it. It’s interesting to me that a kid from a place where baseball was his lottery ticket and he or any other kid is capable of understanding a small percentage of this. Been to the DR? Poor and Poverty is all you see 1/2 mile inland. 99% of these kids are from dirt poor.

    • Jon

      Looks like the apologists are up early too

      • Rebuilding

        How is it being an apologist talking about normal human reactions. Ultimately Castro is responsible for his play on the field no matter what’s going on. Just like a doctor, lawyer, plumber or otherwise are responsible for their job performance. However, I think we all know someone who has been laid low by legal proceedings

        • When the Music’s Over

          In most professions, if personal problems have an extremely negative impact on your work performance, you often get fired or face lawsuits, or even perhaps jail time in extreme cases where some sort of negligence comes into play.

          Absolutely zero of these considerations come into play for Castro. I understand a few million dollars is a lot of of money, but when that is only a small fraction of what you have coming your way, you need to find ways to get over it and let your legal team handle the issue. It’s not that I don’t have empathy, I’m not just ready to be apologetic about every goddamn problem athletes have, like so many homer fans do. People have serious problems everyday. 3M to him is like a couple thousand to an average person, and a couple thousand dollar problems happen to average people all the time.

          Summary, Castro and other athletes, need to get over money related issues, and alot of other petty issues in general.

          • Nate Dawg

            It’s a pretty serious problem to have over half of your career earnings seized. It ain’t chump change, my friend.

            • When the Music’s Over

              Too bad he has another guaranteed 60M or so, just from baseball, on the way.

              Love the belittling, condescending sarcasm though.

              • Kevin B

                So he has more money coming? So what? He should just pay these millions? That is absurd. You just appear to be a castro hater

                • When the Music’s Over

                  Not really sure where you read that I think he should just pay the money, but sure go ahead and make up whatever you want.

                  If you actually read, I said he should let his lawyers take care of it.

          • mjhurdle

            “In most professions, if personal problems have an extremely negative impact on your work performance, you often get fired or face lawsuits”

            Actually, in most professions when you dominate your competition and prove yourself to be one of the top 5-15 at your job in all the world for 3 of the 4 years you are there, when you have one below average year they won’t fire you.

            just saying.

            • When the Music’s Over

              I don’t agree that if you perform awesome in a job for 2-3 years, OK the next, and then suck hard for the year after that that I will continue to employed.

              • mjhurdle

                you are probably right. You would probably be fired.

                But there are probably more than 30-40 people in the world capable of doing your job, so comparing your job to his is kinda pointless.

                • When the Music’s Over

                  I was just trying to illustrate a few things:

                  1) He has guaranteed income, and a lot of it, so he doesn’t have to worry about feeding himself in the future (even if he loses the whole ~3M).

                  2) He has pretty damn good job security. Maybe not for the Cubs, but he has at least a couple more years of 2013 output before he has to worry about not having a starting gig.

                  3) People have problems, serious ones at that, such as health or feeding their kids, that they cannot pay a team of lawyers to take care of for them. Castro does have that luxury.

                  4) If every single issue that comes up in his life is an excuse for poor performance, then his career is going to be short.

                  • Scotti

                    It’s a LAWSUIT. Castro likely had nothing to do with crafting the language, or even the argument, of the suit. Is it possible that this issue had something to do with his struggles? Perhaps on the extreme periphery. But Castro has never used this a an excuse. This is a lawsuit.

                    • When the Music’s Over

                      Castro may not have, but fans, especially the homer ones, love to latch onto excuses for the players they love. Confirmation bias is plentiful.

        • Jason P

          Castro needs to be a professional and not let something like this affect him. At the end of the day, he’s still got $60 million coming to him in the next 7 years.

          • CubFan Paul

            “Castro needs to be a professional and not let something like this affect him”

            How could it not? This started last offseason when Castro got a $6M signing bonus (his first taste at big dollars).

            The Courts took more than half that.

            It would affect you too.

            • Pat

              The courts took essentially all of that, post taxes. However, he still was getting paid 5 million last year, which he could direct to a US bank instead (where it would be much more difficult to seize from the DR), with another 59 million guaranteed over the next six years or so.

              The problem is that this is now the third excuse for his season last year (Theo deciding he needed to be more patient, Dale screwing up the implementation, and now the lawsuit). Even when valid, excuses get tired after awhile.

              • CubFan Paul

                “However, he still was getting paid 5 million last year”

                If the courts seized $3.6M of your $11M salary (before taxes) you’d use it as an excuse too.

                Stop frontin’. It’s ugly.

                • Pat

                  Let’s be clear. Despite the misuse of the term in some of the reports, none of his assets have been seized. They have been frozen. There’s a fairly large difference. And not much reason to let it affect your game. Worrying about something that might happen is incredibly pointless.

              • Rebuilding

                There is a difference between making excuses and trying to find explanations. The question is why did Castro go from being a 750+ OPS guy his first 2 years to being a 600 OPS guy in his 3rd. That is a massive and unusual drop in performance. Is he really just a 600 OPS guy that got “lucky” his first two years? Did the league catch up with him? Did personal issues affect him? Did a change in approach affect him? I’m not trying to make excuses, I’m trying to figure out why the sudden drop in performance. Speaking strictly selfishly as a fan, the fact that he had things going on or that he changed his approach is more comforting than he just isn’t very good. If its the former he can rebound

                • Pat

                  There’s no way to really know. More than likely it was a combination of things. Life changing money, attempt at changing his approach, the league having a better plan against him, struggling for the first time, and the lawsuit. Or it could be he had a bad year by chance, or by some other factor no one has considered. The problem is, many of those things he has no control over, making it useless to dwell on them.

                  And no one will ever know which it was specifically. In the end, it’s a pointless exercise. fix the things you can control for next year and put the rest out of your head.

            • DocPeter Wimsey

              Yes, this whole “be a professional” nonsense is just another sanctimonious aphorism that people spout unthinkingly. It means nothing: the fact that someone is getting paid does not magically confer the ability to block out all emotions. There are no professions in which this is a selective criterion: we never make people get a divorce, get sued, lose a family member, etc., and then see if they can keep up at 100%.

              (That would make miLB ghoulishly entertaining, I suppose: a player would know he is getting a serious look when the FO arranges some calamity in his life….)

              • Jason P

                We’re talking about a 6-month, 162 game marathon of a season. Someone who loses a family member or gets a divorce — which, by the way, are not comparable to being sued anyway — might leave someone under the weather for a few days, maybe even weeks. But the idea that supposedly one lawsuit that began before the season distracted him from baseball to such a degree throughout the season that it turned an all-star into a guy who was literally costing the team games by being out on the field is ludicrous.

            • Jason P

              It’s his job to not let it effect him. That’s why he’s being paid the other $54 million. There’s a time and a place to deal with off the field issues.

      • frank

        Having a little bit of empathy for another person is not being an apologist. Again–no one said this was the only reason for Castro’s problems. No one said that he’s blameless for the year he had. The post clearly stated that Castro’s lawyers have to make these arguments, and having legal training myself, I can tell you that that much is absolutely true. And no, “we” as a whole, do not perform well under certain circumstances–whether legal problems, substance use, depression and other mental health issues, family problems etc.–no matter what field we’re in or how old we are. That’s why there is a whole industry around “employee assistance.”

  • since52

    I noted the Sullivan article also mentions Cubs send strength and conditioning coach to DR (paraphrasing) “to insure Castro comes to spring training in better shape than last season.”

    All I’m gonna say besides told ya so is…lots of young players…lots of Latin players…lots and lots of all kinds of pro athletes with all sorts of ahem, off field “distractions” who don’t bring it to their work on the field.

    Which by the way is their chosen profession.

  • Boogens

    Hi Brett,
    Thanks for another great article. Not trying to goad an argument with anyone or anything like that… can you help explain to me the merit of Castro’s counter-suit? At face-value it appears that Castro is being sued by the DR school because he’s not paying them according to an agreement signed by his dad. Castro is counter-suing because the lawsuit had a negative impact on his performance. What doesn’t make sense is that there would have been no lawsuit by the DR school in the first place had Castro paid the school. Then his performance would not have been negatively impacted. Why wouldn’t he take an alternate approach, like arguing that the contract is void or unenforceable for some other reason? It seems like his counter argument is a very weak one.

    • Pat

      The counter suit is intended as leverage. In theory, the court could make the school pay Castro for damages. So it raises the possibility that not only do they not get money from Starlin, but that they have to pay him for the counterclaim. The intent is to introduce the possibility of both sides agreeing to drop their respective suits.

      What I don’t understand is where the damages would be in this case. Even if you establish that the original suit was the reason Castro had a bad season, it’s hard to picture where that turns into a monetary loss for him. Since he is signed for at least six more years it’s hard to say this season is likely to cost him money that far in the future.

      • Boogens

        Thanks, Pat. I appreciate the explaination!

        • Scotti

          Boogens, the other article that was linked above in Brett’s bullets is by far the better of the two articles. It explains that Castro’s lawyers argue that the contract was illegal (in the DR, as elsewhere, parents cannot sign away the adult rights of minor children) and that they are counter-suing for $5 million (damages).

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Man people are harsh with pro athletes! He’s a freakin kid! Most of the 22 year olds I work with can hardly tie their shoes!

    I’m not a Castro apologist, and I’m not his life coach. I’ll just hope that he matures and gets better, and that the money doesn’t destroy his family like it has many others.

  • Cubby Mike

    From what I read about this donation Castro was to have made, I have two questions. 1 How can an adult agree to give a donation for someone else, especially a minor> 2 Correct me if I am wrong but Castro was to give 3% of his salary to this group, how could he owe 3.5 million dollars, when he probably hasn’t earned much more than 15 or 20 million in his career.

    • Scotti

      Read the second link that Brett provides above.

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      they can freeze double the amount he is being sued for. The amount owed is half of that.

  • Fastball

    I think he will survive all this and get his personal and professional life back in order. But wouldn’t he just be obligated to pay 3% of his initial pro contract which was peanuts. Seems a little odd this coach decided to bring suit when the big contract was inked. Was this a lifetime 3% earnings contract his dad signed him up for. That would not seem logical or legal. But our laws don’t translate in the DR.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Castro owes less than 4% of his salary to a group that his father signed a contract with. These people significantly enabled his development and his making the big leagues. Less than 4% of his current contract amount at stake. Yet it’s their fault. It’s his father’s fault for having a dream for his poverty stricken family. It’s Sveum’s fault for working with him on his swing. It’s the young woman’s fault for being lured into screwing his brains out one evening.

    Lovely stuff. Let’s continue to make excuses for this well paid punk. He’s the victim and if his biorhythms aren’t perfect everyday then he should be allowed to constantly blame others for how fate weaves into his bubble life existence.

    Castro makes me want to vomit. And I am not the only Cub fan who hold these sorts of sentiments. Not by a longshot.

    • fortyonenorth

      Just curious where you get your facts, Blackhawks. How do you–or anyone removed from the situation, for that matter–know precisely what this baseball school did for Castro? How do you know that this is anything other than a quasi-legal shakedown? Rich people get extorted all the time. Sometimes it worth fighting, other times it’s easier to settle.

    • Carew

      I wouldnt want my first real big earnings get taken from me. If someone took a good chunk from your earnings, youd be pissed and stressed too

    • Amie

      Blackhawk, or shall I call you Castrohawk? Castro had nothing at all to do with Sveum’s firing. Last I checked a player is not in the position to do that, so you can’t blame Castro, unless you also want to blame Rizzo and a few others. Dale was a terrible manager, although I imagine he was right up your ally in many ways. You’ll see a much better manager and teacher of players this coming year.

      As for the rest of your Castro rant. I would imagine you’d have approved your father signing away 4% of ALL your future earnings as well, when you were Castro’s age? But on top of that KNOW that your still responsible for supporting your entire family? For the rest of your life? Sure you would. But you don’t hear Castro complaining, he is only countersuiting. You, on the other hand are taking a lot of things well out of context and twisting them to fit your personal hate for Castro, as you try to run him out of town.

      Castro is only using is poor stats last year for the purposes of a lawsuit, as even you would do Castrohawk. Trouble is you don’t have to worry about that, as your father couldn’t do such a shitty thing to you as Castro’s father did to him in the DR. Why, because you are protected by the laws of the good ole USA.

      YOU say that Castro makes you vomit. Dare I say who makes me vomit?

      Happy Holidays Castrohawk!!!

      • frank

        Agreed, Amie. The vitriol is ridiculous.

    • Kevin B

      Castrohawk the fact is castro did not make the deal and his legal team is not blaming his dad but saying how can anyone but castro pledge or contract to pledge his earnings from 18 years old and forward in the united states that is a void contract but you are a hater and blame castro for it and you back the school in which you know nothing about and blame castro and claim he is blaming his dad? You let your hate and jealousy of castro effect your judgment

    • baldtaxguy

      Again, you are overreacting. We have you down as being a 100% anti-fan of the young man.

    • frank

      Complete overreaction. To use legal speak, you assume facts not in evidence. You also blame Castro for cases against him that have already been held to be without merit by legal authorities. You assume he has enough power to single-handedly get a manger fired (Theo and Jed had nothing to do with it obviously; Sveum’s performance as manger had nothing to do with it, obviously). Ok–you hate him because he’s a 22 year old who doesn’t meet your standards for performance or behavior, and he makes a lot of money. We get it.

  • http://bleachernation Bobdawg78

    The reason it’s 3.5 million, is because the DR holds twice the amount that is being disputed over, until a settlement is resolved. At least that’s what I read in another article.

    • Kevin B

      Correct. Amount in dispute is 1.8 million and 3.6 million is frozen

  • Rodrick

    The important thing is that we can trade him for more prospects. He should be playing harder since the owners have given him this opportunity. Maybe we can dock his pay?

  • waffle

    well….

    whatever the specifics I sure hope that he gets it together mentally and physically by opening day.

  • caryatid62

    Regardless of the reasons why, Starlin Castro was a garbage player last year. There really isn’t any disputing that.

    We can all speculate as to why this was the case, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was one of the worst players in baseball. He was awful.

    I don’t care whose fault it was, whether or not he should be responsible or others should be responsible, or what his or anyone’s feelings are. I want him to perform on the field for the Cubs, and whatever it takes to make that happen is all I care about.

    Here’s hoping he fixes whatever it was that made him such an awful baseball player last year.

    • Rebuilding

      He was bad last year. I do care why he was bad last year, because it might help to determine if he’ll be bad next year and the years after

      • caryatid62

        That’s good for you, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do about why he was bad last year, and have zero control over whether or not he gets better next year.

        He was bad. He might be better, he might not be. There’s nothing we can do about it except root for him to improve.

        • Rebuilding

          Oh goodness, here we go again. Ok, I think it is important for the FO to determine whether he is just bad or if there was another reason he struggled last year. I’m not sure why you ever comment on anything on here since there is nothing any of us can do about any of it

          • caryatid62

            Unless you’re in the front office, your opinion on this topic means less than nothing. Speculating why someone is struggling is a symptom of fans who get too involved in the lives of the players. None of this is really any of our business.

            I comment on this site because there are plenty of things to talk about that involve the game on the field, which is our business. If it upsets you so much and you’re so desperate to talk about things that we can’t possibly know enough about, feel free to comment on someone else’s comments. You’re the one responding to me, remember?

            • Rebuilding

              You are hilarious. Thanks for monitoring what people comment on. I find it interesting as a Cubs fan why Castro may have struggles last year. We’re the Rays to want Castro in a potential David Price deal, for instance, I would like to have some idea of whether I would like that move or not. All we do around here is comment on things we have no control over. It’s hard to take you seriously when you also don’t think “fans” should ever comment or care on whether a contract for a player is a good one or bad one

              • caryatid62

                You really just can’t seem to understand my point from last night, so I’m not going to get into it again. I’m tired of trying to get you to understand it, which is why I stopped responding to you last night.

                As far as your “monitoring” point, feel free to comment about whatever the hell you want to comment on. I don’t care. However, I CAN think it’s stupid, which I do. But even though I thought it was stupid, I didn’t comment on your post-I ignored it. You commented on mine. You’re the one who feels the need to respond to me, not the other way around.

                As I wrote above, if it upsets you so much, feel free to respond to anyone else. Also feel free to note who responded to whom here. I wrote a response to the post. You wrote a response to me.

                • Rebuilding

                  That’s fine. I’ll definitely ignore your posts in the future. But I will say that if people here only commented on things they had control over there wouldn’t be a comments section and Brett could just link to the news wire

                  • caryatid62

                    For whatever reason, you just cannot grasp my point.

                    One last time. I’ll leave it at this: It has nothing to do with what you have control over. It has to do with what is or is not our business.

                    Players lives off the field: we don’t know enough about the details to do anything other than speculate, which is dangerous, as invades on the private lives of the players and causes us to attribute characteristics to them that are likely not true.

                    Players performance on the field: what we see, what we can assess, what we can root for or against. Starlin Castro’s performance on the field was abysmal. I root for him to improve it. WHY it was abysmal is impossible to really know, and speculating on it opens us up to using all kinds of preconceived notions and stereotypes which are unfair to the players on the field.

                    That’s it. I’ve explained it in as simple a manner as I can. If you can’t understand it, there’s nothing I can do. I’m done now.

                    • Rebuilding

                      That’s strange, because last night you also said it was pointless to speculate on whether a contract was a good one or not. So fans also shouldn’t speculate on whether someone is good in the clubhouse, has personal problems or has a reason for poor performance. All things that are important to the team we root for. Ok, got it

                    • caryatid62

                      Ugh.

                      Man, just move on.

                      It’s obvious that you’re never going to understand the nuance of the point. Just accept that. It’s not worth talking about anymore.

                      It seems like you’re just desperate for the last word, so go ahead and make it. Then we can both move on to other things.

                    • Rebuilding

                      I keep responding because you keep saying things like I missed the nuance of your point. Bad points usually don’t have much nuance. Saying things like fans shouldn’t care about the efficiency of contracts because we don’t know a team’s budget or we shouldn’t speculate on whether personal problems hurt a player’s performance are bad points – nuanced or not. I just find it ironic that you are so against speculation, but participate on a board that is nothing but speculation

  • jptopdog

    I’m sure the money froze had something to do with Castro’s minor issues. I’m sure it was more the Cubs trying to change his approach to hitting which obviously wasn’t working, and only improved at the end of the season when he had, had enough. Brett, on another note, it is said how the commenting has gone the past couple months. I don’t know if the new registration process has improved the situation much.

    • commander bob

      Why would a registration process changing the posting style on here? Did you think that only posts that talk about how great the cubs are would be posted here?

      Most sites have a registration process. Go over to the cubs.com board and see how a registration process looks. The Pom Pom squad gets murdered over there as well.

      • greenroom

        “the pom pom squad gets murdered over there as well”…is this your opinion or do you have some data? If you are going to continue making these outlandish comments, you should be able to back them up with more than “my dad told me so”. As much as people cheer for the Cubs, I have not seen one poster on here who had no critical comments of the Cubs. It is your simple dualistic mind-set that continues to belittle the comments on this board, yet your comments only make you look ridiculous. Most people on here do openly cheer for the Cubs, but those same people are also critical enough to call out issues. Reading vs assuming could help you at least make some comments that may be relevant.

        • Rodrick

          Does Starlin Castro have experience playing on other teams? If so I think he might be able to play on another team. Then we can trade him for another player who might play on our team. If he played on another team then he could have experience to play another team.

  • jptopdog

    sad^^^^^^

  • TinLV

    I can see how this lawsuit could affect Castro negatively, but I doubt he really thought about it much during a game.. I think his problems at the plate are much more the result of Sveum and company messing with his approach and I hope he gets back to the way he used to hit before they decided he should do it their way instead of the way he had (successfully) done it before they came along.

  • Steve

    Let’s hope Starlin Castro’s personal problems get resolved and he can concentrate on becoming the All-Star shortstop he was just a few years ago. I coached sports for nearly two decades in the Chicago Public School system (won 3 city baseball championships) and I can certainly see how these difficulties could easily effect his performance on the baseball field.

    • commander bob

      The only reason he was an AS was because every team has to have one player. He was the best of the misfits.

      • Carew

        Even though he did hit .300 or over in the two seasons

  • Mike F

    This is the psychology of victimization. Poor Starlin he is so misunderstood. Note to Tom Ricketts, just step up and pay this poor poor child’s way out of this little mess so he can concentrate on what is really important…..

    What an absolute crock of pig sh t. Castro is a pampered athlete who is clearly in full self destruct mode and this whole argument put forth is an absolute disgrace. He is no victim in any alternate universe……

    • greenroom

      “Full self-destruct mode” and “psychology of victimization”..please Freud, do elaborate?

      He is still a young man who will mature. I cannot think of any person who I have met in lifetime who was so mature as never have any issues, problems or concerns in their life. We are so quick to judge people. Regardless of whether he plays SS for a MLB team or if he is John Doe walking down the street, he is still a human being. lighten up

  • praying the cubs get ready to win

    Mental approach is so important to players success. I am not suggesting we only act positive and cheer our team on but lets try more to look and hope for the positives. Heck, we have waited a hundred years already. Lets give the front office time to carry on what they were hired to do. They are stocking our minors, soon to be major leaguers. They have a plan they will be judged by. They are working on players like Castro. They know more of the story than we do and if they thought Castro was done they would have or will trade him. Since taking over the team, I see a lot of progress. I like a lot of our future pieces and I think we will be a very good team in the next couple of years. I know we could bring in 3 players to make our team better this year, sign long term contracts then when our young players strive, all be mad at the long term contracts, heck it’s tough to please everyone. I hate losing but I like progress and I see it when looking at what the Cubs are doing. Brett’s site will be filled with lots more positives as time goes on, if not, more changes will come. The great organizations have a plan and longer term commitments.

    • commader bob

      pray harder.

  • Rebuilding

    “Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Rakuten Golden Eagles are expected to announce on Tuesday or Wednesday whether they will post Masahiro Tanaka”

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    All that crap about cubs fans being the best fans. Judging by many of the comments I’ve read here I wondered if maybe we were in the Bronx. Crazy how much animosity and resentment can arise from a down season. I liked Sveum, but the fact that three different guys struggled at the plate after having their “swing” tweaked was more than coincidence. I think Sveum would have been fine with a different ball club and a group with more veteran players. And who tweaks somebody’s swing during the season? I can see it in winter ball or maybe spring training, but during the season. You take a guy that gets 200 hits and bats .300 and screw with his mechanics because Theo and Jed are in love with advanced metrics. I blame them more that I do Dale. Some of you people would throw your mama under the bus judging by the comments. If Theo doesn’t like the approach Castro has at the plate then he should trade him. There are a lot of teams that would be happy to have him. I feel sorry for Baez the first time he hits a slump.

    • commader bob

      If you look at Baez’s metrics he is a likely bustout.

  • Blackhawks1963

    We are each entitled to our opinions. And my opinion, like that of a growing number of Cub fans, is that Starlin Castro is a highly unlikeable and lazy piece of garbage.

    Others on here are intent to praise Castro and defend the premise of Castro the victim. Which is well within your right to do.

    There seem to be no in between viewpoints of Starlin Castro. Thereby making him a highly polarizing member of the Cubs.

    • greenroom

      “And my opinion, like that of a growing number of Cub fans, is that Starlin Castro is a highly unlikeable and lazy piece of garbage.”

      please do tell what your “in my opinion data” suggests?

    • http://bleachernation.com woody

      Are you telling me he is in the same boat as our beloved president? LOL

      • greenroom

        How about you keep politics out of conversations on BN. thanks

    • Bill

      You are correct, people are entitled to their own opinion. Even if those opinions are ignorant, uninformed or hateful.

      • greenroom

        ^

    • Mike F

      I appreciate your honesty on this. I applaud you for taking this position and believe you are absolutely right on his actions which over the last 3 years, increasingly make me want to puke. But Blackhawk you are going too far in calling him a piece of garbage. Fans have made this worse by excusing everything he does and entitling him including the messes he has made, lack of focus and disrespect for the game, even his whining about Sveum. But it is going too far to call him a piece of garbage.

    • caryatid62

      There are plenty of points in between these two extremes. The only reason people think extremes exist is because no one is bothering to address the details of people’s sentiments.

      Castro could both have allowed the situation to take too much of his focus off his job and been lazy while SIMULTANEOUSLY being taken advantage of by other people, including those in the DR.

      We have no idea.

      Just because a message board mentality wants everything to be binary doesn’t mean it is.

      • baldtaxguy

        Yes, there is not one player on my favorite team that I do not find some fault with performance-wise, including Castro. I hardly can believe that one can otherwise 100% love-hate any baseball player.

    • hansman

      “We are each entitled to our opinions.”

      Unless it’s a debate about a managerial search and then we can only deal in FACTS

      • college_of_coaches

        LOL!!!

  • Carew

    Castro was 15 when his father sigmed the contract. The kids father just wanted what was best for his son and family, and Starlin may have been considered “taken advantaged of”. Some people need to relax that bash the shit out of Castro.

  • Mike F

    And some people need to quit apologizing for a spoiled misbehaving brat who is a multimillionaire and doesn’t deserve all the victim status….

    • roz

      What about this story indicates that he’s spoiled or he misbehaves a lot?

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