Although you could have picked up the way things were trending as we got updates yesterday on the shooting in the Dominican Republic involving a person or persons known to Starlin Castro, I want to button things up with a final update.
Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer, reportedly spoke with multiple outlets yesterday about the incident, insisting that Castro was not arrested or detained, came in voluntarily to clear his own name, and was cleared of any involvement because video evidence confirmed as much. You can read more on Kinzer’s comments here at CBS, here at the Tribune, and here at Jesse Sanchez’s blog. It sounds like, from Kinzer’s perspective, it’s too easy for unscrupulous types to attach Castro’s name to anything and everything. As Kinzer told Heyman of many baseless attempts to get money from Castro, “He’s been sued for everything. They’re thinking if they can tie Starlin Castro to it, he’s got to give them money.”
Castro, himself, issued a statement to El Nacional after he spoke to police, indicated that he was not involved in the incident (translation by Stan @Crewsett). He also acknowledged that, because he’s a public figure, attachment to these kinds of situations can have a negative impact, even if it’s based on nothing more than rumors spread with ill intent.
Bruce Levine added on Twitter that Dominican officials have also cleared Castro of involvement.
So, then. What do we take away from this, assuming it’s all over now?
It strikes me as a little unfair to say things like, “this keeps happening”, or “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”, or “he’s got to stop getting involved in things like this.” Whatever incidents you can compile, Castro has been cleared in all of them. And the last shooting, in particular, wound up with the conclusion that Castro and his family were at a large concert where there was a shooting involving persons unknown to them. That was it.
To me, the only fair conclusion you can draw from these incidents is that it seems unsafe for Castro – his health, his wealth, his family, etc. – in his hometown right now. I’m sure it sucks to hear the suggestion that you can no longer live the life you want to live when in your hometown (or to be told that you’re better off not going there at all in the offseason), but it’s possible that’s where this all leads. It seems like anytime anything happens to which he can be attached by local reports (and/or local police?), he’s going to be attached, whether there’s a plausible connection or not.
That, to me, is the closest thing we have to a “this keeps happening.”
Maybe Castro has been involved in these situations, and maybe he could have made better choices. I really don’t know. I think it’s ridiculous and inappropriate to speculate.
Further, I’m not going to pretend to understand what it’s like to be Starlin Castro, and I’m not going to sit here and moralize about what he should or shouldn’t do, who he should or shouldn’t hang out with, and where he should or shouldn’t live. I can, however, express concern that the Cubs have a talented young player who seems to be in a situation where his safety or his name or his family or his money are frequently imperiled.
Hopefully, then, Castro is able to put himself in a position, from here on out, to minimize the risk that he’ll be attached to ugly incidents – justified or not – like the shooting this weekend.