Starlin Castro and former teammate Aramis Ramirez spent some quality time together last weekend in Chicago discussing the ups and downs of being a star player on the Cubs. Watching the Cubs from afar the Brewers' third baseman came to the conclusion Castro is being made a scapegoat for many of the team's problems with every mistake magnified by fans and media alike. "It seems like every time he does something wrong everybody just goes 'Wow'" Ramirez said. "The guy is still only 23 years old. But when you're a two-time All-Star and you've got 200 hits (in a season) under your belt they're going to look at you differently. "But he's only 23 and he's going to be OK — he signed a long-term (deal). And he's not the only guy struggling over there. There are a lot of guys that aren't doing what they're supposed to be doing right now." The Castro conundrum is one of the most debated topics among Cubs fans. Only two seasons after he led the National League with 207 hits at 21 Castro's future is in question particularly with top prospect Javier Baez tearing up the minors. The litany of Castro so-called "hiccups" is well-known beginning with the "Bobby Valentine game" in 2011 when ESPN cameras caught him with his back turned to the plate during a pitch prompting Valentine to rip not only Castro but manager Mike Quade and his coaching staff for letting Castro get away with it. Castro's eventual benching by Quade became a footnote when new manager Dale Sveum became furious with his shortstop during a game in San Francisco in 2012 when Castro forgot how many outs there were. That episode faded away until Sveum made a veiled threat in April that Castro and Anthony Rizzo could be demoted to the minors. The topper was last month's mental gaffe last month at Wrigley Field when Castro dropped his head and zoned out after catching a fly ball in short left field allowing a runner on third to tag up and score prompting Sveum to yank him from the game. Each gaffe was followed by a heartfelt apology from Castro but every new one conjures up memories of the past making some wonder whether the marketing department's decision to hype him on billboards as a future Derek Jeter was the biggest gaffe of them all.
Cubs' Castro hopes disappointing 2013 just a bump in road
Chicago Tribune | Sep 10