I suppose the Cubs should be thankful that Starlin Castro didn’t just drop down and start doing dirt angels on the Wrigley infield while actual baseball was about to commence, but there are plenty of embarrassing aspects of Starlin Castro’s national TV lollygagging.
First, you’ve got the shortstop looking like a diva in the field.
Next, you’ve got this talented kid moving through the Cubs’ system without a clue about getting ready or a Cubs coach or manager or some blasted instructor demand that he pay attention and teach him how.
After that, you’ve got a public pantsing of a so-called major-league team, which requires some quality pantsing when you’re talking about a team that takes a month to fire a general manager.
Oh, and don’t forget this one: Castro seems to be the only player who manager Mike Quade manages, the only important job he has. And he was totally unaware his shortstop was totally unaware that baseball was being played.
We knew Quade didn’t know how to manage the veterans, or didn’t want to, or was afraid to. Whatever, that left Quade to manage the Cubs’ kids, which really left Castro, Darwin Barney and Tyler Colvin.
Quade doesn’t have to manage Barney much because he doesn’t seem to do much wrong. Quade doesn’t have to manage Colvin much because he continually starts aging, fringe outfielder Reed Johnson for no apparent reason that will mean something if the Cubs ever become good again. That leaves Castro as the only player Quade manages.
Castro is the Next Big Thing. Castro will be in the middle if the Cubs ever become good again. Castro is The Future --- the only player who looks close to having the tools for the greatness that other good teams have.
Castro also is the only player who seems to get disciplined by the manager. Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Zambrano, pick a veteran, any veteran --- they can do whatever they want, put forth whatever kind of effort they want, pay attention to whatever degree they want, and not worry.
But Castro, who’s better than all of them, seems to be the only one to get called into the principal’s office. OK. Fine. The care and feeding of your greatest talent is an understandable pursuit, even if that seems to be the only time Quade acts like he’s in charge.
And on Sunday, Quade wasn’t paying attention to the only guy he seems to be in charge of managing.
The former manager in the national TV booth saw Castro turn his back to the plate and go through some silly sunflower seed routine --- five times or so. But Quade? Nope, sorry, didn’t see it. Neither did his “infield people.’’
Jeez, Quade only has about five weeks to go in his Cubs managing career and he has only one guy to manage, and that guy is right near the pitcher’s mound where most Cubs managers look before watching the arc of the ball 10 rows up in the left-field bleachers, so you’d think the short-timer would see it.
Heck, you’d think Quade would’ve seen it sometime this season. Seen it and corrected it amid all the times Quade has sent Castro to his room without dessert. You’d think Quade or his “infield people’’ would’ve managed or coached the only important young player the Cubs have.
But no. Missed it. Missed it Sunday. Missed it all year long --- all career long.
And if they claim they haven’t missed it, then they have teaching skills that are totally lacking.
But look at that: Quade and Ramirez claim too much was made of it, as if the Cubs have experienced dumber things and people, and they have, which tells you about the franchise’s tolerance for an unprofessional culture, another punchline in a joke of a season that is fast becoming Fanboy Owner Tom Ricketts’ legacy:
The general manager gets fired a month after he got fired;
The Fanboy Owner admits to an act of premeditated deceit of some draftees;
The Fanboy Owner admits he gave the draftees a comic book or something that prosaically romances the pride of an organization that hasn’t won a World Series in 103 years;
The Fanboy Owner defended team impediment Clown Kenney;
And then the franchise’s Next Big Thing can’t get ready to play baseball.
It would seem this could not get any worse if the Cubs simply forfeited the rest of the season. It would at least save the Cubs from giving the world more examples of how completely ill-equipped the baseball organization is to produce winning major-league baseball players and teams.Copyright © 2015, RedEye