CHICAGO – Starlin Castro’s body language explained it all. In the sixth inning during Sunday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Castro was seen with his back to home plate with no realization that James Russell was delivering a pitch (Video of the play). Whether it was a disinterest or simply forgetting that Russell was about to pitch, it was a symbolic moment. That moment showed Chicago Cubs fans everywhere they are not the only ones who are disinterested in the team’s awful season.
Castro’s inability to stay focused in the game cannot be because of inexperience. Mike Quade mentioned, “He is young, but that’s not an excuse anymore. We’ll continue to treat him as a guy who has to learn stuff, but when it comes to concentrating on every pitch, I don’t think you can use his age as an out.”
Quade does mention that age is no excuse, but what about being disinterested?
After Monday’s batting practice, Castro said, “I want to say I’m sorry to my teammates and it will never happen again. I’m real embarrassed. There’s no excuse for that. That can’t happen in a game. That will never happen again.”
It is hard for a Cubs fan to blame the kid. That lack of focus is a culmination to how treacherous a season the Chicago Cubs have had. It is another chapter in a season that has brought many moments of disappointment. It’s simple. The Cubs have imploded this season and need to make drastic changes in the offseason.
One of the major issues is the General Manager position. Major names have already been rumored as an option for the Cubs. These names include Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, Yankees GM Brian Cashman (along with manager Joe Girardi in a package deal), Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti (rumored that Ned would bring Ryne Sandberg as manager) and Athletic’s GM Billy Beane.
In addition to these high profile names, others include vice president and assistant general manager of the White Sox Rick Hahn, and vice president of baseball operations for the Padres Josh Byrnes.
Other issues include the expensive contracts on current players Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano. Soriano has $54 million remaining on an eight-year $136 million deal signed in November 2006, and Zambrano is slated to make $18 million a year through 2013. These two contracts do not look appealing to any MLB team right now. Especially with Soriano struggling with his numbers (.244 BA, .286 OBP, and 61 RBI) and Zambrano having temper tantrums (and mulling retirement).
It is a disappointing season filled with disappointing moments. The future for the Cubs looks uncertain because no matter who the next GM is, the next few years will be a rebuilding process. The next GM will have the daunting task of rebuilding a Cubs organization into a World Series contender. Last time the Cubs were in the World Series was 1945 and they have not won a World Series in 104 years!
The championship drought has caused a lot of pain for Cubs fans as we continue to hope for a better year. The future looks uncertain, but these recent changes made to the organization may bring a new future. As a true Cubs fan, there is always next year. We can only hope!
About the Author
Written by Kamil Kolodziejski
Born and raised a Chicago Fan! I am a recent graduate from DePaul University with a sports management degree. My lifelong goal is to become a part of the Sports Industry and hopefully one day work for one of my favorite teams in the Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, or the Fire.