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Cubs interim manager Mike Quade benches Starlin Castro for "lapses in concentration"

Sep 7, 2010, 10:16 AM EDT

Cubs interim manager Mike Quade benched Starlin Castro yesterday for what he called “lapses in concentration” after the Cubs’ rookie shortstop forgot how many outs there were and got picked off first base Sunday.

Castro also made an error in the field Friday and Quade, who’s gone 9-4 since taking over the 51-74 team from Lou Piniella last month, told Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun-Times that he’ll be on the bench for at least two games to “reflect” on his various mistakes:

I want the guy to take a step back, take a look at what goes on around here, from a different perspective, sitting with us and his teammates. It’ll give him a chance to clear his head and figure out exactly how he can compartmentalize–if that’s the right word–all the different tasks that go with that position at this level. I think the break will help him.

Look, this kid has a chance to be so incredibly valuable, obviously, to this franchise. And the more he can do to help himself, to clear his mind and be consistent in what he does is going to determine just how good he’s going to be. So you take a moment like this, and you go ahead and do it.

Castro took the benching in stride, which is nice to see given that a 20-year-old rookie hitting .317 could just as easily have scoffed at being reprimanded by a manager who may not even be around after this month. And if Quade does actually get the full-time job in Chicago having Castro on his side will be a huge factor in his success, so the benching potentially has a much bigger impact than just couple days off.

  1. Paper Lions - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    How can a manager possibly be successful by being honest and telling his players exactly why he makes his decisions? That won’t work. You have to be cryptic and consistently lie to players and the press and then leak private conversations (or just make stuff up) when it suits your needs.

  2. Preston - Sep 7, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    That’s a terrific quote from Quade – some other managers and coaches should take note (LaRussa, Larry Bowa). He’s using the benching as a learning experience, not just a punishment, and focusing on the player’s positives to help him buy into the idea and actually improve their bond in the process. I hope Quade gets a shot at managing somewhere after this.

  3. Utley's hair - Sep 7, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    What would that be in Milton Bradley currency? And maybe Cholly should take note of this move with Jayson “Borris to Boras” Werth and his tendency to just get picked off after zoning out completely?

  4. Old Gator - Sep 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Awww, that’s just Castro being Castro. Lift the blockade and let the kid play.

  5. BC - Sep 7, 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Free Starlin Castro!

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