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Anthony Rizzo was the best friend Starlin Castro had last night

Jul 3, 2012, 1:32 PM EDT

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Interesting story from the Cubs’ clubhouse via Patrick Mooney at CSNChicago.com.

Last night, with Dan Uggla at the plate, Starlin Castro fielded a grounder and appeared to lollygag the throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Uggla, not the fastest man around — and maybe not even the fastest man named Uggla in Georgia — was safe with an infield single.

After the inning was over, manager Dale Sveum got in Castro’s face to yell at him for, once again, making a mental mistake.  Except when it was all over, Sveum was apologizing to Castro. Thanks to Rizzo intervening. Here’s Sveuem:

“It was one of those things where I apologized to Castro afterward,” Sveum said. “Rizzo came to his rescue right away and said, ‘Skip, that was my fault. I just told him to give me time.’

And here’s Rizzo:

“I took full blame for it – it’s my fault,” said Rizzo, who was on a defensive shift for that at-bat. “I told him before that to give me a little time, and that’s just me not knowing Uggla’s speed. I thought I had time to get there. I busted there right away, but he just beat the throw … “I want Castro to feel comfortable with any play,” Rizzo said. “Any throw he wants to make, I’ll be there to catch it. If I miss that pick, it’s my fault.”

Two possibilities: (1) it really was Castro’s fault and Rizzo was trying to protect his teammate from the boss; or (2) it was really Rizzo’s fault and, rather than let the easy target Castro take the fall, he stood up to take his medicine.

Either one shows a kind of leadership. The latter one a tad less leadership than simple responsibility, but from a rookie, that’s not always expected.

Whatever you make of it, though, it’s a rather neat and interesting little thing.

  1. townballblog - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Middlebrooks and Rizzo, what could’ve been….

  2. Alex K - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    I like it that Rizzo is on my favorite team.

  3. ugglasforearms - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Nice job by Rizzo explaining what happened. One thing I’d emphasize though… Uggla runs everything out, always busts it down to first. If he wasn’t hustling it would have been an out. So I give more credit to Dan for making that a hit.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      Yeah. Dan may not be the quickest guy, but he never slacks off. Even when he was just horrendous for the first half of last season, you never saw him take a play off.

  4. mreezybreezy - Jul 3, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    This is commonplace with Castro – there is no such thing as a “routine” play with him. He makes every play as close as it needs to be.

    Get the ball and throw it dude.

  5. tuftsb - Jul 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    You know what that makes him? A lollygagger!

  6. btwicey - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    Great story. Classy guy already

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