Report: Starlin Castro accused of sexual assault

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Wow: WBBM Newsradio in Chicago is reporting that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has been accused of sexually assaulting a Chicago woman last September.  No charges have been filed and he has not been arrested, but he is wanted for questioning.

WBBM has obtained a police report — heavily redacted — that says Castro took to woman to his apartment after a night of drinking. The woman blacked out, the report says, and when she awoke, Castro was assaulting her.  CBS Chicago.com summarizes the report thusly:

It says that when she woke up she screamed and yelled at her alleged attacker, and left the apartment at about 5:30 a.m. getting a ride home from her friend. It would be 12 hours before the alleged victim would go to a hospital, and police would become involved.

By then, it is believed that Castro was on a plane, heading home to the Dominican Republic for the off-season.

He has not been back to the United States since then. His agent, Paul Kinzer, declined to comment as have the Cubs.

We’re going to be hearing more about this, obviously. Updates as they occur.

UPDATE:  Attorneys for Castro have released a statement saying that they believe the allegations to be baseless.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves