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.