San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs

Dale Sveum says Starlin Castro only focuses about “80 to 85 percent of the time”


Patrick Mooney of spoke with Cubs officials about what it means for the team to depend on young kids like Starlin Castro. And manager Dale Sveum dealt directly with Castro’s notable lack of concentration at times last season:

“He came a long way, but still has to even concentrate more,” Sveum said. “We’ve got him probably – just throwing a number out there – really focused 80 to 85 percent of the time. We got to get that to 95 percent of the time. I don’t think anybody ever really focuses 100 percent.”

Wait, you telling me that those people who say they give 110% are lying? Man, I don’t know what to believe in anymore.

Check out the whole article to get a sense of the brave new (young) world on the north side.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.