MESA, Ariz. The Cubs dont believe a Starlin Castro Watch will dominate the daily headlines from spring training. They say their 21-year-old All-Star shortstop is supposed to report to camp on time next week.
But its something that hangs over the franchise. Castro, who lives in the Dominican Republic during the offseason, met with Chicago police last month while in town for the Cubs Convention. There were questions about an alleged sexual assault that happened almost five months ago.
Castro was not charged with a crime. His attorneys have vehemently denied the allegations. The Cubs have expressed their support, both publicly and in private.
I know theres been full cooperation from every end, Theo Epstein said Saturday. I expect Starlin in camp. Hes getting ready for the season and we dont expect it to be a distraction.
The incident occurred right after the season ended last September. The Cubs president of baseball operations described Castros situation as status quo, though he didnt want to interpret what that means exactly.
Its too sensitive an issue I dont want to speculate, Epstein said. Its really not our investigation. Obviously, what we said at the convention stands. Theres a lot of concern about it and our players have a responsibility to conduct themselves the right way off the field as well as on the field. But as far as I know, there havent been a lot of developments about this story.
At some point, Epstein expects the organization will receive some sort of update from the police. Until then, the Cubs are planning to educate their minor- and major-league players on how to handle fame and the spotlight.
Representatives from the Northeastern University Center for Sport in Society will come in to run several seminars this spring.
(Its) giving them the right tools to deal with difficult situations, Epstein said. Sometimes we take for granted that these young kids because theyre great at what they do on the field know how to handle all the tough circumstances that they find off the field. Its our responsibility as an organization.
We coach them on the field and we expect them to just make great decisions off the field. We need to give them great coaching off the field (to) help make the right decisions.
The Cubs Way means high standards on the field and off the field. (Theres) got to be accountability in wearing this uniform.