Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Castro Gets Penance for Violating McCarthy’s Fourth Commandment


Contributed by Sporting Chance Press Author, J. D. Thorne [Public Domain Photo gamefreak777/wikimedia commons]

This week Cubs manager Mike Quade benched Starlin Castro for lapses in concentration. Castro who is only 20 years old, lost track of the number of outs in the seventh inning of Sunday game against the Mets. Castro was picked off after he wondered off the base path thinking the inning was over. Although he has been a ray of hope this season for the struggling Cubs, the Cubs have occasionally paid the price for his inexperience.

Castro took the benching in stride and was quoted as saying, ''I prefer playing, but I think sometimes you need to take one step back so you can watch and learn more, and then put both together.''

While he may not have realized it, Castro breached one of the original 10 Commandments of Baseball penned by the legendary manager Joe McCarthy in 1921.

Commandment Number Four: “Keep your head up and you may not have to keep it down.”

McCarthy was well aware of how important it is to keep your “head in the game” having managed for about 15 seasons in the minors when he wrote the Commandments. Later he would take the helm for the Cubs, Yankees and Red Sox where he insisted that his players follow the fundamentals.

Quade can take some comfort though in the positive response to the benching by his young star. A negative attitude can disrupt a player’s attention even further so punishment can lead to more poor play. McCarthy would coach his players not to waste a minute grieving over last inning’s error or strikeout. Being ready for the next play or the next at-bat is what counts. As Joe McCarthy said, “You can’t freeze the ball in this game. You play until the last man is out.”
More on The 10 Commandments of Baseball.