Starlin Castro Questioned in Connection to Shooting in Dominican

As is being reported by Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Cubs’ Starlin Castro has been detained by authorities in the Domincan Republic for questioning in relation to a shooting that left six people injured. It does appear, however, that Rojas’ use of “arrested” is a bit off-base, as Castro was reportedly brought in for questioning (he cleared that up in a subsequent tweet).

This story is still developing, so be sure to check out Rojas’ Twitter feed for further information. I’ll note, however, that it’ll help if you’re fluent in Spanish. Likewise, being multi-lingual is a must if you’d like to glean further info from this local report from el Caribe.

Because I don’t speak any more Spanish than what I’ve heard on Dora the Explorer, it’d probably be irresponsible for me to try to make sense of that report, though I can tell from the slug that the incident appears to have occurred at or near a club.

The Cubs have yet to comment publicly, though Castro himself did post a message on Instagram recently. Once again, I can’t claim to know exactly what this says, so I’ll defer to those with a more varied tongue than I. I do know, however, that Castro’s value to the team is either as a shortstop or as a trade piece and that worth is being eroded by incidents like this.

Keep in mind that this is the second time this month that Starlin has been implicated in a shooting in his home country. Just like this one, the details surrounding that earlier incident were spotty and Castro was cleared of any wrongdoing. That was also the case in an alleged sexual assault a few years ago.

Trouble is, some folks are always going yell “Fire!” when they see smoke, and those are exactly the signals Starlin Castro is sending out right now. Fair or not, it may be time for the Cubs and their young star to reevaluate where he spends his winters.

A wise man once said that it’s “hard to stay under the radar when you’re a poor town’s rich boy,” and that’s Castro when he heads home. I can’t pretend to know what it’s like for him, and I’m sure the draw and the familiarity of the Domincan is strong. But at the end of the day, Starlin may have to decide whether that is stronger than his safety and livelihood.

As that same wise man from before also said:

I can’t reiterate enough here that Castro is not being questioned as a suspect, but that it’s possibly a bodyguard or someone else associated with him. But I’ll say again as I’m wont to do each time an athlete’s name is tied to a situation like this: if you need to carry a gun in order to feel safe in the place you’re headed, perhaps you shouldn’t be headed there at all.

Whether that’s to the club, to a particular street, or even your own hometown. I wrote not too long ago about the tragic death of Oscar Taveras and its impact on many of us who didn’t really even know much of him yet. I’m not an expert in Dominican culture, but have heard that Taveras was only doing what so many others do on a weekend night.

History is littered with the names of promising athletes who just couldn’t outrun the pull of “back home,” whether that might be. The last thing I want is to add Starlin Castro’s name to that list. A little melodramatic? Maybe.

I just really love watching Castro play, always have. Sure, there are the occasional lapses and the “what in the hell were you thinking” moments. But from the start, literally the very start, he has displayed a preternatural brilliance that makes you believe he could be truly great.

I want nothing more than to see Starlin cleared of any involvement and to arrive in Mesa with baggage that contains only clothes and equipment. And the next time I write the words “Castro” and “shooting,” I just pray that they’re followed by “for 3,000 hits.”

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