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Beinfest Baffled by Castro


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Castro's failures baffling

 

By Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 8, 2004

 

 

 

Marlins General Manager Admin Beinfest has had an uncanny knack for making bold moves that ultimately improve the Marlins. But one off-season decision has turned into a disaster.

 

Ramon Castro, once heralded as the franchise's catcher of the future, was given his chance this year to assume the starting job after Pudge Rodriguez left the team for free agency.

 

Two months into the season, it appears Castro's playing days with the Marlins are all but over, leaving everyone in the organization searching for clues to why he never lived up to his promise.

 

"I wish I knew," Beinfest said. "We're disappointed. He's disappointed. He had two full months. He's going to need to work his way back because he did have ample opportunity."

 

Castro, 28, was put on the disabled list with a swollen toe after taking himself out of last Tuesday's game. He had been in the midst of a slump -- batting.135 with three home runs and eight RBI for the season -- and the target of boos at Pro Player Stadium.

 

Now Castro has a bigger problem. Some of his teammates are angry with him, perceiving him as a player who gave up when the team was banking on him to help offset the power loss of Rodriguez.

 

Veteran backup Mike Redmond has assumed the starting job despite playing with a broken finger on his catching hand and a bruised right forearm. His backup is rookie Matt Treanor, a well-liked minor-league journeyman.

 

"I don't know what happened," said bullpen coach Tony Taylor, who has known Castro since he arrived in July 1998 from Houston in the Jay Powell trade.

 

"I think those days that he will be on the DL will give him time to think and prepare himself for what he has to do mentally."

 

Many players believe Castro may have been overwhelmed by the prospect of going to trial in October because of his arrest on rape charges stemming from an incident in August at a Pittsburgh hotel.

 

"I've got to believe his legal situation is something that's on his mind," said third baseman Mike Lowell. "There might be a lot of other factors that we're not aware of."

 

Castro, who is not on Florida's current road trip after doctors prescribed rest, was not available for comment. His agent, Jaime Torres, could not be reached.

 

The front office is exploring options for catching help and relief pitching as the Marlins try to maintain a slim lead in the NL East. Team officials made an effort to retain Rodriguez in December, but the 10-time All-Star signed a four-year, $40 million deal with Detroit. They also looked into acquiring a veteran such as Javy Lopez. They gambled and decided to start the season with the catching tandem of Castro and Redmond. They earn a combined $1.24 million.

 

Last year they combined for 19 RBI in limited playing time while Rodriguez hit.297 with 16 home runs and 85 RBI.

 

Florida banked on the hope that Castro, at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, possessed the talent to blossom into a power hitter with regular playing time. But as he slumped, manager Jack McKeon lost patience and gave the majority of playing time Redmond, a contact hitter who is batting.273.

 

"Everybody just expected he would hit, that offensively it was going to be there," said bench coach Doug Davis, who works with the catchers. "We thought that was a given and when that part of the game let him down, he had a hard time digging himself out."

 

Castro eventually let his offensive struggles affect his defense.

 

"Ray is not a high-energy person," Davis said. "I don't think he gets things off his shoulders by shouting or throwing things. I think he had a hard time finding out what he needed to do to deal with it to get himself out of that rut."

 

Castro is out of options, meaning the Marlins can release him or trade him. There was interest in him last year but that has waned. If and when Castro does return, he will have to earn his way back into the lineup.

 

"He had the chance," McKeon said. "Now he's going to have to come back and beat somebody out, if he can."

 

joe_capozzi@pbpost.com

 

 

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Wow. I kinda feel bad for him. Something is definitely on his mind. He's gonna start turning himself into a basket case if he doesn't fix himself up. I hope he gets through okay.

I surely dont feel bad for him ... he had his chance and he wasted it, he is supposed to be a professional and not a kid. Kobe Bryant seems to be doing ok and he is playing in the highest stage of all while going to trial. Castro is playing in stress free florida with his trial months away ... he cant say thats an excuse.

 

 

I still like the guy and he still has the potential ... but I hope he can go and try to reach it with another team

 

 

I aint got time to waste .... NEXT

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Wow. I kinda feel bad for him. Something is definitely on his mind. He's gonna start turning himself into a basket case if he doesn't fix himself up. I hope he gets through okay.

I surely dont feel bad for him ... he had his chance and he wasted it, he is supposed to be a professional and not a kid. Kobe Bryant seems to be doing ok and he is playing in the highest stage of all while going to trial. Castro is playing in stress free florida with his trial months away ... he cant say thats an excuse.

 

 

I still like the guy and he still has the potential ... but I hope he can go and try to reach it with another team

 

 

I aint got time to waste .... NEXT Exactly! I think we're all surprised that he lastes this long in the first place!

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Wow. I kinda feel bad for him. Something is definitely on his mind. He's gonna start turning himself into a basket case if he doesn't fix himself up. I hope he gets through okay.

I surely dont feel bad for him ... he had his chance and he wasted it, he is supposed to be a professional and not a kid. Kobe Bryant seems to be doing ok and he is playing in the highest stage of all while going to trial. Castro is playing in stress free florida with his trial months away ... he cant say thats an excuse.

 

 

I still like the guy and he still has the potential ... but I hope he can go and try to reach it with another team

 

 

I aint got time to waste .... NEXT Yea, but who knows if there's other problems? Kobe is Kobe. Ramon is Ramon. They're both different people. Yea, it sucks that he's stinking it up and that he has basically backed out on the team, but it's obvious he has some personal issues he needs to fix.

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Wow. I kinda feel bad for him. Something is definitely on his mind. He's gonna start turning himself into a basket case if he doesn't fix himself up. I hope he gets through okay.

i thought you said good riddance to him last week? *rolls eyes* Going after me again, Adam? Since I have to explain everything to you....

 

Yea, good riddance. If his mind is not on baseball, then should we keep him? No, because we can't count on him to do anything for us. I do feel bad because going what he is going through is not easy and I am sure it's tough for him.

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Wow. I kinda feel bad for him. Something is definitely on his mind. He's gonna start turning himself into a basket case if he doesn't fix himself up. I hope he gets through okay.

I surely dont feel bad for him ... he had his chance and he wasted it, he is supposed to be a professional and not a kid. Kobe Bryant seems to be doing ok and he is playing in the highest stage of all while going to trial. Castro is playing in stress free florida with his trial months away ... he cant say thats an excuse.

 

 

I still like the guy and he still has the potential ... but I hope he can go and try to reach it with another team

 

 

I aint got time to waste .... NEXT Yea, but who knows if there's other problems? Kobe is Kobe. Ramon is Ramon. They're both different people. Yea, it sucks that he's stinking it up and that he has basically backed out on the team, but it's obvious he has some personal issues he needs to fix. LMAO, that's funny comparing Kobe and Ramon. Show's what type of person Kobe is, and what type of person Ramon is.

Adios Ramon, good luck in October.

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Wow. I kinda feel bad for him. Something is definitely on his mind. He's gonna start turning himself into a basket case if he doesn't fix himself up. I hope he gets through okay.

i thought you said good riddance to him last week? *rolls eyes* Going after me again, Adam? Since I have to explain everything to you....

 

Yea, good riddance. If his mind is not on baseball, then should we keep him? No, because we can't count on him to do anything for us. I do feel bad because going what he is going through is not easy and I am sure it's tough for him. and also entirely his own damn fault.

 

 

 

i feel no sorrow for him.

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