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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Danks: Castro has to realize opportunity

By ESPNChicago.com

Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks believes Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is one of the bright, young stars in baseball, but Danks knows how he would feel if one of his players had his back to the plate while he was delivering a pitch.

Castro was caught by television cameras not paying attention while James Russell delivered a pitch Sunday night against the St. Louis Cardinals. Manager Mike Quade benched Castro on Monday and talked to the 21-year-old All-Star about always staying focused.

"I'm a pitcher who plays 30-35 times a year talking, and for a guy who plays every day, I can imagine it would be a lot tougher and maybe you can find yourself going through the motions sometimes," Danks said Tuesday on "Chicago Gamenight" on ESPN 1000. "It's a long season, for sure.

"But if I'm on the mound, I wouldn't appreciate my shortstop having his back to home plate."

Castro returned to the lineup on Tuesday against the Atlanta Braves and extended his hitting streak to seven games.

"I'm sure it's something that's already worked out," Danks said. "He's a helluva ballplayer, no doubt. He's one of the bright, young stars of the game. Surely they're going to get it worked out, and I don't think it should be an issue much longer.

"He has to realize the opportunity he has. We get to play a game for a living, and people pay a lot of money to watch it. Way I look at it is you might as well play to win."