Piniella: ‘Castro’s Commies freaked the bejesus out of Starlin’
A group of overeager Cubs fans identifying themselves as “Castro’s Commies” dressed like Cuban dictator Fidel Castro to show their support for super-rookie Starlin of the same last name. Their team spirit was misguided as the 20-year-old Dominican native was startled by the presence of what he feared were Socialist rebels in the stands. A flustered Castro had three awful errors as the Cubs lost 4-2 to the Marlins Monday night.
Castro’s manager was quick to defend his young shortstop.
“Look, I don’t know what the heck those fans were thinking,” said Lou Piniella. “The young man’s very impressionable and grew up fearing dictators like Fidel. Those outfits were anything but supportive. In fact, they freaked the bejesus out of the young man. We might have to sit Starlin for all home games until these wannabe Cubans hit the road.”
“Castro’s Commies” are the latest in a long line of ill-fated attempts by a small portion of ignorant Cubs fans to support their favorite foreign-born player. In 2008, rookie Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome was famously greeted after a hot start by a wide variety of borderline racist T-shirts, costumes and signs. Shortly thereafter, Fukudome’s level of play headed south, as did fan support. Unfortunately for Cubs fans, Fukudome’s offensive output has yet to rebound. The Cubs are hopeful Castro’s career path won’t face a similar fate.
“Hopefully we can get it through Starlin’s young head that there’s nothing to fear with these guys, even though they’re dressed like a military dictator,” said Piniella. “It almost makes me long for the days of samurai headbands and those stupid ‘Horry Kow’ T-shirts.”
By Brad Zibung, founder and editor in chief. Image by Marley Bellwood.