After Sunday night’s debacle in which Starlin Castro was caught not paying attention to the game — even turning his back to the plate at one point — many wonder who might have influenced the young shortstop. Those who know the Cubs need only look directly to Castro’s right to sluggish third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who is seemingly indifferent to wins and losses.

“I’ve taken him under my wing since he arrived,” said Ramirez, who is trying to teach Castro the art of loafing while making it seem like he’s trying his hardest. “I’ve become quite adept at giving the impression that I care and I’m trying my best. Sure I get caught from time to time taking¬†innings and the entire first half of seasons off, but my numbers at the end always give me a boost with fans and critics.”

Ramirez says the key to keeping people off of his back is to make an occasional diving play or hit a home run when it counts the least, a skill he has mastered, earning him a massive contract. Now Ramirez is hoping to pass along this skill to Castro in hopes that he too can dupe the Cubs out of millions of dollars one day.

Unfortunately for Castro, Tom Ricketts isn’t the fool he lets on to be in the press. He is worried Castro may be hanging around Ramirez too much and his slacker ways are starting to rub off on the young All-Star.

“I’ll be damned if I’m going to let that deadbeat ruin the only bright spot in our otherwise bleak future as a franchise,” said Ricketts, who forbade Castro from hanging out with Ramirez. “I’m already paying too much for a lunatic starting pitcher, a left fielder who can’t play left field, and a third baseman who has sleep-walked through his entire career. I’m not gonna pay millions to a shortstop who cares more about his sunflower seeds than the game in front of him.”

Michael Kloempken