If just about any Chicago Cubs player other than Starlin Castro were to hurt himself in a preseason game, the majority of the Chicago Cubs fan community would react with reason and pragmatism. If it was announced that Alfonso Soriano shattered something important and would miss 6 months of play, the collective reaction of fans of the North Siders would be a big shrug, perhaps followed by an “Oh, well.” When Starlin Castro so much as stubs his toe, however, Chicago Cubs fans are going to panic.
Although every report suggest that Starlin Castro’s hamstring discomfort is a minor injury at best, and he likely won’t miss much time at all, the young shortstop means so much to an organization that hasn’t had a lot to get excited about that there is general nervousness coming from all corners of Chicago Cubs fandom. Losing Starlin Castro, in the eyes of the Wrigley Field faithful, is akin to the Chicago Bulls losing Michael Jordan, or the American Revolution losing George Washington. Sure, the Chicago Cubs haven’t accomplished anything yet during Starlin Castro’s tenure, and Castro himself is still a growing player who hasn’t quite lived up to his star potential yet, but that’s kind of the point.
By the standards of the Chicago Cubs, the 21st century has actually been pretty good so far (three NL Central Division Titles equal total previous playoff appearances since losing the World Series in 1945), the hopeful 2000s have given way to serially disappointing 2010s, and Starlin Castro is seen by the majority of the community as the centerpiece of any hope the team has to make an impact in the next few seasons. So despite the fact that the hamstring injury is minor, Chicago Cubs fans are going to worry just a little bit anyway, because so many fans hang their hopes on the shoulders of their star shortstop. He will be okay, and everything will probably be just fine… right?