2012 MLB Offseason: Starlin Castro Learning From Off-The-Field Issues

Last December, the star shortstop for the Chicago Cubs, 22-year-old Starlin Castro, came under public scrutiny when a Chicago woman accused him of committing sexual assault at his apartment. Castro spoke with the media (video) for the first time since the incident, which has not involved any charges as of yet. The Dominican Republic native declined to discuss the specifics of the matter, but instead offered some of the lessons he learned:

"...[You’ve] got to be careful because there are a lot of bad people in the world."

Castro ultimately claims his focus at the moment is on his job:

"I cooperated with the police and talking about that," he said. "I don’t have (anything) to say about that. I’m ready to play baseball and am practicing very hard."

Fellow teammates LF Alfonso Soriano and CF Marlon Byrd came to Castro's defense:

"He never felt down because he told me he did nothing wrong," Soriano said. "I believe him. if you know you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about."

--snip--

"I think he understands now that he's 'Starlin Castro,'" Byrd said. "That's a big name right now, and it's going around the world. Somebody that young (being on a) Sports Illustrated cover, playing on the Chicago Cubs, already an All-Star... He just has to be very, very careful."

The Cubs have begun their Spring Training in earnest, with the position players reporting Friday and the whole team executing its first full workout on Saturday, Feb. 25. Castro and company will play their first game March 4 against the Oakland Athletics.

For more on the offseason, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more from around baseball, head over to Baseball Nation. To keep track of all rumors and happenings in the game, check out MLB Daily Dish.

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