clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Starlin Castro, ADHD, And Gordon Wittenmyer Of The Sun-Times

New, 282 comments

The Sun-Times Cubs beat writer stirred things up in the Cubs clubhouse.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

Gordon Wittenmyer, the Cubs beat writer for the Chicago Sun-Times, is often fond of writing about controversial topics.

He's done it again today, posting an article in which he almost comes right out and says that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has attention-deficit disorder (ADD, or as it is more commonly known today, ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder):

Throughout Castro’s career, mental lapses, moments of lost focus and inexplicable errors on routine plays have raised speculation among fans, scouts and even some in his organization – including the clubhouse — that he has a form of the common disorder.

But he hasn’t been tested for it, and doesn’t want to be, he said, even if a diagnosis and treatment could raise his performance – even as a three-month slump has called the three-time All-Star’s playing time into question down the stretch.

This is a delicate and controversial topic, and so it's not really a surprise that Gordo would have brought it up, directly to Castro in the clubhouse, without consulting any medical authorities on the issue. (I think you'll agree with me that Gordo isn't a doctor nor an expert in this subject.)

While Wittenmyer is certainly correct about "mental lapses, moments of lost focus and inexplicable errors on routine plays" during Castro's career -- we have all witnessed those -- it's a real stretch for him to make any sort of medical judgment, or confront a player in the clubhouse on this topic.

For Castro's part, he was quoted as being as diplomatic as possible under the circumstances:

Castro, 25, said he doesn’t take drugs for any conditions and doesn’t like the idea of starting. In this case, he said, team officials have never asked him to be tested.

"If somebody tells me, `You need this, go try it,’ I’ll go try," he said. "But I don’t think I want to do it on my own."

And manager Joe Maddon is skeptical about the idea that medication would help Castro:

"I’m not into all this over-medicating of children and young adults," said Maddon, who acknowledged there probably are cases where it can help. "I’m not convinced yet that this is the right tack to take. With anybody."

I'm taking no position on this issue, other than to say that Gordo appears to be just stirring the pot. I will say that I think we all agree that we'd like to see Castro get back to the playing level he had as recently as a year ago.

So I put this out there for discussion. Please be respectful.