Okay, it’s only one game. I get that.

And, as Cubs fans, we tend to go overboard in our hype of Cubs’ players, especially ones from our own farm system.

It is with this in mind that I cautiously state the following:

Retire his number now.

Look, just give Starlin Castro the Wayne Gretzky treatment and don’t make him wait the traditional five years.

Put the kid in the Hall of Fame now.

I’m joking, of course, but what a debut this 20-year-old shortstop phenom had last night! I know RBIs are overrated, but no rookie in the history of the major leagues had ever driven in six runs in his first game.

That’s right, I said “ever.” Let that soak in for a minute.

Not sure if you know this, but they’ve been playing this game for a long, long time, my friends.

Not bad for a kid that was playing Class “A” ball less than a year ago.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t really mean a thing in the long run, of course. Just like Mike Schmidt’s struggles as a rookie didn’t mean anything.

Still, it was fun to watch.

To say that Cubs fans needed this during such an early, yet dismal season so far, is akin to saying that it’s been awhile since the Cubs have won a title.

In other words, quite the understatement.

In case you missed it, or you happen to live under a rock, all the kid did was hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat.

It was all downhill from there.

But “downhill,” in this case, means adding a three-run triple in his third at-bat. 

Not bad, kid, but no homer? We’ll cut you some slack this time, but don’t let it happen again.

GM Jim Hendry told ESPN, “The kid gave us a spark. We really couldn’t have written the script any better than that for the young man. What a special night it must have been for him.”

Yep, you betcha, Jim. But what does the kid do for an encore? Find a cure for AIDS?

Well, I don’t know, but at least for one night, the kid was special, and what do you know, the Cubs won a ballgame.

In short, all is right with the universe.

While they are dancing in the streets of Monte Cristy, Dominican Republic, what expectations does this historic debut raise for Castro?

I say, who cares? Let’s just enjoy it and move on.

Even if the kid goes hitless tonight, we have ourselves the first homegrown middle infielder with star potential (no name-pun intended) since, well, I can’t even remember.

Ryne Sandberg came out of the Phillies’ system, so, um…Ernie Banks?

Anyway, Castro is the third rookie this year to homer in the first at-bat, an unusual stat itself. But he’s the first Cubs rookie to do so since 1992. And that was pitcher Jim Bullinger of all people.

Castro received a celebratory beer shower from his teammates after the game. Hope he didn’t drink any of it, as he isn’t even of legal drinking age.

And we all know none of us ever took a drink before we turned 21, right? Ahem.

In truth, this year’s Cubs team has driven us to drink, and drink heavily, I’m afraid.

Until Friday night, that is. No more crying in our beer…Starlin Castro is here!







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