He was 19 years old when he made his debut for the Pirates on May 26, 1998. Starlin Castro is 21, and was caught by ESPN cameras with his back to the plate during Sunday night's Cubs-Cardinals game, which Chicago lost, 6-2. Ramirez said people need to lighten up regarding the Cubs' young All-Star.
"People need to realize that he's only 21 -- he's going to make mistakes," Ramirez said Tuesday. "He's going to make mental mistakes. ... I made it to the big leagues when I was 19, and I made a lot of mistakes. That's part of [the game]."
Castro was back in the Cubs' starting lineup Tuesday. Ramirez said Castro has apologized to the team and now it's time to move on.
"I think [such a big deal was made] because it was an ESPN game, a nationally televised game," Ramirez said. "[But] that stuff shouldn't happen. Starlin would be the first one to tell you that shouldn't happen."
He added: "Even when you're a veteran, you make mistakes."
Cubs manager Mike Quade, who still has not listened to ESPN analyst Bobby Valentine's extended criticism of Castro from Sunday's game, agreed the shortstop's mistake is getting a lot of attention.
"I may agree that too much was being made of it but this is the world we're in and this is the spotlight we're under," Quade said. "You can think what you want, but when you're playing in a market like this at a level like this, you can expect this kind of attention, and you can expect to be under a microscope like this."