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Teammates rally to Starlin Castro’s defense

Updated: February 15, 2012 8:12AM

Teammates close to shortstop Starlin Castro predictably rallied around him Friday a few hours after he was questioned by Chicago police regarding an alleged sexual assault 31/2 months ago.

“He lived with me for a few months [in 2010],” said Alfonso Soriano, who spoke to Castro about the issue earlier this week. “I believe in him. I know what kind of person he is. The problem he has right now is not true, and I believe him.”

Castro is attending the Cubs Convention this weekend, as promised, but his schedule has been altered. He released a statement, which he obviously didn’t compose, through his attorneys Friday in which he said he didn’t plan to make any other public comments.

While he attended the opening ceremonies Friday, the Cubs conspicuously shielded him from media-accessible areas.

“He’s a good person,” reliever Carlos Marmol said. “I know he’s a good player, but he’s a good person and has great values. I hope he gets through this and everything will be OK.”

Marmol said that the last time he saw Castro was on Marmol’s birthday, Oct. 14, and that Castro didn’t seem to be aware of any trouble with the police.

“You have to learn from your mistakes,” Marmol said. “I’m not saying he made a mistake, but you have to learn from things. Whatever happens, he has to learn from it.”

“We’ve all tripped up a little bit,” catcher Geovany Soto said. “If he keeps his mind on baseball, everything’s going to be fine. And his teammates are behind him 100 percent.”

Team president Theo Epstein said the team hadn’t been briefed on the police questioning.

“Obviously, we’re eager to get updates,” he said, “but we’re not a true party to this investigation, so we’re getting the information as it comes.”

Contributing: Toni Ginnetti

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