Long day worth wait for Starlin Castro

PHOENIX -- Starlin Castro's all-morning excursion to the All-Star Game, which began at 7 a.m. on the East Coast and was hampered by delays, culminated with big news.

The Cubs’ first-time All-Star was excited to hear from NL manager Bruce Bochy that he’ll be going into Tuesday’s game when starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki exits.

“This has been a lot of fun here,” Castro said. “There are a lot of stars here, and I’m really happy and really comfortable right now.”

Castro brought his mother, father and two brothers with him to what should be the first of a long line of All-Star Games in his future. The super-confident young Cubs infielder believes the sky is the limit for him in the future.

“I want to be better,” Castro said. “Better than I am now. Like a super, superstar. You know, a Hall of Fame player, like that. I want to be that.”

Castro is the first Cubs shortstop to be selected to the All-Star team since Shawon Dunston in 1990. He’s also the youngest Cub to be selected.

The easygoing Castro said he was a big fan of the All-Star Game growing up.

“We watched the game all the time,” Castro said. "Miguel Tejada, Derek Jeter and Omar Vizquel were the guys I watched.”

The main focus of conversation in Phoenix was on Jeter’s absence from this year’s All-Star Game after he went 5-for-5 on Saturday, hitting a home run for his 3,000th hit.

Castro is disappointed that he won’t get to play opposite Jeter on Tuesday.

“I thought he’d be here,” Castro said. “I don’t know him, I’ve never seen him play in person. I was really excited to hopefully see him play in this All-Star Game.”

Since he knows he will be playing, Castro has a formula for staying cool during the Midsummer Classic.

“Play my game and don’t try to do too much,” Castro said.