The Young and the Rasmus


Just when you thought the Colby Rasmus soap opera was over in St. Louis, something new comes out of nowhere to ignite an old flame. And isn’t it fitting that the gasoline is poured the day after Father’s Day. I discovered an article on the Internet today written by Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star documenting the joy Colby Rasmus and his Father have shared while he has been a member of the Blue Jays organization. I don’t have a problem with this at all; it’s the fallacies that were written within the article that I take offense.

As I analyze this article, I will try my best to remain as objective as I possibly can, because being objective is probably one of the most important qualities a journalist can have. However, it shall be known that my true allegiance lies with the Cardinals. So here we begin:

The article begins by saying the trade to Toronto last year “saved Colby’s career” as his father put it. I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Rasmus because Colby was clearly not getting along with management in St. Louis so a change of scenery was the best option. Kennedy then writes that Colby considered quitting baseball because he was so miserable with the way things were going in St. Louis. Money was never an issue with him and no matter how much money he would have been making, he would have quit if he were miserable. “He may have been at the house working on construction if he had to go through that much longer,” Kennedy quotes Colby’s father, Tony Rasmus.

The biggest issues lie in the next few paragraphs. Tony Rasmus goes on to tell how members of the Cardinals organization put too much pressure on Colby because “they expected him to be Albert Pujols.” Really Tony? Really? You think a guy who has never shown 30 home run power, a .330 average, or even gotten close to 100 RBIs in any level of the minors is going to be expected to put up the same numbers as a future Hall of Famer? Fallacy number one.

Tony Rasmus then says he never instructed his son on how to hit. He only threw batting practice to him as part of a superstition Colby has had for years. Tony LaRussa and Mark McGwire didn’t like the fact that Tony Rasmus was throwing batting practice to his son. They thought he was getting too involved.

Again I say, really Tony? You can’t possibly believe LaRussa and McGwire had a problem with you throwing batting practice to your son. When you are neglecting your coaches instructions on the other hand, now that’s a different story.

According to Kennedy, Colby and his father are much happier now that he’s in Toronto and having a lot more success.

A lot more success, eh? (no pun intended) Through June 18, 2010 as a member of the Cardinals, Colby had a .287 average with 13 home runs and 34 RBIs. This year: a .257 average with 10 homers and 33 RBIs. It appears as though Colby was having a better year a couple of seasons ago up to this point as a member of the Cardinals, so should we give credit to Tony Rasmus for helping his son improve over last season’s terrible performance? Absolutely not. Especially when Colby himself told his father to back off some this season (something Tony LaRussa and Mark McGwire wanted to happen last year). Colby has also listened to his hitting coaches and has changed his approach at the plate by standing a bit more upright and further up in the batters box this season. I’m not sure what McGwire was trying to tell Colby to do, but I believe he was trying to coach him on how to be a better hitter. Apparently he didn’t want to listen to a Hall of Fame manager’s coaching staff, but was more than willing to listen to John Farrell’s advisers when it comes to playing the game.

In the end, everybody wins. Colby Rasmus will continue to be the streaky hitter he is, showing some great potential at times while striking out more than he should. As for the Cardinals, they will forever be known as the 2011 World Series Champions all because of a trade they made before the deadline dealing away one of their highest rated prospects. I hope Colby takes really good care of the ring he received last season, because it may just be the only one he ever gets.