I’m not sure if the Jays’ newest centrefielder, Colby Rasmus, should be embarrassed more for the shirt he’s wearing in the picture above or his feeble attempt at facial hair. [Note: actually... totally the shirt]. What I do know, however, is that he is the Jays’ centrefielder, after a day in which Alex Anthopoulos once again proved he’s smarter than the average blogger, and Rogers demonstrated– by taking on the useless Mark Teahen and the over-$7-million still owed to him– that they’re willing to willing to spend money on moves to build a young, cheap core of this franchise, much to the chagrin, I’m sure, of the many complete fucking shit-headed morons who wouldn’t know a sound dollar being spent if they saw it out there who insist they don’t.
Anthopoulos also demonstrated again that– as the title of this post suggests– he doesn’t give a damn about anyone’s bad reputation. Brandon Morrow, Yunel Escobar, Brett Lawrie, and now Colby Rasmus; all of these acquisitions came cheaper than their talent alone would have dictated if not for red flags having to do with their personalities. Buster Olney went as far as saying that the ” Jays are turning into the Oakland Raiders of the ’70s.” (Though I suspect Rasmus won’t pull a Ted Hendricks and, on his first day ride “a horse onto the practice field wearing his full uniform and pads, a spiked German Army helmet he’d painted silver and black, and carrying a stack of traffic cones as a lance.”)
Yes, there are some personality concerns when it comes to Rasmus– and especially his father– which you’ll hear more about tomorrow morning, on a special edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast which we just recorded with Aaron Schafer of Viva El Birdos (which, as far as I can tell, has temporarily become a comedy site– at least in the comments) and the Riverfront Times.
As you can tell from his piece on the deal at RFT– Worst Trade Ever! Cardinals Send Colby Rasmus to Toronto for Spare Parts– Aaron doesn’t pull any punches. (Money quote: “This is, without a doubt, one of the stupidest, most asinine moves I’ve ever seen a professional sports organization make — though at this point I honestly think calling anything about this team ‘professional’ is an enormous stretch. What small shred of respect I still had for the front office just evaporated. “)
(Um… or maybe this is the money quote: “I’ve defended John Mozeliak for a long time, because I’ve believed from the beginning that his hands were tied by the presence of a Hall of Fame manager given carte blanche to stay as long as he wants. Well, I’m done. John Mozeliak is a terrible GM who makes terrible trades, and I have no problem saying it. The insane manager needs to go, and the incompetent general manager needs to go right along with him.”)
Anyway… what was I saying?
Oh yes, that Rasmus has some baggage– “lack of confidence, self-esteem, and a stage parent who just won’t go away,” as Aaron puts it– but even so, the opportunity the Jays have made for themselves here is just phenomenal.
It was just two seasons ago– 2009– when Baseball America ranked Rasmus as the third best prospect in the game, and the Jays now get him for what? Three guys who were never going to be here next year and a pair of young-ish-sters who’ll wind up as either decent relievers or guys at the back of a rotation that’s probably not good enough to carry the AL East. [Note: Keith Law, speaking on the Fan590 this afternoon, says that he still thinks Stewart has "number two or number three starter stuff," so, maybe I'm underselling him a bit, but still. Still.]
If you can handle getting even more convoluted, think of how Stewart was acquired: really, the Jays traded Marc Rzepczynski, a year-and-a-half of Scott Rolen, and the chance at a couple supplemental picks for one of the most talented young centrefielders in the game. They saved $11 million by getting Rolen off the books for 2010, so technically they actually made money on the deal! [Note: Though... you could probably go back to the Rolen-for-Glaus deal, or Glaus-for-Hudson-and-Batista, or farther, and figure out how that's totally technically not true]. [Note 2: Either way, this realization does not mean that you can go back to calling Rogers cheap fucks, dickless].
Jesus fuck! And they’ve given up so little here that they almost can’t lose: the worst case scenario is that Rasmus doesn’t live up to his potential, or butts heads with another manager, and even then, he’s so talented that surely they’d be able to flip him for something. Milton Bradley he is not. Yet.
And frankly, I think he’ll be helped tremendously by joining a younger team in a less insular media market that’s not run by a fuckface self-proclaimed-genius drunk driver who surrounds himself with sycophants.
And you know what’s going to help him instantly? That the park factor for home runs for left-handed hitters in Busch Stadium is 82. At the Rogers Centre? 114. That’ll help the ol’ self-esteem– and if you check his splits on Fangraphs, you’ll see he’s been slightly better on the road this year (114 wRC+ vs. 108 at home) and absolutely killed it outside of Busch last year (151 wRC+ vs. 108 at home). The new digs will do wonders, I’d bet.
So… yes… I’m pretty sure this has been a good day. And I’m pretty sure Alex Anthopoulos spoke dispassionately about it as ever during his media conference at 4 PM, which… is kind of what I originally sat down to write about here. But since Parkes has all the bullet point you need to understand what Anthopoulos talked about, I’ll just point you to his post at Getting Blanked.
One thing worth noting, though: “For the players to be named, the Cardinals have list of players,” Parkes reports. “St. Louis can choose any three by December 31st or take cash considerations.” I’m sure they’re not going to be anyone you’ll want to shoot yourself in the face over losing.
Anthopoulos also tells fans not to expect more deals, so… fuck… maybe we have a premature end to bullshit season here.
During a hit on Prime Time Sports this evening AA clarified, saying that he’d been having talks on other players, but some of the guys involved in those talks were shipped out today. He wouldn’t rule out any of those deals being reworked and rekindled– and, let’s be serious, it’s not like he’d tell us how many dogs he’s got in the fire– but he claims we shouldn’t get our hopes up for anything else.
Holy fuck, I’m not sure my heart could take it anyway. No need to get greedy, Alex. Maybe spare the other 29 GMs your giant rape stick, huh?