Holy shitballs, Colby Rasmus. I understand that media savvy isn’t exactly your bag, but if I might offer a word of advice, maybe dial back the nonchalance fifteen or twenty-odd pegs.

Because John Lott is not the kind of reporter who goes out looking for a splashy story where there isn’t one, or to piss negativity all over everything. So, it seems as though, in his must-read profile of Rasmus from this morning’s National Post, there really wasn’t any other way to depict the player’s attitude.

“I’m not working on anything right now,” Rasmus says, even after a reporter points out that his manager has just said that the club wants him “to stop trying to pull the ball on every swing,” and that “he needs to use the whole field and refine the timing of his leg kick, which serves as the trigger for his swing.”

“I still got a lot of stuff going on through my head from being over in St. Louis,” Rasmus says. He later points out some differences, having noticed that “the games are a lot slower. In St. Louis it was a packed house every night.”

He also cops– and not very subtly– to not working very hard in the off-season, and that for the balance of this year, he’s really just playing out the string.

“I’m just ready for next season to come — ready for this off-season, clear my head, come back next year, start with this team and then I think I’ll do good,” he says. Later he tells reporters, “Last off-season I didn’t do anything baseball-wise. I didn’t really pick up a bat ’til probably a week, two weeks before spring training. I was just tired last year, and I didn’t have a great year. Some people thought it was a good year. I didn’t think it was that good of a year …”

I mean… good lord, Rasmus.

I still have all the belief in the world that this guy is going to be a stud, but to the fucking hysterical masses, some of whom are already dumbfuckically writing him off, that ain’t going to sound so good. And it even makes a mostly level-headed sort like me sit up and take notice. I mean… it’s just… what the fuck, man?

[Also of note in the piece, apparently John Farrell never made a call to Rasmus the Elder, as was much discussed at the time of the trade. "In my frequent conversations with Colby, I didn’t feel like that was necessary … I also didn’t want Colby to think there was more of an issue, and didn’t want to force things, and didn’t want to go against his wishes as well," Farrell said. So... yeah... there's also that.]

Comments (56)

  1. Sounds like a real headcase.  The meltdown will be fun to watch at least.

  2. Sounds to me, that this is just a real confused young man.  Let him go away for the off-season, clear his head, and come back gangbusters. 

    The kid has been TLR’d, man.  These things take time…

  3. For the love of god, where is the “veteran leadership” here! :)

  4. He does have a certain je ne sais quoi.. non?

  5. Jays have ”veteran leadership”  only for the “fiery” players.

  6. Can someone explain to me how his situation is any different than Yunel Escobar’s was?

    Yunel turned out fine for this team, I have little doubt that Rasmus will play to his talent level in time as well.

  7. riiight, my mistake!

  8. let’s not forget “scrappy” players as well.

  9. I still believe in Rasmus…but I’m a little scared he may have ended this interview shouting “Who gives a fuck!”

  10. Rasmus and Adam Lind, buy both brains and get change from a dime.

  11. A few lawrie chest bumps ought to set him straight

  12. I don’t see anything wrong with this.

  13. Colby is such a hillbilly.  I love when he said, “because I hadn’t done good”

  14. Colby will do fine.  He was a ‘can’t miss’ guy & most likely he’s never slumped to such lows.  He’s dealing with on field failures, being TLR’d  &  it certainly seems as though he has a rather complicated & difficult relationship with his father.  Not to mention that he’s a relatively new father himself. 

    Let Colby do what he feels he needs to do to have a big 2012.  You can see the kid’s talent & if he’s able to clear his mind & get back to what made him successful – this team will benefit immensely going forward.

  15. Colby Rasmus is now Blue Jay’s fan disappointment.

  16. maybe the st. louis media made him paranoid or something cause every word he says makes it very clear that he would like everyone to stop asking questions/evaluating him. i guess what he doesnt realize is that by saying nothing, or by trying to downplay everything – especially by contradicting his own coaches – he creates controversy rather than eliminating it.

    sounds like a pretty messed up guy, hope his talent can still shine through.

  17. Colby will be fine. He just got traded, he is not having a good season, the season is about to end, he has received a lot of criticism so there is likely a lot going through his head.

    I would imagine he’ll train real hard and prove it to himself and the fans.

    The kid has a ridiculous amount of talent though. Solid power, great swing and he is great defensively in CF. 

  18. Something that I should have put in the post that I didn’t is: points to him for at least being honest.

    I certainly don’t want to pine for guys to just give boilerplate, “best shape of my life” “gonna give it 110%” kinds of answers, and maybe I just did. Ugh.

  19. That Escobar comparison is nails, he basically took the three months he spent in Toronto to adjust to he AL and crushed it this year. I think Rasmus will do the same.

  20. Joe Strauss (St. Louis Dispatch) wrote this article (from March 2010) chronicling Rasmus’ difficulties.  Interesting to read now:

    http://www.stlouissportsforum….

  21. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Colby Rasmus deal and think he will become a very good ball player.  However if you look at the the Chicago White Sox deal for Edwin Jackson on it’s own, it was pretty awful for the Jays.

    Giving up Zach Stewart is probably too much for 2 months of a mediocre starting pitcher, but also having to take back a useless Mark Teahan who will make $5.5 million next year is the kicker.  Ken Williams new he had the Jays by the balls and made a great deal for himself.

  22. Who cares if he doesn’t pick up a bat all off-season? Unless we’re all suddenly experts on off-season training regimens, I don’t think anyone should care too much. Considering the number of reps players take during the season, the idea of not swinging a bat in the off-season probably sounds pretty nice. Now if he shows up to Spring Training with a spare tire then sure get worked up, but until then…

  23. Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus had the Jays system rated as the borderline BEST system in baseball solely based on the high upside arms they have. I don’t think they’ll miss a 4th starter like Zach Stewart.

  24. Rasmus = Caleb Trask

    Just let him detox the tlr stink.

  25. I agree with everyone saying its no big deal, give him a while to sort his shit out, he’ll be fine, etc. but for the love of God give the kid a copy of AA’s “Big Book of How to Talk to the Press”. If he keeps saying all the wrong things, it’s going to catch up with him eventually and sure wont help him get his head straight.

  26. I try not to make comments like this, because what the fuck do I know about how guys are in the clubhouse, but Rasmus has had terrible body language on the bench since he’s been a Jay (at least from what I’ve seen).  I’ve noticed a few times you see most of the guys cheering or goofing around and Rasmus always seems to be sitting by himself with this morose look on his face.

    That probably means nothing, but it kind of fits with the comments he’s giving here.

    That stuff aside, I’m not worried about him at all.  He’s had a shitty year, but he looks great tracking down balls in CF.  I think it’ll be an Escobar situation as well.

  27. There are countless examples of shy, reserved players not coming across well in the media. Not everyone has a 1,000 watt personality a la Brett Lawrie or J.P. Arencibia. Some players probably find that part of the job more difficult than playing a very difficult game for a living. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t care. It just means he finds it difficult to demonstratively show that he does care. Nothing wrong with that. I think he’ll be fine with a clean slate next year much like The Yunibomber was this year.

  28. Well put Jackson.
    …He’s the J.D. Drew of the Blue Jays!

  29. Agreed. Also, I don’t know about you, but in my life I’ve found an almost inverse correlation between appearing to care, and actually caring. It’s gone a long way in stopping me from judging whether people I don’t know “care” about something or not. 

  30. Now you’ve gone and done it. Paul O’Neill’s gonna beat you like a Gatorade cooler. “Is that ‘Paul O’Neill only appears to care’ enough for ya?”  ;)

  31. Yeah, Rasmus seems like a pretty shy guy, which I can definitely sympathize with, and being taken from a place where you’re pretty comfortable (even if your boss is an asshole) and thrown into a completely different situation has got to be a bit jarring.

    Not to mention he seemed to be coming around (and maybe getting a bit more comfortable with the new team) and he hurts his wrist and has to leave again.

    You can really tell he’s just going through the motions at the plate right now, and I can understand that from his point of view.

  32. The article really does make sense.  You can tell just by watching Colby that he’s a very reserved, timid dude who’s been through a lot and just needs to find some comfort personally and professionally.  He’s uber-talented, there’s a reason the trade was seen as a universal win for the Jays and he’s put up good stats in the majors aleady.  Not everyone starts as strong as Lawrie, and he came with less baggage.  I’m 100% behind Rasmus 1) because he’s going to be very important for the team going forward and 2) I don’t know him but he’s probably a good dude who just needs to relax.  Hell, he called Tony Ambrosio sir. 

  33. Why work on anything when you are going to shut it down in a few days?  I think he should not even be playing really if his attitude is like that.  He is only going to reinforce bad habits.  Id rather see Molina playing CF.

  34. I agree. I had to look up his contract and was glad to see he’s locked up to 2014 because if we had to re-sign him right now, I’d have my doubts that he would. 

    Don’t know about the Escobar comparison though. It was a good thing for us and Yunel that he had Bautista to make him feel a little bit at home. Rasmus looks like he’s a bit lost on this team from ‘up in Canada’ just yet and with no other shitkickers on the team for him to buddy up with, I’d bet he’s kind of a lonely young soul. 

  35. I kept waiting for him to say “Duhhh…..stay out of Riverdale”

  36. I had my doubts about the whole Escobar / Bautista meme but over time, I do believe there’s merit to it. 

    I look at it a bit differently w/ Colby.  I think as far as atmosphere goes, this situation is about as good as it can be for him with the team’s youth.  St. Louis was & is a veteran squad & unsurprisingly, he most identified with Brendan Ryan – a bit of a character who was traded (and replaced by the greatly inferior Ryan Theriot) to Seattle because he ‘didn’t fit in’ & clashed with some established vets. 

    Colby appears Po-Faced during games but I think he’s fitting in ok.  Romero’s posted some playful pics of Rasmus off the field…so I think he’s doing about as well as you could hope. 

  37. I don’t see an attitude problem. I see a guy who’s fatigued with what’s been a very difficult, tumultuous season, looking forward to next year and to proving his doubters and detractors wrong. I think the fact that he doesn’t think his 2010 season “was that good of a year” (offensively it was very good for a CF) suggests he feels his capable of being much better than that, and that’s a good thing. I could be totally out to lunch on that as I’ve been many times before, but I’m prepared to wait and see what happens in 2012 with Colby.

    If he comes to camp out of shape or starts clashing with whoever the hitting coach is next year, I will be concerned, but 2011 is a completely lost year at this point. I don’t like hearing “I’m not working on anything right now”, but I don’t think it means “Fuck you all, I’m never going to work on anything. I don’t have to. I’m Colby fucking Rasmus.”…Yet.

  38. I don’t understand why there is a negative reaction to his words. We are not aware of what personal issues affect Colby. ‘Character issues’ can easily by masked by what could easily something more serious than public perception (like an actual condition or serious underlying psychological issues). After all the stories we’ve heard over the years (*cherrypicking an example in Zack Greinke) of people battling personal issues, I just think it’s strange that there isn’t enough caution about the severity of the issues as there should be. Extreme for the sake of extreme on this one, but if the personal issues that were reported out of STL were about depression and didn’t mention his relationship with his father…..I’m not saying that’s what I assume or people should, but I do want more information before I judge those words as anything but someone battling a job and personal issues (like anyone else).

  39. This reminds me of what’s wrong with baseball – baseball mass media. The root of the story as I read it is that he contradicts his Manager who says he working on spraying the ball while he says he working on nothing, needs a break from it all, playing out the string, waiting for the off season.

    Seems like a reasonable thing to say just before the last home game of the season. It’s a sentiment the Jays’ GM is echoing a few hours later in a fifth inning interview with Pat and Buck – that they’re out of the wild card race -  it’s the general feeling around the organization in the midst of a
    multi year rebuild.

    But it seems we’d rather have some pre-phrazed macho formula response from players to our questions, rather than honest, off the cuff responses.  The guy just told us some very personal things – it sounds to me like he’s depressed – and has been so for a couple of years.

    But our self obsessed response:  ‘what’da mean Toronto is depressing?’.  The phrase, “Enough about me – what do You think about me?” comes to mind.

    It’s a typical neurotic knee jerk that typifies those who seem to need to find heroes and gods in ordinary men – perhaps to make up for their own misunderstanding that they themselves are surely no better than the proverbial pile of shit.

    You’re right though Mr. Stoeten, he’s not doing himself any favours. 

    The popular press will run with the childish reaction the piece has engendered so far, and I am sure. We’ll collectively drag him down here with us and kick the shit out of him till he stops breathing. Perhaps Rasmus thought he was talking to a reporter from a publication with a readership that liked to think about things – where honesty would be appreciated. 

    Wrong-o Buck-o.

    Mr. Rasmus. Watch Bull Durham and take note of the bus scene where Crash Davis gets ‘Meat’ to write down several quotes to help him give good sound byte to the media – as well it’s a movie with a lot of spiritual lessons and some pretty funny moments – it’ll help cheer you up – for moments anyway.

    As someone who has suffered from depression all his life – find a good friend you can talk about these things with – and always err on the side of human goodness, the darkness I find, comes out of systems of human organization, where the heart gets lost in the machine (like in the mass media).

    And something that I haven’t seen here in this thread, or mentioned in the article at The National Post – and as I said at the Blogger Baseball Scorecard just after the trade – Colby Rasmus might be the best CF the Toronto Blue Jays have ever had.  The way I described it:  ‘He takes clean lines to the hardest catches.’

    With that kind of fielding a Mendoza Line BA keeps him a starter in the majors. Anything more is bonus.

  40. Damien “ham fisted” Cox striking again on The Fan in the round table. Hero of the stupid.

  41. i’m not worried about Rasmus at this point. If someone started sticking their mic or pen&paper in my face after a year I wasn’t too happy about, and after I just got off the DL & still having struggles, i’d be like ‘really? come on….why do we have to do this?’ so I don’t blame him for any lack of tact or enthusiasm in that interview. also, yeah, what he’s actually said isn’t literally as bad as what’s being made of it.  I think its incorrect to imply he doesn’t intend on working on things off-season by virtue of him telling you he didn’t last year. Give the guy some space here folks.  He probably wishes he was in Escobars shoes where last year at least the language barrier meant he didn’t have to answer a whole lot of stupid prodding questions a few months after coming to a new team. leave him alone. his play in the field has been impressive – there was maybe 1-2 gaffs with his LF partner which I’m sure will get worked out after more time together, and yeah his bat has been %50 interesting and %50 totally frustrating…but more time is needed.

  42. While I disagree with the Mendoza Line sentiment (that’s not been his established talent level except for his two months as a Blue Jay: he’s infinitely better than that: just messed up right now), this might be the best post I’ve ever seen in a DJF comments section. Great job.

  43. the difference between escobar and rasmus is that yunel can always decline an interview with a simple “no ingles”. 

  44. Colby will be fine, because AA has never been wrong.

    Yours,
    The Frank Francisco Trade

  45. ^^^ Excellent analysis.

  46. Awesome!

  47. Between Rasmus, Lind and Drabek we have cornered the market on dumb white men. 

  48. A little bit late to my DJF fix today. Hey I work for a living and it’s near the end od a so-so season but I have to post this interview with Rasmus while he was rehabbing with the Double A Fisher Cats:

    Colby Rasmus on playing with Fisher Cats

    The guy is bummed out. He needs an off-season psychologically and physically. And as suggested by others, he’s too candid. He needs a chip implanted with a tape loop that says I come to play … I’m gonna give 110% … there is no I in team … Toronto is the greatest city in baseball … yadda.

  49. The guy needs to find a nice Toronto girlfriend and he’ll be fine.

  50. Anyone want a good read on Rasmus, head over here: http://www.riverfronttimes.com

    This article basically explains Rasmus’ attitude to a T. Basic shy reserve guy who beats himself up.

  51. http://thecardinalnationblog.c

    If you can see, TLR and the Cardinals had Colby lose weight and become a SLAP HITTER in the offseason. That, in itself, is ridiculous and was ridiculed by Tony Rasmus all over the internet. Give Colby a proper regimen next year, not reinvent the wheel, and see what becomes of him. Yeesh. A power prospect hitting 500 opposite field groundballs a day a la Brett Gardner. That’s dirty.

  52. i see a baby… I’m not saying he won’t turn out to be a successful player or that the trade wasn’t an absolute steal for the bluejays. But when it comes to it, this kid will break under pressure, lawrie won’t. He’s got all the talent in the world but no balls, no drive. What else do you call a kid that calls it quits/ belittles the game when he’s not winning at it, or who needs his dad to fight his battles for him? 

  53. Thanks Tom.  I didn’t mean to say .191 is as good as it’s likely to get,
    his swing looks better than that, what I was trying to say – with a
    ‘little’ hyperbole – is that he’s a GREAT fielder – his Mendoza line
    would be .000 – if I were managing. Not 1 single would be OK.

  54. Thanks for posting that video Chris3173. Great interview, he doesn’t hold back a thing – says it all. I especially like the line about ‘all the hype, that none of these players ever say’ – I think in other words he’s saying baseball players generally aren’t vain – but the marketing and then the media criticism of that corporate branding creates that dark view. The guys a philosopher, like Bill Lee perhaps.

  55. Read the article, great link. So now we get the Canadian Border Authority to place a ban on the father entering Canada.  :)

    Sounds like too many people telling him what to do – he needs space. Next year John Ferrell should just bat him 8th and let him play CF. Dwayne Murphy should just wait for Rasmus to come to him.

  56. The Michelle Wie of pro baseball.

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