Had to. Obviously.

The results of the fourth Grapefruit League game of the season not exactly inspiring you? Unaware of whether the fucking game is even over yet or not? Same here. But fortunately for us, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch took some time to talk with the one Blue Jays player that ever Cardinals fan is aware exists: Cleatus B. Hunsicker Colby Rasmus.

Guess what he was asked about in the piece that was pageview-baitingly titled Colby Rasmus isn’t sure where career will take him.

Yes, there’s the standard fare about his unhappiness in St. Louis– how his first year “was pretty tough, just sitting there, staring into my locker a lot and looking at my clothes with my headphones on. That really wasn’t what I call fun.”

About the strained relationship with Tony LaRussa– and how he’s now so much happier “coming to the field every day. You can laugh with the coaches here and B.S. with them. You could do it at times in St. Louis but Tony ruled with that iron fist.”

But there is some interesting, important stuff in the piece that hasn’t really seen the light of day elsewhere. Rasmus, for example, admits that he made his own situation worse last year by putting pressure on himself to play well-enough to be offered a contract extension.

And when he arrived in Toronto, he explains, “My confidence was down. The [St. Louis] media was beating me up a little bit. It was just all the stuff that happened. I was kind of ready to go home, I guess. I didn’t have it. I felt terrible at the plate and with my swing. Then I just got kind of beat down by it and fed up with it and I wasn’t really working on it. It was probably my worst year playing baseball. I’ve had some bad ones but that probably was the worst.”

This fits with what Buck Martinez, who is quoted in the piece, saw when Rasmus arrived in the city that he says is “like New York, but the people are a lot nicer.”

Colby was “a very confused young man,” Martinez says. In fact, “we didn’t see Colby Rasmus at all last year. We saw his skills. We didn’t see it translate into games because he was tentative and he was confused.”

To combat that, Rasmus says that he has asked his infamously-meddlesome father to keep a distance.

“I’m trying not to talk to him a whole lot,” he explains. “I just tell him I need more positive influence because I got enough negative influence over in St. Louis in the early going. I think all that negative energy kept me down while I was there. I really never let it go.”

Of course, part of the reason for the negative energy– at least from the fans and the ludicrous Gregg Zaun’s of the world– is that he responds to questions like, “who, or what, do you want to be?” with something like “A fair question. I don’t really know.”

And he goes on!

“I guess I don’t want the responsibility of being [a great player]. I’d rather just be a man on the team. I’m not upset with anybody over there. I was given a good opportunity and I was happy to have that opportunity. I don’t want to keep digging myself a friggin’ ditch. Maybe it was just me. But where I was I didn’t feel I was ever going to be happy. And with such high expectations, I was never going to do as good as they thought.”

That’s the spirit!

Uh… so you can see where all the doesn’t care/JD Drew stuff comes from. And shit, if only JD Drew didn’t have a pretty fucking great career– 125 OPS+ over fourteen years, which goes up to 132 over a ten-season peak, a World Series and eight trips to the playoffs– I might actually give a shit.

“Here,” Rasmus tells Hummel, “I’m just going to play and try to enjoy it. If I work hard and do my thing, I’ll be happy. Even if it doesn’t work out.”

Do we really have to ask more?

Comments (25)

  1. I love this. I love seeing baseball players as human beings, and not as number crunching machines that exist solely to make our favorite teams go to the playoffs, which apparently makes us happy. I’m glad that he’s worked over his issues, I’m glad he wants to play baseball, and I’m glad he’s happy. Good on him.

  2. I am betting in the Jays current environment with all the young guys and Jays management he’ll easily be an 800+ ops guy again this season. He just needed time like Escobar to find his place again. 

  3. so why did the reporter say “he even likes toronto”

    imagine some hick from a cow patch like Missourri dissing toronto? 

  4. Take it from a guy from Saskatchewan. . .let it roll off your back.

  5. He’s so different than Lawrie, who actually enjoys the expectations and excels with all of the attention on him. Hope both can become stars this year, they certainly have the potential to.

  6. That picture of Rasmus really reminds me of the greasy kid from The Simpsons: 
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… Soooo greasy.

  7.  Seems like Lawrie being present might actually help Rasmus. 100% of the attention is going to be on Lawrie, so maybe Rasmus can convince himself that no one is really paying much attention, and he can just go do his thing.

  8. Mentioning Colby’s bastard child was a highlight. That’s what you call midwestern  charm.

  9. I loved the part where they quoted TLR as saying that “whatever happens, happens” guys totally suck and then like two hot seconds later they quote Rasmus saying, essentially, “whatever happens, happens.” Oil and water, those two.

  10. La Russa”Teams and players who take the ‘whatever happens, happens’ attitude are not the ones celebrating.”[...]Rasmus: “I always say, ‘Wherever I am at the end of the year, that’s what I am.’”HAHA

  11. La Russa doesn’t seem to be a fan of the ‘take it one day at a time’ approach.

  12. Rasmus should be thrilled to disagree with a tool like LaRussa.

  13. That has got to be one of the all-time best/worst photos. Cleatus indeed.

  14. I couldn’t be more bullish on Colby this season.
    I’ve drafted him in all my fantasy leagues!!! That counts for something right? Right.

    Go Jays!

  15. Oh god I absolutely loathe Colby Rasmus. PLEASE. PLEASE get mauled by an alligator when in Florida. PLEASE save me from shooting myself in the face when you are still batting 200 at the all-star break but we cant get rid of you cuz AA in his infinite wisdom keeps proclaiming, “the kid has talent” while under his breath he’s saying “i don’t dare get rid of this guy, I’ll look like a failure”. It’s ok AA, you already GAVE AWAY Mike Napoli, you can’t do any worse than that. Sheesh…

  16. GAVE AWAY Mike Napoli is merely a footnote to GIVING AWAY Vernon Wells you fuck.

  17. I guess silly season is starting already

  18. He’s setting the bar low for the media, but deep down he’s probably gonna give it his best this season. 

  19. This interview cements my respect for Rasmus. It’s very refreshing to find a very talented player who is honestly just out on the field for the love of the game and not to try and be a superstar despite what everyone expects of him. The guy just wants to be a part of a team and he sounds way more sincere than any other player who has ever said that in an interview.

  20. Looks like we’re going to have an auction battle on our hands ;D

  21. My first reaction upon reading this article was that it didn’t seem to me the quotes attributed to Rasmus sounded anything like how Rasmus would speak.  Not the message- it seemed fairly accurate- just the tone and vernacular.  I can not picture in my head Colby Rasmus saying “a fair question. I don’t really know.

    Even if the author is just taking paraphrsical liberties (yeah, I made that up), I have to question the validity of the whole article.

  22.  1. Rasmus, unlike many baseball players, actually seems like a nice guy without much of an ego. Why you feel hatred towards him is beyond me.

    2. AA got Rasmus for peanuts, he has nothing to worry about if he doesn’t pan out in the end. The trade was universally admired and could end up being a trade that gives the franchise another cornerstone player.

    3. AA has put this club in the best position it has been in 20 years, you look like a dumbfuck for suggesting he is anywhere near a failure. Move after move has been solid and he has yet to make a serious blunder.

  23.  Yeah, cause every sign pointed to Napoli having the career year he had. I won’t even comment on the rest of your post, cause it ain’t worth it.

  24.  agreed! It bugs me when ‘fans’ say “I hate this guy” because his life’s priority is not wrapped up in his performance. I love sports, but am so sick of the cliches about ‘all that matters is winning’. It’s not! Having said that, I respect people who give it their all, whether that is as a parent, a teacher, a construction worker or a baseball player. I believe in rooting for the home team (or the team of one’s choice) and keeping sports in perspective: As a fun (if not addictive) break from the day.

  25. La Russa … ”Teams and players who take the ‘whatever happens, happens’ attitude are not the ones celebrating.”[...]

    And they’re usually not the ones pulled over at the side of the road for DUI … weird post considering the blog …Congratulation on the new site and I suppose that now our frackin’ expletives will require deletions … if they ask you to shave and ditch the plaid lumberjack shirts tell them that you’ll go all “MacKenzie Bros” on them, call them “hosers” and turn your podcast into a TV show sponsored by a beer company.

    Also I miss the Rex Murphy “courageous and telling” quote in the header …maybe you could replace it with a ” We may be drunk, but at least we don,t drive. Eh Tony Eh? “

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