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?