For me, a particularly striking thing about the first Prime Time Sports week from Dunedin was how flippant some of the panelists seemed to be about the place that Colby Rasmus holds on this Jays team, and how unlikely it is that they think he’ll last the year here in Toronto.
I mean, I understand the romance of the tools Anthony Gose possesses, and that Rasmus has masked his own over two seasons of grim production, but all the confident talk that Rasmus is on his way out– and there was… maybe not a lot of it, but enough to be noticeable– seemed a bit odd. According to Tom Maloney of the Globe and Mail, however, and the sources he anonymously cites, “in exchange for ‘withholding attribution’,” it’s Rasmus whose presence on this club, and perhaps even in the Majors, that doesn’t fit, which maybe makes questions about how long he’ll last here perfectly natural.
I like Maloney and what he’s done on his return to the baseball beat this spring so far, but I can’t help but raise an eyebrow at this angle, or at the wide swath of moonshine, drawls, cotton and corn that he slathers across the place Rasmus calls home.
No one in the Toronto Blue Jays administration is demanding superstar production from him, yet he carries the weight of surreal expectation as though a sack of corn is strapped permanently to his back. Staring into his locker, he portrays a person in need of sweet relief, a man besieged by the doomsayer notion that his best can never be good enough. Not for his father, not for the media, not for the people back home, not for the scouts, not for his teammates and coaches, and most grievously, not for himself.
Rasmus understands he must appreciate the privilege of what he has and where he is. Yet, like many professional athletes, he yearns for the place he came from, too, those days playing sandlot baseball in shorts and no shirt in a region of the country characterized by moonshine and unending acres of cotton and corn, in an atmosphere far removed from Twitterville.
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