Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Tools and Tantrums
Let's give it up for Colby Rasmus.
Watching the guy play baseball, I can imagine Cardinal scouts seeing him as a teenager. Those long legs. The elegant way he runs. That swing.
It's like scout porn. So toolsy.
It has been well-documented that Rasmus struggled in St.Louis, in the clubhouse and with Tony LaRussa. LaRussa claimed Rasmus was talking too much to his dad, and not enough to hitting coach Mark McGuire. What I didn't know was that Rasmus had become a symbol of certain goings on in the front office of the Cardinals. There was growing distance between then GM Walt Jocketty and Jeff Luhnow, vice-president of player procurement. And Rasmus, a Luhnow pick, became a symbol of the VP's side. So, at different points as a Cardinal, Rasmus was caught between Luhnow and Jocketty and also between LaRussa and Rasmus Sr.
He also had to deal with St.Louis columnists calling his father "Daddy Razz".
But luckily, a knight in shining armour named Alex Anthopolous procured Rasmus from this tunnel of terror. Fans (and assholes and probably some 'asshole fans') were hard on the taciturn and seemingly forlorn Rasmus. But the guy seems a lot more relaxed and a lot happier. And he rakes in the number two slot.
Watching Rasmus' at-bats last night versus Chicago, where he when 5-5, with three singles, a double and a two-run homer, it made me think back to what scouts must have seen in him. So toolsy.
"I'd love to have at-bats like that I did tonight every night," Rasmus said with a smile. "But, yeah, I like hitting in the two-hole. It's a good place to hit for me being the type of hitter that I am. It doesn't give you a lot of time to think. Game starts, you're in there hitting and the at-bats come real fast, not a lot of sitting around, which is good."
Ricky Romero pitched extremely well over his seven innings of work. "That's the best I've felt pretty much all year," Romero said. "I had good stuff from the beginning all the way until the end. Obviously, sometimes, the results don't show, that's the way this game is and you just have to continue to work."
Romero has a tendency to be extremely hard on himself and he makes it abundantly clear when is he angry or frustrated at himself. He throws his glove and he swears, and generally looks quite scary.
Some were critical of him, saying he needs settle down or set a better example for the younger guys. I find it hard to watch someone get so angry, particularly when things are going well, and I'd rather he focus that energy a bit more but I don't think Romero has a problem.
The Jays have two senior starters on this team. If the younger guys want a calmer, more cerebral role model, they need only look to Brandon Morrow.