Things are turning sour quickly in St. Louis, and not just in the National League Central standings.
Prompted with the report that 24-year-old center fielder Colby Rasmus asked for a trade earlier this season, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols told Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports on Sunday, “We need to figure out a way to get him out of here.”
show you right there a young player that doesn’t respect what he’s got,” Pujols continued.
“He needs to find out the talent and ability that he has and pretty much keep his mouth shut and play the game. Let the organization make those decisions, not himself.“
It’s not surprising whatsoever that Pujols is siding with Tony La Russa, who has served as his only major league manager. The two seem to have similar belief systems and Pujols, with his quiet and hard-working approach, isn’t the type of guy that is going to take kindly to a young player requesting a trade.
But Pujols lives in a bubble. He has no concept of Rasmus’ value to the future of the Cardinals and probably hasn’t thought about the fact that the Redbirds need low-salary players to cover his own looming extension, which may prove to be the richest contract in the history of baseball.
It’s upsetting that Pujols decided to go public with his thoughts, but it’s apparent that the Cardinals now must consider their superstar’s feelings when deciding how to best solve this suddenly volcanic matter. Would firing La Russa rub Pujols the wrong way and cause him to test free agency? Might it be time for the Cards to actually explore a deal for Rasmus?
Whatever the case, this won’t end well.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.
They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.
As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.
Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.
The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.
Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.
The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.
In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: