UPDATE: TLR got his wish, as Rasmus has been traded to the Blue Jays.
At this point the feud between manager Tony La Russa and center fielder Colby Rasmus is no secret, with various details being reported since last year and Rasmus having the benchings to show for it.
However, yesterday it may have gone to another level as La Russa said during a local television interview that Rasmus “doesn’t listen” to the Cardinals’ coaching staff:
No, he doesn’t listen to the Cardinal coaches much now, and that’s why he gets in these funks, in my opinion. If he would just stay with what they teach, he would have … but I actually feel concern for him, because he hears it from so many places, he’s got to be confused.
La Russa added that Rasmus “is listening to somebody,” which is presumably aimed at his outspoken father, Tony Rasmus, who has been a frequent interview subject for St. Louis media members and even shows up in the HardballTalk comments section from time to time.
Rasmus reportedly requested a trade last season and rumors of his departure have gotten stronger and stronger this month, leading many people to believe he won’t be in St. Louis past Sunday’s deadline.
Rasmus’ production is down this season, with his batting average dropping from .276 to .246 and his OPS falling from .859 to .753. Of course, even a .753 OPS ranks 12th among the 29 center fielders with at least 250 plate appearances and at 24 years old Rasmus is the youngest guy in the top 20. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak’s phone should be ringing off the hook.