Colby Rasmus

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Colby Rasmus looks very special this year

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Dearest Martha,

When I and the men with whom I share this most noble cause settled in this corner of the Wyoming Territory, we did so in the name of freedom. In the name of our righteous calling from Our Creator. While my love for you is deathless as is the love of the men under my command for their wives and mothers, it pales to our commitment to The Cause. It comes over us like a strong wind and bears us irresistibly into conflict.  

Word comes that President Grant has mustered a thousand troops to disrupt our work and, as I write this, they march westward. Soon they will be upon us. But though they may be blessed with superior arms and numbers, our resolve is unmatched by any force, on Heaven or on Earth. 

If, dearest Martha, I do not survive the coming conflagration, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Know, though, that should I perish, I do so in the name of righteousness. In the name of the establishment of a land where all Men can experience liberty in the way God Almighty intends for us to experience it.

Yours in love, forever,

Colby

Editor’s Note: Colby Rasmus was killed in The Battle of Thermopolis on July 10, 1871 when Federal troops successfully put down the insurrection he and 17 other men mounted, the objective of which was to establish an independent nation in which a willing man could marry a willing bison without the interference of the United States government.

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18: Colby Rasmus #28 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – FEBRUARY 18: Colby Rasmus #28 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

UPDATE: I was not aware of the fact that some folks at SB Nation had done this bit with Andrew Luck. They do it better, even if Colby Rasmus looks worse than Luck. We all bow to Ken Burns, of course.

Colby Rasmus: “In the show they don’t necessarily like long hair and the redneck folks.”

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New Rays outfielder Colby Rasmus is still smarting a bit from not winning the American League Gold Glove Award. Though his defensive numbers were outstanding — his 31.0 UZR/150 was best among outfielders (min. 800 defensive innings), according to FanGraphs — Brett Gardner, Mookie Betts, and Kevin Kiermaier took the hardware.

Rasmus attributes his empty trophy case to people in the show not liking “long hair and redneck folks,” and Tony La Russa conspiring against him. Via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

You know how the game is. In the show they don’t necessarily like long hair and the redneck folks, that’s just the way it goes. My good old friend Tony La Russa he has a lot of pull in the game, so you never know. I just try to play the game how I play it. I play hard. I play the game kind of (all) out, and rough, so I’ve hurt myself along the way When it comes to back, injuries, they set you back for awards like that.

When Rasmus was 23 and with the Cardinals back in 2010, he went to GM John Mozeliak and demanded a trade due to reduced playing time, stemming from a strained relationship with then-manager La Russa. In a local interview the next summer, La Russa said that Rasmus “doesn’t listen” to his coaches. Rasmus was traded to the Blue Jays shortly thereafter. The day after the trade, Colby’s father Tony ripped La Russa in the media. So, there’s a bit of history here.

As far as Rasmus claiming that “they don’t necessarily like long hair and the redneck folks,” Madison Bumgarner is pretty well-liked and respected around the sport. Adam LaRoche won a Gold Glove back in 2012. Perchance Rasmus is suffering from a persecution complex.

Report: Rays sign Colby Rasmus

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Update (8:45 PM EST): Rasmus will get a base salary in the range of $5 million with bonuses that can push it to around $7 million, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

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The Rays have signed free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus to a contract, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Details of the deal have yet to be revealed.

Rasmus, 30, had a down year with the Astros this past season. He finished batting .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and 54 RBI in 417 plate appearances. Rasmus had surgery in mid-October to repair his core muscle, shave down a bone spur, and repair the labrum in his left hip.

The Rays were looking for a cheap hitter who could handle corner outfield and some DH. Rasmus fits that bill. Given his career platoon splits — a .775 OPS against right-handers, .656 against lefties — the Rays may decide to use him in a platoon.