This is a pretty interesting interview of Colby Rasmus by TSN’s Scott MacArthur. He talks about his struggles and adjustments, of which there have been many given how erratic Rasmus’ career has been. He also talks about his time in St. Louis which, as was widely noted at the time, did not go particularly well for him.
Rasmus says that he had always approached baseball with joy and as a fun thing, but that the Cardinals took all of the fun out of it:
I would sign a lot of autographs and just enjoyed, just loved being a part of playing in the big leagues and getting all the cool stuff, getting Nike stuff sent to me because when I was little I got like, one Christmas I think I got a baseball glove and an apple or something for Christmas. To be able to get that stuff man it was the greatest thing but I turned into not liking that because I put my name on my glove in spring training one year and they hung it up in the locker room making fun of me in St. Louis and just a number of things over my time there made me not like it, made me real emotionless because times when I did try to have fun Tony (La Russa) was telling me not to do that and just be quiet and don’t do anything. I couldn’t talk. I’d just go to the locker room and sit there and look at my clothes and put my headphones on. It was a crazy time in my life because at that time before that I enjoyed playing the game, I enjoyed working out to get better but after that I really didn’t because they made it so unenjoyable that I had trouble wanting to come to the yard everyday and enjoy it.
It was a pretty tough situation. On the one hand, yeah, it does kind of suck when you’re told not to be the person you want to be.
On the other hand, dude, it was the St. Louis Cardinals, which was a serious veteran team at the time with a clubhouse filled with people who had more than made their bones already and who, right or wrong, were entitled to set the tone in that clubhouse. It’s understandable if Rasmus didn’t care for that, but he also didn’t respond well to all of that either. I mean, we can all roll our eyes at Tony La Russa to some extent, but he was the boss then, had forgotten more about baseball that morning than Rasmus would probably ever know and maybe, just maybe, Rasmus could’ve learned more from him than he appeared to have done. Ultimately not everyone fits in everywhere. Rasmus has seemed to have a harder time fitting in than most.
All of that said, it’s a revealing interview of a pretty complicated dude.
When Ron Washington resigned as manager of the Texas Rangers a week ago Friday, he gave no specific reason apart from it being a personal matter. Since then, no one else has made a statement about it either. Today, however, Washington intends to speak: he’s holding a press conference at 1:30 Central time.
Last week there was a cryptic and, as of yet, unconfirmed story alleging that Washington stepped down due to scandal. I would presume that this press conference will allude to that either to refute it or to confirm it, however vaguely legal considerations allow.
Note: HBT did not post about this story when it came out and we’re not linking it here because, frankly, the story was weird. No attempt appeared to be made to get any comment on the matter from the Rangers or Washington’s people and no one has since followed up with it in any way, including the person who made the report. The allegations were serious enough that they required more than “I heard someone say . . .” and for that reason we’re not going into any more detail about it now either. If that report is borne out we will certainly give credit to the person who first had it, but as of now we’re considering it to be more rumor than story. Which is fine when it’s about a trade, but not when it involves matters like this.
In any event, Washington will presumably explain the reasons for his sudden and unexpected resignation this afternoon.
I know there have been a a lot of these things. Really, I searched for various permutations of “Jeter tribute video” at MLB.com the other day and found something like 80 of them. No lie. Most of us have Jeter Tribute Fatigue at this point. I think baseball bloggers can qualify for partial disability with such a diagnosis, actually.
But this one is great. Yes, it’s a Gatorade commercial. But that doesn’t matter. Because this one, unlike all of the other ones which tell us that Jeter is respected and will be missed, does something radical: it shows us. It shows Jeter and fans around Yankee Stadium and shows us, however briefly, how much affection people have for the guy. No one here is explaining that he’s classy or rehashing 15 year-old highlights. No one is making a case for Jeter being something bigger than he is or being transcendent. They’re just Yankees fans seeing the guy and feeling it. And it’s so very well done.
Carlos Carrasco’s breakout season was a long time coming. He was a key part of the Cliff Lee trade back in 2009 but since then he has spent part of five seasons in Cleveland — and a lot of time on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus — not quite living up to his promise. In the past couple of years he has done time as a swingman and some time in Terry Francona’s doghouse. Not the bad one where knuckleheads go, but that slightly nicer one where guys who just can’t quite be trusted with a regular job end up.
He’s certainly putting all of that business to rest now, however. Last night Carrasco turned in his best performance ever, tossing a Maddux — a complete game shutout with fewer than 100 pitches — and managing to strike out 12 dudes while doing it. That’s a pretty neat trick too because sources close to Major League Baseball tell me on background that one needs at least three pitches in order to strike someone out.
Of course, when you walk only one guy and allow only two hits, however, you can get that done. Not that it’s happened often: the creator of the Maddux statistic, Jason Lukehart, tells us in the ATH comments this morning that the only other guy to toss a Maddux with as many as 12 Ks is Cliff Lee.
This isn’t an isolated performance, either. Carrasco has allowed one or no runs in seven of his last eight starts. In April he had a 6.46 ERA in four starts. Since then his month-by-month ERA looks like this: 2.92, 1.26, 0.93, 1.92, 1.53.
Between Carrasco and Kluber, the Indians are going to show up on a lot of people’s “teams to watch” lists next spring.
Adam Wainwright suffered through a dead arm period in the middle of the season. He was still better than almost every other pitcher out there even with the dead arm, but he wasn’t quite himself. Last night he was himself.
Wainwright needed only 102 pitches to get through his third shutout of the year, allowing seven hits and striking out seven while picking up his 19th win. His last start of the season will come against the Cubs, so you have to figure he has a puncher’s chance of getting 20. His ERA dropped to 2.45. He even got the Cardinals first hit of the night, breaking up Mike Fiers’ no-hitter in the sixth inning.
In the standings this kept the Cardinals two and a half games ahead of Pittsburgh and pushes the Brewers five back. In the Wild Card, Milwaukee remains two and a half back of the Pirates.
And it’s getting late.