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Of course Colby Rasmus’ dad ripped Tony La Russa yesterday

Jul 28, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

Colby Rasmus Getty Images

Here’s something you coulda set your watch to yesterday: as soon as Colby Rasmus was clear of the Cardinals, his father, Tony Rasmus, slammed Tony La Russa.  He claimed that, contrary to what La Russa says, he wasn’t working with Colby on his hitting. He thinks that La Russa is simply a control freak who was looking for someone to go after and Colby was an easy target:

“Tony needed pitching and wanted to force the GM into making a trade, so he belittled Colby to the fans … Tony would like to have 25 pitchers, like he thinks he has to put his stamp on every ball game. They had nothing else to trade. I think everyone is better off now … There are three or four guys in the St. Louis clubhouse right now, thinking ‘oh-oh, who is the manager going to pick on next with Colby gone?’

I’m not the biggest Tony Rasmus fan on the planet — parents of grown up major leaguers should be seen and not heard — but it’s not like he’s totally out to lunch on this stuff.

Fact is La Russa has had run-ins with a number of guys over the years. Fact is that La Russa does like to put his stamp on games. Fact is that La Russa probably would like to have more pitching so that he may one day achieve his Holy Grail of a the 27-pitcher, 27-out ballgame. Fact is also that Colby Rasmus probably will do better now that he’s out of St. Louis than he did when he was there.

But seriously Mr. Rasmus: time to zip it. You may have a couple of valid observations about the difficulty some people have with Mr. La Russa, but your comments do more harm than good for your son. And it’s not like anyone is going to win a run-in with Tony La Russa in St. Louis.  At some point you and Colby should have probably realized that.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM

    I don’t like LaRussa. I think he knowingly let his guys use steroids. Not saying others didn’t but he is the most glaring example. Quick story, my dad use to work trade shows that athletes would go to. When he first saw Cancesco and McGwire he was astounded by their size and gigantic heads. I remember him coming back home and saying that those guys were absolutely on the juice. That and his over managing games. It makes me want to tie his shoelaces together.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

      What a bunch of nonsense. Tony is no more complacent in steroids than any other manager was. He just had two high profile players (Canseco and McGwire) while most other players had 1. Is Jerry Narron to blame for having Rodriguez and Palmeiro on his team at the same time? Or anyone else who managed a baseball game in the late 90s/early 00s? To some degree, sure, but they all deserve the same amount.

      There are plenty of things to criticize Tony LaRussa for, this is not one of them.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      See my second sentence. I said there were others but LaRussa had the most glaring examples. He turned a blind eye. It was obvious to everybody that something was going on. As long as there were W’s in the win column, he didn’t care about how they were getting there….even at the expense of the long term health of his players.

      • mgflolox - Jul 28, 2011 at 7:16 PM

        That is a perfect example of AM radio-level bullshit analysis.

  2. paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:37 AM

    I agree with both points. It would have been better if Tony Rasmus would never have made a single comment, but everything he said there was correct (how many managers have carried a 14 man pitching staff?), including LaRussa’s attitude toward Rasmus years before Colby ever made the ML club. The first thing I ever heard about Rasmus was that he was a highly skilled, high-ceiling position player like the system had not had for years. The second thing was LaRussa’s curious aggressive attitude toward the kid. Colby had to wonder at the time what he had done to deserve such public comments from the ML manager….but hey, if you can start to undermine the confidence of a player 2 years before he reaches the majors, why wait?

  3. JBerardi - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    Well, you can understand why TLR would be upset. Obviously it shows very poor judgement on Colby’s part that decided on this jackass to be his father, out of all the other choices he had…

    • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM

      Then again, the Jays could put TR on notice that if he shoots his mouth off on their watch, his kid will sit. Very simple. After a couple of episodes maybe Colby will find the cojones to tell the old man to shut up.

  4. shea801 - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    I have to agree on all points Mr. Calcaterra. I like LaRussa, but he does try and do to much at times. But even still, LaRussa is a proven winner, and pulled off the difficult feat of winning a World Series with two different teams. I don’t understand the hate this guy gets from people. I mean, I understand the frustration, but the hate is baffling to me.

    And I don’t think he went into it wanting to dislike Colby Rasmus. Something had to happen to get it to that position, from both parties. Colby’s daddy would be wise to remember that. Not to mention, your kid isn’t bigger than the team, or the manager for that matter. Your precious snowflake isn’t a defenseless little boy. He’s a grown man and can handle his own business. If you’ve enabled him to the point that he doesn’t know how, then all the more reason to remain silent.

  5. easports82 - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Yeah, that LaRussa’s a real jackass. Not like he’s won 4 manager of the year awards, or managed nearly 2700 wins, or 2 WS or anything. Someone should knock him down a peg.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:52 AM

      One can be a jackass and still be successful. No one to my knowledge has ever questioned La Russa’s success. Just his style.

      • easports82 - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        Agreed. I’d like to think I fall into that category myself.

        What I was trying to point out is that I kinda too the post as painting LaRussa and Rasmus as being equally successful in baseball and it being a feud between differing opinions of experts, which it clearly is not.

      • FC - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        Agreed. I’d like to think I fall into that category myself.

        Wait, you’re saying you’d like to think you’re a successful jackass?

      • easports82 - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        Indeed. I’ve got the jackass thing down cold. The success part’s a little more subjective, but I’m good with my current point in life.

  6. dodger88 - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Quote of the day re. Rasmus courtesy of Yahoo’s David Brown:

    “His arrival is a big boon for the Blue Jays, provided they can keep his dad tangled at customs until 2014.”

  7. stoutfiles - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Tony Rasmus could be 100% right but it’s not his place to make comments on his son’s behalf. He’s a pathetic man who lives vicariously through his son. Time to let Colby leave the nest; you’re destroying his career being an annoying Little League parent and turning coaches away from Colby.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      Or maybe it’s time for Colby to tell his dad to shut up? Maybe in LL a ten year old can’t say anything but once you are 24, I think if you have any balls you take your dad to dinner and say “Hey pops, thanks for all your help over the years. I just bought you and mom a house in Fort Lauderdale. Please go there and enjoy life and stay out of the papers. Cool?”

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Well, Craig, we both feel the exact same way about both TLR and Tony Rasmus. But, his big mouth worked and it his kid out of St. Louis. I guess sometimes the end justifies the means.

  9. dlindstedt2 - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    Maybe Colby shouldn’t have his daddy fight his fights and learn to grow up. I can never take this kid seriously when his dad is behind everything.

    Sorry bud, you may have talent, but you have no backbone to hold it up with.

  10. Old Gator - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    I hope the Feather Lice haven’t gone and landed themselves the next Alex Rios, but what of that. I have to confess that I was hoping he’d wind up on the White Sox so that Tony R. and Slobbering Ozzie to re-enact that primal drama wherein, as Judge Holden famously intoned, “our animosities were formed and waiting before ever we two met.” Or, to recall the words of the army general in one of the greatest Muppet movies ever filmed, “King Kong versus Godzilla. If we are lucky, they will destroy each other.”

  11. jmcnick - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    TLR thinks he invented the game not Abner Doubleday. If he is so damn good as a manager why doesn’t he have more than 2 World Series wins? His A’s teams should of won 3 WS and the Cardinals more than the one they backed into. Dave Duncan has coached the pitchers, now he has the “King of Steroids” as a hitting coach. Poor Stan Musial has to watch that every day.

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      Psst….Abner Doubleday had nothing to do with the “invention” or evolution of the game that became baseball.

  12. edpeters101 - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    You tell the father to zip it, yet spend over half your story talking about the father. Why don’t you just tell the story without the father, like how LaRussa is your basic control freak (not a Flake like Bachmann)..

    • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      Bachmann is a flake indeed, and we can only hope that once her candidacy goes down in a spiral of pinfeathers she will leave baseball alone and concentrate on diverting federal funds to her clinic for turning gay marriages into heterosexual ones.

      Wally Backman, on the other hand….

      • gosport474 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        Yes, Mr. Hopeychangey is really getting it done up there in DC. We will be lucky if we can just quit circling the drain in the next year and a half.

      • Old Gator - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        I dare say Obama is getting more done in his way than the beleaguered obstructionist Boner is in his. In any case dumping on a mystified, blowhard, superstitious, bigoted, airheaded dingbat crook like Bachmann does not implyhow I feel about Obama. Somewhere between cretins like her and overmatched dilettantes like him though there’s probably a better bet for the next four years.

        Joe Torre?

  13. proudlycanadian - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    LaRussa has a history of rubbing several players the wrong way. Scott Rolen comes to mind. He played well for the Jays after his blow ups with LaRussa. As far as the comments about Rasmus standing up for himself, I ask you how many 24 year olds could adequately defend themselves against Tony LaRusssa? Both Tony’s are pig headed hand have strong opinions, so that was a fair fight. Given the situation, the family was right in asking for a trade. Should the request have been made in public is a question that I can’t answer as I know nothing about the dynamics of the St. Louis front office. There is no question that the trade is best for both sides.

    • FC - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      LaRussa has a history of rubbing several players the wrong way

      Which is why you have athletic trainers and professional masseurs. TLR, stick to managing and lay off the backrubs.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Good one.

  14. spudchukar - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Tony LaRussa doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anything but winning. The vast majority of his players over the years know this, appreciate his dedication, and love playing for him. Certainly, he gravitates toward no-nonsense players who share his enthusiasm for playing the game in the style he cherishes. And I, for one am glad St. Louis has him at their helm.

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      Sadly, Tony brings most of the non-sense about himself. A manager is not a dictator, his job is to get the most out of his players, not to make players play as he wants them to play. A good manager maximizes the potential of his players and works with the talent he is given. In contrast, LaRussa prefers to have a certain kind of player, regardless of talent, and will try to change a player to be what he wants rather than letting the player succeed as he is (all players, hitters or pitchers, do not succeed with the same approach)….and he is petty toward players that do not bend to his every whim (e.g. Ludwick, Ryan, Rasmus, Rolen). 100% of the drama around LaRussa is LaRussa generated.

      • spudchukar - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        Obviously PL, we disagree on this. Well, at least in degrees. The one area in which you seem to ignore is the overwhelming support he gets from the majority of those who play for him. Some of your criticism, while a bit hyperbolic, may ring true. And we seem to agree that LaRussa prefers a certain type of player. The one place I will continue to disagree with you vehemently is regarding his role. The notion that he manages in a style that brings attention to him is garbage. As stated above, his focus is on winning games with the St. Louis Cardinals, and that is the only factor in his decision making.

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        Yeah, we disagree on that….which is fine. I think he wants to win his way and only his way, if for no other reason than to prove his detractors wrong. If winning was his only concern, then he wouldn’t exhibit the biases for and against certain types of players….he also wouldn’t sacrifice bunt with no outs in the 9th and down by 2 runs, thereby significantly decreasing the chance of tying or winning the game.

  15. hermitfool - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    How about you political jackasses take your tedious crappola to a political site?

    • cur68 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      New here, eh?

      How about you judgmental types not read the political stuff if it bothers you? I guarantee you, if you spend any time here, you’ll see a LOT of commentary on non-baseball activities. Try and learn to live with it rather than get all up in someone’s grill over some comments?

    • nategearhart - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      Are you applying for a job as moderator?

  16. memphisyinzer - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I have an honest question that’s been bugging me for years and it is a sincere question. I don’t understand the reverence paid to Tony LaRussa. He’s won a ring in both leagues, but how many years has he been managing? How long has it been since he’s won his last ring?

    Sure, he keeps the Cards in contention every year and, occasionally takes them to the playoffs, only to be beaten. The ultimate prize though is to go to the Series and win the Series, right?.

    If he had 5 or 6 rings, I could see people raving about his ability to manage. But, short of that, what has he done that is so special to afford him all of the praise?

    I really am serious here. I’d love to know what the attraction is to him.

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      That is the thing. He has been a manager for 35 years. There are currently 30 MLB teams, and were only 26 for the first 15 years he managed. So, there has been an average of 28 MLB teams during his time managing.

      On average, during 35 years, a manager should have won 1.14 WS, and 2.28 pennants. Tony has managed teams that won 2 WS and 5 pennants, which is certainly above average, but then….he’s also always managed teams with above average talent.

      • jmcnick - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        You say it well “AVERAGE” that sums it up. Lets bat the pitcher 7th today.

      • shea801 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        Yes, because AVERAGE Managers win 2 World Series and 5 Penants. Its like saying Bobby Cox was “average” because even though he was successful, he only won 1 World Series and 5 Pennants. Just forget that he kept a team consistently good with different talent over a long period of time. Yes, that seems very AVERAGE.

        Again, I don’t get the hate. The guy obviously knows what he’s doing. It might not be your way, or a players way, but it works. And as noted above, some players love it, some don’t. And the ones that don’t are pushed even further away when push comes to shove with the manager. It’s not fun to watch, and especially so when you’re (as I am) a Cardinals fan.

        But the guy is a good, almost great Manager (win a title with the team he has this year, and I’d say he is).

      • cur68 - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        I think LaRussa himself said much the same thing. He pointed out, not long ago, that he’s been lucky to manage talented teams and has always had front office support.

        I don’t know how much I mind TLR. He is, too me, one of the all time great managers. Lots of guys manage talented teams and never do anything with them. Give TLR something to work with and he makes something happen, even if he spends far too much time with his phizz on the TV during games.

        If someone told me that TLR was going to manage the Blue Jays I’d be pretty happy. I’d know they were going to contend and probably make it to the post season. What’s not to like about that?

      • mgflolox - Jul 28, 2011 at 7:35 PM

        I can clearly remember what a mess the A’s were from the time Charlie Finley dismantled the mustache gang in the ’70’s until the arrival of TLR and Dunc in ’86. In a year and a half, they, along with Sandy Alderson, built a dynasty. The Cards went 9 years without a postseason berth before TLR arrived in “96 (after the great Joe Torre was fired). He got the White Sox into the postseason after a 24 year wait. It’s not like he’s been walking to successful situations and riding someone else’s coattails.

  17. caland13 - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    I’ve watched this kid loaf around the Busch Stadium OF long enough, and I am happy to see him go. This is Major League Baseball, and the bosses don’t care what daddy thinks. Put on your big boy pants, try running hard every once in awhile, and good things might happen for you. They are just going to happen in Canada now, eh?

    • paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      ….just because you are the boss, does not make you right. There isn’t a single person that has been in the work force for 5 years that doesn’t know this fact….but then project negative qualities on people that challenge their bosses….something everyone one of us does or wishes we had the guts to do.

  18. adowding3 - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Word on the street is that TLR was there for the infamous ARod/Mirror photoshoot. He taught ARod the most efficient means of kissing yourself. TLR’s version, unfortunately, was only distributed in the Red Light District overseas.

  19. cintiphil - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:05 AM

    People have a right to their opinions whether for or against TLR. Most people in the past who did great or exceptional things “rubbed many others the wrong way”. You can not argue with success and winning. The players who don’t like LaRussa, are out weighed by the many who would play for him in a minute. I just wish we had him in Cincinnati.

    Isn’t it strange that Pujols, Holiday, Berkman, Shumaker, Carpenter, and so on, love to play for the guy? The very good players, the good players and some of the not so good players know what he is trying to accomplish and go along with him. Some one earlier stated that Ludwig was a player who didn’t like TLR. I heard that he made comments to the contrary and wished to be back with the cards. You hear that Rolen didn’t like TLR, but don’t forget the circumstances. He insisted on playing hurt in the playoffs, and only after losing did he admit he was hurt and could not swing the bat or some such thing. That, after he insisted to LaRussa that he was fine and had no injury problems. Does anyone think that any manager would be a little “ticked”, considering the circumstances? I think so. And, I hear that he and tony have buried the hatchet anyway.

    Besides the comments, I couldn’t agree more with this distraction for the birds, because I want the Reds to finish higher. But as far as Rasmus goes, he will be a flop in Toronto as long as his old man interfers.

  20. caland13 - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    I didn’t say who was right, or wrong, only that “the boss doesn’t care what daddy thinks”. Sure, players in the past have had issue with TLR, it happens with A LOT of managers and players, but I don’t recall Scott Rolen’s dad stepping in to give his 2 cents. Kid gloves are for the Minors, when you are developing players. This is Colby’s 3rd year at the major league level, and I would venture to guess that the Cardinals and their coaches tried all that they could, being how touted and talented Colby is. You cannot teach drive and desire, and it is tough to curtail sense of entitlement.

    In truth, I just can’t wait to buy a Corey Patterson jersey.

  21. anythingbutyanks - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    We are hearing from his DAD…’nuff said. I don’t care what the parents are saying, if I’m a manager and one of my players’ parent keeps popping off I’d send the kid packing too. Good riddance.

  22. mf44srq - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    It’s the BIG LEAGUES folks!!! I don’t care if Attila the Hun is the manager, tell Daddy to shut up and let his little boy live or die on his own merits. The kid needs to perform to stay in the Bigs, no matter who the manager is…

  23. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Rasmus and his dad can say that they want, but he was hitting every day either 2nd or 5th in the lineup, until his level of suckitude caused him to lose playing time. Whatever the reasons for Rasmus’ drop-off in production, it was not for lack of opportunity.

    In the meantime, Alex Anthopoulos has found the new market inefficiency…dillholes.

    • mgflolox - Jul 28, 2011 at 8:08 PM

      Well, there’ll never be a shortage of those.

  24. philly56 - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    This is starting to look like an episode of E True Hollywood Story, like the parents of some tween actor that obsess over their child’s fame and fortune and end up driving them into financial ruin through mismanagement and greed – and eventually towards some type of addiction or depression when they realize that even after trying to please their parents all that time in the end it was their parents who let them down, and on more than one level.

    You can call La’Russa a micromanager, definetely. I remember one phillies/cards game he had like 15 pitching changes in one inning and everything blew up in his face which was very satisfying to watch, but seriously – this dad is doing PR for his 24 y/o son which is about as obsessive as you’re going to get.  It’s one thing to show Colby some pointers during the all star break, but deciding that he should be speaking for Colby and releasing statements explaining how Colby was being mistreated is way off base.

  25. houseofcards21 - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Im sure that a lot of people already know that he was “talked to” on more than one occasion by players in the dugout for him running his mouth (including Albert) so then his dad started chiming in and thats when the break up started. He is a cocky kid who has a lot of talent but would never have been a number one star player and wouldnt get his elite contract like he wanted in St. Louis. It also blows my mind that he wouldnt have told his dad to shut his d!ck garage a long time ago because it could cost him money or his job. You’re 24 Colby its ok to tell Daddy to shut the f*%k up now. Good luck to him in toronto.

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