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Tony Rasmus goes to Toronto, talks St. Louis

Jun 18, 2012, 1:03 PM EDT

colby rasmus and tony rasmus

Tony Rasmus, the father of Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus, was an endless source of intrigue and entertainment for the St. Louis media during the two-plus years that his son spent with the Cardinals.

And now the Toronto press is getting a taste.

The elder Rasmus made his first-ever appearance at Rogers Centre on Sunday afternoon, joining 12 other dads of Blue Jays players in a pregame Father’s Day celebration before taking in the team’s 6-2 win over the Phillies in a reserved box along the right field line.

Tony Rasmus also spent a little time with John Lott of the National Post, discussing topics that revolved primarily around last year’s eight-player blockbuster trade between the Jays and Cardinals, and the events leading up to it. We’ll attempt to package the craziness into easily-digested bites, but Lott’s entire interview transcript is worth perusing.


Tony Rasmus on his first visit to Toronto:

I was lucky enough to have my passport ready. My wife still hasn’t got hers. When they called and invited me up, I had to go over and say, ‘I’m sorry, baby, you don’t have your passport; I’ve got mine, so I’m going to have to go ahead and leave you here.’ She called me a thousand times. You know, ‘be careful, be careful walking around, that’s a big town.’

On why things went south at the end of Colby’s run with the Cardinals:

Looking back on it, maybe the fact that he was such a big prospect and they expected him to be Albert Pujols in St. Louis and not too many people are going to be Albert Pujols. Maybe the expectations they had for him were just hard for him to live up to. Maybe that pressure just wore him down. Obviously Tony wore on him a little bit, but Tony’s a Hall of Fame manager, you know. Maybe everybody can’t play for him.

On how things played out the week the trade was finalized:

Some stuff came out in the [St. Louis] newspaper that wasn’t accurate from Tony and we called [Colby’s] agent and said, ‘Man, he’s not going to keep saying all that stuff without somebody responding to it, so y’all need to get him out of there.’ That was about the way it went. So whenever they called and told me [about the trade], I was dancing the jig around the house. I called [Colby] first thing and he was like, ‘That’s an answer to a prayer. Thank goodness.’ Everything since that day has been absolutely awesome here.

We’ve been happy ever since the trade.

On the active role he’s played in Colby’s career — a point of contention in St. Louis:

My involvement’s really basically a batting-practice pitcher. It’s not like I get in there and go, ‘Hey, move your hands up here, do this.’ I’m not really a technical [coach]. But the fact is, I’m 46, but I can still throw about 90. So I can back up 60 feet and throw BP versus having to soft-toss to him. And I can throw breaking balls and changeups and that kind of stuff.

And obviously Colby had a hard time [in St. Louis]. I always told Colby, ‘Don’t mention my name, let me go ahead and throw to you, man, and go in the newsapapers and say Mark McGwire is my man, he’s the reason I’m hitting.’ But he don’t know how to lie and I think that’s a key to making it in this business, being able to not tell the truth a lot of the time.

To summarize: Colby Rasmus isn’t a good liar. And Tony Rasmus throws 90 mph with pinpoint control.

  1. lunt101 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    If my son hit .225 over a full season, I’d also want him to give the credit to Mark McGwire.

  2. redux23 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    tony rasmus puts jamie moyer to shame

    • bloodysock - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      He’s in Canada. Probably meant 90 kph.

      • cur68 - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

        I can throw that hard. I’m 44. So I bet that’s it, exactly. Well figured, Mr. Sock.

      • paperlions - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

        This appears to be the 1st time Tony has left the US…I seriously doubt he knows what KPH are.

  3. pjmitch - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    “I’m 46, but I can still throw about 90”

    I see a heart warming story and a major motion picture in the making.

    • Old Gator - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM


    • rooney24 - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

      Maybe he meant he can still throw 90 total pitches before his arm gives out, rather than meaning he can throw 90 mph. The key to a good lie is to have a sliver of truth. And, I bet he is a good liar.

  4. singingfriar - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Well, someone isn’t a good liar, but I’m pretty sure it’s not COLBY Rasmus.

  5. itsacurse - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM


  6. alexo0 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    I saw the broadcast of that game. The television announcers had Tony in the booth during the game. Tony even had his own mini press conference. All the while I kept thinking “Just shut up!”.

  7. Jonny 5 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    His unit of measure is in either Altuves or Eckstiens. 90 Altuves an hour isn’t too bad for an old man I say. Now I see where Colby gets his good looks.

  8. Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Somebody should tell Mrs. Rasmus that A) expedited passports are so worth it when your son has made almost $4 million in the past seven years and B) you can return to the US from Canada with a driver’s license and a birth certificate.

    • seeinred87 - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      You actually can’t do that anymore. You either need a passport or an enhanced license.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        Huh, when did that change? When I was researching our trip to the US Virgin Islands last fall, the indication was USVI, Puerto Rico and Canada only required valid ID + proof of citizenship.

      • ajcardsfan - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Went in to play this year, you now require a full passport for Mexico and Canada

      • seeinred87 - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        The law changed in 2009, but I’m pretty sure there were extensions in a lot of places where you could still do the birth certificate thing. And I guess you can still use that method for closed-loop cruises.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

        Good to know. Guess I have to get the passport renewed if I want to throw Toronto onto that Rust Belt stadium trip I’ve been toying with taking.

      • jaysprospectarilo - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Actually Seeinred87, you are incorrect. You require a form of identification issued by a state or federal agency, in conjunction with a birth certificate to enter Canada. The USA is different because of WHTI; which I think should be a standard – but I know nothing, I just enforce that crap Canada makes. Le Sigh.

        Back to Tony Rasmus; all the controversy would have been left alone had none of the media baited him about it. Check your transcripts (mind you I missed the live ballgame 😦 ) This is Toronto, where sports media is a shark like atmosphere..

      • seeinred87 - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        OK, fair enough. I’m pretty sure I’ve read that you actually can get into Canada still without the passport or EDL, but you need one of those 2 to get back into the US.

        And please do correct me if I’m wrong, because I live very close to the border and cross it rather frequently (though it’s been over a year since I last did). The info on the CBSA and CBP/WHTI websites seems to indicate that, for American citizens, birth certificate+license is fine for entry into Canada, but you need a passport or EDL (or passport card, or Trusted Traveler Program card) for reentry into The States

    • cosanostra71 - Jun 18, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      some border states have enhanced drivers licenses that work, but standard licenses no longer work for entering Mexico or Canada.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 10:02 PM

        What makes a license “enhanced?” Is it just being scannable, or do they contain more information/proof of citizenship?

      • cosanostra71 - Jun 19, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        it has a computer chip with your passport information on it. I’m not sure exactly what is on it.

      • seeinred87 - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        And only Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Washington offer them right now. On top of that, they’re only valid for travel by land or sea, not by air unfortunately.

  9. proudlycanadian - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    1)Selective quotes can give a wrong perspective. There are stories quoting Tony in all four of the Toronto newspapers and on As far as I am concerned, he came across as reasonable and provided a balanced perspective of The Great Leader.

    2)Lost in the news. Colby Rasmus is a happy and productive player in Toronto. He was obviously very miserable in St. Louis.

    3)To those Rasmus haters out there let me say this: “GET A LIFE.”

    • Old Gator - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM

      I’d have difficulty being unhappy in Toronto myself. Great city. Great delis and even Korean taco parlors. I’d love it. Except between October and May, I mean. Weenter.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Korean taco parlors. Sign. Me. Up.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      PC: I will tell you I am proud as the next guy. Please know my use of the word “proud” has nothing to do with your handle. I truly mean I am as proud as anyone.
      With that in mind…I also have thick skin. A lot of people think TLR is miserable S.O.B.
      I don’t agree with them. But that is their opinion and they can feel/say whatever they want.
      In short…grow thicker skin Man! It will not make you less of a fan. Only less frustrated.
      Lawrie was wrong (and was justifiably suspended) and Tony Rasmus is a meddling Parent.
      Very similar to those Mom’s who run on the baseball diamond/football field or Basketball.

    • paperlions - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:46 PM

      I check the box scores and watch Colby ABs on MLB.TV regularly, still rooting for the kid to turn it around….should I get a life too?

      Many remain disappointed that he didn’t reach his potential in StL, but NO ONE expected him to be anything like AP (contrary to what TRasmus said)….people just wanted him to act like he gave a crap and to play well. Colby has had better results the last few weeks, but his ABs are generally still fairly poor compared to when he first came up….not sure what happened to the great approach at the plate he used to have…but that is still not back.

    • dartman51 - Jun 18, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      He may be happy, but I wouldn’t call him productive. In 100 games, since becoming a Jay, he’s batting .226, with 13 HR and 46 RBI. Not really earning his money, in my book.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    ‘‘I’m sorry, baby, you don’t have your passport; I’ve got mine, so I’m going to have to go ahead and leave you here.’’
    “But he don’t know how to lie.”

    Tony Rasmus
    Educating our Nations Youth

    • Old Gator - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM

      Tony La Russa.
      Kissing Glenn Beck’s ass.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Come on now Gator! You act as if that is a bad thing.

      • Old Gator - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        Maybe not with enough mustard, sauerkraut and disinfectant.

  11. stex52 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    I am glad to see Colby doing well elsewhere. My only sincere hope is to hear absolutely nothing from Tony for the rest of our collective lives. He comes across as incredibly self-absorbed and boring, but as long as he stays out of the press I don’t have to know about it.

    BTW, passports are really rather easy to get. It’s not like we’re at war with Canada or something.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      I am with you. I have stated many times I hope Colby does really well in Toronto.
      His Father? Yeeeaaahhh…

    • larrytsg - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      I guess what gets me is that he was traded to Toronto like LAST SUMMER, and his Mom never bothered to get a passport (or passport card) at all. I guess it’s poor planning on her part. The passports aren’t hard to get, but it can be time consuming, especially if you need to get a new offical birth certificate and you’re nowhere near where you were born.

      My daughter is going to college in Canada, and you can bet I am keeping an eye on the expiration date of my passport so I don’t get caught without one…..

    • cur68 - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:17 PM

      And were we at war, Tex, I know I can count on you to join the Beaver Side Of The Fight, right? Texas is basically Canada South, is that not so? Anyhow, I don’t mind Tony Rasmus so much any more. He’s not that bad, just living through his kid a bit too much. If my son, if I had one, was an MLB player, betcherass I’d be trying a bit of that, too. But, all in all, he should maybe decline to be in a press conference. Stirring stuff up when the boy is finally playing well, might not be the best idea.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:32 PM

        Saskatchewan South, maybe. Or is it Manitoba?

      • stex52 - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        More Alberta South for most of Texas. All that oil stuff creates a similar mindset. Shut off the pipelines in both directions and we’ll bring them to their knees.

        But personally, even though I make a living off of that business, I’m kind of partial to Quebec.

      • cur68 - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Some clear thinking there, South Texas. The US needs Texas & Canada needs Alberta way more than Texas & Alberta needs the balance of respective nations (and this is especially true of Quebec: I can get poutine anywhere!). In fact, considering that last point, I’m amased to see you prefer our Easterly province. Quebec, eh? Well good for you: I’m glad someone likes them. Not unlike being tolerant of Tony Rasmus, tolerating Les Québécois takes a certain kind of person. Salut.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        “Amased?” Really? Freaking “amased?” Please tell me that was a typo.
        Otherwise, I now realiZe you are not allowed to use the letter ”Z” anytime, under any circumstances. “Amased?” Noooo…really?

      • cur68 - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM

        Ah, yes, “Amased”. And ‘privatize’ ‘Americanise’ and ‘winterise’. But, because I’m not a total barbarian, I spell “Boobz” with a “Z”. Its all about priorities…or something.

      • stex52 - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:24 PM

        I’ll be a little less specific. I have yet to visit a place in Canada that I didn’t like. I haven’t had the pleasure of Toronto yet, but plan to remedy soon. Montreal and Quebec City appeal to me because they are the most European cities in North America, and I generally like the ambience in the big European cities.

        Poutine is another issue.

  12. saints97 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Funny that Tony Rasmus didn’t come out of his hole during the 14+ weeks that Colby was hitting terribly. Suddenly Colby has a nice 3-week stretch, and here comes Tony, smiling for the cameras and passive/aggressively taking credit.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Are you trying to tell me that wasnt a coincidence?

  13. sophiethegreatdane - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Tony Rasmus is an obvious, built-in answer to Toronto’s pitching woes. Or maybe trade bait in the pending Jeremy Guthrie trade!

    There — two problems solved at once!

  14. deathmonkey41 - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    I would hae been more impressed had he just said, “I like turtles” and moved on.

  15. xpensivewinos - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Colby Rasmus is hitting the absolute crap out of the ball right now.

    That’s the only aspect of the saga that interests me.

  16. cintiphil - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    I hear some interesting comments in this post howeever, what is your measure of doing great? I thought .250 hitters were about to get traded? He is no Albert to be sure, however when he hits the next slump, Colby will be hitting about .235 again. Too bad for Toronto that we have Votto here in the Queen City (and a long term contract). Joey is what I call having a great year, not what Colby is doing. The bottom line is that Toronto probably will not make the playoffs and the Reds will probably be Central Division Champs. A few hot games for Colby against a weak pitching team is not a season to be sure. Lets see what his numbers are at the end of September. Then let’s see what Tony is saying.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      I was with you on everything Phil…right up until….”the Reds will probably be Central Division Champs.” Make no mistake…you guys are on fire. You seemingly can’t lose. Whereas, the Cardinals are finding way’s to lose (see the play at the plate to end the game against the Royals and the subsequent blown save against the Royals the following day) and adding guys to the DL every day (it seems). As they say…that’s baseball. But it is still the middle of June and I am still having trouble deciding where you guys are gonna’ get your runs. You got Votto, you got Phillips, you got Bruce (when he is streaking UP), and you got who? Cozart? Frazier? Sample size is way too small for the last two. So (in my opinion)…that leaves Votto, Phillips and Bruce.
      Of course…if you continue creating space I suppose it could be too late for anyone to catch you. But you gotta’ come off that cloud you guys are riding at some point.

  17. duluthbuttonhut - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    “But the fact is, I’m 46, but I can still throw about 90.”

    Can you give Cecil some pointers?

  18. lionsflyersandredbirds - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    Thank you Tony, I needed a good lol. I wonder if he commented on how it felt watching Colby’s former team win the World Series. Parents should not be permitted to be so heavily involved in a player’s career. This is the MAJOR LEAGUES, not tee-ball…

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