Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said this morning that centerfielder Colby Rasmus has requested a trade.
I've bit my tongue about Rasmus for a long time because I know how important his success is to the future of the Cardinals. But his little game of chicken with a future Hall of Fame manager was too much and I opined last week that I would rather keep La Russa around than Rasmus if I was in charge.
The free pass is over. Rasmus wants out? Good. If he doesn't want to be here, I want him gone. Now.
Rasmus is a selfish crybaby who thinks it's his God given right to play -- everyday -- no matter how much he stinks it up at the plate or in the field. La Russa has had personality conflicts with players before -- players I really liked and respected like Brian Jordan and Ryan Ludwick. But Rasmus ain't exactly a warrior in the spirit of Jordan and Ludwick. Ramus needs to lose the persecution complex and earn playing time by helping his club.
The Cardinals desperately need an RBI bat in the fifth hole in the batting order. La Russa isn't holding Rasmus out of games just to teach him some sort of lessen. The Birds' playoff hopes are on the line and the best players need to play. Hate to say it, Colby, but unsung rookie flychaser Jon Jay is playing circles around you -- both at the plate and in centerfield.
Every team in baseball now realizes that Rasmus can't hit anything on the outside half of the plate and it shows in his .210 batting average with three homers since the All-Star Game. He won't cut down his long, homerun seeking swing and it has shown in the second half of the season he's struck out in more than a third of his at-bats. As I write this, he just struck out with a runner at second and no one out in the second inning against the Reds. Molina's ground ball would have driven in a run if Rasmus could have done his job. And that is a perfect example of why the Cardinals can't score this season.
He needs to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Rasmus has refused to go along with the program or accept coaching from established major leaguers and Hall of Famers. He has all the tools and could be a great, great player if he bought into the system and played as a good teammate more and as an individual less.
I just hope the Cardinals trade him while they can still get something good for Rasmus. He's only a second year player, so he's cheap. That fact, combined with his talent, ought to make him pretty appealing to a team that has a productive, young shortstop or second baseman to swap.
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