You got your wish, Colby Rasmus.
You were removed from the baseball purgatory that is St. Louis… from the blockhead manager that is probably going to the Hall of Fame… and a situation where you could make the playoffs for the second time in your three year career.
It must be a relief.
Now he can show the world what Tony LaRussa couldn’t see.
And what evidently his supporters already see.
And the people who think the Blue Jays are stealing a star.
I am no LaRussa fan, but I have a hard time seeing how a guy with a decent season under his belt and lots of potential (you know, like Alex Ochoa) could be the focus of so much hand wringing.
I know he’s young.
So were every bust in baseball history.
He remains hitless as a Blue Jay. But it is his FUTURE that everyone craves.
The strange thing about the future… sometimes it doesn’t unfold the way you want.
And maybe if Rasmus struggles in an empty Rogers Centre for non contending Blue Jays teams, he might pine for the days when he played in a great baseball city along side future Hall of Famers with one of the great managers of all time.
But maybe I am wrong.
And if I am wrong, I will eat crow.
I need more than projections and potential. He needs to actually become a star.
The culture in Pittsburgh baseball just had an enormous rumbling last night.
Derrek Lee was acquired by the Pirates. It cost the team a Single A first baseman named Aaron Baker.
Do you understand how significant this is?
Lee may or may not be a factor and that doesn’t matter. For more than a decade and a half, the trading deadline in Pittsburgh meant graduation for the quality players on their roster.
If you were a good Pirate, they were going to trade your butt at the deadline.
Not this year. At least for one season, the Pirates are NOT a Quadruple A farm team to be picked apart by July 31st vulture contenders.
Clint Hurdle may have won the Manager of the Year award with this trade. Why?
Because for one season at least, the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates were BUYERS!!!
A year ago, Tommy Hunter looked like he was exactly what every team wanted. A young pitcher who could win. In fact he had the best winning percentage in the American League. At age 23 he won 13 games, pitched to a solid 3.73 ERA in Texas and had an ERA+ of 120, which I understand is good.
He made three post season starts and while he didn’t exactly shine in the October spot light, he got his initial butterflies out.
Cut to a year later, and injuries and the rise of Matt Harrison has made him expendable and he has been shipped off to Baltimore for 36 year old Koji Uehara.
I’m going to watch Tommy Hunter carefully as he goes to the Orioles. There is no way Uehara will be part of any playoff team in Baltimore.
But I wonder what Hunter will be at Camden Yards. Will he be yet another toss in, a young player traded away at the deadline never to be seen again.
Sure he started in the post season.
Big deal. So did Dana Kiecker.
But what if the Orioles got a steal. A nice valuable piece to an elusive playoff puzzle.
What if Hunter comes back and becomes a nice #3 or #4 starter like he was last year? What if that happens and some combination of Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz and Dan Klein break through and become successful?
Then he might become a valuable cog in a surprising young pitching staff.
Hell, he has ALREADY been on a staff like that. Maybe that’s what his role would be. The guy to remind them “Hey! Nobody thought WE’D be a good staff. But we wound up playing in a little thing called the World Series.”
It’s an interesting deal.
It could amount to nothing… but I have my eye on him.