La Russe and La Razberry OR Freud’s Guide to the Cards

Obligatory TLR “encouraging” Colby picture

Oh merde! That’s what I thought had hit the fan when all this Colby v La Russa brouhaha broke out on Sunday. We in Cardinal Nation are not accustomed to read about clubhouse problems. Particularly ones that spill out into the light of day in real time. That’s just not the usual Cardinal Modus Operandi. This quickly escalated into a whole new realm of rumor, unsourced facts, incorrect conclusions and a few knock down drag outs on the twitter. 

I did a Google search for “Colby Rasmus and Tony La Russa fighting” and it returned 233,000 hits. Slight overkill don’t you think. It was ultimately about a two month old story, and players answering and attempting not to answer questions when they didn’t have all the facts. And of course when Albert speaks, everyone listens.

We can all agree the whole mess was not handled well by anyone. We can also agree that this was the last thing the team needed in the middle of a real fight to get to post season play.
 As if there already hasn’t been enough ink spilled on the story, I thought I’d throw in my severely undervalued opinion. Ha. Ha. It’s my attempt to understand what happened. Not, in any way, to offer excuses for poor behavior. 

Paging Dr. Freud
Colby Rasmus-I believe Colby is a shy southern boy, raised by a father who wanted the best for him, recognized his talent and did everything he could to develop it. Colby, like most sons, wanted his father’s approval and learned the importance of pleasing him. He learned to seek self- approval and belief in himself by what his father thought of him. He may not have a lot of confidence in himself, without receiving feedback from his father or others he wants to please. He has trouble fitting in socially and does not communicate well. He can be immature, impulsive and is going through a huge amount of change in his professional and personal life. (One of my many majors was psychology, so take that for what it’s worth.)(Which ain’t a lot.) Teaching, coaching, and tutoring, I’ve come across many Colby’s. 

Happy Times

Tony La Russa-It’s no surprise to any fan in Cardinal Nation that TLR is a hard driving, intense, take no prisoners, suffer no fools, manager. He can be a genius with the strategy required to manage a baseball team on and off the field. He wouldn’t have the Hall of Fame career, the amount of victories and the myriad appearances in post season play, if he didn’t know what he’s doing. He can also be curt, tense, angry, imperious, intimidating, arrogant, moody and generally rather sour. To say he doesn’t like rookies much is to say there are three outs in an inning. Such is life with Tony. He loves dogs, which we do have in common. I would last exactly 1.4 hours working for Tony La Russa.


La Russa, in Italian, means I can’t smile or my head will explode. Sometimes he has the personality of lint. Burning and on fire lint. But lint. He is also tremendously loyal to players that play “his way”. Play a scrappy hard nine. Take your job seriously, show determination, work your butt off, be good at the fundamentals and keep your mouth shut. If you do that, you’re in for life. If you don’t….well, let’s just say there are a few players no longer with the Cards, still playing in the majors, who could enlighten us on that predicament.

Thus these two people have tried to find a way to work together. Has it been smooth waters? Absolutely not. Is there plenty of blame on each side? Absolutely yes. Could they both try harder to do what is necessary to help the team win? You bet. And they are.

Vhat is it about these Cardinals? Tell me about your mum.

The Team-I have been totally unable to figure out this teams’ leader. The heart of the team. The player who gets along with everyone, can smooth out differences and inspire the team when it needs it. The Cards have a lot of intense personalities. They have players, led by Pujols, including Carpenter, Yadi and Holliday who lead by example. Waino seems to have the personality and natural grace to be an outstanding leader. A Mark DeRosa type. But he’s a pitcher. They are a whole different breed. Obviously it seems that person was Luddy. When he left did the glue holding the team together go with him? 

No need to go into details of the contretemps. We’ve all read about it ad nauseum. Tony does have Colby’s and the teams’ best interest at heart. It wouldn’t hurt TLR to recognize those players that might need a little extra pat on the butt sometime.  I don’t believe Colby went stomping into Mo’s office and demanded a trade. He acted immaturely, unprofessionally and impetuously. He vented. Someone needs to take Colby under his wing and mentor him. It has to be done. 

But here is the thing that makes my gut hurt. Why did this particular story surface? Why now? I’ve been in the world of politics and know the care and feeding of the press. I’m also very familiar with the deliberate leak. Information parsed out to accomplish a specific outcome. This is what my gut tells me. Fans and the press were becoming more and more outspoken in their desire to see Colby play or at least get to the bottom of why he wasn’t. He was in the lineup, finally, and then pulled at the last minute, arousing everyone’s suspicions.

Colby didn’t seek out the press to complain. La Russa obviously didn’t help matters by openly comparing Rasmus unfavorably to Jon Jay. But the reason TLR gave for benching Colby had to do with matchups and health. So La Russa didn’t seek out the press to undermine Colby. I believe the “source familiar with the situation” leaked the particular story to try and take the pressure off of La Russa. This is not to undermine the excellent reporting skills of Joe Strauss and the rest of the outstanding Post Dispatch baseball writers. I think the source threw a little dirt Colby’s way to help the public “understand” why Colby wasn’t playing as much as we thought he should. It was an extremely stupid idea. They didn’t think through the repercussions and snow ball effect of the new media. And when does anyone need to assist Tony La Russa in anything? He’s more than capable of handling his own pr. He doesn’t waste one baseball seams worth of time worrying about what the press or the fans think of his managerial style. 

The Cards need both La Russa and Rasmus to be in the best position to win. Rasmus is a legitimate talent who provides power, production and speed. And he’s locked in cheaply for several more years. It would be hard to replace his talent at such a low cost. Teams don’t trade away inexpensive talent. We have needs to fill elsewhere in the lineup. La Russa may drive us all insane at one time or another. He’s a Hall of Fame manager. Replacing him would be difficult, if not impossible.
Not very nice poster.  I want one.

Zat vill be $500.00. love, Dr. Freud
In the interest of the club, someone needs to start providing clubhouse leadership. They need to make sure players like Colby and Brendan Ryan have the backing and assistance they need to become the players they have the potential to be. 

Finally, dogs have been scientifically proven to provide relaxation, along with a feeling of calm and well being. Tony needs to adopt another dog. A club house dog. Bring him to the ball park and on all road trips. He needs to name him Razberry. Raz for short.

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