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People Like Me!…um…and hate me…

Well, it seems my K-Mac report has been referenced in a few forums…I love it! Every blogger hopes to get a bit of notoriety from readers…and with that comes a bit of criticism. I have to say, I actually like getting criticism…it’s like getting booed in Wrigley…they have to notice you to boo you, right?

Specifically, the criticism seems to be coming from my impression of Colby Rasmus. To rehash, I said the following:

First, I was a little put off by Colby Rasmus’ demeanor. I don’t know how much of it is his fault, per se, but the kid seems to have been called “the next Cardinals Superstar” one too many times. He seems to have the method down – “yes, sir” and “I’m gonna’ work hard” etc. – but he just seems like he would rather be anywhere else but dealing with fans, etc. I’ll cut the kid some slack – mainly because he is a kid (and he dresses like one, too…I thought he was a 14-year old skater instead of a “step-away-from-the-bigs” professional baseball player) – but I hope he does a bit of maturing over the next couple months. I like him…and he may be ready talent-wise…but he’s not quite mature enough to deal with the scrutiny he’ll face in St. Louis as “the next Cardinals Superstar.”

Apparently, a few fans have been told he’s “the next Cardinals Superstar” one too many times as well…they’re already giving him the all-too-understanding treatment reserved for Pujols-like players. And, really, that’s cool…but at least read the words, people! If I’m gonna’ take some heat for what I said…at least be sure of what I said! hehe…okay…here’s the deal…

Let me be clear…I like Colby Rasmus. He was respectful, polite, and was clearly trying to do the right things. I believe that effort was sincere…I don’t think he would rather be disrespecting veterans or insulting fans. I really think he’s a good kid.  But I was speaking of his “demeanor”…his “way of acting” or the “vibe” he gives off when you are in the same room with him. That is much different than the words that come out of someone’s mouth.

Let me also say this…demeanor is not something you can judge or speak to if you haven’t been in a room with someone. So, as fans reading my site that have never met Rasmus, keep one thing in mind…you don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s not an insult, it’s just the facts. Granted, I can’t honestly say I remember being in the same room with Rasmus more than the one time at the Caravan…but that’s why I wasn’t directing my comments to any event OTHER than the Caravan. It’s called limiting yourself, people…you speak to what you know, and that’s all that you speak to…which is why my commentary is my opinion, not to be confused with any representation of fact.

Okay…moving on…People have criticized a couple things about my commentary on Rasmus…so I’ll address those and then wrap up the post.

First, people have suggested that my criticism of his clothing style and way of dressing are “annoying.” Apparently, these people think I believe all players should wear suits and ties in public. I have to say, if these readers knew ANYTHING at all about me, they would laugh at the thought of me suggesting ANYONE should wear a suit and tie. So, it seems I need to clarify what I was saying.

Rasmus was dressed in a baggy fleece with very loose jeans that end in the extremely wide leg cut. His shoes where similar to the street shoes you see kids wearing, and his hair was stringy and hanging down around his jaw line and below. That’s cool – I love it (if I wasn’t balding, I would grow mine longer than that! – actually tried last year…it wasn’t pretty). In short, he most resembled a 14-year old skater kid. That is not an exaggeration. I’m trying to be as accurate as possible. He literally looked like he could walk into a junior high, put his skateboard in his locker, and fit right in. In fact, when we entered the gym, I said, “Well…there’s Kyle, Ricky Horton, I think that’s Jess Todd, and that guy on the end must be Brian Barden…but I don’t see Colby Rasmus. Surely that guy’s not him…he looks like he could be his little brother, but that’s the only one of the group that resembles him in the face.”

I fully believe players should be allowed to express themselves, but Rasmus will soon learn – I believe – that if he wants to be taken seriously as a mature, big league player and a grown man in public, he has to adjust his clothing style. I’m not saying I like it, and I’m not saying I agree with it – but that’s just how it is. You may hate wearing business casual to a job interview, but you do it. Why? Because you understand that you will be judged and categorized – however unfairly – by your appearance and clothing choices. For an MLB player, every time they appear in public at official events, they are appearing for a job interview – with the fans, the press, the team, etc. Like it or not, they will be judged on their appearance. That’s just how it is. Yes, some fans and press will be more forgiving than others – but some will not…and it’s those fans and media he must dress for if he wants to be taken seriously. He’ll learn…he just hasn’t, yet…

Second, my final comment about Rasmus – I believe – makes it pretty clear what I am ultimately trying to say. Colby Rasmus has been so hyped by the media and team that he will be HIGHLY scrutinized by fans and media alike when he comes to St. Louis. By edging a player in our crowded outfield out of a spot – especially if one is traded – he WILL be held to a very high standard. He will NOT be given adequate time as a rookie to grow at this level before being criticized. I promise you…when Rasmus comes up, he better be ready to professionally and maturely accept, receive, and deal with the intense scrutinizing attention that will be aimed at his playing style, dress style, hitting numbers, error totals, and maybe even how he brushes his teeth in the morning. EVERYTHING he does and says will be put under a microscope and over-analyzed…everything. Hell…his dad gets on a forum, makes a couple comments, and suddenly fans and media rumors are going crazy.

All I’m saying is the “vibe” the kid gives off is going to ’cause a few people to criticize him in St. Louis…and he better be prepared to deal with that criticism as well as criticism aimed at his playing results/ability. Based on what I saw in Springfield, I personally think he’s not mature enough yet to constructively – or resiliently – handle that kind/level of criticism.

But…that’s just my opinion…of course, standing next to guys like Kyle McClellan, Brian Barden, and Jess Todd makes him appear even younger. Those guys either know how to dress for an interview and how to carry themselves, or they simply have styles that naturally fall more in-line with commonly accepted dress “codes” and pre-conceptions. Either way, give Colby some time and he’ll get there…he’s just not there, yet.

Go Cards!!!

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