Jays look to Rasmus’ dad

When the Toronto Blue Jays rolled out the welcome mat for new outfielder Colby Rasmus on Thursday, they extended it to his father, too.

TORONTO — When the Toronto Blue Jays rolled out the welcome mat for new outfielder Colby Rasmus on Thursday, they extended it to his father, too.

Acquired the previous day in a three-team trade with the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago White Sox, Rasmus batted second and started in centre field Thursday night against Baltimore.

Blue Jays manager John Farrell said the team intends to speak with Rasmus’ father, Tony, about Colby’s hitting and how best to coach him. Rasmus and the Cardinals apparently clashed over his decision to be coached by his father, rather than work with hitting coaches Mark McGwire and Mike Aldrete.

Rasmus played for his father in high school.

“It’s to gain information from Colby’s dad, to understand some of the drill work, the terminology, some of the key points that have been looked at within his swing,” Farrell said. “What are some of the things they use to maintain a very productive left-handed swing? That’s not to say we’re going to give him a uniform and have him sit in the dugout, but I just think it’s a smart thing to do.

“You’re not looking to build walls, you’re always looking to build bridges, to make sure you get the most out of any given player,” he added.

Rasmus, who was hitting .246 with 11 homers and 40 RBIs at the time of the deal, played down the importance of his family coaching connection.

“I don’t think that needs to be a big issue, really,” Rasmus said. “My dad coached me all the way growing up and he has a big interest in my baseball, wants me to play well and knows my swing pretty well.

“I’m just trying to play good, play hard, nothing further than that,” he said. “It’s not trying to disrespect anybody, nothing. Just trying to play good and I think he’ll help me play good.”

In his Jays debut, Rasmus was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts as Toronto beat Baltimore 8-5.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa acknowledged having a “shaky” relationship with Rasmus, a first-round pick of the Cardinals out of high school in 2005 who was the jewel of the farm system before arriving in the majors in 2009.

“Can he be a great player? Absolutely, if he learns and improves,” La Russa said, though after the trade he referred to Rasmus as a “bench player.”

Speaking to Sportsnet Radio FAN590 in Toronto on Thursday morning, Tony Rasmus said his son was “miserable” in St. Louis.

“I felt like I was watching a funeral,” the elder Rasmus said, adding that his son would be able to focus on baseball in Toronto “rather than the political stuff.”

“The environment, as far as managerial environment, is going to be so much better under John,” he said. “I just can’t imagine how much better it’s going to be playing up under him than Tony La Russa. It’s nice to go to the park and try to have a little fun versus showing up for a funeral procession every day. I just believe it’s going to be a much better environment to play baseball.”

Colby Rasmus called the move to Toronto a “fresh start” that would relieve some of the pressure he felt in St. Louis.

“I went through a tough stretch there just trying to do too much, trying to play out of what I should, going up there and gripping the bat too tight and just not playing loose, not being relaxed,” he said. “That’s one thing I want to try to work on. Just go out there and play the game and not worry about any of this talk and all that’s going on.”

Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said Wednesday he would have what he called “the elephant in the room conversation” when Rasmus arrived to talk about the past once, address it and move on. They had that chat Thursday.

“He talks fast so I was trying to keep up with him but it was great, it was awesome,” Rasmus said. “I sat down with him and Mr. John (Farrell). I thought it was a great talk and I’m just excited to be playing for them. They seem to be great people and excited to have me, which is awesome. I feel like they really want me to be here and I want to be here just as much as they want me.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Loblaws store is seen Monday, March 9, 2015 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
In absence of mandated paid sick days, some companies are stepping up

Only 42 per cent of working Canadians say they have access to paid sick leave

President Joe Biden waves after holding a virtual meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Washington. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Vucci
New emission-cutting goals called ‘aggressive,’ ‘ambitious’ and ‘illogical’

Canadian industry is being compelled to cut methane emissions by 45 per cent by 2025

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference Friday April 16, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
$18B Indigenous spending in Budget 2021 meant for short-term gaps: Miller

Includes a three-year investment to improve access to justice

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

Brooke Henderson, of Canada, watches her tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Tournament of Champions LPGA golf tournament, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Canadian Brooke Henderson vaults into tie for fourth at LPGA Tour event

Henderson is sixth in the world women’s golf rankings

Switzerland’s skip Silvana Tirinzoni makes a call during a women’s curling match against Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Natacha Pisarenko
Previously unbeaten women’s teams suffer setbacks at Grand Slam curling event

Top six women’s and men’s teams qualify for the playoffs.

FILE - Gal Gadot arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gadot is using her Hollywood star power to spotlight remarkable women from around the world. The “Wonder Woman” actor is host and executive producer of a new documentary series “National Geographic Presents IMPACT with Gal Gadot,” premiering Monday, April 26. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Gal Gadot spotlights women’s stories in new docuseries

First episode follows a young Black figure skating coach in Detroit

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino listens to speakers during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday October 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Retaking language test unfair during COVID-19: applicants to new residency pathway

New program aims to grant 90,000 essential workers and international graduates permanent status

LtE bug
Letter: Questions around city funding for Westerner

The Advocate article on April 21 on page 3 “Council to discuss… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Foligno (71) and Mitchell Marner (16) celebrate Marner's goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Thursday, April 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Leafs end five-game winless skid with 5-3 win over Jets in North Division battle

Taylor Pendrith from Richmond Hill, Ont. salutes the crowd after sinking a birdie on the 18th hole to come in at five under par during first round of play at the Canadian Open golf championship Thursday, July 24, 2014 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

PGA Tour Canada splits into Canadian, American circuits for 20201

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Like father, like son: Floreal emerges as one of Canada’s top sprinters

Most Read