Looking back, Colby Rasmus was one of the players that ushered in a new era of Cardinals fandom.
Yes, there were highly touted prospects before him. But in between the time he signed (June 2005) until his MLB debut (April 2009), technology was revolutionized.
And revolutionized is probably too small of a descriptor. It was less than 10 years ago when texting was a chore and getting on the internet through a phone was a last resort.
Right in the middle of Colby’s stint in the Cardinals farm system (January 2007), the iPhone came into existence.
Soon enough, web pages were more accessible on mobile devices, which in turn made major carriers like AT&T and Verizon step up network speed and ability, which in turn gave the impetus for more and more people to create content, which in turn made things – like MiLB – previously untapped but now fertile ground to till.
There were multiple people talking about the professional baseball players in the paper and on the radio… but MiLB? That was for people that lived in Memphis or Springfield or any other minor league market. We’ll see these guys when they make it to the show.
Coverage of MiLB is probably the only reason anyone’s still a Cubs fan. We have access to anything and everything we want when it comes to prospect information. You can literally watch all the MiLB games you want through your phone.
Colby was that first guy that Cardinals fans not only were hearing about, but were starting to get acquainted with before he got called up.
In 2014, most serious Cardinals fans had an opinion on Oscar Taveras before he took a single at-bat. We got to see him. We got analysis about him. He was a part of our baseball lives before he was a Major League player.
Information wasn’t as robust then as it is now. But one of the big reasons that Colby Rasums still gets talked about in St. Louis is because he was the first guy we invested in emotionally before coming to the Cardinals. He was our first stock that we bought BEFORE it hit a spike. Our interest paid dividends when he finished 8th in the Rookie of the Year balloting in 2009.
It felt good. We weren’t going back.
Technology, man. It’s changed baseball. Maybe for the good, maybe for the bad. But the way we judge prospects has changed more in the past 10 years than the past 110 previous.
Tony Rasmus did what he does best on TSN 1050 on August 3.
John Lott of the National Post did us the favor of pulling the best parts:
In short, he’s still railing against Tony LaRussa. Again. There’s more, but you get the point.
Colby Rasums played 385 games for the Cardinals. Or 2.37 seasons. He’s actually been in Toronto longer than he was in St. Louis. History books are littered with players that have been in the Cardinals uniform longer than Colby Rasmus… but flare-ups like these still seem to touch a nerve.
Why do we care?
Rasmus was our Steve Jobs. He was the one that showed us there was a new way to think about the thing we were already using and just how much more was out there. He was the one that brought a new sense of excitement to something we thought was only capable of incremental gains. He was the one that…
Ok. Maybe the Steve Jobs comparison is a little much. But still – the reason we still talk about Rasmus isn’t any different than why a certain movie or song holds a special place in your heart: right place, right time.
He was THE prospect. OUR prospect. In a time when we were just figuring out how much we wanted prospects. Nothing more, nothing less.
The sooner that Tony Rasmus can figure that out, the worse off Toronto sports talk radio will be.
Photo: Sports Agent Blog