COMMENTARY | Often referred to as "The Best Fans In Baseball," fans of the St. Louis Cardinals are fiercely loyal to the players that take the field wearing the birds-on-the-bat logo.
Despite that fact, some players can try the patience of the fan base and end up on the opposite side of the coin, despised and scrutinized beyond reason.
Colby Rasmus knows that feeling all too well.
The former top prospect and outfielder for the Cardinals, Rasmus never quite reached his potential in St. Louis and seemingly created a desire to not be coached by the leadership regime headed up by Tony La Russa. His consistent battles with his manager were made public through the press and led to his departure from the city via trade to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Before he left, the fans started to turn their back on him. By the time he arrived in Toronto, he had taken his place as the most despised player in Cardinals history.
Unable to be coached
The biggest drawback of Colby Rasmus was his desire to not be coached by the staff of the St. Louis Cardinals. Strangely enough, it was his close relationship with his father, who coached Colby through high school, that led to him turning to his father more than his manager. He has since talked about his desire to continue to be a pull-hitter, as Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes here.
A lack of "fire"
St. Louis loves its "scrappy" players that go out, get dirty, and play the game hard. Colby seemed to play the game very relaxed, very seldom getting worked up for any reason and displaying less emotion than most every player on the field. By the end, his overly relaxed demeanor had him labeled as a player that just did not care -- and Cardinals fans will not stand for that.
A victim of the hype
The biggest strike against Rasmus was not even something that he could have controlled. As Rasmus came through the minor league system, fans were prepared for the next great ballplayer to arrive at Busch Stadium. Billed as a five-tool player that would quickly excel at all aspects of the game, Rasmus was doomed to fail from the beginning. As his career went on and he continually under-performed in every aspect, fans began to ridicule him for the false advertising.
Fans today still despise Colby Rasmus. While there are other players, namely Tino Martinez and Ron Gant, that draw hatred from a normally supportive fan base in St. Louis, most of the fans continue to hate Colby Rasmus for his time in St. Louis and his inability to care.
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