Colby Rasmus sounded like he was reading from Charles Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" when asked to describe what it was like to step into the batter's box against Cory Rasmus on Monday.
"It was awesome and terrible at the same time," he said of facing his kid brother.
Ah, yes. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
The best because it meant that both players has made it as major leaguers (and how cool is that?), but it also the worst because one Rasmus had to win and the other had to lose. That's tough, especially with their parents (Tony, the dad, and Robin, the mom) and another brother (Cyle) attending in person at Toronto's Rogers Centre. It's a much different dynamic than the Upton brothers are experiencing as teammates this season, isn't it?
Colby Rasmus will never have such mixed feelings about a double to left field again.
In the majors for just 10 days, Cory Rasmus had a rough relief outing for the Atlanta Braves, also allowing a three-run home run to Edwin Encarnacion in a 9-3 loss to the Blue Jays. Having a brother allow a home run to a teammate also gave Colby (who is a year older than Cory), mixed emotions. Via the National Post:
Normally, a teammate’s homer would leave him elated. Encarnacion’s was different.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Colby said. “Definitely my gut kind of wrenched up a little bit. But that’s the game.”
Colby was the sixth batter Cory faced after he entered the game. The first four reached base. After Colby’s double, Cory settled down and retired five of six Jays.
“It was still awesome,” Cory said. “Me facing him – that was a lot of fun. It just sucks that he got a hit.”
Major league brothers faced each other as pitchers as recently as 2010, when Jered Weaver of the Angels pitched against Jeff Weaver of the Dodgers in the same game. But one brother as pitcher and the other as batter? That's happened less frequently. To the best of my research, the last time it happened was in 2007, when Ruddy Lugo of the Athletics twice faced Julio Lugo of the Red Sox.
The Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, Ga. — the Rasmus boys hometown paper — features a somewhat incomplete list of brother vs. brother, but also includes neat motherly opinions of Robin Rasmus and is worth your time to read. The Ledger-Enquirer notes the Lugo matchup, but also lists George and Ken Brett. The Bretts never faced each other in an at-bat, though it's not clear of the Ledger-Enquirer meant to say they did.
Baseball Almanac lists the brotherly pitching match-ups of major league history, and many of those include brotherly pitcher/batter confrontations because they happened in the National League. Pedro Martinez vs. Ramon Martinez; Now that would have been fun to watch. Alan Benes vs. Andy Benes, also.
Other famous in-game brotherly confrontations can be found in this helpful Bleacher Report post: Begin slideshow! It includes the time Joe Niekro homered against Phil Niekro. Now that's some bragging rights.