I’m not here to talk about how Boomhauer – I mean, Colby Rasmus, is becoming the hitter that a lot of people thought he’d be when the Blue Jays acquired him from St. Louis last season. We all know that already. He’s been hitting the ball well and his numbers are starting to reflect that. Remember that game in Milwaukee last week?
Colby’s resurgence has to do with a few things. Richard Griffin talks about how he’s fitting in better, because Richard Griffin knows everything that’s going on in the clubhouse. However, this seems to be a common theme, that the Blue Jays are letting Colby be Colby. Joanna at Hum and Chuck captured the best of Tony Rasmus, Colby’s dad, who says essentially the same thing, and takes the opportunity, several times, to rip on St. Louis. Tony is also leaving Colby pretty much alone, which is quite possibly in large part due to the fact that he’s terrified of Toronto. Colby himself even sat down for a 10-minute interview with Sportsnet.
On the baseball side, Colby changed his mechanics at the plate, which has been effective. Drew at Drunk Jays Fans… sorry, DJF… showed us all about this.
Also, while it’s hard to measure, Colby has been hitting the ball hard most of the season. At FanGraphs, you can see that his line drive numbers are up over his 2009-2011 numbers, and his fly ball numbers are down quite a bit from that same period.
Now, that’s all well and good, and it looks like the Blue Jays centre fielder of the future is actually their centre fielder of the future. What I’m telling you is that Colby Rasmus is on the precipice of something bigger – he’s about to become a cult hero in Toronto. That means there are going to be groups of Colby fans around the city and in the stands at the Rogers Centre that make other fans go “what is wrong with those fuckin’ guys?” Being one of these heroes isn’t necessarily a good thing. Things haven’t always ended well for these athletes in this city, but on occasion, the unusual is embraced, accepted and revered. And Colby is unusual. As I mentioned in a previous post, he really talks funny, too. He has a lot of hair. Also, he rarely smiles. But he’s about to own the city, whether he likes it or not.
When I say cult hero, I’m not talking about Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, or Carlos Delgado. I’m not talking about Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark or Mats Sundin. I’m definitely not talking about Roy Halladay. Even if he becomes the best player on the 2012 team, the majority of fans are going to gravitate to Jose Bautista, Brett Lawrie or Ricky Romero. Colby Rasmus is not going on Twitter, however. I can’t find the Tweet, but his teammates have assured us that he wants nothing to do with the dang ol’ internet. In my mind, that will only help his cause as an antihero.
Colby is about to be David Cone, with the groups of Coneheads in the stands. He’s going to be like Kelly Gruber, whose fans loved him to the end, even when he was terrible, but who still remember the mullet and the slide into home in the 1992 World Series. To use a hockey analogy, he’ll be Darcy Tucker, whose antics showed the “heart” and “passion” that people love to talk about, for some reason. Tucker was never really that great, but don’t tell that to fans of the Leafs’ 1999 and 2002 playoff runs.
Maybe, just maybe, they’ll write a song about him like they did for Mookie Wilson. Do I ever hope so. I’ll bet it’ll be a country song. It could be a rap though, like it was for another centre fielder, Lloyd Moseby. Songmakers, I will leave it to you, just know that Colby’s day in Toronto is coming – and he might have some staying power. Update: With his grand slam today in Miami, it just might already be here.