Cardinals Concession?

Draft, Fantasy/Roto, Free Agents, Games, Hall Of Fame, Management, Media, MLB Trade Deadline, Players, Trade Rumors

The Colby Rasmus trade is being chalked up to a blame-game on either Colby’s father Tony Rasmus, manager Tony LaRussa or both.

Tony Rasmus went on another tangent yesterday, mostly aimed at LaRussa.

Who’s to blame is largely irrelevant. Colby Rasmus is no longer a Cardinals player; Tony Rasmus is no longer a Cardinal gadfly; everyone can move on.

In the middle of his tirade, Tony Rasmus brought up an interesting point with the following from the linked piece in the Toronto Sun:

Jeff Luhnow, the Cards’ vice-president of player procurement, made Rasmus his first pick in the 2005 draft, causing La Russa, according to Tony Rasmus, to “make cracks how Colby was Luhnow’s boy and that led to (former GM) Walt Jocketty leaving.”

There was a known rift between the Cardinals front office and LaRussa when Luhnow’s stat-based influence began to take hold. No longer did the organization defer to the teachings of LaRussa and his pitching coach Dave Duncan; ownership wanted to head in the direction of the stat “revolution” and eventually forced Jocketty out because of it.

LaRussa has had to play politics since then to get everything he wanted—something that would’ve been relatively automatic under Jocketty—and he’s been quite adept at it.

So you can understand the Rasmuses being a pawn in this struggle.

One has to wonder where the Cardinals are going with this as they’ve traded their most marketable young position player for a somewhat questionable return.

Are they going all-in now with the looming possibility of Albert Pujols leaving? With LaRussa going year-to-year and his continuing as Cardinals manager likely tied to Pujols staying or going? Are they consciously saying to themselves, “Look, if Pujols and LaRussa leave, we’re more than likely gonna hafta tear the whole thing down anyway and we’ll be terrible for 3-5 years, so let’s go for it now,”?

They’d never admit it publicly, but judging by the decisions that are being made now, it’s not a hard assessment to make.

In a way, it makes sense, but I’d have an ominous sense of foreboding for 2012 and beyond if I were a Cardinals fan. They’d better win in 2011 because if the worst case scenario happens, they’re not going to be a contender for quite awhile after this year.