Originally posted on The Cardinal Nation blog  |  Last updated 12/28/11
Colby Rasmus headed into his third season with the St. Louis Cardinals holding down a full-time job in centerfield but also still carrying the expectations that came with being a former first-round draft pick and a three-time organizational Minor League Player of the Year. He also had supposedly put past skirmishes with manager Tony La Russa behind him. As 2011 unfolded, Rasmus’ highs seemed higher but his lows also appeared to be lower and more prolonged. For example, in the early going, the then-24-year-old endured a 116 at-bat streak without a long ball. The left-handed hitter batted .253 in May, fell to .213 in June and was .147 (5-for-34) in July when La Russa unloaded on the 10th. The frustrated manager made it clear in an interview on KMOX Radio that his hitting coaches should not be held responsible for Rasmus’ troubles at the plate, suggesting the player’s outside assistance should be accountable. One of the final shots had been fired in a stormy relationship that began with Rasmus
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