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Team Tony vs. Team Colby – What about Team Cardinals?

Fans are taking sides in support of the St. Louis Cardinals manager or his centerfielder, but what about the team?

Tony La Russa and Colby Rasmus (AP/David Kohl)Sunday, September 5 was a sad day for the St. Louis Cardinals as long-standing internal matters became external, tarnishing the image of one of baseball’s proudest franchises.

We read about claims and counterclaims by player Colby Rasmus and his manager Tony La Russa. With fans already upset over the unraveling of the once-promising 2010 season, this latest news that Rasmus has allegedly made multiple requests to be traded has caused increasing polarization.

Team Tony vs. Team Colby.

One group would like to see the outfielder dealt away while the other doesn’t want the manager to return. They have their reasons and arguments, sharpened over time, and likely feel so strongly about them that their opinions aren’t going to change.

Superstar Albert Pujols weighed in, stating that if Rasmus doesn’t want to play for the Cardinals, then he hopes the second-year player can be accommodated. Further, the first baseman wished out loud that the matter had never reached the media.

Putting aside whether or not one thinks those comments are appropriate, the basic message is hard to argue with.

It should apply to the manager, too.

These individuals, Rasmus and La Russa, have become a major distraction, drawing focus to themselves and away from the greater good of the team. All over baseball, the Cardinals are being discussed – in non-complimentary tones.

Something has to change, and change in a substantive manner, not just window-dressing. They either need to pull together or be pulled together. On the other hand, if differences are truly irreconcilable, then the franchise needs to part ways with one or all – before it is pulled apart.

The team is the constant, not the individuals. Players come and go and so do managers, even future Hall of Famers.

The Cardinals have survived before and they will again.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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