With the season drawing to a frustrating close, I think its time to turn to more esoteric and personal subjects. I know the community has discussed the man in great detail, but I wanted to put together a brief fanpost highlighting one of the Cardinals yeomen warriors, Mr. Jason Larue.
First, a discussion of Jason Larue's baseball career. Jason has played for eleven years on three different clubs: the Cincinnati Reds, the Kansas City Royals, and the Saint Louis Cardinals. In that time, he covered the plate for 922 games, managed 96 homeruns, 348 RBI and maintained an average of .231. His best season came with the Red Legs in 2005, when he worked his average up to .260, and belted 14 homeruns and 60 RBI.
Larue's strength however, has always been his defensive value. As a catcher, Larue caught 34.5% of baserunners attempting to steal. He served as the primary catcher for the Reds, and proved himself to be an able backup for Yadier Molina in his service with the Cardinals (he had the dubious honor of serving as Todd Wellemeyer's catcher for a time).
He has been a cost-affordable team player. His biggest payday came in 2007, when as a player for the Kansas City Royals, he finished his final contract year for $5.45 Million. In his last year with the Cardinals, he is making $950K.
On a more personal front, Jason was born in March 1974 in Houston TX. His knickname is "Rusty" (although I've long thought of him as "porn-stache" for his remarkable facial fur). His entry music when coming to bat was "Country Boy Can Survive" by Hank Williams Jr. He currently lives in Bulverde, TX with his wife Heather and his three sons Tyler, Dylan, and Braden.
Larue also was by all accounts a positive presence in the clubhouse, regardless of his teams. He was back in St. Louis this year because ownership felt he offered the best balance of talent and steadiness. John Mozeliak commented during spring training that "Obviously, he's a very popular player on our team - one that was respected - and it just seemed to make the most sense."
Finally, I considered discussing Jason's career-ending injury against the Reds and Johnny Cueto. But in the end, I decided against it. My reasoning is that the Cardinals, including Jason, have all acted professionally about the affair. And the truth is that no further amount of complaining will change the past. A pitcher lashed out, striking another ball player with his cleats, and the end result was a career-ending concussion.
BUT. I will offer this thought. Jason Larue gave several years (arguably his best baseball years) to the Reds organization. That one of their players ended that career maliciously is unfortunate at best, and a tragedy at worst. As for Mr. Cueto... the GOBs observed your actions that day, and know the truth of the matter. In time, you will reap what you have sown.
THANKS JASON, FOR A SOLID CAREER. CARDINALS FANS SALUTE YOU!