Quad Cities Bandits Notebook: 2012 Week 11

Catcher Casey Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals' Midwest League affiliate speaks as the club heads into the break.

The first half of the season has come to an end for the Quad Cities River Bandits. They finished the half one game over .500 at 35-34. The team was exactly .500 (18-18) on the road and 17-16 at home. If they had played the rained-out game on Saturday and lost, they would have finished at a perfect .500 overall, at home, and on the road. While the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers) and the Beloit Snappers (Twins) each clinched a spot in the West Division playoffs, the Bandits tied for third with the Peoria Chiefs (Cubs).

This was the first half-season in which the Bandits missed qualifying for the playoffs since 2009. It will be interesting to see who joins the team as the mid-season moves are made. Since the Bandits became a member of the Cardinals' system, the Cards have made 15 first-round draft picks. 14 of those played in Davenport for at least one game.

After being eliminated from first-half qualification, the Bandits started winning more games. Three of this week's five home games were won in walk-off fashion in front of big crowds. It was good to see the guys play well.

Tyler Rahmatulla was just promoted to Palm Beach, so I offer my congratulations to him. He leads the team in batting average and was in the top three in most other statistical categories. Colin Walsh had the most hits (76), triples (4), home runs (14), RBI (56), total bases (140), and had the highest SLG (.583) and OPS (.999) on the team. In my opinion, he deserves the next call to Palm Beach. Matt Williams and Luis Mateo have shown great improvement and skill this year as well. I hope the Cards provide some good talent to fill in behind these guys as they receive their just due.

This week I was able to talk with Casey Rasmus for a few minutes. It was almost like old times as I have had the privilege of knowing his parents and his brother over the years. When Quad Cities was a Twins affiliate, I was able to watch three Mauers play here, but that was all in one season. This is the first time that I've been able to watch the third member of a family play in that family's third season in Davenport. Dad Tony was here in the mid-1980's, brother Colby was here six years ago, and this year we are pleased to have the youngest of the Rasmus brothers behind the plate.

Jon Popham: Casey, where are you from?

Casey Rasmus: I grew up in Phenix City, Alabama.

JP: What school did you attend?

CR: For my junior year in college, I went to Liberty University. I kind of bounced around a little before that.

JP: What is your favorite meal?

CR: I'd have to go with chicken fingers.

JP: Describe your daily routine - what do you do to keep a level of excellence in your play?

CR: I get as good a night's sleep as I can, eat a good breakfast and a good lunch. Then I come to the field and get some hits and catch a couple of bullpens to stay in shape. That's about it.

JP: What's the worst thing about playing professional baseball?

CR: I'm in a position right now where I really don't feel that I have the luxury to say there is anything bad about it! I am very fortunate to be here!

JP: What's the best thing?

CR: Man, it's just a dream come true, I just need to make sure I get to keep moving along in that dream.

JP: What major league player do you emulate?

CR: I'd say my big brother, Colby Rasmus! He works hard and has a good work ethic and tries hard to do well, so yeah, I want to be like him!

JP: How did you get your start in baseball?

CR: Well, obviously it was my dad and my brothers. It's in my blood!

JP: Was it pretty competitive at your house?

CR: It was very competitive, but mostly at ping pong!

JP: What do you do in your down time?

CR: I listen to all kinds of music.

JP: Who on the team has a hidden talent?

CR: Hidden talent? I'd have to say that Colin Walsh is pretty good at ping pong.

JP: Is he good enough to play with the Rasmus brothers?

CR: We'll have to find out sometime.

JP: What's the most important thing you've learned so far this summer?

CR: You just have to stay positive. This can be a very negative game and you can't let it get to you. Just stay ahead of it and stay positive.

JP: Who in your life besides your dad and Colby inspires you to be great?

CR: That would be my brother Cyle.

JP: Is he the one who pitches for the Braves?

CR: Actually, Cyle is the one who just finished his fourth year of college.

JP: What part of your game has improved the most this summer?

CR: I think that defensively I've come a long way. I've always been pretty strong behind the plate but I feel that this year I've taken some good strides defensively.

JP: What part of your game are you working to improve?

CR: My offense. It can always get better. I need to be more consistent at the plate and keep the game out of my head.

JP: Who is the nicest guy on the team?

CR: That would be Neal Pritchard.

JP: Why do you say Neal?

CR: Ever since I met him early in Spring Training, I never heard him say a mean word about anybody - he's a really good guy.

JP: What's the best thing about living in Davenport?

CR: The best thing is just being able to wake up every day and come to Modern Woodmen Park.

JP: If you could go anywhere on vacation at the end of the season, where would you want to go?

CR: Oh, wow! Venice, Italy. I've always wanted to go there.

JP: Why Venice?

CR: It's all water, it would be awesome!

JP: What advice would you give to a ten-year-old who wants to quit baseball?

CR: Oh, don't quit! It's a hard game, it's a love/hate thing but it's a great game! It's a pleasure to get to play it!

JP: What do you want fans to know about you that they can't learn from reading your stats?

CR: That Nsync and the Backstreet Boys are pretty good! I bet that will surprise them!

JP: Thank you, Casey!

The team is on a four-day break for the All Star Festivities, then begin a six-day road trip on Friday at Peoria. By the time they return to Davenport, it's going to start feeling like the off-season again! If you have any questions or suggestions PLEASE message me on the forum!

Thanks for reading!

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