Colby Rasmus on why he left baseball — and why he’s back

Tampa Bay Rays' Colby Rasmus, right, celebrates in front of Toronto Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile after hitting a two-run home run off Marco Estrada. (Chris O'Meara/AP)

It looks like we haven’t seen the last of Colby Rasmus in the major leagues.

The outfielder is, in his own words, “jumping on this roller coaster again,” with a training camp invitation in hand after signing a minor-league deal with the Baltimore Orioles earlier this month.

Rasmus, who spent almost four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays from 2011 to 2014, walked away from the game last summer with little explanation. His team at the time, the Tampa Bay Rays, placed him on the restricted list, leaving many to speculate whether it was Rasmus’ ongoing hip injury issues that caused him to “step away from baseball.”

Now that he’s back, the 31-year-old shed some light on his departure from the game during an interview with Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Man, it wasn’t fulfilling me with all the happiness in the world,” Rasmus told Goold. “It’s always been that love-hate relationship. That’s how it is with every player. All of my life it’s all I’ve been around. I realized that even more when I went home. That’s about the only thing I’m good at. Or, that I could get lost in.”

While he didn’t share many details about his brief hiatus, the father of three (his third child and first son was born in December) said he spent time on his Alabama farm, working on ongoing projects, and going back to his baseball roots at a local baseball facility.

“At the end of the day money can’t buy back those kind of things,” Rasmus said. “I’ve learned that in my day. Chasing the dream, chasing the money – leaves you kind of empty. So I wanted to go home and just enjoy the time away.”

In nine MLB seasons with St. Louis, Toronto, Houston and Tampa Bay, Rasmus has batted .242 with 165 home runs and has registered four seasons with 20 or more home runs.

“I’m obviously not 20 anymore, and spry,” he said, also noting that he missed “the camaraderie of the boys, the nitty gritty of it all.”

Rasmus was hitting .281 and had nine home runs and 23 RBIs in 37 games for the Rays before deciding it was time to go home.

“I was playing good baseball last year. Still feel like I can play some good baseball,” he said. “Just felt like I wanted to give it another go. I had a little bit to give.”

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