The Brendan Ryan trade has been a bigger deal in St. Louis than it has in Seattle. In Seattle, Ryan's just a light-hitting glove-first middle infielder that the team acquired on the cheap. In St. Louis, though, Ryan was well-liked by much of the fan base, and his departure has raised a lot of questions about just who's running the organization. Rumor had it that Tony La Russa wasn't a big fan of Ryan, and there were concerns that the trade was an indication that La Russa was pulling the strings.
From the sounds of things, though, it wasn't just La Russa who had a problem with the guy. Kyle Lohse went on area radio back in December and intimated that Ryan's behavior was something less than professional. And Ryan Franklin took things one step further on radio today, saying that Ryan was very often late for team buses and batting practice and things of that nature. And that's the sort of thing that can rub your teammates the wrong way.
"We liked him, but you know what, just the things he done - did it too many times."
Franklin kept repeating the word "tardy", and when he was asked a little later on whether the trade had to do with the opinion of the players or the opinion of the management, his answer was "both". It seems people were generally fond of Brendan Ryan as a person, but they'd had enough of his behavior.
Which, well, I don't know how to interpret that, and neither do you. It certainly isn't a good thing, and it explains why Ryan was so readily available. It appears he has some shaping up to do, and he's been in the league long enough to know better. Lohse said he doesn't think Ryan's ever going to learn. But then, it's possible that the trade to Seattle was a wake-up call. Just because Ryan was one way before doesn't mean he'll be that way in the future. There is a certain likelihood, but change-of-scenery trades are made for a reason.
So we'll see if the Mariners are able to get Ryan more motivated. It'd be nice if they could, since there's a fair amount of talent in there. In the meantime, perhaps the most interesting angle in here is that Ryan is a scrappy white middle infielder who didn't give 110% every minute of every day. Was he the exception, or is it actually the case that a number of them are lackadaisical frauds? Important questions.