Adam Laroche

Courtesy of Washington Post

Courtesy of Washington Post

Yes, I have been following this story closely.  And it is not going away any time soon.  The White Sox screwed up, badly, and it could hurt their prospects this season.  Adam is one of the most popular players in all of baseball, and his Sox teammates are supporting his clear moral-high-ground position that being a good father is more important than his baseball career or the $13 million he has left on the table!

Star White Sox pitcher Chris Sale has come out so strongly in support of LaRoche that rumors are now circulating that he may be traded.  The Sox fans are in an uproar, so revenue may be affected.  The team’s clubhouse chemistry, very important in baseball, has been permanently altered.

Laroche’s contract stipulated that Drake would be allowed into the clubhouse with his father.  During LaRoche’s 3 years with the Nationals, Drake was a popular fixture in the clubhouse and on the field.  So, the Sox have reneged on the agreement.

I hope the two sides will cool down and try once more to fix this!

 

Color Me Concerned

As we get closer to opening day, The Nats are now without their 4 best hitters from last year.  Span, Rendon, and Werth will not be able to play in the opener.  Laroach has been traded.  So their already suspect offense, could slide to “mediocre” at least for part of April.

Rendon worries me most, because knee ligaments can be very hard to rehabilitate.  I suspect the team may be withholding the full story on Anthony’s injury.

Further, I would put Tony Gwynn in CF until Span returns.  Michael Taylor is just not ready for major league pitching.  Ian Stewart and Clint (?) Robinson have really impressed me in Spring Training.

I am still spending huge amounts of time with moving to Gaithersburg, so have been unable to say much since the start of ST.

YES, The Nats can Beat the Good Teams!

They are 15-11 now against the National League’s pennant contenders.  They just won series against the Dodgers and Mariners.  Last night’s game was their absolute best of 2014.  Came from behind THREE times!  Adam LaRoach came off the trainer’s table in the 9th inning and proceeded to carry his team on his aching back!!

I won’t bother recounting all the twists and turns, but I wish the playoffs werre starting TODAY!  Readers very likely know most of the details, but I recommend Tom Boswell’s piece in the Wash. Post today, as well as Mark Zuckerman’s thing in Nats Insider.

As I left the restaurant with my 51/2 yr old grandson and his grandmother, Jason Werth was dropping the fly ball in the 9th inning.  For the next 21/2 hours I was glued to an FM radio in the grips of a game I will not forget!

Nats MVP

Unknown

Adam Laroche is, in my opinion, the team MVP for the first 81 games this year. He’s the best hitter on the team and a gold-glove first-baseman. Usually, when Nats pitchers get in a tight spot you see Adam going to the mound (and also Ian Desmond) to try to calm them down. And Adam is a big veteran influence in the dugout as well.

As for Bryce Harper’s comments on lineup changes to suit himself, I’m not going to waste space here. Matt Williams and the team veterans will deal with that:) Tom Boswell did in The Post today.

Watch this Whirling Darvish!

Watching Yu Darvish pitch on Sunday must have been like watching Michaelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel.  I was mezmerized, not able to take my eyes off the TV screen.  He has been called “the shape-shifting ace,” an apt description.  The Nats Greg Dobbs uttered “What can you say?”  Adam Kilgore said (Wash. Post of June 2) “He can be a flame thrower, tactician, or snake charmer, all in the same at-bat.”  After blazing a 95-mph fastball by Adam Laroche, he left Adam frozen (and struck out) by a 59-mph curveball.  Denard Spann (hitting over .400 in his last 29 games) was the only Nat with any success in the game, as Texas won 2-0.

Other Notes:  The Nats bullpen was ranked number one in baseball as of May 29.  And Soriano, Storen and Barrett are three of the top seven relief pitchers in all of MLB, with ERAs below 1.00.

This one was UGLY!

The game on April 17 was the Nats worst since before they got hot in August 2013.  I could see from their body language that by the fifth inning they had given up.  Starting pitching was supposed to be a team strong point, but it certainly hasn’t been this year. The starters’ ERA is near the bottom in all of baseball.  The Nats are losing the first two innings by a huge margin as their pitchers try to get comfortable with their pitches and feel for the release-point.  Manager Matt Williams stressed defense during Spring Training, but the team has more errors than any team in baseball right now.  He also emphasized aggressive base-running, and the Nats have only stolen one base thus far and their star third-baseman Ryan Zimmerman ran himself right onto the DL with a broken finger.  Adam Laroche has been thrown out at home three times already.  One wonders what the third-base coach is smoking when he keeps waving the slowest guy on the team towards home!  In 17 games I have stopped counting the base-running miscues.

After the game, knowing the manager had called a team meeting right after the last out, he was then asked by a sportswriter what they had discussed.  “That’s for me and my team to know” was his red-faced response.

I rest my case.

Adam Laroche, First Baseman, Nationals

Courtesy of Buck Commander

Courtesy of Buck Commander

The Nat’s first baseman, Adam Laroche, is an avid hunter. He is far from the only baseball player who spends much of his off-season tromping around the US outback trying to outsmart some big wild animals. But Adam makes a bigger challenge out of it by utilizing a bow and arrow! What’s more, he founded and co-owns the big-game hunting show “Buck Commander” on the Outdoor Channel. Adam recently described his “dream hunt” this way: “I would hunt grizzly bear with my bow and hopefully have my son (almost 12 year-old Drake) at my side.” One wonders what Drake’s mother as well as the Nats management would have to say about that!

Courtesy of Washington Post

Courtesy of Washington Post

Since Adam Laroche signed with the Nats in 2010, his son Drake has become a part of the team. During batting practice he can be seen flitting around the outfield chasing big-league flyballs and jumping up and down when he snags one in his black glove. He refers to Nats players like he would school recess buddies: Desi, Zim, Bryce, J-dub.

One day last Spring the Nats were out jogging and playing catch on a day that was unusually cold for Florida. A couple of the veterans came up with a novel solution to this “problem.” They asked Drake to represent the team’s wishes by going to then-manager Davey Johnson and persuading him to let the team do indoor workouts that day. Drake took on the task calmly and convinced Johnson to bring the team in out of the cold! Later, when a reporter heard the story, he pulled Davey aside and asked him how “the kid’ had pulled off the feat. Davey chuckled as he replied “the kid should be the team’s representative to the Players Association; he gave me no
option.”

On the day in Sept. 2012 that the Nats clinched the National League East title, while most of the team was guzzling beer, Drake was in the corner with the other underage kid in the clubhouse, Bryce Harper, sipping apple cider.

Adam Laroche himself grew up in big league clubhouses. His father Dave pitched in the majors until Adam was 4, and then became a coach with the Chicago White Sox.