Mar 7, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Adam LaRoche signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Nats this winter.
The Nationals’ new first baseman, like the Nationals’ old first baseman, is a left-handed-swinging, power-hitting, country boy named Adam whose easy-going personality makes him a well-respected and popular clubhouse figure.
But let’s make this clear: Adam LaRoche is NOT Adam Dunn, nor does he intend to try to fill those large shoes he now occupies.
“We have two different styles, and we’ve both had success doing it the way we do it,” LaRoche said last week inside the Nats’ clubhouse in Viera. “I’m not going to step into a new team and try to change who I am or the way I play the game just to fit somebody else’s approach. He just happens to the be guy who was there before me.”
True enough, though the guy who was there before LaRoche was supremely popular, and his departure over the winter was the source of much anguish among a fan base that begged the organization to re-sign him at every opportunity.
But what’s Dunn is done, and while the Big Donkey blasts 40 homers this year for the White Sox, LaRoche will attempt simply to do what he’s done throughout his career: Play a consistent brand of baseball in all aspects of the game.
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