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LaRoche is back in the saddle

Feb 16, 2013, 12:23 PM EDT

VIERA, Fla. — When last seen wearing a curly W cap, Adam LaRoche was among those inside a sullen clubhouse at Nationals Park, the sting of a Game 5 collapse to the Cardinals in the NLDS overwhelming all other emotions.

LaRoche's dismay could have been compounded by the possibility he had just played his final game as a National, his free agency future unclear. The veteran first baseman, though, insists that thought didn't cross his mind in that moment.

"No, at the end of the year, I didn't think anything of it," he said. "As a matter of fact, I left my stuff in D.C. I just assumed we'd work something out and I'd be back."

The path toward a new contract was perhaps longer and more complicated than he expected, but LaRoche ultimately worked out a two-year, $24 million deal to return. And yesterday morning, heRead more »

  1. Steady Eddie - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    ALR, glad to have you back. You're a Steady Eddie kind of player — and I don't mean me — which is a great balancing factor on a team so full of youthful energy.

  2. Rabbit34 - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    He left his clothes in Washington because that way he would only have to move them once or not at all. Washington was his fall-back team after he exhausted all other possibilities. I'm glad he is here, but I don't believe for an instant that we were his first choice. "new teams calling and saying: 'Hey, just want you to know, we'd love to do something, but we can't afford to give that up.' So it got frustrating."Yes, frustrating, so he ended up not having to move his clothes after all.

  3. TimDz - Feb 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Rabbit34…MUST you always find a cloud in a silver lining?

  4. DaveB - Feb 16, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Rabbit …He made it clear that he really wanted a 3-4 year contract. Once that wasn't an option, I absolutely believe the Nats were his first choice. I can't fault him for that at all.

  5. MicheleS - Feb 16, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    And I am happy. Mike/Davey, just let me know when you want the JW Blue

  6. BigCat - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    If Adam got away from us, it would of been a major screw up on Rizzo's part. Rizzo played hardball, and it paid off……..this time.

  7. NCNatsie - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    If you win both the Silver Slugger and the Gold Glove, you should be the best at your position, right? Is Uncle Adam considered the best first baseman in the National League by GM's, etc, or is he somehow underrated in spite of the awards? Or is it just that his avuncular personality makes his just blend in somehow, without standing out? It's hard to think of him as Albert Pujols' successor. But I'm really glad we've got him, that's fer sure, fer sure.

  8. Tony - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Mike Morse was named #85 on MLB Network's list of the top 100 players right now. So far they've only revealed nos. 81-100. So where do we expect LaRoche to show up on this list? He didn't make their list of top ten first basemen a few weeks ago.

  9. NatsLady - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    Signs of spring…. just got my MLB.tv renewal in my email box. Yep, it's a-comin'.

  10. Doc - Feb 16, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    The story of Davey Johnson as a baseball manager by day, and a cattle rustler by night, starring Charlie Sheen–maybe ALR could be the money guy/executive producer!

  11. DWS - Feb 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    I believe somebody mentioned Chicken Little a few posts ago. How true. I'm just going to sit back and watch a VERY good team play baseball. It's been quite a few years since "my" team was described that way. Enjoy it.

  12. natsfan1a - Feb 16, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Nice title, Mark. The song even has a kinda sorta baseball connection (aka Six Degrees of Gene Autry). ;-)

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