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Nats 1B Adam LaRoche to join USO Holiday Tour

Dec 7, 2013, 1:22 PM EST

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Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche will soon embark on a once in a lifetime opportunity, taking part in the 2013 USO Holiday Tour organized by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey.

LaRoche will join a group of celebrities including stars of the reality show ‘Duck Dynasty,’ Jep and Willie Robertson, as well as former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light. Dempsey will lead them on a tour through four countries spanning seven days as they travel to five different military venues overseas. They will meet with members of the military as they remain on duty during the holiday season.

Last year Nationals players Ross Detwiler and Craig Stammen participated in the tour and spoke fondly of their experience. Dempsey visited them at Nationals Park during the 2013 season and is a big fan of the team. He also threw out the first pitch before Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS in Washington.

This is Dempsey’s third USO tour as the Chairman. The partnership between the USO and the Joint Chiefs of Staff dates back to 2000.

Also going on the tour are Grammy award winning singer Bridget Kelly, comedian Thomas ‘Nephew Tommy’ Miles and former correspondent for NBC’s The Voice, Alison Haislip.

Also, please check out these other links from

Phillies hoping to trade closer Jonathan Papelbon

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MLB Network’s Sean Casey: Doug Fister is ‘huge for the Nationals’

  1. Joe Seamhead - Dec 7, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I hope that they keep Adam well fed!

  2. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Atta way, Adam.

  3. Sonny G 10 - Dec 7, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Thanks Adam. I’m sure our troops will enjoy seeing you there.

  4. David Proctor - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Jayson Stark ‏@jaysonst 1m
    Now that #Nationals have reeled in Fister & McLouth, seem to be turning attention to backup C & LH relief. A name to watch: Eric O’flaherty

    • David Proctor - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      That makes it sound like we’re done working on the bench. That would be a little disappointing. I really want Eric Chavez. He’s a perfect fit.

      Of course, as we know, Rizzo could be doing a lot of things behind-the-scenes.

      • nats128 - Dec 7, 2013 at 8:08 PM

        Certainly sounds that way however Jayson Stark may be giving his own opinion not any directive from Rizzo.

      • Theophilus T.S. - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        Chavez is not in the cards. He was a possible LH bat but (A) they have acquired McLouth; (B) Chavez plays neither 2B or SS. The Nats need, still, a catcher, a UT who can play the middle IF and one (or two) RH bats (depending on who the UT is). I don’t see Chavez fitting in, plus I think his salary expectations would be beyond Rizzo’s comfort zone.

      • David Proctor - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        We need a backup corner IF. Chavez fills that role. We’re also allowed to have two lefty bats as we have the past two years.

    • davebinmd - Dec 7, 2013 at 7:40 PM

      O’Flaherty is coming-off Tommy John surgery and won’t be available until June 1. One thing we’ve seen with guys returning from TJ surgery is that their ‘stuff’ (control and movement on their pitches) takes longer to come back than their ability to simply throw at their former velocity. This could be a lost year for O’Flaherty, from a results perspective.

      • unkyd59 - Dec 8, 2013 at 6:58 AM

        Daveb, it may be less of an issue for a reliever… It seems to me that we’ve seen the TJ guys have trouble in the middle innings, more than anything else… Perhaps the last part of recovery has to do with endurance…? Just thinking aloud, and maybe misremembering….

      • veejh - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        O’Flaherty is a wild card. We need to stay away from wild cards this season.

  5. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 7, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    “Of course, as we know, Rizzo could be doing a lot of things behind the scenes.”

    I think that’s a safe bet, pretty much on any given day.

    Interesting about LaRoche going on the tour. I had the impression he was more of a taciturn sort, not much for speaking to crowds, but what do I know?

  6. Manassas Nats Fan - Dec 7, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    Thanks Adam for helping those who serve.

    • David Proctor - Dec 7, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Long time no see, MNF! You and Swami have both surfaced lately after being gone for a while. Offseason.

  7. scnatsfan - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Assuming the pitching holds up, ALR will be the make it guy for this team

  8. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Hey, I found out where the Legion went–they’ve been running the Mariners all this time!

    Dysfunction at the top
    (h/t mlbtr)

    • Sonny G 10 - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:30 PM

      Good one, Sofa. What a nightmare for the Mariners. Kind of reminds me of some job situations my wife has been in before she retired, and that my daughter is currently in. It really hurts.

  9. edshelton2013 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Here are the BA and OBP from last year for Kilgore’s projected bench:
    McLouth .258/.329
    Solano .146/.180
    Espinosa .216/.280
    Moore .222/,260
    Hairston .191/.237

    That’s depressing. Mr. Rizzo, you had a great week–now get back to work!

    • nats128 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      If those were starters its bad. I also dont think Solano will be the backup catcher.

      At least Espinosa can play defense.

      McLouth and Espinosa look like the only parts that fit so far.

  10. natsjackinfl - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Just went over to the WaPo site and read the comments on Kilgore’s post this morning. Man, it sure is sad to see all the totally dysfunctional trolls that frequent that site.

    Have to very thankfull to have this place of refuge to share All-Things-Nats with so many insightful commentors.

    • nats128 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      A +1 on that!

    • Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      I agree, Jack, but I still find this new format to be very clunky to navigate sometimes. Not just not being able to edit, or delete, but trying to go through and read responses from earlier posts, especially on a long, busy thread. That said, I miss a few posters that never seemed to have made the transition to the new site, but there are several more that i don’t miss at all.

      As to the Nats bench, Solano is at present my biggest concern. He is actually not too bad defensively, but he can’t seem to hit worth a lick. I would love to hear that Danny Espinosa actually not only listens to some batting instructors, but actually follows through with their suggestions on his approach at the plate. I’m thrilled on the McLouth pickup, not just for his OF prowess, but for his ability to give us a pinch runner to manufacture a run.
      I’m still not too excited about Scott Hairston, but he isn’t likely to be going anywhere, so just hope the Matt Williams can utilize what strengths he has. As to Tyler Moore? He either plays 1b or he doesn’t play at all. Not feeling very sure that he can produce as a part time bench/pinch hitter guy.

      And on Fister, I am excited that there will be a pitcher that knows how to hold runners. This is an area that the Nats have been not just awful at, but seemingly didn’t put one iota of concern into. My only gripe with McCatty.

  11. Theophilus T.S. - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    They aren’t paying McLouth $5MM to be a pinch runner.

    • Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      I didn’t say that they got him to be a pinch runner. I said it that in addition to his OF prowess, I was thrilled that he was a good baserunner, that could be used to manufacture a run. He likely wasn’t signed to be an everyday starter either.

      • Joe Seamhead - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        And I’ll gamble that he will be used as a pinch runner late in some games that he doesn’t start when it is prudent to utilize his talents as a baserunner.

    • davebinmd - Dec 8, 2013 at 5:22 PM

      Interesting info. and write-up on McLouth, although the writer of that piece discredits himself a bit by not knowing that Bernadina has already been playing for another team for a while now. Yep, I’d say that’s “as good as gone”, lol.

  12. veejh - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Was a big fan of O’Flaherty when he was healthy. I think we should stay away from these Tommy John pitchers. I think we already have enough of them on our roster. How effective is he going to be once he comes back, anyways? Wild card all the way, and considering the problems we had last season with a lack of lefty bullpen arms, I don’t think this is the right move.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Of course, there are no guarantees on anybody, especially with surgery, but they are getting much better at this one.

      From WebMD (last line), which I assume to be a disinterested source on TJ recovery:

      “About 75% to 85% of today’s patients can expect to return to, or even exceed, their previous level of competition.”

      • davebinmd - Dec 8, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        I expect O’Flaherty to return to his old form, the question is how long it will take. As I noted before, I would be surprised if his ‘feel’ returns as fast as his velocity does.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      Now, hand injuries from punching your locker during a hissy fit–that may be a dicier prognosis.

  13. DaveB - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I think we need one really strong, proven lefty (e.g., a JP Howell type, or perhaps a trade). I don’t think it makes sense to sign an additional lower tier or “wild card” option, given that Det will be competing for the 5th starter position, but with a significant possibility that he could also be showing up in the pen right about the same time that O’Flahertty is getting healthy..

  14. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Hey everyone – just drove 6+ hours heading home when we decided to punt and pulled into the lovely Roanake Rapids NC.

    Several thoughts after reading through the comments.
    1. Thanks to Adam for giving of his time and I hope he gets back as much as he gives on this project.
    2. Natsjack is correct – you really don’t realize how intelligent or unintelligent other sites are until you read comments. There are a couple of other blogs that Mark lists on the right that also have excellent discourse. I have never read a troll on Nats Prospects and the views on Nats Arm Race are also A+.
    3. I found where our “friend” has moved – was looking at comments under an article on MASN by Dan Kolko and there he was. Different name but still pumping up Espinosa as the next coming and railing for C. Brown over McClouth.
    4. The more I think about the bench, the more Eric Chavez makes sense. I am pretty sure he can play both corners, you can start Tyler Moore playing full-time in AAA and see how he develops. Espinosa can handle SS & 2nd. You have McClouth able to play all 3 outfield positions and I guess Hairston stays as the right handed bat. I still like Buck as the backup catcher but I agree we need an upgrade from Solano.
    5. I would continue to spend my owners money and try to land both Howell and O’Flahery. Takes the pressure off O’Flaherty to rush back and gives us a solid option during the game before handing it over to Clip, Storen and Soriano.

    Guess I am stuck with watching that pointy ball for awhile.

    Go Nats!!

    • davebinmd - Dec 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

      Hello sjm308,

      I’m an escapee from the Nats official message board myself.

      I also stopped by the MASN site and tried to give someone a reality check on Espinosa under that Kolko article, sounds like one of them must have been the ‘friend’ from this site that you referred to. There were a couple of posters who had lost any trace of objectivity where Espi was concerned.

  15. David Proctor - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 8m
    Sources: #Nationals making strong run at free-agent LH reliever O’Flaherty.

    • David Proctor - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:32 PM

      Dan Kolko ‏@masnKolko 8s
      O’Flaherty’s coming off TJ surgery. Might not be available ’til May, but per source w/ knowledge of #Nats thinking “TJ doesn’t scare Rizzo”.

  16. scnatsfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    Just stopped by the MASN site. Someone posting there sounded very familiar.

  17. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I have no problem with the Nats signing Mr. O’Flaherty now if — repeat if — they’re signing him and treating him as, essentially, an early mid-season or trade-deadline-type acquisition. I assume the Nats would be getting some sort of discount and/or loading the contract with incentives as opposed to guaranteed money. But please don’t let his signing (assuming it even happens) preclude signing a top-flight LH reliever (like J.P. Howell) who would be available from day one of the regular season.

    • David Proctor - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Absolutely agree that they need to sign someone who will be ready from Day 1.

  18. David Proctor - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Adam Kilgore ‏@AdamKilgoreWP now
    Heard J.P. Howell was Nats’ top lefty relief target to start the winter, but differed on length of contract. Logan, Downs other top names.

  19. sjm308 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    I want both lefties but also read Howell wants 3 years which the Dodgers balked at.

    • unkyd59 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      I think I would give him 3 years….

      • nats128 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        Rizzo doesnt even like 2 year contracts for relievers however he did do that for Soriano.

  20. scnatsfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I can’t see us signing 2 lefties. O’Flaherty has the higher upside but can we go the first couple of months without him? I think if you can you sign him and try to get a team option for the second year.

    You wonder if a package including Brown, mattheus and Kobernus in it can fetch a backup catcher.

    • nats128 - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:45 PM

      The Nats have fringe players to trade however as mentioned by several Corey Brown doesnt have options which decreases his trade value. He will most likely become a casualty of the numbers and a team will pick him up on a Minor League contract with a invite to Spring Training. That will buy him another year.

      I think Zach Walters could have value to an American League team.

  21. David Proctor - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Ladson reporting that we’ve expressed interest in John Buck as backup catcher. Also some very interesting comments from a scout about Espinosa:

    “In 2011, Espinosa hit a career-high 21 home runs, and the talent evaluator believes that number got to his head.

    “He has that long upper-cut swing,” the talent evaluator said. “He has to shorten his swing in order to make more contact. He has to realize that the pitchers can tell what his weaknesses are. They don’t have to throw him a strike to get him out. He doesn’t make consistent contact. He has to realize that the pitchers have made an adjustment and he has to make an adjustment. He has made no adjustments since he has been in the big leagues.””

    • nats128 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      SMH. Do we need scouts to tell us that? I’ve read a few here who have been writing that since 2011.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM

        I owe you one of those virtual beers.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      An awful lot of ‘talent evaluators’ who frequent this site could have said essentially the same thing — in fact, many already have said that (some more and some less politely).

      • nats128 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        Eugene, I like virtual beers. That quote almost seems verbatim to comments that have been written here. Sure, nice to see it backed up by the paid “talent evaluators”. Why is NI so great? Becuz we have posters that really do have the eye of scouts.

      • veejh - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:37 PM

        nats128….let’s not get carried away here. It’s easy to play GM from a computer.

      • scnatsfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:56 PM

        I believe anyone who has seen Espi play these last two years easily sees he hasn’t made adjustments while living the credo chicks dig the long ball and has said it multiple times in multiple posts. Perhaps we are owed some money as scouts.





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