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Adam LaRoche, Duck Dynasty crew returns from USO Tour

Dec 14, 2013, 9:48 AM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Adam LaRoche returned from his nearly weeklong tour of U.S. military bases overseas yesterday, flying into Washington alongside Willie and Jep Roberston from Duck Dynasty and former Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light. Before each of them flew back home, they decided to meet with a few Nationals beat writers to discuss the experience.

I’ll have much more on that later today, including some of their most memorable stories and takeaways from the trip. We talked to them for over two hours at the Occidental Grill in downtown D.C., so there’s a lot of great stuff to go through.

As far as LaRoche goes, there are a few updates on him baseball-wise. For one, he recently met with Matt Williams at Nationals Park along with a few other players. LaRoche and Williams go back to their days in Arizona and know each other well. He was happy with the decision and was grateful for the Nats and their openness throughout the process. It sounds like they valued the opinions of some veterans on the team and the players are excited to get to work with him.

LaRoche said he will turn the page towards next season on January 16th, about a month before pitchers and catchers report. January 15th, he says, is the last day of deer season.

LaRoche’s elbow feels great after having a procedure on it earlier in the offseason and he thinks the team will be back in a big way. He loves the trade to acquire Doug Fister and the signing of Nate McLouth. He called McLouth, a former teammate, a serious guy who goes about his business the right way. He thinks he’ll fit in well.

The two had a phone conversation before McLouth decided to sign and LaRoche said he was honest with him. He told him the Nats are a great clubhouse to be in and said he would never lie to a player or exaggerate about something like that, especially to an ex-teammate and friend.

LaRoche hasn’t followed much news around the league as he’s been outdoors for much of the offseason. He knows what the Nationals are doing, but was surprised at some of the moves made around the NL East. He likes Rafael Furcal to the Marlins and said he has the best arm for a shortstop he’s ever seen. Furcal will play second base after having Tommy John surgery last year.

LaRoche is a friend of Tim Hudson’s, but knows it’s good for the Nationals that the veteran is now out of the division. He also said the Carlos Ruiz deal for the Phillies may not be that outrageous because he’s a tough opponent to have in the NL East.

Here’s a picture of the four of them at the Occidental Grill:

source:

From L to R: Jep Robertson, Adam LaRoche, Willie Robertson, Matt Light

  1. Eugene in Oregon - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    If Adam LaRoche is looking for one more nice contract, he’s got some added incentive to have a good ‘walk’ year. MLBTR’s list of 2015 off-season free agents just isn’t that impressive when it comes to first basemen:

    Billy Butler (29) ($12.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout)
    Michael Cuddyer (36)
    Corey Hart (33)
    Adam LaRoche (35) – $15MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout
    Adam Lind (31) – $7.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
    Mike Morse (33)
    Ty Wigginton (37)

    • Hiram Hover - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      Thanks, Eugene – that’s interesting to see. Hope it helps light a fire under him in 2014.

      Hard to see how the club would pick up the 2015 option. He’s very unlikely to be a candidate for a QO anyway, but the option and $2M buyout complicate that even further.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        I tend to agree, although it also raises the question of who else might be out there for the Nats to acquire if they let Adam LaRoche walk (which I suspect they will). Obviously, Tyler Moore is trying to work his way up the ladder into the starter’s job, but I have my doubts about him as a long-term replacement. And, equally obviously, there’s been a lot of speculation on this blog about moving Ryan Zimmerman or even Jayson Werth to 1B (although maybe not so soon). There are always, of course, trade options that may present themselves. So, I guess that’s a long, convoluted way of saying ‘we’ll see what happens’.

  2. Sonny G 10 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Good morning Eugene. Did it ever stop raining in Oregon (and Washington)? You probably got the early rainy season because I was out there.

    I thought it was funny that Adam said he would turn a new page to next season the day after deer season is over. That man loves to hunt.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      It did! In fact, once you departed the neighborhood, it turned into a fairly dry (at least in the Willamette Valley) autumn. Basically, I

      • Eugene in Oregon - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        Delete: “Basically, I” (not sure where that came from).

      • Sonny G 10 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        I seem to bring out strange weather patterns when I travel somewhere new. Maybe I’m like that little character in Peanuts that has a black cloud following him around overhead. :)

      • slidell2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        Comment to Sonny at 2:11- I believe you’re referring to Joe Btfsplk in Lil’ Abner.

  3. veejh - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Just focus on eating, Adam. Keep that weight up this offseason so you can crank 30 HRs again.

  4. David Proctor - Dec 14, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Sounds like Davey will go to Spring Training, after Williams convinced him.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2013/12/14/davey-johnson-hopes-to-come-to-nationals-spring-training/

    • Sonny G 10 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      Its good that he’s so respectful of the new guy.

  5. David Proctor - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    “There are always, of course, trade options that may present themselves. ”

    Keep an eye on Matt Adams of the Cardinals. If he has a good year, he’ll be traded. There’s no room for him. Right now, he’s playing 1B while Allen Craig plays RF. But eventually their top prospect Oscar Tavares will need to take over RF, moving Craig back to first. That leaves nowhere for Adams to play. He had an encouraging rookie season: .284/.335/.503 with 17 HR in only 108 games.

    If we move Zimmerman to first, Chase Headley will be available.

  6. Patricia carter - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    I really appreciate you all for taking the time to on tour to visit with the troops my son Jeffery Carter is in Afghanistan and I know he really appreciated you all coming and taking your time to spend with them. He said it made his whole deployment worth it. Thank you all for he enjoyed meeting you.God bless you all and have a merry Christmas my son want be home for Christmas but you all helped him feel like their thought of while serving our country.

  7. natsfan1a - Dec 15, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Thanks to your son for his service, ma’am.

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