I watched in horror yesterday as the Atlanta Braves' first baseman, Adam LaRoche, failed to tag out the Washington Nationals', Nick Johnson, in the fifth inning. To add insult to injury, the Nationals scored four runs on two outs. Furthermore, LaRoche will be benched today as Brian Jordan will start at first base.
As my family members were going nuts and shaming LaRoche for his 'laziness', I gave him grace. I was disgusted as fans were booing LaRoche. Sure, we all make mistakes. We all do dumb things that we wish were magically taken away. But let's really examine this situation for a moment...
Did LaRoche's mistake cost the Braves the game, yesterday?
No, it did not. The Braves only mustered 1 lousy run against a lacklaster Washington team. If we compare apples to apples, the Chicago White Sox came from a 7-run deficit, last night, to beat the Minnesota Twins, 9-7. Yes baseball fans, it can be done, so stop your whining.
Was LaRoche the only Braves player to appear 'lazy' during the game?
Nope. I counted two incidents where the Braves should have made a double-play, and didn't 'cause they were too slow. Not only that, but Braves pitcher, John Thomson, should have regained composure and retired the side. No excuses.
Did LaRoche own up to his mistake and take responsibility for his laziness?
Yes he did! He not only apologized to his team members, but told Braves Manager, Bobby Cox, to bench him for a week. Most big-headed, pompous athletes would never do that.
Today, most people are judging Adam LaRoche for simply who he is: A professional baseball player who cost the Braves a ball game. But Adam LaRoche is much more than that. He's a responsible person and humble enough to know he can and will do better in the future.