PITCHING IN

     Come out to the ballpark and it’s almost guaranteed that each and every day, you’ll see something different or out of the ordinary.  That would have  been the case on Sunday at McCoy, when third baseman, Andy LaRoche pitched the top of the fourteenth inning for the PawSox and WON.  LaRoche allowed a hit, but no runs in the 5-4 victory over Buffalo.  LaRoche laughed when he was introduced as Sundays’ winning pitcher.  “It’s a little funny, but good to hear, because I was 0-5 in the game.  It’s good that I was able to help us win.” 

     Andy had pitched and won a game once before, in 2011 with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League.  He says he could have continued longer if Nate Spears hadn’t homered to end the marathon.  “I had one more inning for sure left in me.  If they needed me after that, I probably could have just thrown it up there.  But I could’ve actually pitched one more inning.”  Despite the smile on his face, LaRoche admitted that he was more sore than usual.  “Pretty sore.  My back and shoulder are more sore than usual.  Last year, in the same situation, I could barely move for about two or three days.  I took precaution yesterday, sat in the ice bath for about twenty minutes after the game.”

     Athletes want to sing.  Singers want to act.  Actors want to play ball.  Do position players want to be pitchers, and vice versa?  “I’m happy being a position player, but it’s always fun to go out there and pitch.  It’s like it’s fun for a pitcher to play a position or hit.  You don’t always want to do the other job, but it is fun to get the opportunity.”

     Earlier in the game, LaRoche was involved in a play at third that eventually lead to the ejection of manager, Arnie Beyeler.  Bisons centerfielder, Matt den Dekker was called safe at third on a play that all 7103 fans at McCoy saw the other way.  Beyeler argued vehemently.  LaRoche agreed with his skipper.  “I just think the umpire had a bad angle so he couldn’t really tell.  The replay showed he was out, but umpires are human and they’re going to make mistakes.  It was a big play in the game, but it could have hurt a lot worse.”

     LaRoche was involved in the trade that sent Manny Ramirez to L.A. and Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen to Pittsburgh.  Andy wound up being teammates with Moss and Hansen, but he was excited about the deal for other reasons.  “It was amazing.  My favorite part was going to Pittsburgh to play with my brother (Adam).   I guess I can always say I got traded for Manny Ramirez.  It’s nice to know you’re going to a place that is willing to give someone up for you.”

     Not only is Andys’ brother a Big Leaguer.  Their dad, Dave, was a successful Major League pitcher with the California Angels in the ’70s and ’80s.  He says it was a competitive family.  “My dad actually retired the year I was born (1983) but immediately got into coaching.  It was great growing up around the game in that atmosphere.  It taught us a lot about the game and got us prepared for life in pro ball.”

     While a young Andy LaRoche was hanging around the White Sox clubhouse, it wasn’t a pitcher he looked up to.  “I grew up idolizing Frank Thomas.  He was always my favorite player and so nice around the clubhouse.  When I got a little older, it was Craig Biggio.  Just the way he played the game.  I liked the Astros.  I was living in Houston at the time.  He was a “dirtbag” kind of player.  Biggio was always one of my favorites.”   

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: