Sunday, May 14, 2006

No Empathy for Adam LaRoche's Mental Handicap

Though Atlanta 1B Adam LaRoche has been diagnosed with what his doctor describes as "attention deficit disorder," which causes LaRoche to lose concentration during games, a number of Braves fans apparently have little empathy. LaRoche was greeted with catcalls and booing when he came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning of an 8-1 loss to Washington. The fans were angry because LaRoche fell asleep at the wheel again and allowed a runner to reach base. It happended when Nationals slugger Nick Johnson tapped a little roller about 12 feet from the first place bag. It was about as close to an automatic out as there can be. But when LaRoche nonchalantly trotted over to field it, then dreamily walked back to the bag for the putout, he was greeted by Johnson hustling down the line to reach base safely. The out would have been the third in the inning, but because of LaRoche's screwup four more runners eventually crossed the plate, including Johnson. Responsibility has fallen to C Brian McCann, 2B Marcus Giles and right fielder Jeff Francoeur to shout at LaRoche every once in a while to try to keep his head in the game. But it's difficult for them to tell when LaRoche has drifted off. Looking at LaRoche standing there, sometimes it's as if the lights are on, but nobody's home.