Nats players use Drake LaRoche to get them out of batting practice

Twelve-year-old Drake LaRoche might not have an actual contract with the Washington Nationals, but the team has considered him one of their own ever since he started showing up at spring training with his father Adam LaRoche six years ago. (Whitney Leaming/The Washington Post)

Craig Heist of WTOP is responsible for this fun tidbit from Nats training camp: When the players showed up for batting practice on Sunday, it was 40 degrees and not particularly attractive weather for being outside. So the guys sent in Drake LaRoche to tell Davey Johnson that they wanted to hit indoors.

What did he tell Johnson?

“That they weren’t hitting,” Drake told Heist. “They don’t hit on Sundays. They had become babies. I wanted them to hit outside so I could shag, but I had to go tell Davey.”

Adam LaRoche said he didn’t feel bad about sending his son into battle.

“That’s what he’s here for,” said LaRoche. “That’s what’s nice about having Drake around. He can do all our dirty work, so days like today when it’s freezing, we had to send him in there to talk to Davey for us. I don’t think Davey’s gonna yell at an 11-year old.”

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Dan Steinberg · March 4, 2013