Renaissance man Adam LaRoche picked up four hits and then pitched a clean inning
Dual threat: LaRoche goes 4-for-4, pitches an inning
In days of yore, when mustaches were required attire and pegging someone was considered a legitimate strategy, ballplayers were Renaissance men -- athletes who could pitch and hit in equal measure.
While there still exist a few luminaries who shine in all aspects of the game, increasingly rare is the true do-it-all guy. On Friday night, however, a hero stepped forward to remind us that the divide between hitters and pitchers can occasionally be transcended: Adam LaRoche was his name, and throwing eephuses is his game.
Having already picked up three hits (he'd add a fourth later), the White Sox first baseman was called upon to throw the final inning of Chicago's game against the Yankees. Jokes were made, the thought of a position player pitching sneered at. Oh, how wrong we were:
That thing was clocked at 50 (!) mph, and Brendan Ryan never had a chance. It's a pitch that, oddly enough, runs in the LaRoche family -- Adam's dad, Dave, was a relief pitcher in the '70s and '80s, and he was known to occasionally do stuff like this. Behold, the La La Lob:
After so cruelly getting ahead in the count, LaRoche then dialed it back up with some high heat, changing eye level and speed like some kind of Maddux 2.0:
Maybe the White Sox have just been hustling us all this time, playing LaRoche out of position, lest our minds be blown by his multifaceted brilliance. We can only hope that he will be an ambassador for all position players with pitching greatness inside of them, just waiting to be unleashed on home plate and/or the backstop.