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Something We Don't Need

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Gene "Lou" Collier:

Maybe Andy LaRoche, rated the Dodgers' second-best prospect before this season by Baseball America, will turn into the kind of corner infielder who is consistently productive, a player that is, you know, unlike his brother.

It's not that this sentence is even among the ten silliest in this article, but it's the one I'd most like to confront, because I saw a fair amount of grousing on this topic.

Adam LaRoche isn't a very popular player, in part because he appears to be less than we thought he was when the Pirates acquired him, and in part because his struggles seem apocalyptically awful because they always seem to coincide with the start of the season and the Bucs' annual descent into hopelessness. 

But if you would not judge Tom Glavine based on the performance of Michael Glavine, or Cal Ripken on the performance of Billy Ripken, or Vlad Guerrero on the performance of Wilton Guerrero, or Jack Wilson on the performance of Andy Wilson (and, yes, WIlson has a brother who played pro baseball--look it up), then you shouldn't judge Andy LaRoche on the performance of Adam LaRoche. There is no reason to think they'll be anything alike just because they're brothers. Andy deserves a chance to succeed without a cloud of unfair cynicism following him around all the time.