And now he's missing the spring opener. It's possible LaRoche will get off to a great start in April (I mean Andy, obviously) and none of this will matter. But in the meantime, he's making it hard for a card-carrying LaRoche fan club member like myself to keep defending him:
A couple of years ago, LaRoche was hobbled by a protruding disc. He did not need surgery and the problem went away when LaRoche began a dedicated exercise program.
"My back felt great and this offseason I didn't really stick with (the exercises) like I should," LaRoche admitted. "I guess the doctors were right when they said I'll have to stick with them for the rest of my career."
Yes, Andy, doctors often give good advice about one's health. Hopefully LaRoche doesn't also find out the hard way that, say, the accountants were right when they suggested that he should pay his taxes.
UPDATE: Matt Capps says he did work hard this offseason, but not last offseason:
“I can’t take an offseason off, expect to come into spring training and just use these three or four weeks to get into shape,” Pittsburgh’s closer said Saturday at Pirate City. “You’ve got to stay on top of it. I learned that the hard way last year"...
Last year, Capps didn’t begin working out until January.
“I’ve never been scared of working,” he said. “Now, I’m a little smarter.
“I think this is the path I need to take for the rest of my career.”
I'm thinking of a commonly-used phrase I don't wish to say here, but it ends with "Sherlock."
I'm not sure what makes Pirates players think that admitting stuff like this is a good idea--Tom Gorzelanny has also admitted he phoned in the 2007-2008 offseason. But, more importantly, I wonder what the Pirates can do to make this stuff stop happening. That's three times now (that we know about!) on the new management's watch. I realize they can't babysit players during the offseason, except maybe the ones they send to winter leagues, but I wonder if something can be done. Until then, it appears there are several Pirates who don't really care very much about their jobs.