If you attended the Nationals' 2011 uniform unveiling last fall, then you no doubt noticed that reliever Drew Storen had changed from No. 58 to No. 25. It's something Drew had told me last summer he was planning on doing, since No. 58 is more of a linebacker's number. Tyler Walker wore No. 25 last season, and Storen had actually asked Walker if he'd mind if he took it for 2011. When the Nats cut ties with Walker earlier this offseason, that paved the way for Storen to assume the number.
On Friday, when the Nats introduced Adam LaRoche to the local media, general manager Mike Rizzo handed him a home white jersey with the LaRoche's name on the back, arched over No. 25.
I asked LaRoche later in the clubhouse if he'd specifically asked for that number, and he said it never came up. "I wore 25 in Arizona, " he said, "so I guess that's why they gave it to me here."
Did it really matter much to him? "No," he replied, "any number between 15 and 30 would be fine."
Over the course of his career LaRoche has wore 25, 23, 22 and 19. With Willie Harris gone to the Mets and Scott Olsen now with Pittsburgh, 22 and 19 are available. Wil Nieves is also gone, headed to Milwaukee, freeing up No. 23. I suspect if Storen reallly wants 25, Adam won't have much of an objection.
LaRoche seems like a good fit, personality-wise, with the Nats. Now if he can just repeat the season he had in 2010 - with whatever digits are on his back - everyone should be happy.