Adam LaRoche and Chipper Jones have been close friends for years.
Chipper Jones, though, no longer plays for the Braves. And given his longstanding friendship with Adam LaRoche, the future Hall of Famer didn't have to think twice about stopping by to give the Nationals first baseman some pointers how to snap out of one of the worst slumps of his career.
"I will always help a close friend if he asks," Jones later told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Mired in an 0-for-26 slump that includes 13 strikeouts, LaRoche sought assistance today from his former Braves teammate and one of his closest friends in baseball. The two spent more than 30 minutes watching video and breaking down LaRoche's swing before the Nationals took the field for batting practice.
"I saw Chipper earlier, and he was going to talk to his good buddy, Adam LaRoche," manager Davey Johnson said. "I said: 'Get him feeling good, and then I've got a couple more guys you can talk to.'"
Jones did shake hands with a couple other Nationals, including Johnson and second baseman Danny Espinosa. He remarked that he'd never been in the visitors clubhouse at Turner Field before, and his presence there certainly looked out of place.
Fraternization between players from opposing clubs — even division rivals like the Nationals and Braves — has become more common over the years. Johnson certainly didn't seem to mind, having always been a proponent of receiving advice from any available resource.
"I talked to Al Kaline one of my first years, and anything he had to say, I was like a sponge," Johnson said. "He gave me a few tips, and they helped. Just talking to a great hitter, after you leave the conversation, you feel like you're better. I mean, every conversation I had with Ted Williams when he was managing the Senators, I'd go out and get two or three hits. I think it's great. I think today more players do talk more so because of the phones and the text and all that stuff. But I think it’s good."