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LaRoche wins first Gold Glove

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LaRoche wins first Gold Glove

The best offensive season of Adam LaRoche's career may actually have helped the Nationals first baseman be recognized at long last for his fielding prowess.

LaRoche won his first-ever Rawlings Gold Glove award tonight, selected as the best defensive first baseman in the National League in voting among managers and coaches.

LaRoche has long been considered stellar in the field, but the 32-year-old had never been recognized for it, losing out in previous Gold Glove selections to the likes of Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez and Derrek Lee.

The NL's managers and coaches finally gave LaRoche his due this year, citing his .995 fielding percentage and ability to snatch up<!-- more --> errant throws that saved his infield mates from being charged with errors.

It probably didn't hurt that LaRoche enjoyed the best offensive season of his career -- he clubbed 33 homers with 100 RBI and a .271 batting average -- while playing for a first-place team, raising his profile among the rest of the league.

LaRoche was selected over two other finalists at first base: the Reds' Joey Votto (last year's winner) and the Braves' Freddie Freeman.

Now a free agent, LaRoche hopes to sign a long-term deal to stay with the Nationals. The two sides hold an exclusive negotiating window until Saturday, at which point LaRoche is free to talk to other clubs. He's believed to be seeking a three-year contract worth somewhere in the range of $33 million to $36 million.

Though teammate Ian Desmond also was a finalist to win his first Gold Glove award, the Nationals shortstop lost out to the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins (who won for the fourth time in six years).

Desmond, 27, enjoyed a breakthrough season at the plate and in the field, earning his first All-Star selection in the process. After committing a MLB-high 34 errors in 2010, he cleaned up his defensive game and brought that number down to 23 in 2011 and 15 this season.

Rollins committed the fewest errors (13) and had the best fielding percentage (.978) among qualifying NL shortstops.

LaRoche joins Ryan Zimmerman (2009) as the only Gold Glove award winners in Nationals history.

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2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

2017 ballpark foods that are way better than peanuts and Cracker Jack

Back in the olden days, cotton candy or a plate of nachos were considered bold ballpark snacks. Thankfully, the olden days are over, and a new era of ballpark food has begun.

And in this era, a menu item isn't considered complete until it's fried, sandwiched between something else and then finally drizzled with some sort of sauce. 

So, what's on the menu for 2017? Well, peanuts, hot dogs and apple pie nachos, of course.

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

With a new season about to begin, CSNmidatlantic.com has identified 10 of the most eye-popping and artery-clogging foods available around Major League Baseball in 2017. To see them, simply click on the link above or below to open our gallery (no fork and knife necessary).

After all, while peanuts and Cracker Jack are cute, they simply can't match up with a hot dog topped with bacon and a fried egg. 

CLICK HERE TO FEAST YOUR EYES ON THE CRAZIEST BALLPARK FOODS YOU'LL FIND AROUND MLB THIS YEAR

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Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals Ace Max Scherzer will not be team's opening day starter

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team's opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation. 

Scherzer has been the team's starter on opening day for the past two seasons, but a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger caused him to miss the start of spring training, and the World Baseball Classic. 

Scherzer did, however, make his first MLB spring training start of 2017 on Wednesday. The 2016 NL Cy Young award winner allowed two earned runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. He added four strikeouts and one walk, and reportedly looked just like you would expect from Max Scherzer. 

"To be out there competing, throwing all my pitches, throwing them for strikes, that's a great first outing," Scherzer told Eddie Matz of ESPN after the game. "Finger's good. Finger feels like a finger. I'm getting through that injury. It's behind me now."

With Scherzer set to open the season as the third starter in the rotation, that likely means that Stephen Strasburg will start on opening day against the Miami Marlins, and Tanner Roark will slot in behind him. 

While it's nice to have your ace pitcher starting on opening day, it's not a huge deal to have Scherzer start the season third in the rotation, especially because the Nationals starting rotation is the strength of the team

RELATED: Nationals' Tanner Roark pitches four scoreless innings to help Team USA beat Japan in WBC