It looks like a baseball star is about to sacrifice a huge salary and end his career on the principle of “family first.”
Chicago White Sox veteran Adam LaRoche is signaling that it’s time to retire after he was told he must stop consistently bringing his son, Drake, 14, to the team’s clubhouse.
“All I’m asking you to do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back,” Sox president Ken Williams told FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, according to The New York Post.
Not wanting to set a precedent that might one day turn a major league baseball clubhouse into a distracting playground for players’ children, Williams said he only asked LaRoche to scale the visits back.
“I don’t think he should be here 100 percent of the time — and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse. I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between,” Williams continued.
“We all think his kid is a great young man. I just felt it should not be every day, that’s all. You tell me, where in this country can you bring your child to work every day?”
LaRoche didn’t take kindly to the suggestion, reportedly filling out retirement papers, as well as posting a telling tweet with a ‘family first’ hashtag on Tuesday:
Thank u Lord for the game of baseball and for giving me way more than I ever deserved!#FamilyFirst
— Adam LaRoche (@e3laroche) March 15, 2016
Through the duration of LaRoche’s impressive career, his children, Drake and daughter Montana, have accompanied him on the road as much as school would allow, the Post reported.
Many of La Roche’s former teammates have offered their comrade support.
Good for you Roche! Nothing like father and son in the clubhouse..It’s a FAMILY game #FamilyFirst
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) March 16, 2016
Former Met friend and pitcher Blain Boyle also weighed in: “I think it’s between good and evil. I know which side Adam lives on,” Boyle said.
“I can’t disagree with what [Boyle] said about Adam as a person,” Williams responded to FOX Sports. “But I take exception to the ‘evil’ part.”
LaRoche’s departure may not be the worst thing for the White Sox’s bottom line — the team would regain the $13 million paycheck for a player who had struggled last season — but management insists that is not the issue.
“The problem becomes — and I know that not everyone is going to agree — when you are in executive positions, whether it’s this business or any other business, there are things you have to do to keep order and maintain consistency,” Williams told MLB.com.
“If this is allowed at this level right now, how do I tell the next guy that he can’t and then the next one after that? How do you manage that with any semblance of fairness? My viewpoint is then you really got problems.”
Are White Sox executives taking too stern a stance too soon, or are they justified in wanting to stem a potential problem?
One thing can’t be disputed: The deep father-son bond between Adam and Drake is wonderful to see and stands as a great example for all, no matter which side you might agree with.
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