There’s only two weeks before Opening Day and instead of talking about who’s going to make each team, the bigger incident that has arisen was the controversy involving former Chicago White Sox first baseman Adam LaRoche. LaRoche, 36, retired earlier this week because White Sox GM Kenny Williams advised him to cut back on the amount of time he spent with his son, Drake, in the clubhouse.
First of all, I commend LaRoche for sticking to his beliefs of family first and that is something I completely agree with, but bringing your kid to work on a regular basis is a bit of an overkill. I understand the point that the organization is trying to make. In that aspect, the approach that the White Sox could’ve taken was to reduce the amount of time LaRoche could spent with his son around the clubhouse, not abolish him forever.
Drake is homeschooled, allowing him the opportunity to be around his dad every day. Several reports suggest that Drake is an amazing kid and mature beyond his years, however even at 14-year-olds, there’s a line that needs to be made. Being around the team constantly is a little excessive considering the players in the locker room are adults and sometimes want to express their emotions differently.
What I don’t understand is why couldn’t one of LaRoche’s teammates come to him and say ‘Hey could we have one day a week with just you around?’ I know it was out of respect for LaRoche, but bringing the front office into the situation was unnecessary and created more of a disturbance. This led to many rumors that intensified further, starting with starting pitcher Chris Sale, who believed that Williams lied about the situation, putting an even darker cloud around the organization.
It’s easy to acknowledge where LaRoche is coming from. When he first signed with Chicago last season, his clause in his contract stated that his son could be part of the team and throughout last season no significant problems occurred.
One thing you have to account for is that LaRoche’s job is to help the White Sox win baseball games and last year he only hit .207 in the DH position, which is a spot in the lineup where you need a lot of production. Somehow, I think if he hit .250 with 25 HR’s, then this issue wouldn’t have reached this point.
There are some unwritten rules in baseball, and several inside the clubhouse are sanctuary, allowing the players to be themselves and create that camaraderie and chemistry needed to help win games. To have kids in the clubhouse is great for baseball, as it’s so demanding and players live seven months out of a suitcase, but there needs to be some sort of line drawn or rules in place so this doesn’t become problematic ever again.