Chicago White Sox player Adam LaRoche is one devoted dad. The first baseman retired — and forfeited the $13 million left on his contract — after team executive vice president Ken Williams instructed him to limit the time his son Drake, 14, spent in the team clubhouse.
Adam, a 12-season veteran, shared the news with a cryptic tweet, which included the hashtag #familyfirst.
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
Williams told Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal that he twice asked LaRoche to “dial it back” with his son. “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,” Williams revealed. “I said that I don’t even think he should be here 50 percent of the time. Figure it out, somewhere in between.”
The executive vice president 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?”
Williams noted that Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf backed his stance. “Sometimes you have to make decisions in this world that are unpopular,” Williams said. “I’ve been unpopular before.”
According to ESPN, Drake had been at White Sox spring training camp in Arizona every day that his father had been there. He shagged fly balls before games and played catch on the field. The teenager even had his own locker in the home clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
Laroche, 36, has garnered overwhelming support from fellow players.
Centerfielder Adam Eaton said he spoke for his teammates and called the father and son duo “probably the most respected people in baseball I ever played with.” He added: “On our side of things, I think everyone would say we enjoyed Drake LaRoche in the clubhouse and everything he brought to the clubhouse. He helped out and wasn’t a burden by any stretch of the imagination. He wasn’t a big problem last year, either.”
MLB.com reported that LaRoche had filled out his retirement papers, but the White Sox want Laroche to reconsider, and haven’t submitted the paperwork to the Major League Baseball’s central office.