Quite the tiff! White Sox player Adam LaRoche issued a lengthy statement on Friday, March 18, explaining that he decided to terminate his contract with the team because of a “disagreement” he had with executive vice president Ken Williams.
As previously reported, LaRoche left the team — and the remainder of his $13 million contract — after Williams told him to limit the amount of time the player’s 14-year-old son, Drake, spent at the clubhouse.
“Given the suddenness of my departure and the stir it has caused in both the media and the clubhouse, I feel it’s necessary to provide my perspective,” LaRoche began his statement via TwitLonger. “Prior to signing with the White Sox, my first question to the club concerned my son’s ability to be a part of the team. After some due diligence on the club’s part, we reached an agreement. The 2015 season presented no problems as far as Drake was concerned. (My bat and our record are another story!),” the athlete wrote.
“With all of this in mind, we move toward the current situation which arose after White Sox VP Ken Williams recently advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse. Later, I was told not to bring him to the ballpark at all. Obviously, I expressed my displeasure toward this decision to alter the agreement we had reached before I signed with the White Sox. Upon doing so, I had to make a decision,” he continued. "Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or do I choose my family? The decision was easy, but in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf. The White Sox organization is full of people with strong values and solid character. My decision to walk away was simply the result of a fundamental disagreement between myself and Ken Williams.”
LaRoche concluded his statement with advice he said he gave his teammates: “In life, we’re all faced with difficult decisions and will have a choice to make. Do we act based on the consequences, or do we act on what we know and believe in our hearts to be right? I choose the latter.”
Prior to his post, teammate Chris Sale told USA Today that Williams “lied” to the team during a meeting regarding LaRoche’s departure.
“We got bold-faced lied to,” Sale told the paper, “by someone we were supposed to trust. … Somebody walked out of those doors the other day, and it was the wrong guy. Plain and simple.”
According to Sale, Williams gave “contradicting statements” while addressing the team.
"We've been told three different stories, so we don't know who to believe, or even who to believe it originated from. First, he said it was the players [who complained about LaRoche’s son]. Then it went to the coaches. Then [they] came in here and told us it was the owner. I think if the right person had handled it, it would have been completely different.”
Sale concluded that they have “a much bigger problem on our hands than Kenny coming in here and kicking out a kid, and Roche retiring.”
White Sox chairman Reinsdorf also issued a statement on Friday.
"While we appreciate everyone’s attention and interest, we continue to feel that it would be premature to comment at this time,” Reinsdorf explained. “This is an internal issue and we are in the process of holding a number of discussions with the players, staff and the front office. As a result, we do not want to comment until that process is completed. I have instructed members of the organization not to talk about this issue and get our focus back on the field and winning baseball games."
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