Adam LaRoche has retired from baseball, leaving $13 million on the table.
Why did the 12-year veteran decide to call it quits when he still had a year remaining on his contract with the Chicago White Sox? Apparently it has to do with the team taking issue with how frequently LaRoche's 14-year-old son Drake was in the clubhouse.
Sources: LaRoche chose to retire after #WhiteSox prez Ken Williams told him that he no longer could bring 14-year-old son into clubhouse.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 16, 2016
Williams was interviewed by Rosenthal shortly after and offered his side of the story:
"This young man that we're talking about, Drake, everyone loves this young man. In no way do I want this to be about him … I asked Adam, said, 'Listen, our focus, our interest, our desire this year is to make sure we give ourselves every opportunity to focus on a daily basis on getting better. All I'm asking you to do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it 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."
Shortly after Williams had the conversation with LaRoche, the slugger took to Twitter to announce his retirement, accompanied by the hashtag "FamilyFirst." Shortly after, players from around the league showed their support of LaRoche's decision.
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
Good for you Roche! Nothing like father and son in the clubhouse..It's a FAMILY game #FamilyFirst
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) March 16, 2016
I hope I have the same relationship with my future children that Adam LaRoche has with Drake. He is a man of principle. #familyfirst
— Gordon Beckham (@gordonbeckham) March 16, 2016
It's an odd situation, and there have been conflicting reports about White Sox players approaching Williams to voice concerns about Drake's constant presence. We certainly see where LaRoche is coming from—he wants to spend time with his son, and if his teammates are cool with it, it shouldn't be a problem. But if his teammates did have an issue, then the club is within its rights to ask him to dial it back a bit.
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