Adam LaRoche has escalated to astronomical levels. LaRoche abruptly announced his retirement after the club asked him to limit his son Drake's time in the clubhouse.Since Tuesday, the drama surrounding the Chicago White Sox and
In the following days, team president Kenny Williams, ace Chris Sale and even team owner Jerry Reinsdorf have all issued statements on the matter. The players even considered boycotting Wednesday's spring game to show support for their teammate.
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One person who has been quiet this entire time is LaRoche. Not anymore. LaRoche released a statement Friday, finally explaining his side of the story.
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.
Over the last five years, with both the Nationals and the White Sox, I have been given the opportunity to have my son with me in the clubhouse. It is a privilege I have greatly valued. I have never taken it for granted, and I feel an enormous amount of gratitude toward both of those organizations.
Though I clearly indicated to both teams the importance of having my son with me, I also made clear that if there was ever a moment when a teammate, coach or manager was made to feel uncomfortable, then I would immediately address it. I realize that this is their office and their career, and it would not be fair to the team if anybody in the clubhouse was unhappy with the situation. Fortunately, that problem never developed. I’m not going to speak about my son Drake’s behavior, his manners, and the quality of person that he is, because everyone knows that I am biased. All of the statements from my teammates, past and present, should say enough. Those comments from all of the people who have interacted with Drake are a testimony to how he carries himself.
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!)
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. 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.
I understand that many people will not understand my decision. I respect that, and all I ask is for that same level of respect in return. I live by certain values that are rooted in my faith, and I am grateful to my parents for that. I have tried to set a good example on and off the field and live a life that represents these values. As fathers, we have an opportunity to help mold our kids into men and women of character, with morals and values that can’t be shaken by the world around them. Of one thing I am certain: we will regret NOT spending enough time with our kids, not the other way around.
At every level of my career, the game of baseball has reinforced the importance of family to me. Being at my father’s side when he coached. Playing alongside my brothers as a kid and as an adult in the big leagues.
Likewise, it has been great to have my son by my side to share in this experience as I played.
In each and every instance, baseball has given me some of my life’s greatest memories. This was likely to be the last year of my career, and there’s no way I was going to spend it without my son.
Baseball has taught me countless life lessons. I’ve learned how to face challenges, how to overcome failure, how to maintain humility, and most importantly, to trust that the Lord is in control and that I was put here to do more than play the game of baseball. We are called to live life with an unwavering love for God and love for each other. These are lessons I try to teach my kids every day. I truly am blessed to have been granted each of those experiences.
Thank you to all of my previous managers, past teammates and friends across the league for making these past 12 years such a wonderful journey, and for providing me with memories that I will never forget--especially the ones with my son by my side.
I will leave you with the same advice that I left my 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.
While LaRoche's statement mostly confirms what has been reported, he brings up a few new, interesting points. LaRoche reveals that there was some type of agreement between he and the club regarding how much his son could be around. He doesn't specify whether that was written into his contract or just a spoken agreement. If it was the former, LaRoche could file a grievance against the club with the Players Association.
He also says the team eventually told him Drake couldn't be in the clubhouse at all. That directly contradicts Williams' initial statement on the matter, in which he said the team only asked LaRoche to limit some of Drake's time in the clubhouse.
The White Sox have already responded to that part of LaRoche's statement, saying that wasn't the case.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 18, 2016
LaRoche specifically singles out Williams in his letter. He mentions that Williams was the person who spoke to him about limiting Drake's access. He later mentions that he doesn't feel animosity toward "my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf," leaving out Williams.
Though it's been assumed since the news broke, LaRoche also basically confirms that he's retiring. He doesn't specifically say "I'm retiring," but reflects on his baseball career and thanks all his former teammates. Despite protests from some players on the White Sox, it doesn't appear LaRoche is going to reverse his decision.
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