Here’s the latest on Adam LaRoche’s sudden retirement, which stemmed from a dispute between LaRoche and executive vice president Ken Williams over the regular presence of LaRoche’s son in the team’s clubhouse.
- The dispute between various members of the White Sox organization over LaRoche’s son is “one of the most bizarre Spring Training stories in memory,” Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller writes. One anonymous White Sox player tells Miller that he feels obligated to fight for the LaRoches because of his perception that LaRoche was lied to by the organization, and because the organization’s decision regarding LaRoche’s son caused divisions in the clubhouse. Miller also, however, notes that not everyone with the team agreed that LaRoche’s son should have such a continuous presence in the White Sox’ locker room.
- LaRoche’s son was with the team for about 120 games in 2015, writes Bob Nightengale of USA Today. No players or team staffers complained to LaRoche about his son’s presence, but several of them did speak to team management. In response to the complaints, Williams reportedly asked LaRoche to limit his son’s presence in the locker room, but LaRoche kept bringing his son to work each day. Williams then “lost it” and revoked LaRoche’s son’s clubhouse access, then changed his mind went back to requesting to LaRoche that he only bring his son to work about half the time.
- If LaRoche had performed better in Chicago, there would have been no issues regarding his son hanging around the team, Jesse Spector of the Sporting News writes. It’s possible some players or staffers would have complained to management about LaRoche’s son if LaRoche had figured to do be a key player for the Sox in 2016, Spector writes. But management never would have done anything about it. Now, LaRoche’s retirement allows them to save $13MM and move Avisail Garcia to the DH spot, improving their defense.
- Outfielder Adam Eaton and pitcher Mat Latos say the players are ready to put the controversy behind them, reports Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. “Let’s get all of the information out there,” says Eaton. “Let’s let it ride, and not forget about it, but say, ’Hey, there’s where we are.'” Eaton, the White Sox’ player rep, had previously said that he had been in touch with the union about a potential grievance. Latos, meanwhile, says he is used to being around kids at work, thanks to his former manager Dusty Baker and Baker’s famous son Darren. Latos adds, though, that he feels it’s time to move on. “Everybody is talking about it, and it’s kind of blown up to where it has become a distraction,” he says.”We have to focus on baseball, period, and kind of let this die down.”